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Endura Sierra questions from a GPS Newbee [Lowrance]

Regarding Lowrance Endura Sierra, purchased May 12 2010

Some questions for which I have not yet received an answer from Lowrance include:

How do I find firmware version info, and whether or not the device has updates available?
The reason I ask is that there are MANY streets missing from their database. The entire neighborhood I live in, started 11years ago and completed 5½ years ago, is not in the map. My daughter has a DeLorme GPS and all these streets are in their map. Google Maps and every other internet based mapping service I looked at also have these streets. The only other map I know of that does not include these streets is in the navigation system in the 2009 Acura my neighbor has.
When my daughter and I went hiking yesterday, we compared her DeLorme (a PN-20) with the Sierra. The trails we walked were displayed in the DeLorme, but not in the Sierra. I hope there is updated map software available.

The Endura Sierra is extremely slow to power on (to show anything useful, I mean). When it first is powerd up, it's about 1 minute before the initial display screen ("Sierra AccuTerra Navteq OnBoard") is replaced by the Main Menu. Then, after pushing the Pages button a few times, the map display comes up, but it's almost all black for several seconds. When it finally shows the map, there is a large "question marK" icon in the center of the map. That remains for 3 to 5 minutes before the device knows where it is. My daughter's DeLorme is ready in less than a minute from power-up to satellite display, and generally locks on in less than another minute.

The "3D GPS Fix" page displayed the correct elevation (was about 2200 feet where we were), but the map display page showed elevation as 65 feet; the page with the green graph showed elevation as 65 feet; the Compass page showed elevation as 115 feet. When we were in another location, the "3D GPS Fix" page displayed the correct elevation again, this time around 1450 feet, but all the other pages continued to show 65 feet, 65 feet and 115 feet respectively. What could cause that??

All items on the Navigation menu are unavailable (gray'd out), and the Navigation page is blank. Do I need to purchase a microSD card for this feature to work?

About the microSD card:

How to I know what "class" to get (2,4,6?), and is there any particular brand that is best for the Sierra? I did read the manual, and read everything I could find at the Lowrance web site (which is mostly useless, in my opinion). But could find no answer to any of these things. No reference to using a microSD card, nor to what type is best. No reference to identifying firmware versions, to help determine if updates are required. Not any mention of the little clear plastic rectangle that was included in the box (a display shield probably, but will touch screen work with it in place???).
I find this very frustrating. The manual is almost useless, and the web site IS useless -- nothing helpful there at all, or if there is, it's too difficult to find. Lowrance is difficult to communicate with (so far), with hold times on the phone so long I can't continue holding. I'm hoping the purchase of this device was not a mistake.

Thanks in advance for any advice. I'm new to these things, and have a lot to learn.
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