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Old 03-07-2012, 16:02   #16
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Re: Navigatrix or some other?

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Originally Posted by PDA1 View Post
So PowerTop will only show power figures when on battery?

I'll stick with the clamp-on ammeter idea to determine power consumption. Notebook batteries don't last all that long between charges...especially when cruising unless hooked into an inverter. So if I'm running my computer off of the built in battery...I won't be for long.

"If it's not 'laptop' then a spinning harddrive is down the list for electrical inefficiencies...akin to closing a window in a house with no roof....or something like that....I think my metaphor days are over."

No idea what you're talking about.
...that why my metaphor days are over. I couldn't think of anything better at 3:30AM....and 2.60 Euros/hour for access time.

However, when you're measuring the total consumption of the system and not the smaller components of that system you're looking for a needle in a haystack.

How big is the stack and how big is the needle....

It helps if there is less (or no) hay. This way you can see 'the needle' easier.

Or, it helps if the needle is large and right in front of your eyes.

Remove the noise; the sideshow; the distraction and focus on what is being measured.

I recall the hypothesis was the need to have a USB installation of Navigatrix because a hard drive used too much electricity...and you didn't want a dual boot on your Ubuntu machine as a bias.

I think, unless you're spinning a harddrive from the 80s, the amount is not significant...This sort of concern is for the engineers of a deep space probes.

What you gain in speed and time you might save in power consumption....you might not. I don't know how you use your machine. I don't know how many vacuum tubes it has. But in the grand scheme it might be insignificant amidst the CPU, display, fans and mysterious bumps in the box.

My machine runs about 7 watts at idle. As a crude test I ran powertop while maintaining an internet connection, composing this, and running an indexing daemon in the background. It's running at about 12.7 watts.

Kill the indexing daemon...about 0.2 watts
Turn of the wifi...about 1.1 watts
Plug in a hockypuck GPS is goes up about 0.6 watts.
...updatedb to work the drive it jumps about 1.6 watts; etc...

How much it goes up (or down) renders trivial any savings I would receive running a solid state device for a hard drive...for me it's just not worth the effort going to slower medium.

It's pennies at the cash register.

It's just conjecture until you can measure and measure within your tolerances for error.

The other week a friend came over because he was getting what he thought was odd readings with his VOM. We did side-by-side comparisons. His was 0.1 to 0.2volts lower than mine. Depending on your reference it's a big spread....or small.

Ultimately I don't know if the actual electrical consumption is X watts. How accurate are the tools used to measure.

I do know that I can get through two plus movies on a battery charge. Hard drive or USB using Navigatrix...close enough.

Other distributions...naw. (Except WattOS)
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Old 03-07-2012, 19:25   #17
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

7 Watts is really a nice figure for your machine.

I've had too many hard drives fail and really like the idea of solid state with the USB. Granted they can get corrupted too, though I've never had any trouble with a USB stick. The salt environment will wreak havoc on all electrical connections within a PC.

But, back to the original question....I was and still am (to a certain degree) frustrated with Navigatrix. I do love it's simplicity...it really is great. Yet, the concerns haven't been addressed and solved. I've found several problems with it that others are eventually going to find as well.

Thanks for taking the time & effort to write especially considering how much it costs you to do so.
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Old 04-07-2012, 00:35   #18
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

There are only three types of problems I've had with USB sticks.

Swimming with them. Fresh water rinse and a few days in a bag of rice usually straightens them out.

Snapping off the dongle...hey, they stick out.

I have soldered one back together but it was never the same.

Loosing them, or lending them out and never seeing them again.

The fourth problem is they are slow. And the USB sticks in my price range are slower. But they beat CDs and floppies.

As you might have guessed, I'm too cheap to get a real SSD. They fall short on my personal price/size/speed curve...like the old expression good/fast/inexpensive; you can have any two. I still want the third option.

This leaves the 100,000 hour MTBF spinning drives to give up without a moment's notice. The good news is they are now coming with accelerometers that should stop me skewing the curve.

Yeah, I understand.

I have been using Navigatrix for a long time. I had been trying to compile and configure gnuais to work when I first encountered Navigatrix. It was just after I had given up trying to get Airmail to work under Wine. But just so you don't think I have Stockholm Syndrome regarding Navigatrix, I also understand some of the problems.

