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Old 10-06-2011, 04:19 PM   #21
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RE: Laptops On Board

I just have to smile.

If your maintenance engineer had no hand in developing this application then I repeat - he doesn't really have the expertise to make the determination of where the problem lies.* It sounds to me that the people in your department just need to bitch rather than solve the problem.

Microsoft, which started out making pretty good applications, has long since lost that ability. And their operating systems are absolute rubbish these days in terms of reliability. A Microsoft operating system is probably the single, most universally hated thing at my company today.

This is just your opinion and based on the people around you who spend most of their time bitching.* I know all about Boeing having lived in Seattle all my life.* I worked there until I found a real job and my wife retired from Boeing.* I heard a lot of stories about Boeing employees.* So unless you have some facts to back up your inflammatory statement above, I suggust you keep it to yourself.

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Old 10-06-2011, 05:24 PM   #22
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RE: Laptops On Board

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So unless you have some facts to back up your inflammatory statement above, I suggust you keep it to yourself.

*
I think the fact that Microsoft coders are known the world over as the laziest coders on the planet says something about the quality of their work these days.* They are too lazy to clean unused code out of applications as they "improve them," and so just write around the old code.* Eventually, there is so much old code in their applications that*a) the applications become many times bigger in size than they need to be and b)*errors inevitably appear as more and more instances occur where the old code is not thoroughly isolated.*

This isn't my opinion--- I don't work in the computer industry.** This is stuff I've read all over the place written by people who DO work in the computer industry.

If it wasn't for the fact that so many computers around the world are stuck having to run MS operating systems and applications, the consensus of these*analysts*seems to be the company wouldn't be getting all that much business today.

As to your "knowing" Boeing employees, your comments make it clear that you don't.* We do have losers for sure---*perhaps you were one of them?--- but every company does.* But if you spend time with the folks who are designing and building the planes it doesn't take long to realize that they are tops in their field.* The fact you think so little of them says a lot more about you than it does about them.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:04 PM   #23
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RE: Laptops On Board

We're getting a long way away from the topic but for me a piece of software running on an operating system that sells millions of copies annually is a far better bet than a single purpose system where the code can't be upgraded or improved and where the total market is in the thousands.* I can't imagine why anyone buys purpose built chartplotters anymore.* On our boat if one laptop plotter fails we have two more standing by ready to go to work and for a nominal investment we have huge screen area available for navigation.* So far the backup laptops*haven't been required.* And we're all keeping up our plots on paper anyway - right?* So the catastrophic result of losing a laptop (or a dedicated chartplotter - don't ever pretend they don't fail too) would just mean sharpening the pencil a bit more.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:17 PM   #24
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RE: Laptops On Board

We do have losers for sure--- perhaps you were one of them?---* Nice Marin

No question that Boeing builds the best airplanes in the world but I wonder how much better and even cheaper they would be if not for all the dead weight the company has to carry. My wife, who was a production planner on the AWACS program, would come home in tears some days over the difficultly in trying to get shop workers and even engineers to do their job.* Maybe this attitude is typical of all strong union shops where you have little chance of losing your job for lack of caring.*I left the company in part, because of working with people who did as little as possible and no, I wasn't a loser. They tried hard to keep me as they do with all their employees who do their job.

In any case, I could care less that one of your many inflexible opinions is that you hate Microsoft. My intent in responding to your post is to counteract your inaccurate and biased statements.* Disclaimer:* I retired from Microsoft and know how much time and effort they put into creating the best product possible.

I notice that 6 of your posts today where on company time but of course, maybe you had the day off.

