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PDA1 20-06-2012 07:48

Navigatrix or Some Other ?
I've been trying and running Navigatrix off of a usb stick.

However, I've found that I can't download and save files. Yes, I've created the stick as "persistent".

After spending way too much time working with Navigatrix (which is conceptually a great system) it's time to move on.

My requirements are;

- low PC power consumption
- os must be Linux based
- OS must be on a usb stick
- "lightweight" os- nothing fancy
- must have usable navigation software on it that's the same as on Navigatrix

Do you have any recommendations? Puppy?

wadda 01-07-2012 17:55

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
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 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:

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.

Lake-Effect 01-07-2012 20:58

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
I played with several distros, both marine-targeted and generic, and for all the requirements you list, Navigatrix is the best of what's available.

You don't mention what you're running it on, or specifics of your save issue. Anyway, Navigatrix (meaning the OS and set of apps) will still run best if you install it to a partition on your HD.

wadda 02-07-2012 03:19

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
As I understand it, he went to the support forum and resolved his saving problem.

For whatever reason he didn't want to install it on his harddrive....

I concur with your assessment and the harddrive installation. It was one of the first things I had done and so I have trouble getting my head around the hesitancy.

PDA1 02-07-2012 05:25

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
I've been running Ubuntu for the past 4 years and am using 12.04 now. Love it and would never go back to windows.

The problem is that OpenCPN plugins from the OpenCPN site will not download successfully to Navigatrix. I can download any file I want from anywhere on the web to Navigatrix but not the OpenCPN plugins from OpenCPN site.

If you can download the OpenCPN plugins from the OpenCPN site to a Navigatrix USB stick let me know. So far no one has tried to reproduce the errors I'm getting (insufficient memory....on a 8 g stick?!)

There could be conflict between Navigatrix and git hub. I do understand that the Konni logbook is specific to versions above 2.6 and higher while Navigatrix runs OpenCPN 2.6. I think I have those version numbers correct. The issue I've found is that Navigatrix does not want any plugins downloaded (I didn't say "installed") which are for any version other than 2.6. (again, can't remember the OpenCPN version on Navigatrix)

The USB stick is formatted to FAT 32 and was a clean install created using Ubuntu 12.04 "create start up disk"....after erasing and formatting the stick.

I'm running Navigatrix on a USB stick and don't want to partition/dual boot my HD. A stick uses less energy than a HD.

Lake-Effect 02-07-2012 08:30

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
Thanks for clarifying your issue. I will give this a try when I'm able. It shouldn't be hard to resolve. My first impression is that it's a permission thing.


Originally Posted by PDA1 (Post 981860)
The USB stick is formatted to FAT 32 and was a clean install created using Ubuntu 12.04 "create start up disk"....after erasing and formatting the stick.

I'm running Navigatrix on a USB stick and don't want to partition/dual boot my HD. A stick uses less energy than a HD.

Unless you've physically disconnected the HD, it's going to draw some energy, even when it's not spinning. So the potential power savings is small... maybe 10%. In my mind that's not a large enough saving to endure the lower speed and hassle of running on USB, other than for initial experiments.

Just my opinion, of course.

PDA1 02-07-2012 08:59

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
Permissions were set to "read/write"

I've even tried using the Downloads folder as root.

I've also tried copying the plugins over to the Navigatrix USB from another USB stick. No success. Any other file will copy. Not the plugins.

The HD is removed when I'm experimenting with Navigatrix.

wadda 02-07-2012 19:41

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
1 Attachment(s)
You're wondering about power consumption.

It's not very scientific, and it's barely even 'real world' and when it all boils down it...well, what difference does it make?

Do a little test....

Run powertop under Ubuntu let it idle for5 minutes and see what you get.

...then run powertop under Navigatrix....see what you get.

This is a screengrab of Navigatrix 0.4.120214 running a 3.0.9 digital signal processing kernel installed on an Acer Aspire One netbook 160GB hd and 2GB RAM.

I fired up powertop and walked away for 5 minutes; screen brightness as low as it will go.

PDA1 02-07-2012 20:43

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
The only way to accurately determine power consumption is to calculate P=I x E

Check your voltage going into the computer and then use an ammeter to determine current draw. Certainly the current will fluctuate.

A hard drive uses much more power than a usb stick. How much? I don't know exactly in my case but if the temperature (by touch) of the hard drive is any indication the hd is using a lot of power.

Don't forget- I use Navigatrix on a stick with my hard drive removed.

The stick gets only slightly warm.

Another big consumer of power is the display and the display lamp. I've set my to go blank after 1 minute of none use.

Your Acer is a great computer. Have you ever had the "reflash-the-bios" problem yet?

wadda 03-07-2012 00:42

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
Well, it seems then I have three options to determine the energy efficiency of my operating system.

I can use an application created by Intel that is designed to ostensibly calculate the power consumption of computer in use.


I can slap my Radio Shack VOM in to the mix, which might give me a rough idea of the efficiency of the little 12V-19V DC/DC converter I use and the total energy debit from powerpoint to flashing lights.

...or I can touch it to see how warm it is?

I also did a Google search because I have no idea what a "reflash-the-bios" problem is. Cursorily, I don't know if anyone else does either.

PDA1 03-07-2012 06:37

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
As to the Acer problem-

Acer Aspire One ZG5 won't boot up [Solved] |

wadda 03-07-2012 06:52

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
Interesting...but the Acer is a different model. Seems they fixed the problem a few years ago.

PDA1 03-07-2012 07:02

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
Tried the Powertop program in Navigatrix.

Here's the results for power consumption;

"no ACPI power usage estimate available"

I can't win.

wadda 03-07-2012 12:37

Re: Navigatrix or some other? it on battery.

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.

It also just occured to me that some older machines lack the ability....don't know whatcha got.

PDA1 03-07-2012 12:59

Re: Navigatrix or some other?
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.

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