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Why Garmin Mobile PC Sucks

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  • Why Garmin Mobile PC Sucks

    I love GMPC. It's a nice and full featured product at a reasonble price. I was very happy when Garmin released not only a version that comes with their GPS antenna (more on why that actually sucks in a minute) but a software only version that can be used with an NMEA GPS device that many of us already own.

    I've used GMPC for awhile but am now moving to a different computer system. The hard disk on the old one crashed and it was kind of old and clunky anyhow, so I decided to change to using a new Mac Mini with a Windows installation in Parallels.

    When I went to enter my product key into GMPC during installation, I got an error telling me that the product key was already in use. A little Googling reveals that Garmin's policy for the software use is tied to your PC, not to a single use!!

    I called Garmin and the technician informed me that indeed their 'policy' is that the software is tied to the PC rather than the user. As a 'courtesy' he would reset the product key so I could use it. When I asked him about what happens if the motherboard in the computer blows up, he repeated that he would reset it this time as a courtesy but that if I called later to change it that it might be more difficult.

    I dropped it since he reset the key. But I am definitely steamed about this. I paid for the software. I'm only using it in a single instance, just for me. It's not installed in 3 cars for 3 drivers. It's just me.

    If the computer quits in the future or even if the hard disk dies, I may or may not be able to transfer my software. In effect, there is a "hardware bomb" that Garmin has set that will eventually go off.

    That sucks.

    As for the bundled product with the Garmin antenna, one may accidentally buy this package thinking that they will get both nav and an antenna that they can use with their car PC, only to find out that the Garmin antenna does not work and play well with others and you cannot substitute an NMEA antenna for a Garmin antenna if you buy the bundled package.

    That also sucks.

    Shame on you, Garmin. I guess I should have bought the iGuidance package instead. Don't worry, when my hardware blows up I'll do just that, or I'll be happily using online maps on my iPhone. I'll definitely be avoiding Garmin in the future.
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bugbyte View Post
    When I went to enter my product key into GMPC during installation, I got an error telling me that the product key was already in use. A little Googling reveals that Garmin's policy for the software use is tied to your PC, not to a single use!!.
    Well there's nothing new in that, in fact a lot of software writers are moving to that way of preventing piracy.

    In fact I will be doing something similar with my plugins ,well not actually limiting them as such because a user will able to use as many copies as they want, but have to register each one, by using a combination of ID's from the PC.

    In fact Centrafuse does this, but they will allow use on a second PC and you can deregister it from a PC and then register it on another.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't have an issue with deregistering it and then reregistering it, iTunes-style. I have a problem with making it un-deregisterable.
      Originally posted by ghettocruzer
      I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
      Want to:
      -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
      -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bugbyte View Post
        I don't have an issue with deregistering it and then reregistering it, iTunes-style. I have a problem with making it un-deregisterable.

        That's really crappy, Garmin Customer Support has always been really good to me, eg telling me my activation key just by me giving them the serial number of my device because I lost it. I would think they would at least allow an infinite number of re-registrations. This is exactly the reason I stopped supporting Microsoft when they started to implement this "one time install" thing.
        "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
        RevFE
        My Shop

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        • #5
          I was very close to buying Garmin Mobile PC but after I learned about their policy I decided against purchasing that software and purchased iGuidance instead. At least iGuidance lets you install it on two PCs simultaneously and allows you to transfer the license back to them when you make hardware upgrades. My carpc motherboard has changed five times and I'm already looking forward to replacing it again with a lower powered chipset. I won't buy any software that installs only once.

          Comment


          • #6
            I understand your complaint and in ways agree.
            I too would have no problem with it IF one system could be "deregistered"... which they apparently can not.
            I don't think much of it as a policy.

            But I am using the software, and only started to recently.
            It's the ONLY GPS/NAV standalone software that is both available and works properly in linux (using wine) that I have found.

            No other viable option for me.

            That being said, the one time I called customer support while trying to figure out what was needed to run GMPC in wine, the rep. was friendly and while unable to help, did offer to reset my copy for me if needed.

            Hopefully they will improve their support of computer migration in future.

            Comment


            • #7
              Im inclined to think this policy encourages piracy, ie } bugger trying to do the right thing, i'll just get a copy and save all the hassle!!
              Better than throwing it in the bin after a hardware failure.

              Comment


              • #8
                Instead of attracting customers, they're doing just the opposite with their insidious antipiracy BS.