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Old 10-06-2011, 08:37 PM   #25
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Laptops On Board

Quote:
bobofthenorth wrote:
We're getting a long way away from the topic but for me a piece of software running on an operating system that sells millions of copies annually is a far better bet than a single purpose system where the code can't be upgraded or improved and where the total market is in the thousands. *
We use hundreds of Microsoft based PC's and Laptops in our company and for the most part they are very dependable and trouble free.* Someone mentioned the applications software being a problem.* That's our experience too; they are often poorly developed and tested, as the companies rush them into the market place to beat the competion.* We spend millions of dollars on equipment and software and we end up beta testing their application software for them, (these are very large software development companies) and they keep madly adding new patches and software upgrades trying to fix their programing errors. Yeah they like to point fingers at Microsoft too, but invariably in the final wash, its an application programing error that caused the problem.
*
I like the laptop applications for the boat as well.* If they could come up with better LED screens that would be a plus.* In an intense water light*reflected*environment, it is very difficult to clearly see laptop screens at the helm.* Consequently, my Garmin plotter will remain my main navigation tool for the present.
Larry B
*


-- Edited by Edelweiss on Thursday 6th of October 2011 08:40:32 PM
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:40 PM   #26
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Laptops On Board

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windmist wrote:
*1. Maybe this attitude is typical of all strong union shops where you have little chance of losing your job for lack of caring.*

2. Disclaimer:* I retired from Microsoft and know how much time and effort they put into creating the best product possible.

I notice that 6 of your posts today where on company time but of course, maybe you had the day off.

Ron
1. This should really be on OTDE, but no question the union mentality can hinder productivity.* I'm no fan of unions even though-- or perhaps because--- I've been in one and been on strike.* I don't like organizations that are geared toward preserving the lowest common denominator.* The good news is there are solutions.* One of them is Charleston. Another is China.

2.* I'm thinking you should have stayed.* Judging by what they've been putting out lately they could use your help.

3.* When I'm editing, I work from 11:00pm to 7:00am although in reality they often start at about 9:00 pm and go to about 9:00am.


-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 6th of October 2011 08:48:09 PM
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:22 PM   #27
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RE: Laptops On Board

Can't relate to this. Don't you guys get enough computer work and play at home? Why would anyone want a computer on board *...unless they prefer them to Chart Plotters. Ditto television. When I go on my boat I'm glad to leave this computer at home. This reminds me of kids constantly play'in w their cell phones.*
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:27 PM   #28
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RE: Laptops On Board

Just returning to the initial thread, we have used a variety of laptops for years with small inverters plugged into a lighter socket - no problem. However, several people mentioned the loss of the Daigan in Grace Harbour (Desolation Sound) a few years ago due to a laptop overheating and catching fire. It is my understanding that the owner was ashore when the fire started. One thing to avoid is leaving laptops or the associated brick on or under a cushion, where considerable heat can accumulate. I have noticed this at home, leaving a charging laptop on the coach for example. The heat danger has nothing to do with the inverter. Don't leave you laptop charging on any type of fabric/cushion at home or on the boat.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:45 AM   #29
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RE: Laptops On Board

Quote:
bobofthenorth wrote:
We're getting a long way away from the topic but for me a piece of software running on an operating system that sells millions of copies annually is a far better bet than a single purpose system where the code can't be upgraded or improved and where the total market is in the thousands.* I can't imagine why anyone buys purpose built chartplotters anymore.* On our boat if one laptop plotter fails we have two more standing by ready to go to work and for a nominal investment we have huge screen area available for navigation.* So far the backup laptops*haven't been required.* And we're all keeping up our plots on paper anyway - right?* So the catastrophic result of losing a laptop (or a dedicated chartplotter - don't ever pretend they don't fail too) would just mean sharpening the pencil a bit more.
*Well, what works for you, Bob...but I'm still trying to get my head around the amount of space 3 laptops must take up, and the logistics of carting them around all the time, and time consumed setting them all up again, even if you take the risk of leaving one or two on board between outings.* Give me my mounted Lowrance, available at the flick of a switch, and back-up hand help Navman, (which has never been needed), any day.* I like simplicity....
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:24 AM   #30
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RE: Laptops On Board

Bob - No chart plotter you say, well mine have radar and sunlight viewing attached. I can't get that in a laptop.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:28 AM   #31
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RE: Laptops On Board

Quote:
Peter B wrote:Give me my mounted Lowrance, available at the flick of a switch, and back-up hand help Navman, (which has never been needed), any day.* I like simplicity....
******* That pretty much sums up my opinion, as well.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:18 PM   #32
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RE: Laptops On Board

Regardless of the type of laptop, operating system, and nav application, the complaint I have heard most often about using a laptop is the readability of the screen in bright light. In a boat like a GB with its large windows all around the helm station, there are times when even our old CRT green-screen plotter can be tough to read. If the light is coming from in front so it's very bright out ahead of us, most screens-- purpose-built plotter or laptop--- simply can't be made bright enough to "balance" with the glare out front.

