The Problem

Apple's 10.4.10 patch changed the way USB worked in a way that broke many applications, including GPSBabel as used in Google Earth. This results in a hang when trying to access Garmin USB devices.

The Details

The workaround for this is actually found in libusb, the library that GPSBabel uses for communicating with Garmin USB. The fix is to include updates from the libusb development trunk into the staticly linked libusb used.

Specifically, we grafted version 1.62 of darwin.c into the stable branch of libusb.

This GPSBabel binary is built as a universal binary using exactly the same source that Google used for 4.0 and 4.1, using the gpsbabel_1_3_2-beta20061117a tag from GPSBabel's public CVS tree.

Installing the patch

As an unofficial fix, installation is a little more complicated than the official builds, but it's still not hard.
  1. Start finder.
  2. Select the icon for your installation of Google Earth Plus or Pro.
  3. Right click and select Show Package Contents.
  4. Navigate to Contents/MacOS.
  5. Right click on gpsbabel and select Get Info
  6. Under name and extension, change the name to "gpsbabel_orig".
  7. Download the new gpsbabel.
  8. Save it or copy it to the folder where you just renamed the original GPSBabel
If you don't mind reinstalling Earth in case something goes awry, you can start that list at the "Download" item: the first steps are just to give you an easy way to restore if something goes wrong.

Robert Lipe
Chief Babel-head.