The device just automatically starts dumping out NMEA strings at 9600 baud so no handshaking needed. Only need to communicate with it if I want to do extra configuration. But only one program at a time would be doing that since it would be user controlled. (at least in u-center and my own software, don't know if gpsd does anything, though there is an option to stop it?)
I would prefer a software solution if possible
yes, I'm using Ubuntu 9.10 x86_64. Will be using Ubuntu UNR when my netbook arrives which is really what I want this running on.