But when the light is coming from the side or rear, this is where the laptop screens seem to fall down. Any screen has a tough time under these circumstances but the backlit screen of a laptop or iPad seems particularly susceptible to this.

When we bought our big CRT plotter back in 1998 we ordered the optional sunshade for it, which makes a huge difference. Our much newer Furuno NavNet VX2 is on a retractable mount that comes down out of the overhead at the helm and so is fairly protected from light. Has any company come out with sunshades for laptops? That would seem to solve a whole lot of problems.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:19 PM   #33
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RE: Laptops On Board

To Marin and others,

Our Sundowner raised pilothouse also has large windows and I use a Toshiba laptop with Costal Explorer.* You might take a look at one of these to reduce/eliminate the screen glare problem.

http://www.compushade.com/viewarticle.php?page=3&ref=24

Rick Haverstock

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Old 10-09-2011, 05:49 PM   #34
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RE: Laptops On Board

Quote:
RickH wrote:
To Marin and others,

Our Sundowner raised pilothouse also has large windows and I use a Toshiba laptop with Costal Explorer.* You might take a look at one of these to reduce/eliminate the screen glare problem.

http://www.compushade.com/viewarticle.php?page=3&ref=24

Rick Haverstock

*
*

I use one of these (different brand) when I have the laptop on the flybridge.* It can still be a bit hard to see, but it's usable with the hood.* The biggest problem remaining problem was finding the mouse pointer.* Changing the default pointer to a larger arrow really helped.* Windows comes with several pointers to choose from.* A friend found, and downloaded a large red arrow to use on his laptop.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:06 AM   #35
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RE: Laptops On Board

Thanks for the comments regarding power for a lap top but the rest of the comments I am afraid do not apply in my case. What I am using the lap top chart system for is to have a display of where we are in relation to what I can see out the windows without having to leave the helm and go to the chart table to read a full sized paper chart. I am sorry but I just do not trust the accuracy or reliability of any electronic chart system (that is affordable) to rely on it for my main navigation reference therefore Penta has a chart table large enough to hold full scale charts but due to her size there is not room enough for it to be adjacent to the helm so it was placed a bit aft over the dinette area and hinged from the ceiling so I have to step back from the helm to look at a chart.
The lap top is a Toshiba (a few years old) running Coastal Explorer and if it fails or I cannot see the screen due to the ambient lighting I will simply go back to using the paper charts as I have done for the past 20 odd years on Penta.
I guess to sum it up, the laptop is an added "convenience" item at the helm and will in no way be a prime navigation tool.
Thanks again for all the comments, interesting as always.

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:50 PM   #36
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I am sorry but I just do not trust the accuracy or reliability of any electronic chart system (that is affordable) to rely on it for my main navigation reference therefore Penta has a chart table large enough to hold full scale charts
*Well. every boater will use what they are the most comfortable with and it's rare that comments from other boaters who believe differently will change their minds. :-)* But we have been using elecronic navigation from the time we got our first boat, an Arima, in 1987.* Back then it was Loran-C.* Today, of course, it's GPS.* And while I won't use laptop-based navigation system for the reasons I've already described, I do believe that electronic navigation is every bit as accurate these days as charts.* We now have two (three, really) GPS-based, C-Map chart plotters on the boat.* We also have a chart board we modified that fits next to the helm station to hold the big MapTech-type chart-books for the areas we boat in here and in BC.* Underway, the board sits over the companionway to the forward cabin to the left of the helm station (see photo).

And, in the aft cabin out of the way, we carry the official NOAA and Canadian full-size charts for everywhere we go as there are some areas that are not covered by the big chart books.