As an end user I just, ultimately, want my computer to to work; no drama; no Phd in computer science. I want it to provide answers for my questions and help me get from point A to point B to point C.

I want to use what is available to communicate with friends, family and my bonehead bank that keeps blocking my debit card -every-other-month- because I'm in a different location...geeze! But I digress.

If I were to design a Linux distribution it would look something like Navigatrix...without the little (and some big) irritations that I could just as well do without.

You know that guy you see along the road with the cardboard sign "Will work for good, fast, inexpensive"...well that's me.

What problems to find? What do thing works well?

...just as a small aside, Navigatrix has pre-installed a scrapbook in Firefox. If I'm thinking clearly I can log in scrapbook what I want from the web...logout. I can then read, reflect, and respond on my own time; log back in and post without the hanging on to dead...expensive air. It's just at 3:30AM I sometimes don't always remember.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:50   #19
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

So true on many points of what you just said.

You asked...

"What problems to find?"

Here's the major problem I'm having with Navigatrix....

Navigatrix.net • View topic - Can't save/download files

Also, Tor is out of date and will not start with a new installation of it. I will not use an out of date version of Tor. Period.
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Old 04-07-2012, 13:35   #20
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

You did a good job of deciphering my lousy proofreading.

I won't address the file saving, but your stance on Tor is like someone saying s/he will only drive a new car. But a month later; sitting in their driveway; is a used car.

The fella down the street has a used car too. It's a few years older. Doesn't have the new lines like the 'new' cars...but functions the same.

The "new" Tor takes care of a security hole where a user's anonymity can be revealed if challenged. So what!...unless you're smuggling cocaine out of Columbia; who cares?

You have a greater chance of drowning in your bath than have someone work to bust your anonymity.

Tor was included in Navigatrix because some Access Points block certain websites and services.

In some instances it's understandable. Panama is developing a free public access wifi network, Internet Para Todos. With limited bandwidth they block the sites that would cripple their network...Youtube and the like.

For what ever conspiratorial reason you want Internet Para Todos also blocks open source sites like sourceforge.

Download anything you want from Tucows; Automatically update Vista; but try to download a 441K tarball from sourceforge--ah-ah, can't be done...unless you use Tor. The neighbour's less than new car still gets him to work and back.

You might be happier with Backtrack or some other security/penetration distribution. But, if you want certainty of anonymity you're not going to find it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 19:38   #21
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Re: Navigatrix or some other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wadda View Post
Looking at your requirements

Navigatrix uses the most energy efficient kernel and configuration generally available. To do better you would need to tailor to individual preferences/tolerances and individual machines.

Navigatrix is Linux based. Additionally all applications are open source or freely available.

Navigatrix is designed to run on a 4GB USB stick, DVD, or harddrive

The window manager and desktop environment is lightweight yet aesthetically pleasing.

...and your final requirement; you want something that looks, smells, and tastes like Navigatrix.

Seems pretty obvious what to do unless you like a challenge, hours of configuration, and re-inventing the wheel.


There are a few errors people make.

Thinking Linux is hard. Navigatrix is Linux base and therefore hard. They don't try it. The hardest part is booting from a USB stick or a DVD.

Thinking Linux distributions require that you pat your head and rub your stomach to make them work; many do. Therefore, since Navigatrix is a Linux distribution they pat; and they rub; and they create problems that would otherwise not be there. To take a number from an old soap advertisement, 99.44% of the installations do not require additional configuration, drivers, or software...it just works.

Trying to Use a LiveCD (USB stick) installation outside the limits of the medium. This applies to all distributions. As stated previously, the stock LiveCD installation is for a 4GB medium. Larger USB device, or flashcard installations can accommodate modifications to maximize the preferences of the individual.

My guess is your posting here in the cruising forum was just a shot in the dark.

There is an active support forum and an active support community for Navigatrix users: http://navigatix.net/support.php

I see you were there and your problem was resolved.

As you noted it "is conceptually a great system". It so 'conceptually' great I use it nearly every day on my journey that, thus far, has taken me 1/3 the way around the world. I use it to navigate, communicate, learn, and entertain. While others end users of Navigatrix have already crossed oceans, some just sail regionally. It is solid. It is adaptable.

Clearly there is more that can be done; documentation; additional applications, etc...I am pleased to hear the rumblings of continued active development of the system. Many hands make light the work and a little money to pay the bills doesn't hurt.

