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Old 15-04-2013, 10:00   #166
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Im with Nick, us fanboys have to stick together.

Were still along way from a tablet being as good as a "proper" computer. Its only when you get used to a 27" desktop Mac you realise how Microsoft threw away the crown jewels, from about XP on.

The fact is once you open source and allow multiple often incompatible forks of the code, you eventually build a tower of Babel that fails , Therein lies the tale of Windows, and therein lies the future for Android, Google already regret the openness of Android, but not much they can do. If they could theyd start to close it down.

Users dont want open source, they just want the damm stuff to work.

Dave
Aha. Now I understand why you have a different opinion of 'open' from me.

I'm not finding that the Linux world is a tower of Babel. More like an embarrassment of riches. For the newbie, the popular distributions like Ubuntu simplify the process of getting installed and started, and have simplified package managers and utilities for installing and upgrading apps that make Windows look like DOS. Ubuntu is very close to being simple enough for mainstream, in my opinion. With tons of apps that 'just work'.

I am a mostly happy Win XP user at home, and a grudging Win7 user at work (as well as Unix/Linux on servers), but all my netbooks now run Ubuntu Linux. I'm expecting that my next workstation might have Win7, but it will definitely have Linux as well, and I expect to spend at least 70% of the time in Linux.

Android has been caught in multi-version hell, but I expect that this will level out. I also see that my fave Linux, Ubuntu, has been ported to Android devices, which could help sidestep Android issues.

As far as the availability of nav apps go, you actually have more choice and a better infrastructure in Linux than in Windows. Marine is such a narrow field, relatively speaking, that if it wasn't for open-source projects, there would be far fewer choices.

/derail over
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Old 15-04-2013, 11:04   #167
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

"Depending on which source you read, between 2 and 4% of the Android devices are infected,"
As opposed to the 25% of home computer users who are hosting zombie malware that sends out spam.

If you follow arguably reputable sources like CERT (www.cert.org) a 3% infection rate is almost a rounding error. Every OS has malware problems, including Apple. And since iPhone users tend to be richer than other phone users (40% over 100,000$ in income in the US) they're a nicely fatter target for crooks. An easier target, in many ways, because so many of them are "glitterati" who bought the shiny toy for the logo on it, with no concept of technical issues. Who needs to change a battery when you can just, duh, buy a new phone every year?!

No, Android isn't perfect. Google's "you bought it, you go support it, we don't" approach will eventually turn around and bite them. Android's habit of regularly going out to lunch is pretty lame. But there are free and cheap anti-malware tools for it as well. There are folks on every platform who really shouldn't be allowed to play with electricity. Or any device that uses it.
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Old 15-04-2013, 12:01   #168
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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As far as the availability of nav apps go, you actually have more choice and a better infrastructure in Linux than in Windows. Marine is such a narrow field, relatively speaking, that if it wasn't for open-source projects, there would be far fewer choices.
AFAIK there does not exist a single open source program that reads encrypted ENC files. That is a big issue in most parts of the world when it comes to navigation software on open source systems.
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Old 15-04-2013, 12:51   #169
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

"AFAIK there does not exist a single open source program that reads encrypted ENC files."
And that's arguably a good thing, because if some open source programmer knew how to UNencrypt those files and use them...and made that ability free to the public...that would defeat the entire purpose of encrypted files, wouldn't it?
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Old 15-04-2013, 13:07   #170
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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I'm not finding that the Linux world is a tower of Babel. More like an embarrassment of riches. For the newbie, the popular distributions like Ubuntu simplify the process of getting installed and started, and have simplified package managers and utilities for installing and upgrading apps that make Windows look like DOS. Ubuntu is very close to being simple enough for mainstream, in my opinion. With tons of apps that 'just work'.
I have several Linux distros up and running, but as yet Linux is miles from being a preferred desktop op sys. To many variants, too many incompatibilities etc. As a server platform its unparalleled. If you want (U)(Li)nix for the desktop - get a Mac!!

