Road Trip USA – The Beta tests…

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Location: On The Pike
Miles traveled: 900+
Cost of gas: $1.83 / gal
Weather: muggy
Mood: upbeat
Tunes: Sugar Ray

A few weeks ago I picked up the DeLorme Earthmate GPS (USB edition w/ Street Atlas USA 2004). We first set this up with my laptop, etc. in the Subaru for Maine Forest. Considering the amount of hardware in the car, it turned out pretty well. The setup is a PIII 500 laptop running Win2K, powered 4 port USB hub, 120GB USB drive, USB WiFi, and the DeLorme Earthmate.

Wardriving Rumford: After some experimenting with the tools. Net Stumbler seems to be the best product for this purpose. I’m amazed at the numbers of hotspots we found on Route 2 alone. The Rumford Public Library was one of the most convenient spots we found.

Tracking down bugs: WinAmp was skipping pretty badly. I found that this was because of the Xircom PCMCIA Ethernet card. When it’s in and connected to the net it won’t skip. When it’s in and not connected to Ethernet it skips the sound output. Once GPS is up and tracking everything works awesome. Unfortunately this sometimes takes over 20 minutes. We have yet to figure out the right “sequence” to get the GPS up and tracking quickly every time. I think it’s a combination of me not being patient and some driver / software issues.

In the car to Jersey: We transferred all of the equipment into the Malibu. I gained about 20 more cubic feet of space to put stuff. This will be helpful crossing the country. The GPS only dropped out once on the way down. On the way back however it took a while to get it working. I blue screened the laptop twice. More gremlins to track down.

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