Acer Netbook/iTouch + US/Can = GPS Software?
I LOVE this forum..... The Missus and I, along w/ 3 furkids, will be traveling the US and Canada for 12-18 months. We need reliable GPS, NAV, Turn-by-Turn , as well as camping info/attractions for our Truck/Trailer.

We will be purchasing an Acer Aspire One Netbook 150 w/ 1g RAM and 160G harddrive for NAV - co-pilot is visually impaired and a PNS won't work for her, due to the 'small' screem, even at 4.3"...... 10.1" much better!

We also have an iTouch 8G (for mobile GPS?). Oh, and we have the Verizon MiFi2200 for broadband wireless connectivity. Damn cool device!!!!!! So, internet access, for most of the time, is not an issue.....can run up to 5 WiFi devices off the MiFi w/in cellular coverage area!

Sooo...looking to save $$ and get the best software if noone else is! Looking at both the MS S&T 2009 w/ GPS and DeLorme w/ GPS (LT-40) system...relatively comparable in price ...which way do I go????

We will be hitting the path well traveled, as well as 'boondocking' - off the beaten path..... Which will keep us closer to being "on point"?? I've heard DeLorme has an issue w/ being 'off' a few hundred feet/yards, which has an effect on directions..... and MS can link w/ live search for "attractions"... If I get too far off track, and still in cell coverage, I can link to OnStar to get me back on track. (I LOVE OnStar in my K3500 Diesel Dolley/Dually - My carbon footprint will stomp on a Prius' - true dat!).

We also want the ability to "see" the sights, alternatives, go-to places of where we are at/going. They seem to be better w/ MS.

I'd like to hear pros/cons of both systems...looking to purchase w/in the next week. Leaning toward MSFT Streets & Trips. I need to learn the system and plot our course.

As w/ most all of you, $$ is tight and I want to put my $$ on the 'best' software to meet my needs and will run on the 'puter I have.

I appreciate your input ahead of time, and thank 'ken inr egina' and 'tcassdiy' for their advice ( I respect our Canadian bretherne/sisteren - Especially since my Missus is a Canck-ian!!).....if I've left anyone out..THANKS!!!! Y'all have been so helpful........ We hit the road, full-time, in 3 weeks.....YAY!!!

Thanks again, Looking forward to yer advice ---- ND
Marvin Hlavac
People who like DeLorme Street Atlas love it for the so many various features it has. People who like Microsoft Streets and Trips love it for the accurate map data. Microsoft is not in the map data collection business, but instead Microsoft pays for the data to various suppliers. The main map data provider for Streets & Trips in Navteq.
I think I will go w/ MS and see how it goes. Was hoping to turn my iTouch into a PNS.....I'll see if there are some apps.....Still learning about it - It's the wife's toy... She'd rather have electronics than diamonds and frills!!! I can live with that!

Thanks for the input! ND
Marvin Hlavac
She'd rather have electronics than diamonds and frills!!!
You are one very lucky husband!
Ken in Regina
Hey ND,

With that nifty broadband widget you will be better off depending on your favorite internet search engine to figure out the good places to see in an area than depending on the POI database in any nav program. The local tourist bureaus and chambers of commerce do a really good job of covering local attractions on their web sites. They usually have good directions, often with links to Google Maps or Mapquest to help you find your way there.

If you haven't already been doing some searching for those things, one good use of your time before leaving will be to practice with your favorite search engine to learn the best words to search on to get lists of local attractions in any area of interest.

EDIT: By the way, I don't think the iTouch has a GPS in it. I think it depends on nearby unsecured wifi hotspots to figure out where you are. My daughter has one and there are some places it works well and other places where it's clueless. The only time I would be comfortable depending on it for navigation would be on walkabout in an urban area with a good concentration of unsecured hotspots. Based on my daughter and son-in-law's reports on it, I wouldn't depend on it for automobile nav. If you want me to find out what iTouch app they are using, let me know and I'll find out for you.

It's possible that cellular widget you have might make it work better for you in more places. Please let us know.

Just ordered the MS S&T from Amazon, along w/ a Duracell 175w Pocket Power inverter. Picking up the Acer Aspire One netbook on Monday - have a Costco coopin fer $50 off a packaged deal.