As an end user of Navigatrix I am happy to contribute to the project in time and money to help other end users derive the same satisfaction that I receive.

I hope you find the same satisfaction.
Wadda - inspired by your comments on Navigatrix, I bought an 8 gig stick and paid to register WinZip then followed the instructions from navigatrix faithfully (I think).

Now what? Being a complete Dodo with computers, in Windows, I've got as far as "My Computer" where I find my stick as Disc H. Opening it, I find folders such as .disc, Casper (wot's this?),Charts, Desktop,etc, 14 folders and 4 read-me type files. So I think I've got a a good install on the stick.

BUT - What do I do now?? Has it already unzipped itself? I understand the need to put my charts into the chart folder but I was under the impression that it had a chart reader (Open CPN?) pre-loaded.

What other goodies am I to expect ? Well - that's putting the cart before the horse - what I mean is - How do I use it or what am I not doing?

Many thanks in anticipation. Tony
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Old 04-07-2012, 23:56   #22
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Re: Navigatrix or some other?

Today, the bad news is I was getting ready to leave (sail covers off, dinghy stowed, etc...) and found 6 litres of diesel in my Perkins 4-108 oil sump.

The good news is I had a spare lift pump; replaced it; changed oil; and will sit for a day answering emails, and checking a few websites to ensure I swapped out the right part...and hope the wind freshens a bit.


For you, the bad news is you didn't need Winzip. Sorry.

The good news is you have everything you need...that's the expectation anyway.

There is a support forum for all questions Navigatrix.

Navigatrix.net • Index page

Technical questions should be directed there.

There is a post on this very subject.

Navigatrix.net • View topic - Make It Work!

However, I think it lacks a little clarity so I'll see if I can bore you to tears.

It sounds like you have a proper installation on the USB stick. You did download, and use, the Installer that was on the Download page

Navigatrix.net • Download

and not use Winzip to open the file navigatrix.iso and write it to the stick?

I'm assuming, yes. You did say you followed the instructions.

What you create is called a LiveCD. It functions like a CD, or DVD, but still functions like a USB stick.

When you run Navigatrix from the stick, memory card, or whatever medium you installed it on, everything needed to make the computer work is on that stick, card, whatever....

When you hit the power button and the computer comes alive there are set of basic instruction that tell it what to do. The computer needs to pull itself up by it's own bootstraps, or boot up.

This is the boot sequence. It checks if there is a CPU; a working keyboard; and all the other paraphernalia that goes with it...the Basic Input/Output of the System (BIOS) It then looks for further instructions; a hard drive; a CDROM; an external hard drive, CDROM; or...a USB stick.

The trick is to get your computer, as it looks for further instructions, to go to that USB stick first, and not your hard drive, not your CDROM, not your network...the USB stick, which is inserted in its slot waiting to be called.

This is why this is the hardest part about using Navigatrix...or any other LiveCD. You need to modify the BIOS to use the stick first.

It's actually not hard. It's just intimidating.

Turn off your computer.

Insert the USB stick in your favourite slot.

Fire up the machine.

Just after turning it on, press the Del key to enter the BIOS menu.

Some computer use other hotkeys; those could be F2, F10, F11, ESC, etc. The hint is normally displayed at the bottom of the boot screen.

My little Acer is F2.

Still having trouble? Check out:

BIOS Access Keys for Popular Computer Systems (Gateway, Toshiba, Dell, etc.)

How To Change the Boot Order (Boot Sequence) in BIOS

This is generally a blue/white or black/white screen.

Across the top will be some options:

Main Advanced Security Power Boot Exit

or something similar.

Use your arrow keys and move over to something that's like "Boot"

You will see a list of bootable devices on your machine. Read the instructions (most like in a side panel) and move your USB device to the top of the list...or equivalent.

Many newer computers detect the USB device as a hard drive (USB-HDD0)...just another thing that make the process a little intimidating. But it's ok.

Find it; change it; save it; and you won't have to do this again.

Frequently saving these new settings is F10. Read what your screen tells you.

After you have saved the setting; exit.

The machine will now reboot off the USB stick and into the Navigatrix system.

When you are done having a look around, power off the system via the little Manta icon in the lower left corner...the "Menu".

Shutdown.

