Recommendations for Macintosh Users?

Greetings all,
I'm going to duplicate this post as TWO threads. One for Mac/Powerbook discussion and the other for PocketPC. . .

I'd appreciate recommendations for someone who has a Powerbook instead of a PC laptop for chasing. I do have Virtual PC (WIN2000) but have not used it a lot (planning to upgrade it soon to the latest version).
The Powerbook also has the ability to run Linux programs via Fink.

In the office, I have PIII XP Professional machines and Macs including my main desktop machine (a dual processor G5). So I can use whatever software/machine I need for a specific job (advance forecasting/planning). But on the road my only options are my G4 Powerbook and a Dell Axim X3.

I'm probably also in the minority here in that I don't have a cell phone. (I can certainly see their value in chasing - but for everyday life I really don't WANT to be contacted anytime/anywhere) :twisted:

Comments/recommendations appreciated.

Darren Addy
Kearney, NE
 
Chasing with an Apple

If you don't have a cell phone I don't really see the point in chasing with a computer... unless you're going to rely on wifi... which isn't very reliable. It's also nice to be able to call someone else and get some nowcasting.

I have a Sony-Ericsson T637 that I use as a bluetooth modem with my iBook. I suspect you could use it as a modem with your Dell PDA as well. The data rates from Cingular aren't too terrible either.

I'm looking into getting a Rayming (rayming.com) USB GPS receiver as well.

I don't know what else you'd want from your computer while chasing, your exact location and a data source should be sufficient.
 
I was planning on using my PowerBook for chasing this season, but once I dropped the dough on the GPS setup I decided to get a cheapo ThinkPad to use on the road instead.

The only help I can offer, since I decided not to use my PB on the road, is to get the Rayming TN200 USB GPS reciever and Route 66 Route USA 2004. Hope what I have said helps.

Rayming
http://www.rayming.com/

Route 66
http://www.66.com/
(Make sure you're ordering the Mac version, the page defaults to the Win version)

Safeware (Computer insurance, recommended if you plan on taking your 'book on the road)
http://www.safeware.com/
 
Re: Chasing with an Apple

If you don't have a cell phone I don't really see the point in chasing with a computer... unless you're going to rely on wifi... which isn't very reliable. It's also nice to be able to call someone else and get some nowcasting.

Wifi isn't too terribly unreliable if you don't mind stopping to get data. You might have to find a community to make it work, so if you're in the boondocks you're outta luck.

Even with no internet connectivity, a laptop can be a help with DeLorme and a GPS unit. Scrolling maps are our friends. :)
 
Right now, I'm using the laptop almost exclusively for GPS. You can't beat it for navigation. Yes, I have a Wi-Fi card and have the capability to get Cell Phone data. However, due to the cost of cell phone data I doubt I'll use it. Since I don't travel hundreds of miles it simply doesn't pay.

However, for photo storage and GPS, it's really worth the hassle.
 
The only help I can offer, since I decided not to use my PB on the road, is to get the Rayming TN200 USB GPS reciever and Route 66 Route USA 2004. Hope what I have said helps.

They have a \"Mac Combo Pack\" that includes both products.

However, for photo storage and GPS, it's really worth the hassle.

Photo storage is indeed a great reason to chase with a laptop.
 
chasing w/ powerbook

I'd take a chance and get a cell phone (and just don't tell anyone you have it), and connect that baby to your Powerbook. Otherwise, unless you spend the evenings editing photos/videos, a laptop is of minimal use (unless you use it to connect at lodging for the night to access updates, etc.).

I take both a Dell Latitude C400 (small, light, good w/ cell connection) and a G4 Powerbook (small, light, good for cell connection, powerful for crunching video) on chases.

If I had to choose between the two, I'd go with the G4, simply because of its editing power in the evenings. Connecting our G4 to a cell is a snap. Last May in Nebraska, using Verizon I can't remember losing a connection on the computer the entire time between North Platte and Nebraska City. Verizon has been a dependable cell provider, and you can bump up (or down) your minutes month-by-month with no charge (I increase my anytime minutes during my month of chasing, and then back it down to the minimum afterward....a nice feature).

-Dave
 
I have used a Mac for years. If you need any help for Mac/chase
related issues let me know.

Mike
 
Macs, cell phones, etc

Dave C. - what gear are you using to connect your cellular phone to your G4?

I still have a G3 iBook. Since I also am taking along my work laptop this year (a PC) -- assuming my boss OKs my trip -- I'm probably going to use a data cable and my cell phone with that. But I'm curious about what's needed to run a cell modem with my Mac.

I've been reading a GPS Mac newsgroup, and a lot of people seem to have given in to Virtual PC so they can use DeLorme's Street Atlas USA. I have an ancient Mac laptop (1400, remember those?) that I've used for this purpose, but since I have to bring the PC anyway, I've ordered the new Street Atlas & receiver for PC. I hate to cave ... but from what I've read, there's still nothing that good for Mac, GPS-wise.

As for wireless, the iBook with Airport card has been great about picking up on signals -- we tried to stay in hotels with wireless last year and had really good success finding data connections. In towns, you'll do pretty well, but in the field, you will still want a cell modem ... or a friend you can call.

cheers,
Chris K.
 
mac set-up

Chris, I will be packing an old G3 ibook along as well (for backup) this year, so I can give you some insight...

Unlike most Windows machines, all you need is the cable for the Mac...no software, etc.

I use Verizon as my cell provider, and an older Motorola v120e phone; and simply downloaded a modem script from the web, and select it for one of my connection options. The exact set-up varies a little bit depending on whether you are using OS9 or OSX.

Last year, the wireless card in the Mac was sensitive enough that we were getting wireless signals on the Interstate as we cruised by some hotels, etc. that offered wireless...

If you are interested, let me know and I will zip off step-by-step details on how to set your ibook up with your cell phone via e-mail...

Regards!

Dave
 
Mobile high spped internet with a Macintosh

I have been a diehard Macintosh since 1994. I also have been using the data cable cell phone technic. I own a PowerBook Pismo 400mhz and a sanyo 4900 cell phone on Sprint service with a charging data cable. I also developed a script so that mac users using the pre OSX software can have a modem script that will connect at 160k and sometimes as high as 230K in the right cities, like San Diego. The modem script for "Sprint" is built into OSX, but if you need it for OS 7.6 to 9.2.2, drop me an email and ill toss it to ya.
Also keep in mind that Sprint and verizon share the same towers.
If you use the data cable instead of a wireless card, you then dont have to add a second phone to your plan. Sprint considers a "Merlin Card" to be an actual phone and they even assign it a number.

Rich
 
Mac's are pretty sweet. I had an iBook, but I had to give that up to go with a Windows machine... Most applications that are available on Windows are also available for the Mac (most common applications, that is). The design of the iBook is flawless, there was absolutely no internal mechanical sounds (i.e. no fans running, hard drives clicking, etc.) and the temperature of the unit never got hot.
 
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