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Topic # 26520 25-Sep-2008 09:05
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Sorry - this is a very noob query, but I know zip about the Global Positioning System.

First, is there a subscription fee attached to GPS hardware?  I assume someone has to pay the bird's upkeep?  Or do you just pay a one-off for the gadget and that's it?

Second, I notice you can buy some simple hardware to make your laptop 'locatable'.  Does this then make your laptop into a big GPS screen?  I guess there must be some software that you also need for this......

Thanks :-)

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  Reply # 166959 25-Sep-2008 09:22
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The GPS system is funded by the American tax payers.  You don't need to subscribe to use the GPS. 

The only costs are: the GPS navigator and also the maps (if you wish to update it in a few years time - the GPS comes with the latest maps though).


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  Reply # 166960 25-Sep-2008 09:22
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There are zero subscriptions for normal GPS devices.

Buy it once, use it pretty much unlimited/forever.

No signup or anything like that.

Amazing huh?




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  Reply # 166968 25-Sep-2008 09:36
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Thanks for your rapid response, guys.

Well, that's amazing.  A whole bunch of high level technology for free.......Shucks.

And my question about turning a laptop into a GPS unit?  Is it possible?

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  Reply # 166970 25-Sep-2008 09:39
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Yes it is possible.  Try typing usb gps into Google....you might be pleasently surprised.  Laughing

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Reply # 166971 25-Sep-2008 09:45
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It is possible, but the real question is "why?"...

What do you want to do with a GPS? Is it for in-car navigation so you can drive from point A to point B? If this is the case then you are much better off buying a unit such as the TomTom - small, longer battery life, map updates available, voice directions, and lots more features you won't find on your laptop, or not without a lot more effort.




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  Reply # 167132 25-Sep-2008 18:11
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geekIT:
And my question about turning a laptop into a GPS unit?  Is it possible?

I have a Leadtek bluetooth GPSr that I use with my phone and my laptop.
You can actually get Garmin Mapsource to run on your laptop for free (without piracy) if you have a look at
http://forums.gps.org.nz/ and do a search.

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  Reply # 167134 25-Sep-2008 18:18
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freitasm: It is possible, but the real question is "why?"...

What do you want to do with a GPS? Is it for in-car navigation so you can drive from point A to point B? If this is the case then you are much better off buying a unit such as the TomTom - small, longer battery life, map updates available, voice directions, and lots more features you won't find on your laptop, or not without a lot more effort.

Or you can get NZ Open Maps and put them on your laptop or PPC and have or these facilities for a fraction of the price... with maps updated weekly instead of yearly! Also, alot of in-car navigation systems don't save tracks properly.
(And the TomTom is nowhere near as upgradable as the Garmin in-car units that can run the NZ Open Maps)

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Reply # 167137 25-Sep-2008 18:22
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Check out www.efrontier.co.nz for good deals on GPS stuff.

I did have a Globalsat BT359 SiRF III Bluetooth receiver but just sold it this week since I now own an in-car sat-nav system... but I do have the Goldfinger Guider software for PPC (WM5) & a cradle to suit any PDA - currently has adaptor to fit Dell Axim X50/X51... if you're interested...




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  Reply # 167188 25-Sep-2008 22:03
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blakamin:
freitasm: It is possible, but the real question is "why?"...

What do you want to do with a GPS? Is it for in-car navigation so you can drive from point A to point B? If this is the case then you are much better off buying a unit such as the TomTom - small, longer battery life, map updates available, voice directions, and lots more features you won't find on your laptop, or not without a lot more effort.

Or you can get NZ Open Maps and put them on your laptop or PPC and have or these facilities for a fraction of the price... with maps updated weekly instead of yearly! Also, alot of in-car navigation systems don't save tracks properly.
(And the TomTom is nowhere near as upgradable as the Garmin in-car units that can run the NZ Open Maps)


Just the laptop size - can't compare with an in-car unit. TomTom or Navman, pick your choice, but those things are handy, small enough to fit in your pocket - and boot time is seconds, unlike laptops...




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  Reply # 167416 26-Sep-2008 17:55
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freitasm:
blakamin:
freitasm: It is possible, but the real question is "why?"...

What do you want to do with a GPS? Is it for in-car navigation so you can drive from point A to point B? If this is the case then you are much better off buying a unit such as the TomTom - small, longer battery life, map updates available, voice directions, and lots more features you won't find on your laptop, or not without a lot more effort.

Or you can get NZ Open Maps and put them on your laptop or PPC and have or these facilities for a fraction of the price... with maps updated weekly instead of yearly! Also, alot of in-car navigation systems don't save tracks properly.
(And the TomTom is nowhere near as upgradable as the Garmin in-car units that can run the NZ Open Maps)


Just the laptop size - can't compare with an in-car unit. TomTom or Navman, pick your choice, but those things are handy, small enough to fit in your pocket - and boot time is seconds, unlike laptops...

Good point!
On trips I use my laptop and my PPC... I love logging wireless signalsSurprised

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  Reply # 167434 26-Sep-2008 20:26
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If you want GPS best thing in my opinion is a cellphone, like an N82/N95/N95 8GB/HTC Touch Pro etc etc.

For a little more money you get one that always on you, along with an mp3 player (with internet radio and podcast abilities), web browser, handheld gaming unit, camera, office functions (push email, Word/Excel/Powerpoint/PDF/Calender/Tasks etc), VoIP/SIP calling device, Sportstracker etc etc....




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  Reply # 167435 26-Sep-2008 20:31
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NZtechfreak: If you want GPS best thing in my opinion is a cellphone, like an N82/N95/N95 8GB/HTC Touch Pro etc etc.

For a little more money you get one that always on you, along with an mp3 player (with internet radio and podcast abilities), web browser, handheld gaming unit, camera, office functions (push email, Word/Excel/Powerpoint/PDF/Calender/Tasks etc), VoIP/SIP calling device, Sportstracker etc etc....


Yep, plus you can add Nokia N96 to the list!

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  Reply # 167439 26-Sep-2008 21:15
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Steveonz mentioned the Goldfinger Guider software.
Ive had this ages ago and found it shocking to put it bluntly.
Various reports have it as very poorly rated.




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  Reply # 171282 15-Oct-2008 13:59
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Of course if you have purchased a telecom worldmode 8830 blackberry with gps functionality and expect it to work you are very much out of luck.

Telecom say "oh sorry it doesnt work in NZ. It might work when we finally get around to rolling out WCDMA but dont hold your breath."

Pretty poor I reckon. When you purchase a high end device you pretty much expect the features to work..

I mean if you purchase a camera phone and find out the camera doesn't work because "we dont offer that service" how happy are you going to be.

Like me I imagine NOT VERY !!!

Marty





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