Dave
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Old 15-04-2013, 13:22   #171
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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AFAIK there does not exist a single open source program that reads encrypted ENC files.
Aren't encryption and Electronic Navigational Chart two different things? AFAIK encryption is intended to protect things, as in not publicly available. You don't want your credit cards details to fly unencrypted over the internet, do you?
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Old 15-04-2013, 13:24   #172
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

ENC files are encrypted to prevent copyright violations as in most parts of teh world charts are copyright and quite expensive.


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Old 16-04-2013, 03:53   #173
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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"AFAIK there does not exist a single open source program that reads encrypted ENC files."
And that's arguably a good thing, because if some open source programmer knew how to UNencrypt those files and use them...and made that ability free to the public...that would defeat the entire purpose of encrypted files, wouldn't it?
I would prefer for European charts to be public domain, just like US charts are. As long as they aren't of course we have to live with the encryption, and that reduces the utility of open source in the navigation field.
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Old 16-04-2013, 03:54   #174
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I have several Linux distros up and running, but as yet Linux is miles from being a preferred desktop op sys. To many variants, too many incompatibilities etc. As a server platform its unparalleled. If you want (U)(Li)nix for the desktop - get a Mac!!
I'm al linux/unix system engineer, and yes, I run Macs at home, as do quite a few of my colleagues. Not wanting to be sysadmin at home too and all that...
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Old 16-04-2013, 04:30   #175
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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And that's arguably a good thing, because if some open source programmer knew how to UNencrypt those files and use them...and made that ability free to the public...that would defeat the entire purpose of encrypted files, wouldn't it?
How to unencrypt them is not a secret. I've downloaded the specs. It in fact uses open source cyphers.
However the problem is that every program or device that can decrypt S-63 Encoded charts has a manufacturer key embedded, which must be kept secret. That precludes open source software...
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Old 16-04-2013, 09:54   #176
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?




Ipad, android or Windows?



Open source or proprietary? Supported or unsupported?



The debate as to which format is best used in the marine environment will be won by the system providing the most bells and whistles for the least amount of money before the other contenders.


This thread has discussed much that is over my head and in most cases concerns hardware few practical cruisers need, or can afford.


For a variety of reasons I favour open source systems and hardware. The leader in open source software is of course Linux. Open source hardware is by my definition hardware made to work with not only Windows or Apple systems and drivers - but Linux as well. Two primary obstacles encountered using a device with Linux as the sole operating system is some hardware components require proprietary drivers. As usual, the manufacturers have refused to release driver code to Linux developers. The second obstacle is android uses API (Application Programming Interface) instead of hardware addresses typically used by Linux to control hardware functions.


Ubuntu Linux has released "Ubuntu Touch" - an operating system for tablets. Although Ubuntu is a popular flavour of Linux, Ubuntu Touch bears scant resemblance to the computer version of Ubuntu, and is unlikely to be backward compatible with Linux programs that run on desktop and laptop computers.


Linux is unsupported in the sense one cannot phone for assistance unless a commercial agreement is already in place. Years ago a Linux distributor called Red Hat offered no commercial support. But, after reorganizing sometime in the 80's I believe, Red Hat became Fedora/Red Hat. Red Hat would offer commercial support services while Fedora became Red Hat's new 'unsupported' distribution. Unsupported in the Linux world simply means you do not have a direct line for technical advice and problem solving without first paying for it. But, make no mistake about it - support abounds for anyone using Linux. Programs and files are regularly updated and improved, vulnerabilities identified and closed and solutions to problems are abundantly available on the world wide web. You only need use key words in your favourite search engine to find them.



Those of us who wish to have Linux on our tablets have an alternative that works and is relatively easy to do. You will find my instructions for installing Linux on android tablets here:



Building on Motorola Xoom | Official OpenCPN Homepage


The thread documenting issues and progress can be found here:



OpenCpn Install on Android Tablets Easier Now.


