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When we got the CoPilot license activated on the iPaq we thought we were home free :-)  However, we were greeted with the dialog above when we tried to launch the CoPilot Live application on the iPaq.  Apparently, the application will NOT LAUNCH if there is no map data on the iPaq.  This is a small point, but it could be friendlier from a "user expectation" point of view.  The app really shouldn't care one way or another...but hey, we didn't write it, we are just trying to use it :-)

The original application installation onto the PC also installed the map data.  Compared to the older CoPilot application, this version has a lot of small but noticeable improvements.  We are sure we'll notice more of them as we spend more time with it.

The internal memory of the iPaq is 65MB, but over half of that was already used up.  We have a removeable 128MB CF card and decided to make that our main map storage space. 

The first problem we encountered was the app refused to recognized that we had a CF card installed in the iPaq. 

We were successful in setting up the transfer to the CF card when we added a Storage Card Reader to the PC.

Since we had over 100MB of free space on the CF card we opted to include the Highway Network and the QuickStart.  Even with all that, the total only came to about 85MB.  Perfect.

There were 3 steps to the transfer: Building the data, transferring the map, and transferring the support files.  We selected a 30 mile radius from the office, directed the transfer to the CF card, and started the data download.  

For some reason, the transfer process kept failing on the second step and exiting.  We tried this about five times, selecting smaller and smaller amounts of data, without success.  Finally, we decided it was time to check ALK's support site.

After a little bit of searching, we found a Tech Note which gave some steps to solve the exact problem we were experiencing.  The steps were a little bit technical, but not beyond our capabilities.  We noticed that the instructions assumed the app was installed on the C: drive.  We had installed it on the D: drive because we had more room there.  We changed the command appropriately...but we were still unable to get the transfer to complete successfully.

We're weren't positive, but we decided that there may just be some functions of the app that is expecting things to be installed on C and cannot properly adapt to be installed on D.  So we removed the first installation and reinstalled everything onto the C drive.  This time the transfer completed without any problems.

Thus, we learned the following:

1. Do not install the software anywhere else by the C drive.

2. Do not try to install the map data to the external memory of the PPC via ActiveSync; use a card reader instead.

This time we were able to launch the CoPilot application on the iPaq without any problems. There is "Demo" mode on the first screen... hmmm, we would have thought this would have been the default when there was no map data :-)

We ran through the demo and checked out some of the other screens.  This version of the CoPilot application was a LOT more polished than the older version.  We were quite impressed with the improvements.  The application felt snappy even on this old iPaq!

We were also impressed with how quickly the Bluetooth GPS module was able to acquire satellites.  We were inside a wooden structure but the GPS module had no problems locking onto 8 different satellites.

However, since we had not charged up the GPS module yet, we soon ran out of juice :-)  So we'll have to wait until tomorrow before we'll have a chance to take this piece of gear out for its FirstUse test run.



Load Data

By Wan Chi Lau

We have been using GPS devices for about six years now.  The earlier devices were hard to use, had little in the way of features, and were expensive.  The newer devices (Navman, US Globalsat, Magellan) are much easier to use, have a lot of different viewing options, and are a lot cheaper.

We have been using a version of the CoPilot GPS software with our iPaq for about 4 years and have been fairly happy with it performance.  We have not kept up with the software upgrades mostly because it worked "well enough."

However, we knew that GPS hardware has had significant improvements in the past few years (faster satellite acquisition, Bluetooth, etc...) and we wanted to see if it was time to upgrade.

The ALK folks have always been at the head of the pack when it came to GPS software, so when their 6.0 version was released, we decided it was time to take a look.

The FirstLook review will take a quick look at the device and what we'll need to get it working.

In the other reviews, we will take you through the steps needed to get this GPS to work with an iPaq 3850 PDA.

In this segment, we'll show our experience in trying to load map data from the laptop onto the PDA.  There were some problems, but in the end we found a good work around that will save both time and frustrations.


1. FirstLook

2. Bluetooth Install

3. Software Install

4. Load Maps

5. FirstUse

6. InTheWild

Review Summary:

Initial Impression- No wires!

Usability- 3D Views

Durability- TBD

Price- $350


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
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