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How to create route in Google Earth and transfer to Garmin GPS (part 1)

August 17, 2011 24 comments

NOTE: Latest version of this guide as of 9/21/2012 is in the part 2.  Google Earth has some significant changes since this post, so it needed to be updated.

https://chris9911.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/route-in-google-earth-and-transfer-to-garmin-gps-part-2/

Lesson #1 General overview

I figure this is the most effective way to show people how to get started with creating and transferring google routes to your Garmin GPS.  This tutorial is for those that don’t like reading a manual. Follow these steps and leave me question if you have any:

1.  Install GoogleEarth for your computer

2. Install Garmin Mapsource

3.  Reboot your machine

4.  Start your GoogleEarth

5.  Create all your “Placemarks” first.  This sets up a point to point connection of your path

marks

6.  Create routes by connecting placemarks.  If you rightmouse click on a placemark, it will give you option to route to/from.

route

7.  Here is what it would look like after you connect everything up.  My routes are in white, also notice all the connections I made on the left side of the screen

route_sample

8.  Once you are happy with your newly created route, its time to get it ready for your Garmin GPS.  Click on File/Save-as/<route_name.kmz>

saveas

9.  Open up your web browser to GPSvisualizer.

10.  Browse for your .kmz file, be sure to set output file to .gpx, and hit convert button.  Your form should look like this.

visualizer

11.  Click on your shiny new .gpx file and do a save-as to your computer

gpxfile

12.  Open up GarminMapsource

13.  Open the newly created .gpx file from above step.

14.  Connect up your Garmin GPS to your computer

15.  Click Transfer/send to device.

16.  That is it…Gratz.

17.  If you got this far, least you can do is leave me a friendly comment below Smile

Lesson #2

This will be published dependent on if there is a demand for it.

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Dell inspiron Duo vs. netbooks vs. Ipad vs. xoom vs. galaxy tab vs. Convertible laptops review

April 22, 2011 13 comments

Its pretty rare that I find a device that shatters all my expectations and imaginations, and fully deserving of a blog on my site.  First let me go over the background; My day to day job consists of nonstop productivity with all the businesses I run, meetings, and giving presentations.  I needed a solution that incorporates my paper notebooks and various laptops.  Notice I put those in plural because that’s what it takes to get me through the day.  My budget was to get the cheapest device possible that will help me eliminate some of the things I was juggling and carrying throughout the day.  First criteria is the size, it cannot have larger footprint than my regular notebook, its about 11”x8”x1”.  Here are all the devices I evaluated and my thoughts on them.

First up is the new Ipad2. Contrary to my previous post on MacBook pro, I truly feel Apple did an amazing thing with their Ipad.  Its crisp, sexy, responsive, excellent battery life, and from what I hear it does “everything” right.  So I was all excited to pick one of these up and went to check it out, especially considering they start at only $499.  I tried out my friend’s 16 GB Ipad2 and was extremely disappointed.  I quickly realized importance of a real qwerty push button keyboard, not that screen touch keyboard.   If you are blogging, writing reports, answering countless emails, you NEED a real keyboard, don’t even kid yourself on this one.  So my friend goes, “Here is a wireless keyboard for the Ipad.”  So I give that a try and it was even worse!! I’m sitting in a chair holding Ipad with one hand, balancing the keyboard on my lap while trying to type with the other hand.  I also find out I needed to run Microsoft office and bunch of other software on it.  Only realistic thing I can see myself using the Ipad is for surfing the web and running those cute apple apps.  This is apple’s real reason for not releasing the full spec of the Ipad.  It is SEVERLY underpowered for running real modern software.  I find out its only got 512mb of ram!  its plenty good for running all the cute apple apps but that is just a joke to me.  Then I find out its offered at 64GB storage for $699.  That’s just not adequate for what I need.

After learning so much from Ipad2, I decided a fully qwerty keyboard is a must.  This automatically ruled out xoom, galaxy tab, and all the other tablets.

Next I looked into 10” netbooks.  They seem ideal for most of what I do and they are definitely priced right at under $400 for most of them.  I found two biggest problems with these cheap netbooks.  First, its got the windows starter OS on it.  This is too limiting and I would have to upgrade to at least Windows7 professional for about $100.  Second, I really need the tablet function similar to Ipad and xoom.  Tablet function is absolutely critical when I’m giving presentation on 1:1 basis with customer or client.  It’s a must feature and these cheap netbooks don’t have it.