We have found in the waters we boat so far-- which inlcluding our small-boat fishing goes from Possession Point at the south tip of Whibey Island to Knight Inlet and Blackfish Sound and the southern end of Queen Charlotte Strait that the electronic navigation from our purpose-built nav systems is every bit as accurate as the paper charts.*

The advantages we find in using electronic navigation over paper charts are far too numerous to list here, but I can think of only two advantages one gets from paper charts over an elecronic nav system.* The paper charts still work if the boat's electrical system fails, and paper charts can do a better and faster job of giving one an overall picture an area.* Since we have never had a power failure on either of our boats, the first advantage has not been one for us.* However we do use the paper charts for basic trip planning if we are going somewhere new and they definitely come in handy for giving us an overal picture when we want one.

We also use the paper charts on occasion to make sure in a tricky bit of water that there aren't any rocks or reeefs or other potential problems that aren't on the electronic charts.* So far, there never have been.

My wife and I both like and are comfortable using charts.* Me from flying and my wife from both flying and her US Navy days.* And we both simply like charts and maps.* So we like having them adjacent to the helm and we keep the correct page open for the area we're in.* But we use electronic charts for 100-percent of our navigation.

I know boaters who have no paper charts on board their boats at all, and so far so good for them for many,* many years.* I don't advocate this approach but it does illustrate the reliability and user-friendliness of electronic navigation.

I have on occasion plotted some of the courses we routinely follow on our paper charts to have as a backup in case the power should fail in poor visibility.* In my opinion, it's a major pain in the a*s.* It's like working out a complex calculation using a pencil and paper instead of a calculator.* If experience had shown that our electronic nav systems could not be trusted, the effort to plot and follow courses on the paper charts would seem more worthwhile.* But as we have never experienced a reliability or accuracy problem with any of the nav systems we have or have had, the case to actively use the paper charts simply isn't there for me.

I can only speak, of course, for the C-Map-based electronic charting systems we use.* I have not used any of the laptop-based systems like Nobletch, nor have I used Navionics, BlueCharts, or any of the other systems used by other makes of purpose-built plotters.* So I have no idea if they have accuracy and/or reliabitlity problems.* I've not heard that they do but since we are happy with C-Map we've had no reason to pay any attention to the other systems that are out there.

I think paper charts are cool in a sort of "historical roots" sort of way.* But I would not want to run a boat with them given what's available on a screen these days.





-- Edited by Marin on Monday 10th of October 2011 12:59:58 PM
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:01 PM   #37
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RE: Laptops On Board

Regarding the vessel lost to fire in Desolation Sound, it was the converted fish boat "Dagen" which was a member vessel of the West Coast Workboat Assoc. as well as being home and business for the owners. The last I heard they were still not certain what caused the fire however to the best of their knowledge the lap top was the only electronic device left running but it could very well have been another cause. I don't believe Capt. Leslie or her First Mate were able to get on board after they realized the fire had started because they lost everything including their cat to the fire. Being an older wood boat that was very well looked after I would imagine the wood was very dry and would have burned rapidly and fiercely.

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Old 10-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #38
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RE: Laptops On Board

Quote:
Penta wrote:
I am sorry but I just do not trust the accuracy or reliability of any electronic chart.......______________________________________ ___________

Marin wrote:

I have not used any of the laptop-based systems like Nobletch, nor have I used Navionics, .............
I think paper charts are cool in a sort of "historical roots" sort of way.* But I would not want to run a boat with them given what's available on a screen these days.

*
Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:
Quote:
My older brother used a slide ruler long after electronic calculators came out as he didn't trust them and thought they were a fad that would soon die.
Quote:
I, on the other hand, have used both C-Map and presently Navionics. They are so accurate that, like Marin, I can't imagine running a boat with paper charts. (I do keep them on board, however.) As I've said in other threads, I love the combos & stand alone plotters.
*
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:15 PM   #39
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RE: Laptops On Board

Quote:
Marin wrote:
I can think of only two advantages one gets from paper charts over an elecronic nav system.* The paper charts still work if the boat's electrical system fails, and paper charts can do a better and faster job of giving one an overall picture an area.

__________________________________________________ _________________

Agreed. And, of course, in the event the satellites fall out of the sky. We always have the Maptechs next to the chartplotter open to the area in which we are operating.
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