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Gpses And Mac Users


Dirtbag Darrel
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Can anyone tell me which gps units are compatible with MACs? And further, how about the software? Are there any major issues with using a MAC with these units and software?

No GPS that I know of is directly compatible with the Mac. You usually need a third party program (many which are free) to connect any GPS to your Mac and exchange waypoints and so forth.

 

For loading Maps you'll need to use Virtual PC and a USB/Serial adapter.

 

I've been using VPC on my powerbook for 3 years to work with my GPSV (and now my Garmin 60cs). It's become second nature.

 

So yes, you can use virtually any GPS with your Mac. There will just be some added expense to pick up VPC and a good adapter. (which you should be able to get on ebay for less than 100 bucks unless you want to get the new version 7 which was just released).

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My Mac, a G5, does not need VPC to communicate with my Legend. The cable that came with the unit, a USB to serial cable and gpswrite and link2gps are sufficient for my purposes.

 

I am, however, trying to find something that will modify the gpx files to use smart names instead of the usual waypoint code.

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As a caveat, I don't think there is any OSX software that yet speaks Garmin/USB and there have been enough reports that it doesn't work with VPC that I'd be reluctant to recommend any of the Garmin USB-*only* units. So VistaC/SummitC/Quest and related models are probably out for you.

 

If any of you OSX users know of OSX software that speaks USB end-to-end (no serial ports/converters in the picture) so that waypoints can be transferred or if VPC actually works well enough to upload maps, please do pipe up.

 

Feel free to write Garmin and tell them why you aren't buying their products - they not only haven't written software for your chosen system, but they haven't documented the protocol so others can do it...

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As a caveat, I don't think there is any OSX software that yet speaks Garmin/USB and there have been enough reports that it doesn't work with VPC that I'd be reluctant to recommend any of the Garmin USB-*only* units. So VistaC/SummitC/Quest and related models are probably out for you.

 

If any of you OSX users know of OSX software that speaks USB end-to-end (no serial ports/converters in the picture) so that waypoints can be transferred or if VPC actually works well enough to upload maps, please do pipe up.

 

Feel free to write Garmin and tell them why you aren't buying their products - they not only haven't written software for your chosen system, but they haven't documented the protocol so others can do it...

I signed up to this board to find that out about the USB only models. Crud.

 

Anyone have any proficiency in writting USB drivers on Mac? I wrote Garmin (both email & snail mail) and they have not responded. Customer service isn't priority one I guess.

 

I know Linux has drivers for Garmin, has anyone been able to get them to work with the USB only models?

 

All I want is my data and to not HAVE to use a windows box. PLEASE help!? I'll be your friend. Honest. Or if you have any other ideas for who I could talk to at Garmin, I WILL.

 

----

 

Sorry about being all desperate.... It would just be nice for a company to actually listen to customers. Maybe even respond.

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Anyone have any proficiency in writting USB drivers on Mac?  I wrote Garmin (both email & snail mail) and they have not responded.  Customer service isn't priority one I guess.

 

I know Linux has drivers for Garmin, has anyone been able to get them to work with the USB only models?

 

Weird. This is about the third time this has come up in the last 24 hours after coming up only about three times since the 60's were released this spring. I was really suprised at how little OSX interest there was amongst the GPSBabel/USB contributors and inquiries.

 

I know of nobody successfully using Garmin/USB on Linux today. If you know of someone that has succeeded, please provide details.

 

Garmin has not published a PROTOCOL specification. They do not describe the bytes flowing over the wire. They have published the interface to their Windows driver. This makes developing code to talk to the devices (as one might choose to do when using an OS not supported by Garmin) a painful reverse engineering exercise. Like you, I've contacted them and been largely ignored. (Well, back when their document pretended to be a protocol document and I pointed out numerous disconnects between it and what I observed on a protocol analyzer, they sort of responded. A couple of weeks later, they revved the document to remove the pretense of being a protocol spec...)

 

The approach I took for implementing USB support in GPSBabel *should* work without change (or at least trivial change) on OSX. I'll continue to plod along with my effort, but progress has been slow.

 

Replace "Linux" with "OSX" in the discussions bekiw for an understanding of where we are.

 

http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.p...&forum_id=12070

 

and

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=79347

 

Oh, and since all the USB-only models are mapping, you know that you're going to have to use windows to get maps into your unit, right? Rumour has it that VPC's USB support isn't strong enough for Mapsource.

