The iTrail GPS Logger from SleuthGear is an entry-level passive logger for personal use when real-time tracking is not an issue. Data is retrieved by connecting the device to your Windows-based PC, downloading the log file, and viewing it using the proprietary software.
Unfortunately, though the iTrail drivers and software are both fully functional for windows users, Mac and Linux users have once again been left out in the cold. If you’re thinking of buying the iTrail, and you don’t have a Windows PC, there are a couple of workarounds you could try.
Linux and WINE
Linux users have the advantage of using a Windows compatibility layer known as WINE. There are a number of user tools that make configuring and using WINE very simple if you don’t want to do it manually. Play on Linux is just one example. A commercial program from CodeWeavers, known as CrossOver is very good at automating and controlling the installation of Windows software in a Linux environment if you don’t mind spending the money. In either case you can attempt to install the proprietary software using one of these methods.
The downside to this method is that there’s no guarantee it will work. One of the problems is whether or not your Linux distro will recognize the device as accessible. In all likelihood it will, assuming it’s a removable drive. But you never know.
Your best bet is to try it with an iTrail owned by a friend before investing money in your own unit. If WINE does prove to be successful we already know Google maps and Google Earth both work under Linux.
Virtual Machine Software
Both Mac and Linux users also have the option of running virtual machine software like VMware, Parallels Desktop, and Virtual Box. With any one of these programs, and several free open-source versions, you can run Windows inside your normal desktop as though it were a standard application. Inside the virtual machine you can download and install the iTrail software and drivers, then use the device as normal.
Keep in mind that if you’re using Windows 7 in your virtual environment you’ll still need to install the iTrail software inside Windows using administrative privileges. Also, with Windows running in your virtual machine you’ll have to direct the USB port to it rather than allowing it to be controlled by your main OS environment. Both of these issues may sound complicated but if you’re familiar with using virtual machine software they’re pretty straightforward and simple to do.
Lastly, when it comes to charging the iTrail using your USB port, none of the workarounds need to be employed. USB charging is a standard operation that will occur regardless of the computer the device is plugged into. Provided your tablet device has a USB port you could, in theory, charge it that way as well. You’ll have to use the iTrail’s proprietary cable though, because the female end on the device is not standard size.