My name is Mike, and I am a Mac user…
Back when Macintosh computers looked like fish bowls, people really looked at us sideways when we told them we didn’t use a PC to run our business. Today, now that Apple has shed some light on the bleakness of the PC world, people are often either already Mac users, or wish they were.
OK, that is enough of my Apple vs. PC babble. 🙂 We do however exclusively use Macs, both personally and for our recently-sold business. I just read a good thread on cruising with a Mac on the Seven Seas Cruising Association members forum (yes, we are members). There are obviously many people who are in a similar situation, and for charting on their computers, it seems the program I previously mentioned, GPSNavX, is a common choice.
I was playing around this morning downloading some charts off the net. You can view and download NOAA charts here, and someone went to the trouble of converting them all into .png files here. I am not sure if any of those will work on GPSNavX, but they sell a CD with all of NOAA’s charts for only 39 bucks. Not too bad, considering one paper chart is 20 bucks!
Of course, planning routes is only one use of a boat computer. Rebecca and I each have our own laptop that we use for communication, research, planning, entertainment and most importantly, updating this Blog! I was reading another thread on the net where people were recommending, instead of a laptop, Apple’s Mac Mini as a boat computer, due to its small footprint and low power consumption. Maybe when our laptops give up the ghost we will consider that. I have long since moved away from upgrading stuff just to have the latest and greatest. We’ll be using our current computers until they die!