 

Sorry about being all desperate....  It would just be nice for a company to actually listen to customers.  Maybe even respond.

 

Welcome to the post 1960's corporate world. "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the phone company." Only now it's not just fone companies...

Edited by robertlipe
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As a caveat, I don't think there is any OSX software that yet speaks Garmin/USB and there have been enough reports that it doesn't work with VPC that I'd be reluctant to recommend any of the Garmin USB-*only* units.  So VistaC/SummitC/Quest and related models are probably out for you.

 

If any of you OSX users know of OSX software that speaks USB end-to-end (no serial ports/converters in the picture) so that waypoints can be transferred or if VPC actually works well enough to upload maps, please do pipe up.

 

Feel free to write Garmin and tell them why you aren't buying their products - they not only haven't written software for your chosen system, but they haven't documented the protocol so others can do it...

I signed up to this board to find that out about the USB only models. Crud.

 

Anyone have any proficiency in writting USB drivers on Mac? I wrote Garmin (both email & snail mail) and they have not responded. Customer service isn't priority one I guess.

 

I know Linux has drivers for Garmin, has anyone been able to get them to work with the USB only models?

 

All I want is my data and to not HAVE to use a windows box. PLEASE help!? I'll be your friend. Honest. Or if you have any other ideas for who I could talk to at Garmin, I WILL.

 

----

 

Sorry about being all desperate.... It would just be nice for a company to actually listen to customers. Maybe even respond.

Don't give up hope just yet. VPC7 was JUST released and there have been some early reports of users getting Garmin USB devices to communicate through VPC.

 

At least on a G4. G5's and VPC still seems to have some problems to work out.

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As to the map support, I don't mind needing a PC to update my maps. I REALLY want my waypoint data directly to my mac... I shouldn't have to jump through hoops. Plus the fact of the matter that I even need to run a PC SOLELY to update my GPS aggrivates me. But that is a different rant.

 

I have not given up hope. I realize Garmin COULD make a 180 in their support policy (I won't hold my breath). Also, some of you guys may come up with a miraculous product that does what I need it too (maybe even all of what I want).

 

I do appreciate the help. I just don't understand why Garmin won't provide basic connectivity... that's a mind boggler.

 

Also I just read a post here about a guy calling Garmin. Maybe the rumor is true Garmin will be working on it. But alas the proof is in the pudding and my pudding is spoiled.

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I am actually considering one of the Serial versions. At least people have documented getting them to work. Any recomendations on models to work with (From your experience of course) Mac OS X 10.3.x?

 

I realize I'll need an adaptor as well, and that my battery life will drop like a rock :: sigh :: But I guess thats what happens when companies choose to not support an entire platform. Don't they realize mac stock is up? It's trending to use mac now!!!

 

:: end rant ::

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But VPC is a horrendous trial to put someone through aside from the speed. Hopefully version 7 will allow g5 based Macs to run it a little more respectfully.

 

MuddyShoes

Horrendous? ;) you've been hurt haven't you?

 

Seriously, this isn't the case at all in my opinon. I LOVE VPC. As long as you have a processor that's over 800 mhtz or faster and adequate RAM to back it up it's a realtively painless/smooth experience.

 

I'm no poweruser for example and managed to get things running with relative ease.

 

No you're not going to be playing Doom3 via VPC but that's not what the product is for. I know people love to bash VPC and it gets a bad rap but it is emulator after all. I think a lot of people expect too much from it.

 

It's never going to fully replace a PC. But if all you want to do is accomplish things like loading maps into your unit, using windows browsers or running windows based productivity software so you can trade files with your PC-using clients -- it's great.

 

Having the convience of being able to run Windows 2000 on my powerbook and run Mapsource as well as TOPO 3D and other mapping/gps programs has been incredibly useful.

 

Espeically with OSX where you can launch VPC from the dock and drop/drag files as you wish.

 

Admittedly if you have an older Mac you're going to find VPC less than thrilling. But on my 886 dual processor G4 desktop and my 1.5 mghtz powerbook I find running everything in Windows 2000 much better than using the mac applications available out there. Espeically since there's only ONE way to upload maps to a Garmin unit -- through windows.

 

I haven't found the need to jump to a G5 yet so that's not an issue with me. Hopefully by the time I need to upgrade there will be other solutions.

 

Anyway, to the original poster in answer to your question a LOT of mac users own GPS units and have found solutions for making them work with your mac. I only telling you what works for me.

