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Old 24-05-2011, 18:15   #16
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
I just don't understand this idea of using "cheap" computers to run your navigation software. Isn't your ability to navigate safely dependent on your equipment, and isn't all equipment subject to failure and at the most inopportune time? The marine environment is harsh, especially on electronics, so why get something cheap and more likely to fail when you need it most? It's not like these things cost thousands of dollars.
Normally I would agree with what you're saying but in my case I have a chart plotter as well and the laptop is more like the backup or a navigation tool/toy I can use downstairs and/or at home. My life is not depending on it so that is why I'm still scratching my head what to do. I prefer working with my Macbook pro but it's not a cheap toy that is why I'm thinking a cheap pc laptop can do the same thing on board and I don't cry when it dies.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Nobody is really wrong just we all have different ideas and that is interesting.
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Old 24-05-2011, 19:32   #17
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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Originally Posted by reiner View Post
Normally I would agree with what you're saying but in my case I have a chart plotter as well and the laptop is more like the backup or a navigation tool/toy I can use downstairs and/or at home. My life is not depending on it so that is why I'm still scratching my head what to do. I prefer working with my Macbook pro but it's not a cheap toy that is why I'm thinking a cheap pc laptop can do the same thing on board and I don't cry when it dies.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Nobody is really wrong just we all have different ideas and that is interesting.
Cheers
Reiner
No, that makes perfect sense. Didn't mean to be critical. As long as someone has a chart plotter as the main tool and the computer is a backup or toy then I see no problem.
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Old 24-05-2011, 21:08   #18
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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Can you prove that MacENC is 6 times the cost of PolarView and has less features?

It has been suggested that this is a fabrication.
I'm sorry. I took the $180 list price of MacENC and quickly divided it by $30 for PolarView to get 6. In reality, it was $39.99 so the number is really 4.5 times the cost. Of course, since you can run PolarView on 5 different computers (other PC's, etc) the value could be much higher than the 4.5 times difference to many cruising couples who have a Mac and PC.

I was just made aware that the PolarView price was increased to $49.99 very recently. That was news to me and obviously makes the increase in cost less for MacENC - now *only* down to 3.6 times.

In terms of features, one of the most basic features used by a boater in planning and executing a route is tide and current effects. MacENC requires a third-party product (Mr. Tides) to view tide stations - there is no tide support in the product. PolarView integrates tide support directly into the app making it much more useful. Raster charts have extra image processing done in PolarView that makes them much more appealing to view. I find PolarView to be faster in the display of chart data than MacENC and especially GPSNavX. Obviously ActiveCaptain support adds a major feature to PolarView as well. Although some other features might be subjective in nature, either you've got ActiveCaptain data or you don't. MacENC doesn't. I'm a pretty good authority about that.

So while I'm sorry that my 6 times increase was a little too much, you've got to question what you're getting for almost quadruple the price when there are fewer capabilities. There's nothing fabricated in wondering about that.
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Old 24-05-2011, 21:11   #19
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

You could buy two PC laptops for the price of a Mac and then you would have a spare.
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Old 24-05-2011, 21:44   #20
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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You could buy two PC laptops for the price of a Mac and then you would have a spare.

Probably could buy three PC laptops actually for one Mac. But a valid point none the less.

If one is already a Mac user/owner it could make sense to backup with a cheap PC. That would be a backup that has the advantage of price, and any PC specific functions that would be available as well. Like using my extra gps puck that is PC only, for one example in my case.

Dedicated PC users would obviously choose two PCs. The OP is not a PC only user, I think, because is referencing both platforms.

If one has no computer at all, then I would choose a $550 color chartplotter like the Garmin 461s (?model number), with US G2 charts included, and a netbook backup. Because that sailor is not focused on computers anyway. No extra expense for charts for US users again with this option. Ideally I think a computer of some type should backup a dedicated chartplotter, but that doesn't address the OP question.

If one is like me and believes the Mac interface is intuitive and user friendly, and the reliability and resistance to external tampering good, then the Mac is appealing if funds are available for the higher price. I got good use of my last $700 PC laptop, but I splurged on a $1200 MacBook Pro when the PCs mainboard bit the dust after six years. I didn't want to go another five or six years without a Mac, having used them in years past when other people bought them for me.

