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This is a screenshot of OziExplorer (http://www.oziexplorer.com), showing me driving along the infamous Rubicon Trail near Lake Tahoe. I say infamous because of the carnage that eats Jeeps alive.

OziExplorer is different from other conventional navigation solutions. It uses paper based maps verses vector based maps seen on most navigation systems. The cool thing about it is that you can scan in any paper map and calibrate it to show your position (the case with the map shown). The program itself doesn't come with any maps, but I can download free USGS topo maps from the internet. Other systems like Garmin use their own proprietary map format so they can charge you an arm and a leg for maps that are free and in the public domain. It won’t tell me “left on Broadway,” but face it, I don't need a computer to tell me how to get to work.

I've got 9 gigabytes of maps and satellite imagery for southern California alone. That means I've got an incredible amount of detail all for free. Compare that to the Tom Tom thing that has a 2.5 gig hard drive for the entire US.



It's pretty cool having your entire music, movie, and video collection at your fingertips in MediaEngine ( http://www.mediaengine.org/ ).

Switching between MediaEngine and OziExplorer is easily done by double right clicking the mouse. A program called GyroTools is configured to emulate an Alt-Tab keystroke upon such an event. If I need to type something, just hold down the right mouse button and an on-screen keyboard pops up.

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