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  1. #1
    Hillbilly Shadowcaver's Avatar
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    Apple friendly GPS unit

    As titles suggests, am searching for means to have a GPS unit for my bike, and have it compatible w/ my Apple MacBook. Seems that Garmin, for example, is still not usable on the Macintosh OS. Any ideas? [no, no, and no... besides using my Windows PC, thank you very much... ]
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp
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  2. #2
    Senior Member donrhummy's Avatar
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    What about running windows inside of Mac OS?

  3. #3
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    There's a number of third-party software options out there. Ascent is probably the slickest. I just started playing with TrackRunner, which is free, but needs another program to get data off a GPS (Ascent can connect directly to a Garmin Edge or Forerunner) -- fortunately, the program they recommend, LoadMyTracks, is also free.

    As far as hardware goes, most GPS'es you can buy new will work with a Mac. The LoadMyTracks website has a list of supported devices.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcaver
    As titles suggests, am searching for means to have a GPS unit for my bike, and have it compatible w/ my Apple MacBook. Seems that Garmin, for example, is still not usable on the Macintosh OS. Any ideas? [no, no, and no... besides using my Windows PC, thank you very much... ]
    Not to be difficult, but it depends what you're trying to do and how much you're willing to get your hands dirty. The old Garmin eTrex I had used rather simple communications protocols such that I was able to grab a simple utility online to do a data dump, which I then played with using various plotting tools. It's been a while since I did it or I'd give you a link.

    Also, do remember that MacBook you have is actually a Unix machine, and as such pretty much all the available open source stuff can be used by your machine too. So while the Garmin units may not be officially Mac compatible, you can get the data off.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bernmart's Avatar
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    Perhaps as a newbie I'm missing something, but there's a version of the Garmin Training Center available for download for Macs on the Garmin website. I also bought, and prefer, Ascent, but not because there's nothing from Garmin available for Mac.
    Specialized Roubaix Pro
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  6. #6
    Hillbilly Shadowcaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donrhummy
    What about running windows inside of Mac OS?
    Ummm,,, what about using a virus-friendly buggy OS inside my MacBook? j/k...

    Yes, a MB [and for that matter any new Intel-based Apple using Tiger] can run Windows via BootCamp or Parallels, for example. However, then would not be using the Macintosh OS - which is what my goal is here.

    Seriously, thanks tho'.
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp
    1970 John Deere black 10-speed :p

  7. #7
    Hillbilly Shadowcaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernmart
    Perhaps as a newbie I'm missing something, but there's a version of the Garmin Training Center available for download for Macs on the Garmin website. I also bought, and prefer, Ascent, but not because there's nothing from Garmin available for Mac.
    No problem - guess I'm just a ******... In reading the manual and packaging on the Edge 305 at the LBS the other day, and in talking w/ a sales guy, both led me to believe that this model, and Garmin in general are not Apple-friendly. :confused: Dunno... will check again.

    Thanks tho' to yas about the Ascent s/w. That does look very sweet package. :cool:
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp
    1970 John Deere black 10-speed :p

  8. #8
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    I will throw in another vote for Ascent. It works well, and by gum it looks like a Mac program. One thing to watch out for when first setting up your 305 is that the USB connection to your Mac may not work. I had to hook it up to a Windows machine to do the firmware update before it was useable on my Mac.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jpatkinson's Avatar
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    Mac is fine!

    I have ONLY used my Garmin Edge 305 with my MBP. Perfect. Garmin Mac software is limited, but works just fine. Motionbased is OS-neutral, and my current choice for tracking my work-outs. I just downloaded Ascent, but only in hopes of editing my rides (Motionbased is my favorite).

    - JP

  10. #10
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    Ascent looks great if you want to obsess over stats after your ride. I prefer to use my GPS to give me directions when I'm exploring new places - in which case MacGPS Pro and Terrabrowser are both very good.

    UPDATE: oh yeah, the original question was the gps unit itself, not software.. MacGPS Pro works with most GPS makes & models on the market - there's a very extensive compatibility list on their website. I'm using an eTrex Legend, which is great for hiking, kayaking and biking - the built in map isn't bad, but it works best when plotting the route on your computer first, then downloading to the unit. The Edge 305 is trendy with bikers at the moment, but if I understand my friends who own one correctly - it is better for looking at where you went afterwards, rather than helping you find your way.
    Last edited by yangmusa; 07-04-07 at 02:49 PM.
    ICE B1, Brompton H6, Schwinn Mirada drop-bar vintage mtb

  11. #11
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    If you have a Mac and and Edge, Ascent clearly is the way to go. MotionBased, the Garmin upload site, is not particularly Mac-friendly, although they advertise it as such. Ascent is Mac-only, upgraded frequently, and has great communication with and from the developers.

  12. #12
    Senior Member GeoMan's Avatar
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    I've been using Motionbased since inception and it has always worked perfectly on my Mac under Safari.

    I've been running Parallels (a PC emulator for the Mac) on my MBP and the new USB drivers interface with my Edge perfectly so I have access to all the Mac and PC GPS products now.

    Ascent is a great product. Agreed!
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  13. #13
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    +10 on Ascent. Great product, the best I've seen on either Mac or Windows. The developer is highly responsive and has added many features suggested by customers.

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