PolarView w/Active Captain input and NOAA charts are a great compliment to the Mac for little added funds. And work on the PC too for zero increased cost. That's good stuff there. Again for US sailors.
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Old 24-05-2011, 22:29   #21
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

For those who travel beyond US waters, the cost of charts becomes an important factor when comparing prices. MacENC supports the charts from X-Traverse including Navionics which are far more affordable and display faster then the charts from ChartWorld.
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Old 24-05-2011, 23:22   #22
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
I just don't understand this idea of using "cheap" computers to run your navigation software. Isn't your ability to navigate safely dependent on your equipment, and isn't all equipment subject to failure and at the most inopportune time? The marine environment is harsh, especially on electronics, so why get something cheap and more likely to fail when you need it most? It's not like these things cost thousands of dollars.
Cheaper means better redundancy since you can buy 2. I would think those Dell mini's are fanstastic for boat use. They are tiny, so they are easy to pop into your chart table or any little hole, fairly rugged and they are so cheap ($250) they are almost disposable.
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Old 24-05-2011, 23:46   #23
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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So while I'm sorry that my 6 times increase was a little too much, you've got to question what you're getting for almost quadruple the price when there are fewer capabilities. There's nothing fabricated in wondering about that.
Of course you could also question the veracity of the opinion of someone who makes money off the advertising of PolarView and doesn't check his facts before posting claims about another product.
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Old 25-05-2011, 00:04   #24
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I have an Asus EEE PC and love it. Bought a 12v adapter via Hong Kong (Ebay). It doesn't use much power nor much space. I find the screen good so long as I wear my glasses. I don't run any marine mapping software but do have Garmin Mapsource and Garmin nRoute. I had it more for land-based tripping around but have used it to work out sea distances. Haven't had the money to get the C-map software to run the C-maps which came with my plotter but I had been thinking about it. Compared to the plotter, the Asus screen is so much bigger (but still smaller than a normal laptop).
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Old 25-05-2011, 00:19   #25
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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Of course you could also question the veracity of the opinion of someone who makes money off the advertising of PolarView and doesn't check his facts before posting claims about another product.
That's ridiculous. I make nothing from the sale of PolarView. I receive no license fees of any type. In fact, every sale of PolarView probably eliminates the purchaser from buying the other higher-end products that we do sell.

I make comments about PolarView and other products from my real use of them while cruising. I think PolarView is the best low-end navigation product that exists. I have it and I use it on multiple platforms. The reasons have been well discussed by a variety of people in this thread.
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Old 25-05-2011, 01:10   #26
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

In case anyone is interested, a refurbished MacBook from Apple (like new, same warranty as new) is now $849.

Refurbished MacBook 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - Apple Store (U.S.)
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Old 25-05-2011, 02:07   #27
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I use a cheap toughbook CF18 for all my onboard navigation and emails. I bought it off eBay for £125 5 yrs ago and it hasn't missed a beat since. Despite plenty of dunkings in the briny. Can't recommend them enough. They have to be the ultimate in onboard computing in my experience. Ok they can be slow but who needs masses of computing power when you are only running nav and email software. I bought 2gig of ram and it's now fast enough for most programmes except gaming.

Cheers

Russ
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Old 25-05-2011, 03:17   #28
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

Does VMWare eat RAM like Parallels does? I would imagine chart and navigational software would take up a fair bit of RAM as well... is there anything left to run your Mac on??

Also no comment about the iPad... just curious as there are less places moisture and salt could penetrate into the case... solid state memory and no moving parts whatsoever... dunno about nav apps though.
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Old 25-05-2011, 06:16   #29
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

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Does VMWare eat RAM like Parallels does? I would imagine chart and navigational software would take up a fair bit of RAM as well... is there anything left to run your Mac on??

I haven't used the VMWare product mentioned but I have found that VMWare, puts out rock solid virtualization products.
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Old 25-05-2011, 07:31   #30
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Re: Macbook or Cheap Laptop Onboard ...

I leave VMware fusion open on my MacBook 24x7, and typically have several windows applications open but idle. There is no noticeable impact on my native Mac apps. IO on fusion is slow, so if you have a bunch of nab data flooding your nav app, you might see an impact. Actually, now that I think of it I has rose point coastal explorer running for 3 weeks with an attached GPS while cruising the Falklands, south Georgia, and antarctica and there was no noticable impact on the Mac apps.

It's easy enough to try, and you can even import your entire windows environment from a PC.

For me, it was the best $80 I've spent in a long time, and allowed me to once and for all cut the cord on my PCs since legacy apps is no longer an issue. Every time I mow need to use a PC for whatever I'm reminded of the horror that it inflicts on us and that I put up with for so long.
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