Edited by jollybgood
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I am actually considering one of the Serial versions.  At least people have documented getting them to work.  Any recomendations on models to work with (From your experience of course) Mac OS X 10.3.x?

 

I realize I'll need an adaptor as well, and that my battery life will drop like a rock :: sigh ::  But I guess thats what happens when companies choose to not support an entire platform.  Don't they realize mac stock is up?  It's trending to use mac now!!! 

 

:: end rant ::

USB/Serial adapters work amazingly well. Everybody seems to have their own favorite brand. I had a Kennsington adaptor which I found problematic.

 

I now use the Iogear. The trick with the iogear adapter is to install the window drivers (assuming you're using VPC) otherwise install the mac drivers.

 

I like the Iogear because it's smaller and a bit more streamlined than some of the others which can be large and blocky.

 

Again everyone has their favorite. Belkin is mentioned a lot.

 

On the Garmin 60CS I've found a few tricks make things go smoother. For some reason if I plug in the adapter before I launch VPC it won't work. I have to launch VPC, bring up windows and THEN plug in the adapter.

Edited by jollybgood
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Since this discussion is not proceeding along a couple of axes (and I'm not really a "mac guy" but am trying to help out) can we reduce this to a couple one specific question...

 

Has anyone observed VPC on any model of Mac running any strain of Mapsource successfully communicate via USB (not usb->serial, USB end-to-end) to a Garmin unit? (Jollybgood, remember you still have the option of using serial on your 60C, VistaC, SummitC, Quest, and such don't have that option.)

 

SimonWaltr, I agree that loading maps is a less frequent operation than transferring waypoints/tracks for most users and needing a PC for that isn't terrible. That's pretty much my modus operandi. Since my preferred unit has 256MB of map memory which I can replace - but not generate - from the OSes I use, the only time I need to generate maps any more is when my travel takes me well out of my time zone which is infrequent enough I don't much stress about booting into Windows.

 

If Garmin had documented the PROTOCOL instead of their windows driver, I'd probably already have GPSBabel (and ergo, MacGPSBabel) working with these things...

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If Garmin had documented the PROTOCOL instead of their windows driver, I'd probably already have GPSBabel (and ergo, MacGPSBabel) working with these things...

robertlipe,

I've been getting an idea that Garmin is not all about allowing cross platform product support. I don't quite understand why, it would give them an opportunity to gain more market share, and support less software. (read: if they allowed independant developers to do this as their passion). Maybe I am naive. All I know is that IF they support Mac, they will be the first. And Mac's market share is growing (see the annual reports).

 

Well, I returned my Legend C. I am trying to do some research on which model to buy so I don't have this problem again. The 60cs looks good except all the reports of lock-ups I've been reading. Anyone have any luck with the 60cs and a Mac? How about the 76cs? From the looks of things between the models, the only differences I see are memory, tide prediction, and a bit of $.

 

Recomendations? I plan on using it predominately for hiking, in the car if I get lost (maybe). My requirements are:

  • Waypoints/tracks must be exportable directly to my mac
  • If I have to buy VPC I'll cry.
  • Using my PC for maps is not a problem.

Thanks a ton everyone for all your help.

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If I have to buy VPC I'll cry.

Don't buy Virtual PC.

 

Virtual PC costs $249. You can buy an actual bare-bones PC from several places for about $250. (See Walmart)

 

Use Microsoft's free and excellent "Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac" to remotely control the PC from your Mac across ethernet. This way you don't even need a keyboard or monitor attached to the PC.

 

You'll end up with a faster, better experience than VPC. This is what I do to program my Garmin eTrex and SPIII.

 

Cheers,

-Jason

 

(PS: I just emailed Garmin asking them to support the Mac platform. They wrote back thanking me for the suggestion. I would encourage all Mac users to do the same)

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If I have to buy VPC I'll cry.

Don't buy Virtual PC.

 

Virtual PC costs $249. You can buy an actual bare-bones PC from several places for about $250. (See Walmart)

 

Use Microsoft's free and excellent "Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac" to remotely control the PC from your Mac across ethernet. This way you don't even need a keyboard or monitor attached to the PC.

 

You'll end up with a faster, better experience than VPC. This is what I do to program my Garmin eTrex and SPIII.

