I used Nobeltec Visual beginning in 2007 and liked it. I had problems when changing computers
and handshaking with my equipment
and the com ports
. A lot of things have changed since 1998 and to my understanding, it is no longer supported by the company. They merged with Jeppesen and things really changed. I kept up with the upgrades, with the exception of Vista and was glad I did. Then I moved to Nobeltec Admiral and it worked quite well. Now I am using Nobeltec Timezero Trident and it is fantastic although it doesn't incorporate XM Weather
like the previous versions, and it doesn't accept the old charts. I use a Dell Precision laptop
I found the older versions required a lot of memory and did not perform well unless you started it up from a cold boot and opened the program first, before any other programs. That said, Windows 7 in XP mode may be causing a conflict with the software finding the files necessary to operate on the first pass of starting up the program.
I don't navigate my boat on the free download programs. The Nobeltec web page has a good demonstration on Timezero and I expect they will quit supporting Admiral soon. Having been a customer for 5 years, they offered the Timezero program at a price
of $250. I would expect they would work with the OP in a similar fashion. There are numerous features that I like:
1. It can update the charts with reports from Active Captain
that people have sent in; like shoaling locations, marina ratings, anchorages
2. You don't need a dongle and can uninstall it and put it on another computer when you upgrade your hardware
3. You can use raster, Jeppesen, and or Navionic charts which are furnished in the install.
4. The graphics are awesome, you can click on photos and comments, see currents and tide levels, among other things.
5. They give you free weather
downloads showing wind
velocity arrows, current
speed and isobars.
The downside is that it is not free.