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Gpses And Mac Users


Dirtbag Darrel
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For those interested, thanks to Paul Aris' suggestion, I'm now able to connect my Magellan SporTrak to my Mac Mini over a DB9 serial-to-USB adapter, running Virtual PC. Seems I had to connect the GPS *after* starting up VPC. Haven't tried transfering maps yet, but waypoints and tracks work.

Macs RULE again! :yikes:

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I would love to have the ability to use my Garmin with my Powerbook! A high res mapping program would look so gorgeous on the screen, combined with the power of OSX....WOW! Ahh perchance to dream... :D

 

For now im stuck transferring between my powerbook and my Winblows machine, which has strictly become a Geocaching machine/AOL chatbox. :D:D

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Well I had alot of time to kill tonight and read the whole thread end to end on Macs with GPSR's. Not too many posts about other types of gps units. I have a Brunton Atlas. This unit is very similar to an Ifinder by Lowrance. Good lil' unit and not a bad pricetag. The skinny is that I am able to download a .gpx file from geocaching.com and then use MacGPSBabel to convert it to a .usr format. The nice thing about this process is that my GPS uses a MMC card so I can manually load files on or off the card and load them into the unit. This has proven to be a good thing with a few exceptions. I have not been able to get other usefull information with the file transfer. All that goes thru in the file transfer with Babel is from .gpx to a .usr format that gives me a waypoint and the waypoint name.

 

Still seeking an efficient, paperless, informative caching tool. I like the idea of an igps. Or an apple gpsr. I will talk with Mr. Jobs about that one.

 

Thanks for the forum posts and keep em coming.

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Fear Not fellow Mac users, In a few years (possible 2) we will be able to run windows on a new Mac and all our problems will be solved

 

I'm not sure how running windoze on my Mac is going to solve more than 1 or 2 little problems I currently have. I can see it creating quite a few, but not solving more than 1 or 2.

 

Now a GPS company creating a Mac version of their mapping software to run on my Mac solves those same 1 or 2 problems without the creation of the new problems.

 

Of course, in 2 years, what will be the incentive for software manufacturers to create Mac versions of software? You can just run windoze on your Mac full time and save them plenty of effort. I guess this is the wrong forum for this topic...

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Fear Not fellow Mac users, In a few years (possible 2) we will be able to run windows on a new Mac and all our problems will be solved

 

I'm not sure how running windoze on my Mac is going to solve more than 1 or 2 little problems I currently have. I can see it creating quite a few, but not solving more than 1 or 2.

 

Now a GPS company creating a Mac version of their mapping software to run on my Mac solves those same 1 or 2 problems without the creation of the new problems.

 

Of course, in 2 years, what will be the incentive for software manufacturers to create Mac versions of software? You can just run windoze on your Mac full time and save them plenty of effort. I guess this is the wrong forum for this topic...

The incentive will be that one person using proper compiler will be able to port a small to medium size app to the Mac OS in a few days.

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I also am a Mac user, and I have found this thread quite helpful. I just purchased a Magellan Meridian Gold and I like it a lot. I've ended up using a combination of MacGPSBabel to do quick uploads of .loc files from geocaching.com and gpsWrite/Link2GPS for managing waypoints. I tried using MacGPSBabel to download waypoints from my GPSr, and it seemed to work, but when imported into any waypoint manager there were 3 copies of each waypoint.

 

I tried Magellan Waypoint Manager, but the beta has expired, and even when I turned back the date it would hang when trying to connect to my GPSr.

 

GPSConnect didn't support downloading waypoints from Magellans.

 

MacSimpleGPS looked promising but it was very buggy and wouldn't read from my GPSr.

 

The new Terrabrowser beta also looked promising, but is incomplete as of yet and MacGPSBabel has to be used to import waypoints (and as I mentioned I would get 3 copies of each waypoint in this program and in MacSimpleGPS). The old Terrabrowser software doesn't seem to support routes and also doesn't support Magellans (based on same software as GPSConnect).

 

I would like to try MacGPS Pro and the National Geographic software, but I don't want to spend the money without being able to tryout the software first.

 

So gpsWrite/Link2GPS are it for me for now. Hiketech makes them. They aren't rock solid either, and there is some functionality I would like to see (better drag and drop support, more and more intuitive keyboard shortcuts, better data entry) but it works for my limited needs.

