Off Road Notebook Computer

Navigation tools including maps, compass, GPS, computers, software, and other forms of navigation.
sdnative

Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#91

Post by sdnative » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:24 pm

Apparently GPSnow.com (4x4books.com) is having a BOGO free on the NG State series software maps. Not sure if it just this site, or if it is a NG promotion. Good until the end of the month. I'll be buying a couple.

http://gpsnow.com/wftstates.htm

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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#92

Post by DaveK » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:05 pm

sdnative wrote:Since you guys recommended NG TOPO, I checked it out. Apparently it uses the same 7.5 minute maps, excellent. Only problem is, everywhere I looked, it got abyssmal reviews. So are these just the bad apples, or is it really that bad? And all of you that praise it, are you on the NG payroll?
If anyone from NG is out there, make the check payable to DaveK and don't scrimp on the zeros. Don't I wish it were true. Truth be told, NG is not my most favorite organization but they do have some good products..

More to the point however. All computer programs are subject to bugs, flaws and problems. The NG Topo! program is no exception. That aside, it is still one of the very best offroad navigation programs around, for the reasons stated previously. Whether used for trip planning and waypoint creation or for live tracking, it offers one of the most accurate mapping programs available today.

I used Topo! long before NG bought it from Wildflower Productions and I have experienced many of the software problems that have plagued Topo! I have managed to work around all of them. Today, you can avoid most of the previous problems (much of which, I believe, are at the root of the bad reviews) by doing two things: 1) upgrade to or purchase v4 of Topo! and 2) make sure to go to the NG website and download the latest version of Topo! (free). See http://www.natgeomaps.com/downloads.html .

One of the other areas where there have been some problems with Topo! have involved GPS units which connect to the PC via USB cables. The original Topo! relied on serial port connections and it took a while for the software guys to accommodate USB only GPS units. Note: If you plan on running APRS, you will probably need a serial port connection .

With these upgrades and the use of a serial connection, I have been using Topo!, without issue, for quite some time.

sdnative wrote:Also, it is available in two flavors: Standard and Deluxe. The deluxe includes a complete USA 100k topo map, in addition to the included 25 "supergrids". What happens if I just buy the standard, but dont have a supergrid for my area? Is the map just blank?
Go for the State Series. Better detail.

sdnative wrote:Can I just connect my Garmin 60csx to it, or do I need an external antenna?
If your 60 is able to acquire the necessary satellite signal for a good fix, you don't need anything further. The 60 is an exceptional GPS.
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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#93

Post by DaveK » Tue May 05, 2009 2:36 pm

Just a quick postscript.

On our recent 8 day Parashant trip, I ran the NG Topo! live mapping program everyday. With our trip track in the computer, I was able to view our progress over the entire course of the Parashant at any level I selected. With all of the upgrades mentioned previously, I did not have one single problem, crash, or difficulty. If I were to make a criticism of the program, it would be only that they make it possible to orient the screen to track up. Otherwise, it was flawless.
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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#94

Post by cruiserlarry » Tue May 05, 2009 2:44 pm

DaveK wrote:Just a quick postscript.

On our recent 8 day Parashant trip, I ran the NG Topo! live mapping program everyday. With our trip track in the computer, I was able to view our progress over the entire course of the Parashant at any level I selected. With all of the upgrades mentioned previously, I did not have one single problem, crash, or difficulty. If I were to make a criticism of the program, it would be only that they make it possible to orient the screen to track up. Otherwise, it was flawless.
The only issue (other than a very un-intuitive interface, IMO) I have with NG Topo is whenever I set it in tracking mode, it will randomly stop tracking after a period of time, and I have to reset the tracking feature, losing my previous track. The GPS is not losing signal, the computer was not hibernating, just tracking stops. I'll have to check your settings next time we get together to see if I just set it up wrong (don't seehow, but it's possible, I guess... :roll: ), or if my program has a bug...
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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#95

Post by DaveK » Tue May 05, 2009 2:54 pm

Quite a while back, I too had that problem. And just before it started doing that, it would shoot out perfectly straight tracks into infinity (not mine, of course). Between the upgrades, a new computer, and some adjustments to settings, it has been a gem. Next time we get together, lets compare setups.
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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#96

Post by cruiserlarry » Tue May 05, 2009 3:02 pm

DaveK wrote:Quite a while back, I too had that problem. And just before it started doing that, it would shoot out perfectly straight tracks into infinity (not mine, of course). Between the upgrades, a new computer, and some adjustments to settings, it has been a gem. Next time we get together, lets compare setups.

