Saturday, April 22, 2006

Software aaargh

I needed to install my various useful bits of sailing software on to my laptop. I have a chart viewer which reads the same electronic chart cartridges we use on our onboard plotter. This allows me to do passage planning on a bigger screen than the six-inch one on the boat. It also means that I have to have a cartridge reader plugged into the back of my laptop.

Snag: This works fine on our big desktop PC which doesn't get up and go anywhere. However, it seems that every time I disconnect and reconnect the cartridge reader from the laptop, I have to completely reinstall it from scratch, which means also connecting the external DVD drive and finding the relevant CD. I can see I won't be using it much at sea...

I have just installed TotalTide, which is a great tool from the Admiralty (shades of Samuel Pepys there) which works out all the tides for the whole world (if you pay enough) or for the whole of Europe, forever. It's not a very expensive bit of software, but it does require you to obtain and input a 35-character encryption code to make it work. Naturally the first two codes I tried didn't work. Why do they have to make these things so complicated?

Anyway right now both programs are up and running, and I suppose I really need to get on with doing some proper passage planning. Perhaps I'll just make lunch first...

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