Junes Birthday Pics

Sunday saw June’s 60th birthday arrive, here’s some pics of what she received

Balloons and a lovely mirror compact from Maureen

Flowers from me 🙂

Flowers from all the family

A little special present from me 🙂 it’s a new white gold wedding ring

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Bought a new Laptop Computer :)

After nine years of using a laptop for navigation on my boat I thought I should upgrade from using Windows 98 to vista, some might see vista as a down step but my old Compaq computer was stretched to run windows 98 🙂 So what have I upgraded too? Another Compaq or to be precise a Compaq Presario CQ60-214EM 🙂

With 3gig of memory it’s a tad larger than the old machine which has 128MB of ram and the new machine has slightly more storage space up from 11 GB to 250GB 🙂 So what about the price, well back in 2000 the Compaq Presario 1800 cost over £2000 this slightly better machine cost £350 🙂

But the cost of the new machine is a little more because I’ve had to upgrade my Euronav SeaPro software from SeaPro 2000 which run on Windows 98 to SeaPro 3000 which runs on Vista. I’ve also had to change the dongle that Euronav use for security to their software from a printer port dongle to a USB dongle plus I’ve had to buy a serial port to USB converter to plug the GPS navigation data from the boats navigation into the computer. So that little upgrade has cost another £250 😦 Oh! I forgot to mention all my world charts are updated too to 2009 so that’s a little bonus 🙂

You may not understand what the SeaPro 3000 is or does, well to simplify, your present position using GPS is shown overlaid on the charts, you click on the chart where you want to go, it then takes you there offsetting any tidal currents or wind, or in other words it drives the boat using the auto pilot steering, when it gets to the point on the chart it beeps and waits for new instructions. So in the meantime you can act as lookout or even sunbathe or even make up cup of tea 🙂

Another useful tool is AIS which overlays ships positions on the chart, it shows the ships name, it’s heading and it’s speed, useful to know as to avoid any bumping into each other. If you would like to see AIS in action you can get a live view here http://www.shipais.com/index.php just click on any area and you will see what ships are on the move at this very minute in time. 🙂