Well, I haven't tried it with my new computer and built-in GPS yet, so maybe it's the processor speed, buss speed, and ram (of which I now have ample supplies ) that were affecting the program's function. If I can get it to work as it seems it should (and did for you), I'll be very happy.... :D
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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#97

Post by DaveK » Tue May 05, 2009 3:11 pm

cruiserlarry wrote:
DaveK wrote:Quite a while back, I too had that problem. And just before it started doing that, it would shoot out perfectly straight tracks into infinity (not mine, of course). Between the upgrades, a new computer, and some adjustments to settings, it has been a gem. Next time we get together, lets compare setups.

Well, I haven't tried it with my new computer and built-in GPS yet, so maybe it's the processor speed, buss speed, and ram (of which I now have ample supplies ) that were affecting the program's function. If I can get it to work as it seems it should (and did for you), I'll be very happy.... :D
Larry:

I think that you may have hit on a very important part of the solution, viz., ram. I am working with 2g and if I were to put my finger on one part of the puzzle that has made a large contribution to its reliability, it would be this. Once you get the new computer up and running, please post up results!
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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#98

Post by cruiserlarry » Tue May 05, 2009 6:08 pm

DaveK wrote: Larry:

I think that you may have hit on a very important part of the solution, viz., ram. I am working with 2g and if I were to put my finger on one part of the puzzle that has made a large contribution to its reliability, it would be this. Once you get the new computer up and running, please post up results!

The new one has dual 1.6Ghz processors, 800mhz front buss, and 4 gb ram...so I hope that'll do 'er.... :lol:
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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#99

Post by unwiredadventures » Tue May 05, 2009 6:20 pm

cruiserlarry wrote:The only issue (other than a very un-intuitive interface, IMO) I have with NG Topo is whenever I set it in tracking mode, it will randomly stop tracking after a period of time, and I have to reset the tracking feature, losing my previous track. The GPS is not losing signal, the computer was not hibernating, just tracking stops. I'll have to check your settings next time we get together to see if I just set it up wrong (don't seehow, but it's possible, I guess... :roll: ), or if my program has a bug...
I had the same problem. It's a GPS setting in Topo! I changed the setting (I'll check which setting tomorrow) and it now tracks perfectly and never stops.

I'm currently working on a carputer with 10" touchscreen up on the dash. 2 gig RAM and 60 GB Solid State Hard Drive. I'll post photos and details soon.
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Re: Off Road Notebook Computer

#100

Post by cruiserlarry » Tue May 05, 2009 6:33 pm

unwiredadventures wrote:
cruiserlarry wrote:The only issue (other than a very un-intuitive interface, IMO) I have with NG Topo is whenever I set it in tracking mode, it will randomly stop tracking after a period of time, and I have to reset the tracking feature, losing my previous track. The GPS is not losing signal, the computer was not hibernating, just tracking stops. I'll have to check your settings next time we get together to see if I just set it up wrong (don't seehow, but it's possible, I guess... :roll: ), or if my program has a bug...
I had the same problem. It's a GPS setting in Topo! I changed the setting (I'll check which setting tomorrow) and it now tracks perfectly and never stops.

I'm currently working on a carputer with 10" touchscreen up on the dash. 2 gig RAM and 60 GB Solid State Hard Drive. I'll post photos and details soon.
I was thinking about putting a SSD into the Toughbook eventually....let me know how you like it when yours is up and running....
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