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[aprssig] Really CHEAP Puck-type USB GPS Receiver -- WORKS GREAT!

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Sat Jan 28 19:42:37 UTC 2012

On 1/27/2012 2:42 PM, Stephen H. Smith wrote:
> I received my USD $25 Globalsat BU-353  USB GPS today.    Within 3 minutes of 
> delivery, I had it plugged into a USB port on my Panasonic CF-51 Toughbook 
> (15" CoreDuo 1.6 GHz laptop), and working perfectly with  Visual GPS, 
> MapPoint, UIview, TopoUSA 8.0   --AND-- Precision Mapping 9.0.
  On 1/28/2012 10:49 AM, Alan P. Biddle wrote:
> Glad yours came right up.  I had prolific drivers on my machine, but
> apparently not quite the right ones.  First time I have ever had one work
> with most things, but not all.  Still, once I got the newest new driver, all
> is well.  It is indeed a useful device, and I have ordered another.  Thanks
> for the recommendation on the multiplex utility.  That should be very useful
> as well.

                                          *** Important to Note ***

The Prolific driver provided on the Globalsat CD is over _THREE YEARS OLD_.   
(The install file "PL2303_Prolific_GPS_AllInOne_1013.exe" is dated  27 Nov 
2008. )   The PDF manual on the CD actually provides the link to Prolific's own 
.tw website to download a newer one.

. <http://www.prolific.com.tw/eng/downloads.asp?ID=31 >

I didn't use the driver provided on the disk, which is a totally generic 
non-branded Prolific driver that  is not customized for this device in any way.

This is all too common. Hardware manufacturers will include the then-current 
driver for the particular chip their gadget is based on when the product is 
released on a setup CD. They then never bother to update the CD during later 
production runs, as the chip vendor updates their driver/firmware, etc.  By the 
time the CD layout with the driver is produced, sent out for mass duplication, 
packed with a product, and then the product finds it way through the 
distribution chain from Asia, it virtually GUARANTEED that the driver is 2-3-5 
generations out of date.

 From bitter experience, this is why I NEVER NEVER NEVER use the driver from a 
CD packed with a device. .,  ALWAYS go to the vendor's website and download a 
more current version of the driver.   This holds true for any hardware device 
that requires a driver such as printers, sound cards, video displays, scanners, 
USB dongles, etc.

[One of the worst cases of this I ever encountered was with the HP LaserJet 4 
printer.  The original release driver was rampantly buggy.  At one point, HP 
was releasing an updated driver for the LJ4 about once a week (!) for nearly 5 
months.    In a similar vein, of interest to some UIview users, Precision 
Mapping 9.0 was released at the very end of Nov 2011.    In the 
less-than-two-months period since, there have been no fewer than SEVEN service 
packs released updating the core components of this program. ]



Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
Skype:        WA8LMF
Home Page:          http://wa8lmf.net

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