[svlug] Mappery breakthrough : Garmin topo, vista, rino, under linux & CXO

Beartooth beartooth at adelphia.net
Sun Mar 12 07:48:34 PST 2006

 	As most of you know, I've been trying to make GPSs and topo 
maps usable under Fedora Core 4 linux, using CrossoverOfficePro (CXO) 

 	I've belabored nine or ten specialized lists for six or eight 
weeks, parcelling out pieces of the problem wherever I hoped they 
might arouse interest and knowledge. I've gotten invaluable help and 
encouragement from all of them, on the lists and under them, and from 
a few personal gurux as well. For all of it, my heartfelt thanks!

 	I kept hitting dead ends, and finally started working with a 
suggestion to try USB ports. Those seemed almost to work.

 	Late Friday an electronic friend opined that I'd never manage 
with symbolic links from serial ports (which both the software and the 
special GPS cables are designed for, and which have always worked 
under W98 and XP, but never under linux). I would have to get hold of 
some USB drivers somewhere, somehow; but I had no idea where nor how 
to look.

 	Saturday (yesterday), I stumbled onto a prominent link to 
download Garmin drivers from. (All my GPSs and one of my four main 
suites of software are from Garmin. A no-brainer at last!)

 	I grabbed them, installed them with CXO, opened the Garmin 
software, plugged a GPS into a USB port, turned it on, let it boot, 
and told the software to go git 'em.

 	RESULT : We have breakthrough, not victory yet. It got 'em, 
but only in part. It only got tracks and maps from a rino 120, and 
waypoints from an etrex vista; but it had said, both times, that 
either the software or the GPS needed upgrading. They certainly do -- 
none has had it in years; the software is release 3.0 from 1999, and 
release 5.0 is out.

 	I take this as proof of concept, and more: I can get the 
upgrades, and dollars to doughnuts it will all just work, with the 
present setup, from there. Ditto, more likely than not, for at least 
some of the software suites from other vendors who have USB drivers.

 	So we hardened linux users can do our things in the woods 
(and, most likely, on the roads and streets) without needing Windows 
machines; the vendors of both hard- and software will have a larger 
market, especially as the Baby Boomers retire, and some of them also 
get rid of Windows; and so will authors and publishers of both linux 
books and GPS/mapware books.

 	Methinks toasts are indicated all around.

Beartooth Staffwright, Hunter by Birth, Not Quite Clueless
Power User by God's Grace, Linux's, and the Net's

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