 

I agree that it would be nice to just have official support from Magellan. Oh well. Thanks for all the help guys! :D

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This may be a completely idiotic question, but I'm going to ask because I don't seem to be using the right search terms for the Google Oracle to understand.

Cell phones have GPS these days, at least my new Sprint PCS Sanyo RL-4920 does, so 911 can find you in an emergency. So, can you actually do anything fun with it, like use it as a GPSr connected to a Palm with a mapping application? I know there were some applications for the Nextel phones, and the RL-4920 is the next generation. There are USB cables for it (and Mac OS X drivers, at least for BitPim to upload/download phone stuff). Also, since I have a USB Palm (Tungsten C, to be precise), can/how would I connect them?

 

I don't want to subscribe to a service through my cellular provider, since I'd have to pay for it every month on my 2-year contract whether or not I used it. I don't think MapQuest et al. support geocaching, and I might want to find stuff where topo maps are more appropriate than street maps--and where there aren't any cell towers.

 

I really appreciate all the up to date information on GPS and Mac. I just updated to 10.3.9 on my TiBook that rides in the passenger seat on my road trips as a jukebox. (Although the news about an arrest for wardriving is making me think twice about parking by Best Westerns on I-5 to check my e-mail...)

Thanks,

 

Kathryn

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Kathryn,

 

You really are a geekwriter. You lost me on several things in that post....

 

What's wardriving? Is that stealing server usage via WiFi or something? If people don't have password protected wireless network systems, they are getting what they should expect.

 

As for the phones, as I undertstand it, most don't have the precision that dedicated GPS receivers have. If you need it to just generally find out where you are on the earth, they're OK. However, they don't seem to be great for finding a small box to within a few meters.

 

I'm eyeing the new PalmOne LifeDrive. It has both Bluetooth for GPS use, and WiFi for browsing the Geocaching web site while on the road. It has a 4GB hard drive for storing lots and lots of GPX files and photos. With Bluetooth, I think it would make a great auto Navigation system, but would need some armor to use while geocaching.

 

Do you know about Wi-Fi Free Spot? It tells you where all the free Wi-Fi spots are around the country:

http://www.wififreespot.com/

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Parsa,

 

The story I read doesn't seem as black and white now that a few details have been filled in. Maybe I was mistaken, but I thought the original story described the network he accessed as a free WiFi site at a business that was closed for the day; it turns out this was a private residence, although the owner deliberately left his network open to share his bandwidth. (In which case, this is like arresting someone for taking something out of a "free stuff" box by the sidewalk. It's just that the suspect was lurking around at night and claiming he can't afford an ISP while driving a SUV that looks bad, circumstantially.)

 

http://wifinetnews.com/archives/005481.html

 

There's a comments section on that story which is probably a better place to discuss wardriving ethics than this forum. However, when I Googled for the "wardriving arrest" story, I got a lot of hits for something a bit more unsettling than just the computing equivalent of using someone else's security lights to read a map. Back in 2003, a Toronto man was arrested for downloading child pornography using people's home WiFi as he drove around town with his pants off.

 

http://news.com.com/Wi-Fi+arrest+highlight..._3-5112000.html

 

It only takes a few bad apples to spoil things for everyone, particularly when most people are intimidated by computers anyhow. It's harder to come up with calm, reasoned answers about something if you don't understand how it works. The grade school disciplinary methods are all too easy to apply: "Johnny broke the principal's window on purpose, so nobody gets to play with baseballs any more" instead of figuring out a solution that doesn't punish the innocent. "Mr. X used someone's open WiFi to download bad stuff, so we'll make using open WiFi a crime" could be turned around to "Let's figure out how to keep people from doing bad stuff on open WiFi networks." And of course there's the "But what about the Children?" angle.

 

Back to geocaching... if I could afford a Palm Life Drive and the rest of the gear you described, it would be nice to check Geocaching.com for new caches in my area as I walked home from the lab. Down the street, there's a WiFi Free Spot coffee shop, but it closes at 5:00 or so. Perhaps it might be safer to wait until I got home, if I didn't remember to use the network on campus. Next time I'm stuck in the middle of nowhere in southern Oregon, I can ask the desk clerk if they mind if I use the WiFi in their lobby to e-mail my boss and my roommate with a revised ETA and find out if I have anything urgent I'm missing.