Ken - checked w/ Da Sexy Momma and she thinks you're right as far as locating due to WiFi. Looking into it. I think you are right, tho.....

Marvin....YES, I am!! Also, when we were looking to buy our Harley, she said - "Sweetheart, just get a new one, put on it what you want....oh, and don't forget the extended warranty"....AND, when looking to buy our truck - I was looking at a 2WD Diesel .....she said - "Hon, we need a 4X4 - don't bother on a 2WD"......MAGIC!!

I gotta say, Ya sure know how to grow 'em north of the border!

Ken in Regina
Your wife sounds like mine. She is very practical when it comes to buying necessities, like household appliances and such. She won't go cheap but she's really good at figuring out what's necessary and what's fluff (salespeople hate her).

But when it comes to toys she's even more practical. She understands that toys are a completely different issue; that you will waste more money in the long run by cheaping it than by doing it the way you want it the first time.

When I'm planning to buy a toy she only asks one question: Can we afford it? If the answer is Yes, then she watches closely to make sure I don't try to cheap out on it. She knows if I do, sooner or later I'll be trading it in or selling it for a loss and looking for the one I should have got in the first place. Usually much sooner than later.

Ken in Regina
Hey ND,

I just had a thought about the netbook. I have the Acer Aspire One netbook and I have one small issue with it. Mine has the 3-cell battery and it's kinda puny. I don't get a lot of time when using it on battery ... maybe 1 hours or so, even with the backlight cranked down as far as it will go. If you plan to use it on battery much you might want to opt for the model with the 6-cell battery, if that's available to you.

Ken - Great minds...... The one I'm getting has the 6cell + external DVD/CD RW + wireless mouse and case for $375 US. Also, picked up an inverter just in case.

I appreciate your advice - it is always welcomed. At work using the iTouch waiting for customers.

Ciao - NoDo
Got the netbook....slick little machine. Waiting for delivery of S&T..... Was going to download free 60 day trial to get started. It was a 2+ hour download. So I decided to wait.

The netbook is Bluetooth enabled. Should I consider the expense of a BT GPS receiver? Would make for less clutter on the dash. The NB fits perfy on the console secured w/ a small bungee.

I might post a photo once it's set up.

Ken in Regina
"Bluetooth enabled"?? That might mean it's actually capable of doing Bluetooth without adding anything. Or it's more likely marketing-speak that means if you add a USB Bluetooth dongle you'll be able to do Bluetooth.

My Acer laptop and Acer netbook are both "Bluetooth capable". In both cases I need to plug in a USB Bluetooth dongle if I want to use any Bluetooth devices with them. The good thing is that because they are "Bluetooth capable" it's really easy to get Bluetooth stuff to work with them ... once I plug in the Bluetooth dongle.

Do some research before you buy a Bluetooth GPS receiver so you can order a Bluetooth dongle at the same time, if you need to.

What's the exact model number of your netbook? I'll see if I can find verification one way or the other.

Ken -
It is an Acer Aspire One D250-1389.

According to Acer Specs it has "Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR (enhanced data rate) wireless PAN" whatever that means.

OK.....I just was playing with it as I was looking this stuff up. I was able to hook up to my cell. So, I don't think I need a dongle!!! Yay!!!

I'll keep you posted -- ND
Ken in Regina
That's great, ND. You've definitely got the high-end model.

A Bluetooth receiver gives you the most flexibility when deciding where to position the receiver for the best sky view and the laptop for the most convenient usage. No cable to contend with.

The only negative that I can think of is that you have to remember to recharge the Bluetooth receiver's battery every once in awhile. Most have pretty good battery life so you can easily get a day or two of long distance driving on them without recharging. The battery charge life and the dealer's reputation are probably more important than the technical specs of the GPS receiver when buying a Bluetooth receiver, I think.

We have only run across one instance of a BT receiver that won't work with S&T directly and it was quite an old model. I have 4 BT GPS receivers from Garmin, QStarz, iTrek and Holux and all work well with S&T and have acceptable battery life. I agree with Ken that you can't go wrong if you buy from a dealer you trust.

Cool....thanks.....The inverter I purchased has a USB charging slot, so I can use it or I can use one of the 2 12v slots in my Silverado! Thanks much for the guidance..... we'll see how it all comes together, once al the pieces-parts get here!!!

Like a kid at Christmas!! --- ND About