When it's shutdown completely; remove the stick. The next time you power up your computer it will be just as it was before.

Want to use Navigatrix again. Power down the machine. Insert the USB stick. Power up.

Booting off the stick takes anywhere from 30 to 60 some seconds.

Test out your GPS by just plugging it in. Look for a network connection under the little 'network' icon in the lower right toolbar.

Play around. Beat it to death. It's nearly indestructible. Just don't unplug the stick when it's running.
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:22   #23
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

Wow, Wadda - So sorry to hear about your fuel problems but in a funny sort of way, glad they happened now so you had a chance to answer my plea!

Well - the story so far - I've got the computer to boot off the stick but then the rest is a bit disappointing.

On booting up off the stick I get the black screen: written across the top is "Syslinux 4.02 2010-7-21 EDD Copyright (C) 1994-2010 Peter Anvil et al" Next line down is the flashing - (called a command prompt?)

Absolutely nothing else on the screen and nothing happened if I tried any key at the prompt. Also, no way of shutting it down, no manta icon to be found! Indeed, to be able to restart so I could write you this note, I had to turn off by unplugging and taking out the machine's battery!

So - I have feelings of joy in that I've achieved at least something but I'm sure I'll have feelings of great joy when I can get into the program.

What have I done wrong or what have I missed? (This has been great fun by the way, if a little frustrating and certainly time consuming!) Tony
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:49   #24
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

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On booting up off the stick I get the black screen: written across the top is "Syslinux 4.02 2010-7-21 EDD Copyright (C) 1994-2010 Peter Anvil et al" Next line down is the flashing - (called a command prompt?)
Re-make the stick.

Something got buggered. Either in the creation of the stick using the Installer....or, in the download of the navigatrix.iso.

There are ways to check the files integrity with something called md5checksum.

Currently outside the scope of this post because---I have no more diesel leaks. Huahini here I come.

If you still have problems after re-making the stick; download the iso...again (Isn't that a treat?), but it might be the easier solution....unless you want to figure out how to run the checksome on your machine.

You still might have to download again....

The number that it 'should be' is on the download page

Go to the forum if you have further problems/questions.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:55   #25
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

Oh, and to avoid the panic....

If you hold down the power button for 4+ seconds everything shuts down.
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Old 05-07-2012, 13:58   #26
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

Cheers, shipmate!! Have a safe trip to Huahine!! I'll let you know how it goes pby pm later! Tony
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:21   #27
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

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Cheers, shipmate!! Have a safe trip to Huahine!! I'll let you know how it goes pby pm later! Tony
I thought I'd write in the frorum rather than pm, just in case anyone else is interested....

I re-made the stick and exactly the same thing happened. Since it takes a few hours to download the iso, this was slightly annoying and I must admit to using some intemperate language (directed at my computer, that is).

Just before giving up in disgust I thought I'd try the stick in my small Samsung notebook. Dam me - it worked!!! Endless hours of trying to break it ensued - all to no avail. I even found out how to put my charts onto OpenCPN. Next thing is to see if my gps talks to it. It does in Win 7 so I have reasonable hopes for it.

So, once again, many thanks to Wadda and for any one else reading....Persevere!! You'll feel great once you've cracked it!!

Tony (Now...where's that paypal button....)
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Old 16-09-2012, 16:41   #28
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

Just as an update: Wadda - How is/was Huahine?

Anyway - all went very well and I have had super help from Moe on the friendly Navigatrix forum (like, 4 pages' worth!).

Haven't completely cracked my garmin hockey-puck gps problem but can now get it to work more times than not! Still, to me, not quite a complete solution but I do feel I'm getting there!

I would love to convert my little note-book to be completely Linux but I'm a little frightened of this rather drastic step at this stage. I think I have a lot more to learn about using the Navigatrix distro (eg, downloading programs, finding things, cleaning things up so as not to use too much memory etc, etc), before I take such a big step.

Still can't get my head around the fact that I downloaded Navigatrix on a 64 bit machine but it only works on my 32 bit netbook! Tony
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Old 25-09-2012, 10:22   #29
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Re: Navigatrix or Some Other ?

well, there's Puppy....it's even smaller.
I'm using the Lucid 5.2.8 which seems to agree with the OpenCPN Ubuntu releases pretty well.
OpenCPN for Puppy Linux

added: Wary also works well for me.
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