Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Second Rally GPS

The old Garmin 276C was not cutting it. It's quite old. Locking onto enough satellites takes several miles every morning. It's fabulously expensive proprietary memory card will only hold about one fifth of the US (don't even calculate the Canada factor). And its form-factor is massive.

So I quizzed several Iron Butt friends, and watched what riders brought to meet-ups. The Garmin Nuvi 550 was the choice as a backup to my Zumo 665. Full North American maps, waterproof, etc.

The current plan is to keep the Zumo in north-up view, while using the 3-D view on the Nuvi. I'll use the speed and speed limit fields on the Nuvi, freeing up the data fields on the Zumo for other things.

If Woolie gets my auxiliary tank fitted by Saturday afternoon, I'll test the new farkle out on Sunday.

Oh, and the new 'Stich comes tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Iron Butt Rally Computer

The Iron Butt Rally Computer is fully functional!

In a fit of the OCD need to get ready for the Rally early, right before Christmas I purchased an Acer Aspire One D255 on the advice of several folks, including Jim Weaver, friend and finisher in the 2010 Iron Butt 5000. It has an Intel Atom N550 1.5GHz processor, and had a gig of DDR3 memory.

I immediately installed AVG Antivirus, since AVG had worked so well for me on my Win98 frankenboxen around the turn of the century, the last time I had really worked with MS stuff at home.

Very soon after purchase, the new Acer computer got hit with the AVG Windows 7 bug. It wasn't a virus. It was a bad .exe file update from AVG. The computer would not boot. At all.

I tried AVG's fix, which was a rescue disk downloaded to a thumb drive. Did. Not. Work. The solution was to get a bootable Linux disk (thumb drive), but I no longer have the patience or the time to find one and get the image bootable.

Enter Joe's Brain. Joe is a neighbor. And a great guy. He got rid of AVG, installed Avast!, and swapped out the 1 gig of memory for a 2 gig stick. (Joe thinks the original memory might have actually been the problem, and I can't refute that, but I have my educated suspicions about AVG.) Joe is my go-to Windows person now.

Enough of the problems....

The Iron Butt Computer is small. It reads SD cards from digicams. It has a huge battery. MapSource and the latest North American maps. Audible Books. iTunes. All this stuff interfaces with my Zumo 665. And it flies now (which might support Joe's concern about the original memory stick).

I'm a happy computing camper.