Because Linux is open source anyone with the inclination to improve upon an existing program or write an entirely new program can. A look at Navigatrix, mentioned elsewhere in this thread reveals the following programs are available under Linux for controlling SSB radios. This only hints at the types of programs written by mariners to control and or interface with navigation systems. Use your favourite internet search engine and you'll be surprised at what you'll find is already available to solve your navigation needs. OpenCPN is a premier open source navigation/charting program most of us are already familiar with. From the Navigatrix web page and introductory documentation:



SSB Radio
  • Airmail: Check you SSB eMails with Airmail. This is the Windows application running under Wine (see “Installing Windows Applications”). You configure and use the program in the same way as you do under Windows. Navigatrix also keeps your position data in Airmail updated with your GPS position (see “GPS and Navigatrix”). If you’re new to Airmail: There is a good introduction and “how-to” guide available from the Sailmail website at SailMail Primer.
  • Data Transfer: Amateur Radio Data Transfer with ARQ and flARQ.
  • Digital Modem (fldigi): Amateur Radio Sound Card Communications flDigi.
  • Fax Reciever: Recieve radio facsimiles with JWX.
  • Fax Reciever/Sender: Transmit and recieve radio facsimiles with HamFax.
  • Morse Decoder: Decode Morse Code with xdemorse.
  • Navtex Reciever: Recieve Navtex Weather Data with JNX.
  • PSKMail: Transmit and recieve eMail over SSB with jPSKMail.
  • Radio Terminal: Use MFSK, RTTY, THROB, PSK31, MT63 and Hellschreiber modulations with gmfsk.
  • Slow TV/FAX: Transmit and receive slow-scan tv and radio facsimiles with QSSTV.
One should be able to download and install the programs listed above in their Linux system running in a chroot environment on their android tablet. Some may require installation from source code which is easy to do.


The challenge we face is first and foremost bridging the hardware and communications gap between the android and Linux systems - running side by side. Android devices with built in gps devices that generate nmea sentences are already working thanks to the availability of Turbo GPS, an apk written by Michael Chourdakis and available for free from Google Play. Devices with built in gps that generate position, speed and course information only will have to wait until someone, maybe Michael, writes an apk designed to convert this information to 'fake' nmea data usable by OpenCPN.


With your participation we can bridge the Linux-android gap and eventually enjoy the full range of features offered by OpenCPN.


It will require time, imagination, experience and know how to get these sophisticated devices to do everything we want them to do.


I invite you to become a contributor in this effort.


armido
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Old 16-04-2013, 15:07   #177
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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Of course tablets work offshore. Their GPS is real not fake.


I bought an IPad and its a kids toy for the YouTube generation.

Much better value would be a small laptop for $299 new.

I run OpenCpn and AIS on my laptop and its great. iPad is far behind... Far, far.
Hey Mark ... not sure about that comment ... our Ipad was terrific sailing around Cuba and was very detailed and accurate ... more so than our Open Cpn which we also run ...
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Old 17-04-2013, 06:12   #178
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

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AFAIK there does not exist a single open source program that reads encrypted ENC files. That is a big issue in most parts of the world when it comes to navigation software on open source systems.
Um, open-source doesn't mean instant socialism or the end of the free market. Any company is free to make and sell encrypted charts, and earn a living from it.

Although it sounds like an oxymoron, it's even possible to have open-source copy-protection, where the software is open, but decryption of something still requires a secret key.
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Old 17-04-2013, 08:29   #179
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

No oxymoron, that's like Ben Franklin's quote that three may keep a secret, as long as two of them are dead.

Open source, accessible code, plus a secret key? Dongles, the open source code could work if you still required folks to buy a dongle. Or to put dongle code on a USB stick, or something like that, so the open source code still relied on a separate secret.

I'm not sure anyone would be happy with that arrangement, if they remember dongles.
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Old 17-04-2013, 09:44   #180
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Re: A tablet to replace it ALL: how, which one, which apps?

Interesting, all the different fan clubs here. Going forward I think it is best to have the largest number of people using digital devices that we can. I am writing this on a nexus 7...I like it because I only need to charge it once every three days. Its got a good GPS and would make a fine plotter if the apps were available. The afore mentioned branching issue is slowing developers...every phone company feels a need to protect their revenue stream. Its their right but its a detriment to innovation. To me, the windows verses Mac debate comes down to bang for the buck. I have 7 windows machines of which 4 were built by me. Each is optimized for a different function and is a monster at what it does. All were built with parts purchased on eBay...all for less than the cost of one decent Mac.
Just as I feel I must truly understand my boat...its the same for me with digital stuff.

Todd
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