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Wow - My dive log is now on my Mac!


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#1 peterbkk

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 06:30 PM

I've finally done it! I now have a full log of my entire 30 year diving history on my Mac.

After patiently and impatiently waiting for many years for Uwatec to get their act together, I've taken 3 major steps to move my dive log firmly and permanently to the Mac:
1. Bought Mac-Dive (http://www.mac-dive.com/)
2. Bought a Suunto D9 (thank you, Santa)
3. Exported and migrated my entire SmartTrak database into Mac-Dive (thank you, Nick)

The 3rd step was quite a challenge. Uwatec have made it very difficult to migrate off their platform. But, in a convoluted journey via Access, Excel and SQL, we finally got it done and tested. All the relevant data is now in Mac-Dive, including the dive profile for all the dives since I have been uploading them from a Uwatec dive computer.

One astounding outcome: In my paper dive-log books, I have been continuously adding up a running total of bottom time for 30 years. When we loaded the dives into Mac-Dive and looked at the summary page, the total bottom time came to exactly the same number as my manual calculation. Wow!

Nick, the developer of Mac-Dive, worked hard on this exercise. I did some of the work (database unlock, initial extract, some data format changes, moved some data from one column to another, tested the finished solution) but it wouldn't have happened if Nick had not given up many hours of his vacation time to do this.

I can't speak on his behalf, but I hope that, for the sake of many other people in a similar situation, Nick plans to industrialise the process so he can help many others make the same migration.

What are the benefits:
- I can delete Windoze from my Mac, freeing up 10 Gb of disk
- I no longer have to struggle with that awful SmartTrak application to update dive data
- Mac-Dive is a great app, with a really intuitive Mac interface - very easy to update and maintain dive data. (check out the "map" feature - its awesome)
- I can go back through my paper dive log and add some extra data (e.g. dive notes) to round out the database (fiddly to do in SmartTrak, easy in MacDive)
- Link some of my underwater photos to the dive log.
- Stop hand-writing a dive log book and just keep it all on my computer.

I am going to miss the Uwatec dive computer underwater because I did like it's easy to read style. But, Uwatec, despite many promises, never got their act together on the whole dive-log issue. SmartTrak is not a great app, JTrak is a joke, the proprietary locked database is unfriendly and the lack of decent export tools is bordering on anti-competitive. I look back through my emails over the last 4 years and I have several from senior Uwatec management, including the previous CEO, promising to rectify all these issues, but nothing happened. It is a sense of relief that all that is behind me now.

So, a big thanks to Nick, and a wish that many others will follow this trail that we've blazed.

Regards
Peter

#2 tobyanscombe

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 10:35 PM

Let me add another endorsement for MacDive - its a great bit of software which makes it easy to look back at dives, add photos and notes. I've 'only' got the D6 but love the combination!

#3 cor

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 02:48 AM

Seems to be working great with my D4 and my D9. Havent tried my Cobra or Mosquito. Now to try it with my Sensus Ultra. Didnt even know this existed, thanks for posting :)
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#4 focker

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Posted 25 December 2010 - 09:08 AM

I am glad you mentioned this because I have a D9 and have been pondering software for my Mac. I looked at both MacDive and DiveLog but just couldn't decide which one so I just didn't make a choice :)
I will download MacDive and give it a shot.
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