 

Cheers,

-Jason

 

(PS: I just emailed Garmin asking them to support the Mac platform. They wrote back thanking me for the suggestion. I would encourage all Mac users to do the same)

Walmart PCs do not come with Windows so you would have to buy that on top of the cost of the PC thus not being cost effective not to mention having to find a place for a second computer at home.

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I've been using my ancient Garmin 12XL with my USB Powerbook for quite a while now. Why would using a serial cable with a Keyspan USB adapter be any different than straight USB from the 60 or 76 series Garmins? My Mac Powerbook never seems to need much in the way of drivers for anything anymore.

 

I use both National Geographic Topo and GPSy, and my waypoints transfer and my position plots on maps without any real trouble. (I usually have to boot up with my receiver plugged in and turned on before GPSy recognizes the Keyspan USB connection). I have to use Classic with GPSy, but Topo is an OSX program. I also use an OSX version of MacSimpleGPS for loading waypoints into my receiver from the cache list pages. It's easy.

 

Of course if you're going to load maps onto the Garmin unit, you'll need VPC to run the Garmin CDs. It beats me why it's so hard for Garmin to make a Mac compatible CD. You know, they are really pushing the geocaching angle at garmin. maybe if enough of us write to them, they'd actually make Mac compatible software.

 

Parsa

Edited by Parsa
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I wrote the following email to sales support at garmin. You should write them too.

 

>>I've been talking to a great many of the geocachers I know, and a lot of us are Macintosh users. It's really not *that* hard to make Mac compatible software CD. You'd get a lot more geocachers buying new units with maps if you had Mac compatible CDs. It's a pain running programs in emulation. If National Geographic Topo can run on an OSX Macintosh, so can a simple set of map data software.

 

Steven Varner

A user of an ancient Garmin 12XL<<

Edited by Parsa
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Developing software is expensive and labor intensive -- so even though I'm an avid Mac user I understand why Garmin hasn't supported Mac users.

 

I'd give anything to convince them they should.

 

I've always thought our best best is to convince them to do some Unix software (which can OSX would be able to handle). That way they'd be addressing a larger audience -- both OSX and Unix users.

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Well, I just got the standard reply about "resource limitations" from Garmin. The interesting statement concerns "protection of proprietary information." In other words, they will be the ones who will make Mac software if anyone is going to do it, but they don't feel like it's worth their time and money.

 

Here's the letter:

 

Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I will be happy to assist you today. We are very interested in helping all current and potential GARMIN customers, but due to resource limitations and protection of proprietary information, we cannot assist in a Macintosh interface at this time.

 

The Virtual PC solution is the only option we have for our customers using Macintosh computers. We can not guarantee that this will work and can not support it's use, however a lot of our customer base has found success with this. I can offer some links that might prove helpful when using this type of interface.

 

For cables and attachments, please check out this site:

http://www.gpsy.com/

 

For additional Mac information and software, please check out these

sites:

http://www.sni.net/~lwjames/ and http://www.macgpspro.com/GPSPRO.html

 

For Mac use with MapSource, please check out this site:

http://www.cycoactive.com/gps/gps_vpc.html

 

 

Thank you for using Garmin products and have a great day!

 

 

Best Regards,

Corey Dace

Garmin Dealer Technical Support Specialist,

800-800-1020

913-397-0836 fax

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it really is too bad garmin wont develope for the mac. and its not just them, theres a lot of companies who are just too bineheaded to support anything but windows.

 

nat geographic topo works on os x fine from what ive heard, theres no reason mapsource couldnt also.

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I've got to second the mention of HikeTech - I've just discovered their tools for working with my GPS and I'm really impressed with them. I use a Garmin Venture. At home, I have a Keyspan dual serial (the old one, opaque) going to an old palm pilot adapter (mini-din 8 to db-9) and then to the garmin cable. Stays attached all the time to the PowerBook G4 1Ghz via my bazillion port USB hub.

 

Barbra, the cachewagon, has a garmin cable that runs down from the rearveiw mirror, down the a-pillar, and around into the glovebox, stopping for power on the way. A cheapie IOGear DB9-USB adapter works here to connect to the scary old iBook I use in the field. A little odd to see a USB port in the glovebox of a 93 cavalier. :-)

 

Both cables and adapter sets work great with the HikeTech software to deal with waypoints. It was worth it for me to become a premium member for the queries, and register the software. Now I never have to deal with that horrid little joystick again!

 

Somewhere out there is a petition for Garmin/Magellan tryin to show the base of Mac users. One might even want to head over to macintouch.com and submit an entry to the 'Mac Marginalization" report (though its probably already been logged).

