Monday, September 20, 2010

GPS, custom Google Maps and Firefox and Adobe woes

One of the features I wanted to have on this GPS was that I could upload a custom map from Google My Maps. Well, I don't know how or something is wrong. I had a map with six points on it, and I followed the directions in the video that I posted the blog "GPS - finally got one" on the 17th, using Once I put the link to my map in the space and told it to get my map it said at the bottom it was retrieving my map but never did quit spinning. So, I told it to upload to the GPS and got the error "fatal error. File Path: String Stream line 1, char 1. message: invalid document structure." I thought it might be Internet Explorer, so I used Firefox. That time it still didn't retrieve my map. When I clicked for it to upload, it took me to Garmin to get the app it wanted. That process said it was successful. But I couldn't ever get the custom map to upload. I got the same error as with I.E. Searching around I found somebody posted on a forum or something that they couldn't get that feature to work with multiple points. I went back and did it with a start point and one end point, and the same results. It never said it retrieved my map and I go the same error message.
I went to Garmin's site for some kind of help and nothing. Nothing is in the startup booklet about it, and I can't find it in the programmed help section in the unit. Nor does there seem to be a user's manual you can download anywhere. But yet the stats on this unit says that you can upload custom maps. Crap!! I hate this!
I'll have to call Garmin tomorrow and see if they'll tell me how, but I bet they don't do that kind of support. I also tried to just manually type in the coordinates but the keyboard is not active. I couldn't even find the coordinates on Google Maps -- had to look somewhere else to find them. Grrrr!!

Through all this process Firefox said it wanted to upgrade. So, I said okay. It upgraded me to Version 3.6.10. Then it said I had to upgrade the Adobe -- whatever. So, I did, and now every time I start Firefox I get one of the cursed Vista warnings, "User Account Control - Adobe DLM, User Account Control helps stop unauthorized changes to your computer"!!! Then the Adobe Download manager screen is up and I have to close it before I can use Firefox!! Soooo muuucchhh Bullll sh*t!!
UPDATE AT 1:39 A.M. About the Adobe DLM - I have no idea what DLM is other than it's Flash, I guess. Nor do I know if I need it or if not, how to get rid of it, if I even should. I didn't see it in the Add/Remove Programs nor did I see it in my Programs list, even though it had just been installed! But I did find where to turn off the User Account Control and that seemed to remedy all the frickin' authorization pop-ups. God, I hate Vista.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

GPS - dilemma resolved...

(continued from blog "GPS - I finally got one" found directly below this blog)

Wow, what confusion - but all is well. Here's the deal. I realized this morning that the opening in the cradle where I put the SD card was not the SD card slot. It was a slot for the dc power. Oh, no wonder it wouldn't pop out!! But then if that's the case, why does it see the jpgs on the card!?? I decided if I sent it to Garmin, they wouldn't fix it under warranty because that's not even where the card goes. So, I was going to just have to buy a whole new unit and chalk that $129 up to stupid. But one last ditch effort, I put all the stuff together in a bag and took it down ECP Computers. They've very nice there and helpful, and I thought just maybe they could get it out.

Thankfully, they were not loaded down with customers; and the man there was super nice. He thought the card was in there, too. We decided might as well open up the cradle and see if it would come out. Once he got it open, lo, the slot where the card was - we thought - was not deep enough to hold the card. Now, that's just weird! Where is it? I looked in the slot on the unit where it's supposed to be, and granted, I can't see well -- but just didn't see the card. He said he didn't see it either, but when he stuck a little screwdriver in the slot -- out it popped!! JIMMINY! It was where it was supposed to be all along!! Oh, My God!! I'm really losing it. So, which is worse -- to put the SD in the wrong hole or to put it in the right hole and forget where you put it! Oh, My God!

Well, the man was, as I said, very kind. He acknowledged he even thought it was in there, too. He put the cradle thing back together and was concerned that maybe the AC plug might not work, that maybe something got messed up with all that jacking around with it. He didn't charge me even a dime! And even gave me a little plastic bag to put my now retrieved micro card in so I wouldn't lose it.
As soon as I got back to the car, I plugged the unit into the cigarette lighter and the battery light on the unit came on like it was supposed to. IT STILL WORKS! GLORY BE!! So, walked back in the store to tell him it does still work! Woo-hoo!!
My mom said it was just a miracle. Well -- I guess that's a better way to look at it! But let me tell you --- getting old is hell!