 

I've already decided a Palm & a phone are too delicate to use in the field anyhow. I haven't found my current GPSr is "accurate enough to find a small box to a few meters" but that's probably just the darned redwoods blocking the satellites. (How does the GPSr know what size the box is, anyhow? ;-) ) However, I managed to exchange .LOC waypoints between my Mac and my old Magellan 315! Now, if I could work a membership upgrade into my budget so I could use the extended format downloads...

 

--Kathryn

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FOr what it's worth, I was compeltely new to GPS and software. I purchased the garmin Legend, with a Deluo (or something like that) USB-Serial connector, and the National Geographic Topo maps for the northeast. I would have to say, the system works flawlwessly, I can download/upload tracks, routes and waypoints without a hitch. It was great when I went mountain biking, I could upload my track and it drew a nice red route on the topo that I was able to save as a PDF, now next time I go out biking, I can adjust my location as necessary.

 

Some of the National Geo maps are dated, but most are fairly recent.

 

It's not often that a system that depends on various manufacturers and parts works as intended, especially when dealing with Mac compatibility, but I have to give credit where it's due.

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm looking to buy my first GPSr and have been looking at the Garmin 60CS. I've read through this topic and still have one question. If I use a serial cable with a USB adapter will any of the National Geographic TOPO programs work with the 60CS? It is not listed on their page as a supported device but I'm thinking that is just because of the USB issues.

 

I appreciate any help. I don't mind using VPC to transfer maps but I'd like to use my TOPO software for waypoints.

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I'm looking to buy my first GPSr and have been looking at the Garmin 60CS. I've read through this topic and still have one question. If I use a serial cable with a USB adapter will any of the National Geographic TOPO programs work with the 60CS? It is not listed on their page as a supported device but I'm thinking that is just because of the USB issues.

 

That shows how behind all these companies are.

 

The 60cs uses the same serial port connector as my ancient 12XL. It should work with the NGs state map series for OS X. I just got back from a trip from San Diego County to Santa Cruz up the US 101. In my own area, I have loaded the maps into the hard drive, but for the rest of the trip I used a series of 3 CDs from the California state software. I had the Garmin 12XL hooked up via the serial port to my 12" Powerbook, and occasionally a section of the map would appear white. I'm not sure why, but sometimes if I zoomed out and back in it would correct itself. Once it was quite troublesome, and I quit and restarted, then it appeared to work better. Overall though, I have to say it worked pretty darned well for such a long trip, especially with the computer running and the CD spinning the whole way. I did notice that tracking is a tad slow via the serial cable while reading from the CD. It's much faster when loaded on the hard drive. I had to take into account that my actual position was a bit ahead of my plotted position while zooming down the highway.

 

Parsa

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Has anyone found mapping software that works with a Mac? Something along the lines of MS cities and streets. I know National Geographic has something, but I'm not sure if it does steet level or just major highways.

I was able to get the Route 66 program to work with my eTrex Vista attached to my G4 powerbook 800 MHz. It was stable on our whole route and gave us updates with speed and direction, etc. Unfortunately it did not highlight where we were on our route, but you (preferably passenger while driving) could scroll the directions while driving.

 

Not bad for 40 bucks. I don't think it can import waypoints, but you could always type them in manually.

 

Peace

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Has anyone found mapping software that works with a Mac? Something along the lines of MS cities and streets. I know National Geographic has something, but I'm not sure if it does steet level or just major highways.

I was able to get the Route 66 program to work with my eTrex Vista attached to my G4 powerbook 800 MHz. It was stable on our whole route and gave us updates with speed and direction, etc. Unfortunately it did not highlight where we were on our route, but you (preferably passenger while driving) could scroll the directions while driving.

 

Not bad for 40 bucks. I don't think it can import waypoints, but you could always type them in manually.

 

Peace

Route 66 is okay at best. I used it last year on a roadtrip and it does good at showing your current position on a map. It is horrible though when you ask it for point to point directions. Luckily I had an idea of where I was going.

 

The program itself is pretty slow, it really lags when you are zooming. Route 66 also does not come with any written documentation.

 

If you can get Route 66 for cheap I say go for it. It works well for certain things, plus it is really all we have.

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