 

As for loading things other thay waypoints, well, I have a real map thats easier to use and easier to see.

 

I keep hoping that Apple would write in support for NEMA mode GPS units, connected either by USB or serial adapters, and make it part of the suite of services available in the operating system. It could open up a whole mess of location based services.

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I am new to this gps thing and I have a Mac.

 

A salesman today suggested I have a friend load maps on a gps unit for me then I would at least have the maps on it.

 

But I also want to mark where I have been on topo maps on my computer and print them out.

FOr that I can use the National Geographic info, right?

 

Or am I ignorant of something....not knowing much about gps or computers.

 

HWyatt

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I wrote Garmin about my new 60CS and got the same stock answer I saw in this forum. Here is my reply to their reply:

 

Kristi Jamison

Garmin International

Senior Product Support Specialist

techsupp@garmin.com <mailto:techsupp@garmin.com>

800-800-1020

913-397-8200

913-397-0836 (fax)

http://www.garmin.com/

 

Dear Kristi:

 

Thank you for your prompt reply. As much as we all appreciate the stock answer to this question, we GPS Mac users think that when Garmin touts its great computer interfacing features, you should also be up-front with the fact that you do not support the Mac, and have no plans to support the platform in the future. That fact would allow us to make an informed buying decision. We Mac users are fiercely loyal to our platform of choice, and to peripheral product companies who support our platform.

 

The GPS product manufacturer who first steps up and recognizes Mac OS X for the advanced and robust operating system of the future that it is will gain more than enough new and loyal customers to justify the software development costs involved.

 

My specific problem relates to using my new Garmin 60CS via USB to my G5. As it sits, I must purchase a serial cable, adapter, and more software to make my Garmin work with my Mac. Garmin should supply those parts to their Mac customers to ensure they enjoy the same level of compatibility Windows users enjoy. That's just good customer service, which is one thing Mac users appreciate and reward with referrals and recommendations. Garmin should step up to the plate on this immediately. Either that, or a third party developer will step in with a great solution and Garmin will lose out.

 

Thank you for your time. Now I have to post a copy of this letter to the forums.

 

Paul (Pablo Mac) T.

Lebanon, Oregon

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Garmin's reply to my reply:

 

Thank you for contacting GARMIN International.

 

Garmin has never said that they did support Mac and certainly has not said

that we will never support Mac as a platform. We do not currently do so and

have not announced plans to do so.

 

As frustrating as I know this can be, when GARMIN became a public company

traded on the stock exchange, major restrictions were placed on us as a

company. For that reason, we are not allowed to discuss anything not

announced via a Marketing memo.

 

For our iQue devices which are Palm based, we now offer a basic Palm Desktop

application for the Mac platform. I can only hope (as a Mac user at home

myself) that this means that at some point in time, we will support Mac in

other ways as well. However until something about this is announced, we can

not say when or if that will occur.

 

and my reply back:

 

Thank you again for this reply. I didn't say that Garmin claims to support the Mac, but asked that they be more clear that they don't support the Mac on their GPS units.

 

What you tell me about not discussing anything except via a marketing memo makes sense, and the iQue news is good news. And you and I both hope for Mac support in the future. If there is a need for beta testers I would be happy to volunteer for that.

 

I didn't mean to come across harshly, so please forgive me if that tone came across too strongly in my last correspondence. You have a nice weekend and let me know if I can help get Garmin up-to-speed Mac-wise.

 

Thanks again!

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I have a friend I ride motorcycles with who is an engineer at Garmin (although in the avionics department). He says there are no current plans that he knows of to include Macs.

 

This may be a repost but if you've not already, sign the petition on GPScity.com so they will keep asking manufacturers to include Macintosh support.

 

Click here to visit GPScity's petition page!

 

roog

Edited by vtxrider
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Thanks phat.bak, that's a good resource.

 

This method only imports waypoints and coordinates into the PDA though. I can transfer waypoints and coordinates into my receiver and have 500 ready to go. True, the PDA let's you store more, but I doubt if I want to juggle more than 500 unfound caches at a time.

 

To be truely paperless, the PDA files need to include information, hints, etc. There are programs that convert html from a web page into PDA readable files, but that's a one-by-one process for me.