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GPS - I finally got one.

For a long time I've thought it would be cool to have a GPS but I didn't know what kind to get, exactly what they would do, and wondered if I even went anywhere enough to warrant spending money on one. But recently I've had a bit of a case of "buy something" fever - which I rarely get -- and decided I'd look into them. Besides, my birthday is this month -- so I figured I'm entitled to get myself a birthday present!!

One of the things I wondered is if you can download routes from Google to it. Every now and then me and my mom like to take a day trip, and we might have a couple or destinations in mind and then have to hunt for where we're going. If I'm prepared, I'd look it up on Google maps ahead of time. I found a video about how that works,

and it mentioned the brand-name Garmin. So, that was the first stage of narrowing down my choices. I'd go with a Garmin. Then after about two days of reading about what features they have or don't have, and contemplating what I would want or not want -- looking at a very handy comparison chart at GPSTracklog and then looking up who had them for how much cost -- reading the reviews -- I finally made a decision and bought a Garmin 855; and got it from It doesn't have bluetooth; but I figure I'll never use that anyway. But it does have the feature that I can give it voice commands. The guy at Tigerdirect said Garmin is the best brand and I picked out a good unit.

One thing, though, the reviews said it's a discontinued model. But I guess that doesn't matter. And, I never like to buy refurbished; but looking at BestBuy and Walmart and Radio Shack -- they seem to all sell these refurbished. As long as it's warrantied - and seems to be how they sell these things - guess it's okay.

Well, Tigerdirect was very good. I had ordered an extra ac/dc adapter that was $20-something more; and when the salesman gave me the total price, it included it. But when I got my email receipt it wasn't on there and neither was the $20-something. Not wanting to be without that capability, I called them and asked why it wasn't there. The guy who answered the phone told me it came with one; so they took it off my order. That's very cool! They could have easily got that extra purchase from me!

It was supposed to be here Friday, but it came a day early -- Thursday (16th). So, while running the usual errands today, I tried it out. What fun! Definitely have a new toy There will be several things to get familiar with it so when I am driving, I won't be fumbling; but I figure now it's one of those things I'll soon wonder how I ever did without.

My car has a very huge windshield and slants at a steep - slant. So, I don't want to mount it on the windshield. And I have a dash cover to cut down on glare; so I can't suction cup it to the dash. So, I found a vent mount on ebay tonight and ordered that. I hope that will solve the positioning dilemma.

I also didn't buy an SD card for it; and not too sure I'll even need one. But it uses a micro SD memory card. So, messing with it tonight, I took the micro SD out of my cell phone to try it out and then figured I would order one for the GPS. Well, it works, can see the pictures I had on it; but -- as my crappy luck would have it -- I can't get the blasted thing out! It's stuck in there! I figured it's supposed to sort of be a spring and push in a little and it will pop out -- well, it didn't!! So, I tried pushing harder on it with a little small flathead screwdriver to try to get it to pop out! It didn't!! Now I'm afraid I've buggered up the edge of it - and I'm in a state of almost panic!

I called Tiger Direct, and he said it could be that that spring mechanism in the device that's supposed to pop it is faulty, but I have to call Garmin. Of course, as luck would have it, Garmin is only open regular business hours. So, I hope they can tell me what to do tomorrow. There's a little screw on the cradle that the SD card goes in, and I don't know if I loosened that screw, if it would allow the card to fall out. The guy at Tiger Direct said I shouldn't try it as it might cancel my warranty. Damn, I hate myself sometimes -- but it's not my fault! That's what the slot is for!

Well, it will be all right. I guess worse case scenario is I'll have to buy another cradle. I was able to hook the GPS up to the computer and copy the pictures on the card to my computer hard drive. So, I won't lose them if the damn thing has to be dug out.

Oh, well -- it's going to work out, and it's going to be fun to use and maybe even give me a little incentive to get out more to play with it.

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