Originally Posted by s/v Jedi
y'all just buy MaxSea
(TimeZero) and enjoy up to date, legal software
:-) I do the XP thing too but have finally been convinced to go for TimeZero...
You know, I'm a former software
developer and I do really like to PAY for the software I really use, because I know how much work goes into making good software.
So when I kept seeing people on these forums
talk about Time Zero, I was interested. I was hoping for maybe a scaled down version of Maxsea (with a new better user interface).. However, after playing with TimeZero, I'm no longer interested (and not just because of the horrific price).
We started buddy boating
with a relatively new cruiser who invested a LOT of boat bucks in TimeZero--to go with his new radar
and chart plotter. He wanted an integrated system.
So I said "Great, you're using Maxsea... let me give you the Layer files I have made that have waypoints for Tonga
, and some other cruiser's tracks I have accumulated."
I also had a KAP (raster) chart made from Google Earth
(using GE2KAP) for a particularly tricky harbor in Tonga
for which the CM93 charts
(and his new TZ charts
too) were inaccurate.
I gave him the files on a thumb drive (Maxsea *.ptf files) and *.KAP files. A day or so later, he told me he couldn't figure out what to do with them.
So I went over to his boat to show him how to do it, poor fellow. I expected to see Maxsea with a better user internface. But lo and behold, I am shocked and amazed to report the following HUGE HUGE missing features in TimeZero:
1. No layer file support. There is no way to take a layer file (with tracks and waypoints from others) and put them into Time Zero. You can import
a GPX file, but even with that capability, there doesn't seem to be any way to 'manage' waypoints as you can with layer files. And no support in TZ for importing your old layer files. (however, a 3rd party shareware program is available will convert ptf to gpx, however).
2. No KAP file support. You CANNOT use this semi-standard raster format, even on the computer side in TimeZero--only their proprietary chart packs ($$$$..$$$$).
I couldn't believe that these two features were not supported at all. I am sure it is partly because it would be hard to integrate these two features with the chart plotter/radar integration that Time Zero has. And the layer file capability was so poorly explained and a little buggy, that probably few people use it. But still...the Layer files, once you figure out how to use them, are very VERY powerful.
The FAQ file on the Maxsea Time Zero site says 'If you want to use your older charts, keep your old version of Maxsea installed on your computer too'.
Direct link: http://www.furunousa.com/ProductDocu...Zero%20FAQ.pdf
If you're in the U.S. and/or staying in one region, TimeZero might work ok for you. But if you're headed to other places, think about at least loading up OpenCPN
(and/or keeping your original Maxsea).
For example, NZ has just released free updates to their charts that cover Tonga accurately. Yep... they are KAP files... supported in Maxsea 10, OpenCPN
, and a number of other charting programs... but NOT TimeZero.
New Zealand Charts
Disclaimer: I am not a TimeZero expert. If you are, and dispute what I found, I'd sure like to know how to use ptf files and Kap files in TimeZero, so I can show my buddy.