Garmin is the Apple iPod of GPS products. So when it came time to purchase a new GPS, I grabbed a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx. It had a great feature set for a handheld unit: SD card expansion, turn-by-turn directions, etc. And because it’s a Garmin, it had the best “hacker” support, namely: free maps from Open Street Maps.

The one thing that I was dissatisfied with was the software support under Linux. Sure you could plug it in, and retrieve data, but simple editing of tracks (splitting, joining) was tedious. Garmin’s free MapSource software worked well, but I wanted to avoid booting into Windows just to use it. Luckily I found this thread on ubuntuforums.org. I rehash here much of the info provided there, and include some updates.
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There’s a valuable resource available to students, starving artists, savvy entrepreneurs and everyone else that often goes unused and forgotten: The Public Library.

Let’s face it, books (and other media) are expensive. While others think of Amazon first for books, I look to the library.

The American Library Association and the Dewey Decimal System date back to 1876. But in the age of smart phones and streaming media, we sometimes forget that we’re paying for this service (via taxes) and we should be taking full advantage.

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Skip to Ubuntu 13.04 Update

This post was originally supposed to be titled “My commitment to Ubuntu.” But I couldn’t take it. After 2 years of using Unity and watching it evolve one step forward and then dwindle two steps back, I decided it was time to give GNOME another chance.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m still committed to Ubuntu, and moreover Linux and Open Source in general. I’ve tried quite a few Linux distributions: Slackware, RedHat, Fedora, Gentoo, Debian, and Ubuntu. I don’t mean I installed and tried them for a week, I’ve used each of those distributions for over a year on a day-to-day basis.
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I like to think that I’m not sexist, but my reputation may precede me.

At some point during my college years, I started using a reverse-psychology approach with women I knew (usually girlfriends) – telling them they couldn’t do something – in hopes that they’d be motivated to prove me wrong.

Ask my wife – this is the wrong approach. Reverse psychology only works on a certain type of person, usually enemies, and (hopefully) they’re not the majority. People want to be built up, not torn down. The other bad part of this reverse-psychology habit was that as I told women that they couldn’t do something, I was slowly and subconsciously telling myself that they couldn’t.

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Disclaimer: this is not meant to offend any Mormons. My wife’s family is predominantly Mormon (though we are not). However, I’ve witnessed several of her cousins announce their engagements after only weeks of dating. And their wedding date was typically 3 months out from there.

I would never plan a 3 month-long engagement because I don’t think it’s enough time to plan a decent wedding and maintain your sanity. Weddings only happen once (if you do it right). Get it right the first time.

Like young, naive lovers, WordCamp organizers also need to suppress their hormones. We tend to get over-excited about WordPress – like evangelists that have been given a free podium. Pocket your emotions, and follow the advice from those who have come before you.

This post could serve both groups as a guide on how fools rush in. It’s possible to plan something this big in 3 months, but believe you-me, it is much less stress to take your time. I wish we had followed this advice – but we didn’t. In 3 months, despite the odds, we still managed to pull things off.

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