 

I guess what we want in this thread is a way to get maps on our Mac and transfer them as needed to the GPS receiver. I have several sets of LOC or GPX files for various areas on my Mac. I also have DRGs (calibrated scanned topo maps) for many areas to use with GPSy. I can run Topo!, and can track in real time on both Topo and GPSy. What I can't do is transfer Garmin map and data files into my GPSr. Of course right now I'm using a non-map model, but when I upgrade I'd like to do it on my Mac rather than on a PC. I really don't see why I should pay money for a shell program, when this kind of software work is not very hard for programmers to handle. There are plenty of Mac programmers that Garmin (or a competitor) could hire, or those companies could release the information necessary to let 3rd party companies do it.

 

Geez, there's NO competition in this field! If Garmin, Magellan or any other company that makes receivers introduced Mac software, they'd almost be guaranteed 100% of the Mac-user market. I've never seen a poll, but I have a feeling that GPS wielding geo-geeks have a larger percentage of Mac users than the general public. Aren't good businessmen supposed to be looking for markets like that?

 

Parsa

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You are right, this method does not touch on any mapping solution.

 

To be truely paperless, the PDA files need to include information, hints, etc.

 

All of this information IS transferred to the PDA from the GPX file. In CacheMate, these screens are included for each cache: Overview, Cache Information, Cache Description, Hints, Past 5 logs, and a screen to enter you own log. I haven't printed out a cache page in a year.

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I bought a new laptop recently. My decision was Apple vs. IBM and I have to say that easy use of my 60c was one of the things that pushed me towards the ThinkPad (my 3rd), other things were high price of comparable model and 1 year warranty vs. IBM's 3 years.

I always wanted a Mac and I would LOVE to have computer running the OS X, but small things keep me out of Mac world.

However I would like to offer $30 to author of potential MAC to GARMIN USB program that would support MAP/WAYPOINT/TRACK download/upload. I believe that a bounty is the way to go and could be interesting for potential coders. Anyone want's to join me?

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I would kick in $30, too. If enough of us did that, Garmin or a competitor, or a skilled programmer would be much better off, as would all of us Mac-loving GPS users.

 

For now I'll be happy to serve as a contact list coordinator. Send an email to me at pablomac@bigfoot.com and make this the subject: Mac GPS Users United, and I'll collect and kick out info - let's move forward on this!

 

Paul (Pablo Mac) T.

Lebanon, Oregon

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I would like to offer $30 to author of potential MAC to GARMIN USB program that would support MAP/WAYPOINT/TRACK download/upload.

I have no idea how to do the maps, but I know that Garmin USB support for waypoints/tracks on the Mac is being actively worked on in the gpsbabel camp - maybe you would think of throwing some of that $30 their way :laughing:

 

Going on a slight tangent - I have been working on and off on a project that ralann here got me in to. The idea is to write a geocaching database application for Mac users. I have a 'proof-of-concept' type program already running that can take a PQ, let you view its contents, manipulate it with gpsbabel (ie run filters) and then export to cachemate and/or your GPS unit. I am not a professional programmer, so progress has been slow. As such, it has been my intention to start an open-source project in the hope that other programmers might get on board and help make it happen. I don't think that it is really ready for release to the world yet, but if anyone here that knows Cocoa programming (or would like to learn Cocoa programming) would like to have some code to play with they should email me.

 

JeremyA

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It's interesting that this is coming up now since when I floated the idea to the Mac crowd here 6-8 months ago the silence was deafening. Still, Garmin/USB for OSX is at the top of my list. I have borrowed an iBook from Monkeybrad for this pursuit. I've already dumped many hours into it.

 

See: http://lists.apple.com/archives/usb/2004/Nov/msg00072.html Masochists can see the whole thread at http://lists.apple.com/archives/usb/2004/Nov/threads.html

 

In plainer English, the 60 is so seriously non-conforming to the USB protocol that it will require (at least) a modified version of OSX to deal with it with any program. (The old "if the legal thing fails, do exactly what Windows does since that was clearly all that was tested" trick.) The guys at Apple have been amazingly accomindating of this silliness. Since the 60 and the 18 share this trait, I wouldn't be suprised if the VistaC, Quest, SummitC, and other USB units have the same problem.

 

Help welcome.

