Not new to GPS, but new to trying this on a laptop in vehicle.
Can a person connect a GPS antenna to a laptop, and run Garmin TOPO 2008, without any additional software?
No. You need to get the equivalent of all the functions of your 60CSx into your laptop, not just maps.
... since I have Garmin and Iím familiar with how to use the Mapquest program, before I run off and purchase DeLorme I want to find out if Garmin would do what I need.
When you say "Mapquest program" do you mean Garmin's Mapsource program?
A Garmin solution will work fine. You just need more than the maps.
You have multiple options.
1. As Terry said, you could use Garmin's old nRoute program on your laptop. It's available here.
Just scroll to the bottom of the list for the latest version (2.76).
It's old and no longer supported by Garmin. On the other hand it has the advantage of being free and it looks and works a lot like Mapsource. If you are familiar with Mapsource you will find it fairly easy to work with nRoute. nRoute has all the functions of any fully featured laptop navigation program, including autorouting and recording tracks, etc. Or you can make routes in Mapsource and load and run them in nRoute. It will have all the nav features that your 60CSx has. Any data and maps you have in Mapsource will be directly usable by nRoute, except the very newest Garmin maps, which will need to be run through a reverse converter program to work with nRoute because of a change in format.
You can probably just connect your 60CSx to your laptop, turn it on in navigation mode and use the GPS signal from it to run nRoute.
If you can do autorouting on the maps you load into your 60CSx, nRoute will do autorouting with those same maps. As Terry said, the American topos have never had any autorouting capability.
2. A variation on option 1, if you don't want to use the 60CSx as the receiver for the laptop, you can get a Bluetooth or USB receiver (NOT an antenna .. you need a proper receiver) to use with the laptop. If you choose to do that, you will need a program called GPSGate Express to translate the GPS protocol from a standard GPS into the Garmin protocol which is all that nRoute understands.
3. You could get Garmin's Mobile PC. It looks like you stuffed a Garmin Nuvi into your laptop .. looks very similar and works very similar to a Nuvi. Same deal with GPS receiver as nRoute, except three options: (1) get the software-only version of Mobile PC and use your 60CSx or (2) get a new receiver for the laptop, or (3) get one of the versions of Mobile PC that comes with a GPS receiver (choice of either Bluetooth or USB).
If #3 is a solution that interests you, we will need to talk more about map unlocking issues with Mobile PC that aren't issues with nRoute.
I hope that helps and doesn't confuse too much.