Thursday, August 18, 2011

Turning Your Laptop Into A Fully-Functional Navigation System, A Laptop GPS You Can Use

By: Edwardo Mascasas

Where am I? Where am I going? Where have I been? These were some of the few questions involved in our day-to-day activities especially if you are involved in an activity where you are required to travel or go to secluded places.

Today with our advancing technology, navigation and positioning has never been this easy. If you feel lost then GPS technology can shine some light on your location. With the use of satellites and ground stations the ability to track aircrafts, cars, cell phones, boats, and even individuals has become a reality.

GPS technology comes in many forms for various needs and industries. With miniaturized GPS units and fewer integrated circuits this makes GPS technology economical and accessible almost to everyone. GPS technology is a navigational system that has changed the way we work and play .

A Global Positioning System or GPS is a satellite navigation system that works by continually transmitting high-frequency radio signals containing the time and location of the satellite in relation to earth. This information is obtained by a GPS receiver on the planets surface from three of more satellites and the GPS receiver has calculated the user’s position on the planet.

The receiver pinpoints, between 3 and 15 meters, where the device and thus the user is located. With multiple measurements, the receiver can also calculate speed, trip time, distance to destination, altitude, sunrise and sunset, and more. On average, eight satellites are always within sight of wherever you are on Earth. The more satellites your GPS receiver can contact, the more accurate your readings will be.

If you are thinking about getting a GPS for mobile use, make sure you have a laptop, probably the one you already use, a GPS receiver and software. Installation is the same for almost all GPS models.

To install GPS on a Windows XP-Based laptop, you just need to start your Windows XP-based laptop, install the software, and plug the GPS receiver into the laptop’s USB port. With Windows XP and Plug and Play hardware, you really can’t go wrong. Most GPS systems come with extensive mapping software and the installation is as simple as inserting the CD into the appropriate drive.

After you configure a GPS, install software, and fully charge the laptop’s battery, it’s time to take off on an adventure, right? Well, almost. You need to configure the laptop for optimal settings before you go.

To configure battery alarms:

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Power Options.

2. On the Alarms tab, under Low battery alarm and Critical battery alarm, specify the settings you want by dragging the slider.

3. Click Alarm Action to select the type of alarm notification and power level you want.

To configure a power scheme:

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Power Options.

2. On the Power Schemes tab, in the Turn off monitor, Turn off hard disks, System standby and System hibernates lists, configure the time settings you want. (See the list below of how to configure them.)

3. Click Save As, and in the Save Scheme dialog box, type Travel.

4. Click OK twice.

Running your laptop on batteries, configure the settings as follows:

• Turn off monitor: After 2 minutes

• Turn off hard disks: After 8 minutes

• System standby: After 3 minutes

• System Hibernates: After 10 minutes

So that’s it, you’re ready to go. With your powerful laptop-enabled GPS and your road experience will never be the same again.