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So I got a wild hair and hunted down a good deal on a 60cs. $400

 

I added to the deal a couple accessories - which are required in my opinion (Map, car mount and 12v power cable). $200

 

The pricey package arrived and I quickly found out it just won't interface with my Mac's USB. So I ran out and bought a cheep (reletively) lap top PC which doubled the price of my new Garmin. $600

 

After a month the PC broke down so it's been returned for warranty repairs. $50 [shipping]

 

Since the PC is otherwise worthless to me, I decided to try again to get my Mac to work with my GPSr. It looks like MacGPS Pro will do the job so I purchased a copy. $50

 

But I needed a serial cable to make the MacGPS Pro work with a Mac/Garmin interface. $50

 

Luckly for me, I already invested in a KeySpan connector for my old GPSr. $0

 

Who knows if any/all of this will work [still waiting for deliveries]. One thing's for sure... I would never have made this mistake (Garmin GPS) had I just written to Garmin to ask them about their policy regarding Macintosh Customers Support. That's my $0.02 worth. :lol:

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The Mac USB should work with you GPS with the serial cable and Keyspan.

The Garmin maps won't run on your Mac, which is what this thread's about.

You need a PC (at home, at work, at a neighbor's) in order to upload maps to the 60c, then you're good to go. Either that or you need to run a Virtual PC type program.

 

All this has been said in the thread.

 

Parsa

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robert,

congratulations on getting garmin USB devices working. that's a great accomplishment. i have a somewhat related question: what would it take to be able to upload maps without garmin's mapsource software? i realize this might be a terribly farfetched idea, but i'm not familiar enough with the pieces to know which are proprietary and which are not (and which are reasonable to try and reverse-engineer and which are not).

 

some things are obviously proprietary:

  • the way maps are stored/indexed in the garmin memory
  • the wire protocol to write the garmin memory

but some i just don't know much about:

  • is/are there a standard map format(s) that one could reasonably expect the garmin to store in its memory?
  • are there other barriers that i haven't mentioned here?

thanks for any insight!

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Hopefully a Mac solution appears soon, I just got a 60c and would rather not shell out for a serial cable and adapter. :lol:

 

VPC works almost decently if you upgrade to 6.1.1, that last .1 makes a world of difference. (www.mactopia.com)

 

I imagine that an updated USB stack would come along with Tiger, it's getting so close to GM now.

 

Thanks for all of the tips, hopefully a solution will be available before I get my next Mac...until then I'll use my work laptop for the maps. :lol: Just need something for waypoints...

Edited by trisquel
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Both Tiger and the 10.3 update that's likely to beat Tiger out hte door are likely to contain the needed fix.

 

nall, it's complicated. transferring the maps is a small piece of the puzzle. Unlike Magellan (who DOES make the serial map xfer protocol available to developers that ask nicely. that's how I developed magxfer) Garmin considers their map xfer protocol confidential. Some dudes have reverse engineered "enough" of it, but I know of nobody that's ported the logic to UNIX-like substances.

 

Even if they did, the barrier of getting the maps onto OSX remains...

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I'm a bit confused...

 

Are you talking about a creating a USB driver for Garmin GPS devices? I recently bought a new Legend C and was pleased to see it has a USB connection, thinking this would make it easier to connect to my Mac.

 

Sadly, that has not been the case. Am I to understand that you are working on something that would allow OS X to recognize a Garmin GPS connected via USB?

 

I sure hope so!

 

Thanks!

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Yeah, you're kind of hosed.

 

I've heard of nobody reporting success with virtual PC on the USB units, so you can't load maps without a PC.

 

Working solutions to transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes via USB to Garmins on anything other than Windows is rare. I think GPSBabel's USB support for Linux is the only one available right now. I tackled the OSX version of the same and got nailed by the Garmin 60's USB implementation not listening to the (legal) way OSX was talking. Apple's agreed to implement a fix in the next OS version.

 

I don't know if LegendC has the same defect as the 18 and the 60 do. Next time I publish a beta, you can give it a try; I'll recognize the failure case.

 

The punchline in all of this is that a LegendC (and vistaC and quest) users have no current options that I can think of for OSX for maps, waypoints, tracks, or routes. The latter three will come with GPSBabel (and thus MacGPSBabel) once the successor to 10.3.6 ships. Maps are a different problem.

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Maybe the answer to all this is for Apple to make GPS units. They already have a wildly successful MP3 player. If they turned their attention to GPS receivers, they'd probably blow Garmin and Magellan out of the water. We'd probably have 1 GB+ internal memory instead of 56k or 100k. The units would probably also be more user friendly, and best of all, there'd be software for Macs.

 

Anyone have friends at Apple R&D?

 

Parsa

Edited by Parsa
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