                "As for the bundled product with the Garmin antenna, one may accidentally buy this package thinking that they will get both nav and an antenna that they can use with their car PC, only to find out that the Garmin antenna does not work and play well with others and you cannot substitute an NMEA antenna for a Garmin antenna if you buy the bundled package."

                I am glad you brought this up bugbyte because I thought that was not the case. Thanks for confirming the bundled package, Garmin lost another potential customer.
                Check out my CARPC: Project Diamond Plate

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bugbyte View Post
                  I love GMPC. It's a nice and full featured product at a reasonble price. I was very happy when Garmin released not only a version that comes with their GPS antenna (more on why that actually sucks in a minute) but a software only version that can be used with an NMEA GPS device that many of us already own.

                  I've used GMPC for awhile but am now moving to a different computer system. The hard disk on the old one crashed and it was kind of old and clunky anyhow, so I decided to change to using a new Mac Mini with a Windows installation in Parallels.

                  When I went to enter my product key into GMPC during installation, I got an error telling me that the product key was already in use. A little Googling reveals that Garmin's policy for the software use is tied to your PC, not to a single use!!

                  I called Garmin and the technician informed me that indeed their 'policy' is that the software is tied to the PC rather than the user. As a 'courtesy' he would reset the product key so I could use it. When I asked him about what happens if the motherboard in the computer blows up, he repeated that he would reset it this time as a courtesy but that if I called later to change it that it might be more difficult.

                  I dropped it since he reset the key. But I am definitely steamed about this. I paid for the software. I'm only using it in a single instance, just for me. It's not installed in 3 cars for 3 drivers. It's just me.

                  If the computer quits in the future or even if the hard disk dies, I may or may not be able to transfer my software. In effect, there is a "hardware bomb" that Garmin has set that will eventually go off.

                  That sucks.

                  As for the bundled product with the Garmin antenna, one may accidentally buy this package thinking that they will get both nav and an antenna that they can use with their car PC, only to find out that the Garmin antenna does not work and play well with others and you cannot substitute an NMEA antenna for a Garmin antenna if you buy the bundled package.

                  That also sucks.

                  Shame on you, Garmin. I guess I should have bought the iGuidance package instead. Don't worry, when my hardware blows up I'll do just that, or I'll be happily using online maps on my iPhone. I'll definitely be avoiding Garmin in the future.
                  Just get it neutered,

                  I only buy things I know I can patch, if I cant patch it, I don't buy it.

                  I got it cheap like $50, I have been using it off and on for about 2 weeks,
                  works pretty good.

                  If you don't like having to patch your own software, don't buy it,
                  send them a message

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The original version, when the product first released a year ago, allowed a new installation every 6 months. I'm not sure if this changed in newer software updates. It might have.
                    __________________
                    Garmin Mobile PC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree, download the patch... You bought and are using it legally. Patch it, no harm in that.
                      New Age Garmin - Skin for RR
                      New Age Slider - RR SKin In Progress
                      "It's called CODE because I don't want you to know"

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                      • #12
                        I know what a patch is, but........

                        Anybody want to lead a dog to water?

                        Many thanks
                        http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show...ml#post1304561

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          if you don't like talking to reps, you can just reset the code via the website support email:

                          "I will be glad to assist you. I have reset the product key for you. Please keep in mind this can only be reset once every six months. "

                          let's see if my carpc doesn't crash by 6 months. anyway, i haven't even reinstalled my reactivated garmin since i've been addicted to the igo8 "demo".
                          2007 Mini Cooper eee PC worklog

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Late to the game on this thread but I don't have the Garmin SW only version so the registration key doesn't apply (so I thought). I was ticked to find out that I couldn't set Garmin to use a COM port so I could split the GPS between Garmin and RideRunner. I may look for the patch if I ever sway from iGO but I basically see GMPC as a $60 reciever that I am using with competitors software. I will note I had issues using xport with their USB reciever but then found Spanner which is made by Garmin and had zero issues (using it in iGO and RR that is).
                            Click for my projects
                            2006 F150 with removable Nexus 7

                            2006 Mustang with indash CarPC (Retired)

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                            • #15
                              most software will work this way eventually... but if its done right its not a big deal. example- jrmediacenter gives you 10 installs per year on one license, every year you get a fresh set of 10 on the version of the program you bought- indefinitely. you dont 'deregister' when you uninstall you just use one of your 10. but even if you reformat 10 times in one year you can ask jrmedia and they will reset you for another 10.

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