So my final destination brings us to the convertible laptop category.  I looked into convertibles from Asus, Acer, HP, and Dell.  I’m sure any one of those laptops would have gotten the job done, but the Dell Inspiron duo is the only one with the “WOW” factor that no other convertibles have.  Words can’t describe the design of the mechanism but you’ll know what I mean if you check it out in YouTube or Dell Website.  So needless to say I went with the Inspiron Duo and it has been everything I wanted it to be.  Its powerful enough to run all the applications on my Alienware, minus some engineering specific software, and I was even impressed it brought up an entire spacecraft model in Edrawing software.  I wasn’t able to rotate/pan/zoom on it, but it is still freakin impressive that it pulls it up.  Now there are some misses with the Inspiron Duo.  First I really wish it had removable battery, its only got 3hour battery life which means I’m charging this at least one additional time in a day.  The touch feature is not as precise and crisp as the xoom or Ipad.  It is running full blown Windows 7 Professional and its really hard to integrate capacitive touch to fully work on this operating system.  At the same time it is the best operating system because it runs everything.  It was a no brainer giving up some precision for productivity capability of windows 7 operating system.  BUT…. Microsoft does offer an excellent solution for lack of precision with its touch function.  They have a virtual mouse that can be enabled and you use your finger to drag the mouse around and click on its buttons, it is SLICK!!  Windows 7 also comes with it Media Center that seems to work flawlessly, and it interfaces to my Windows Home Server perfectly.  I am streaming all my movies, videos, music, and photos from my home server right on to my Inspiron duo in a tablet mode.  Dell definitely hit a homerun with this product because it’s a real productive computer that will handle most of your business needs.

Categories: computer, tablet, Uncategorized

Mac vs. PC laptop

April 14, 2011 11 comments

Last updated 3/14/2012

I know this topic has been talked about over and over elsewhere but none of the other reviews are credible, IMHO.  This topic really hits my nerves because all these mac user think they have the best looking bad-arse laptop in the world; this mentality makes them smugs!  I will point out some arguments put up by these “sch-mac” users and tell you the real truth.

“My Macbook pro is best performing laptop”

Are you f’in kidding me? I often follow this up with this question, “What are you comparing that to? 9 out of 10 times they will say it is in comparison to their prior PC computer…..which is over 5years old!! Lets even out the playing field shall we? Lets even it out by cost.  Lets say Macbook pro is $2k to purchase.  What is one of the baddest pc laptops that you can buy for $2k? Anybody ever hear of Alienware m17x laptop?  Other dumbass reviewers always make a mistake of comparing MSRP of macbook pro to MSRP of pc laptop.  This is unrealistic because you need to compare price based on “street price”, or the actual price you will pay to purchase the item.  Macbook pro sells pretty darn close to its MSRP, PC laptops always sells for DEEP discounted price, just go check out k-mark, walmart, tigerdirect, and newegg.  If you ever read another mac vs pc review that compares msrp, run from that website because that reviewer is a dumbass.

Now that we evened the playing ground, the real comparison comes down to top of the line Macbook pro vs top of the line Alienware m17x.  Folks that know about Alienware are probably laughing right now because performance difference isn’t even on the same planet.  Now here is a real treat.  I have a real data from the same model year macbook and alienware.  My buddy purchased a top of the line macbook for about $2k.  At the same time I purchased a top of the line $3k(msrp) Alienware m17x for less than $2k.  Mackbook is sleek and sexy, the Alienware looks scary as hell.  We ran same benchmark on both of them.  My alienware scored 17k+ at its lowest performance setting.  The Macbook pro barely broke 7k !! in its highest performance setting.  I was laughing my ass off becuase my wife’s $500 gateway scored higher than the $2000 macbook pro.  In another example, I work on spacecraft related projects and I was working with this one lady that picked up a top-of-the line macbook pro for her consulting business.  We had same engineering software loaded and we had to pull up a spacecraft CAD model on our computers.  Mine came up in about 10minutes.  Her Macbook pretty much gave her the middle finger.  Her comment was classic! she said, “The guy at Best Buy told me this was the most powerful laptop.” First of all, you are in trouble when you rely on a Best Buy guy/gal for valuable information on really technical stuff.  You have no idea what happens when I walk into my local Best Buy and we start debating about laptops, computers, and TVs…lol.

Here is a pop quiz, can you think of any ultra high end laptop that does NOT come with bluray player as standard equipment?….Yes, Macbook pro stands alone winning that trophy.  PC has far surpassed mac in this competition in 2012.  Most mid-level PC laptops now come with Blueray reader/writer, its pretty much the standard on PC laptops.  I don’t know how one can spend $2k and not get a bluray reader/writer. 

So why does Macbook pro offer such dismal performance and features for the money, compared to its equally street priced PC? Answer is all about thermodynamics.  Apple prides itself in making sleek slim profile notebook and it doesn’t really offer great cooling.  Higher performance will require higher cooling rate.  This is also the reason why Macbook will always underperform against its rival PC laptop,  for identical cpu and gpu.  In other words, just because latest Macbook has the latest i7 doesn’t mean it will perform like the same  i7 in Alieware.  In fact, Apple’s latest i7 performs at about same level as what older alienware’s i4 processor will do.  This is good and bad for Mac.  Its good because they can package average level components in relatively slim packaging.  Its also bad because it means Macbook is already 1-2years out of date as soon as its “newly” released to the public.  What that means to folks like me is, Mac is already obsolete as soon as it gets released.  Why would people pay $2k for an obsolete machine is beyond me. 

Bottom line is this, in a fair comparison regarding performance, 17″ Macbook pro is just simply outclassed outmatched against the similar streetpriced Alienware m17x.  Can somebody say young Mike Tyson vs. a ballet dancer?  I can’t even believe this topic is even worth arguing over.  A $2k Macbook looks great and will perform perfectly for most people around the world, but so can a $500 PC laptop from Newegg or Tigerdirect.

Categories: computer, Uncategorized
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