Thursday, November 17, 2016

Evanston: alternatives; alerts; bookends

        Twice in the past few months all my charts have disappeared from iNavX.  The first vanishing followed a software update, the second the merging of X-Traverse’s, the chart provider, website with Fugawi.  Emails to support resulted in the charts being restored, but the second time I also paid for annual updates for two regions and was confronted with a warning message that they couldn’t be uploaded.  This, too, was resolved.  But all the hassle caused me to give thought to iSailor, an alternative to iNavX first brought to my notice by Nico in Durban.
        My needs for a chartplotting app are relatively modest.  With the addition of AyeTides, which I think costs $8, iNavX does everything I want it to, and a great deal more.  However, the only way to get charts, other than free NOAA charts of the U.S., into iNavX is through X-Traverse.  So X-Traverse/Fugawi's problems are very much iNavX’s problems, too. 
        It is difficult to compare the full costs of iNavX and iSailor.
        The iNavX app costs $50.  The iSailor app is free. iSailor make its money on in app purchases of charts.
        iSailor chart regions are smaller than the Navionics regions I use in iNavX.  If you sail in just one region, as most sailors do, iSailor will be less expensive, particularly since thus far updates are issued free and the charts are available on all devices.  If you sail the world, your charts will cost you less on iNavX, though you will have to pay for annual updates, which I don’t always do; and you will have to buy separate charts for iPhone and iPad.  Also it is X-Traverse’s stated policy that you can only download charts to two devices.  Ever.  Though I have been told they make exceptions.
        I’ve downloaded iSailor, but I haven’t bought any charts and may not.  I already have world coverage charts in iNavX on two iPhones, an iPad and an iPad mini, as well as C-Map 93 world coverage in my laptop.  That ought to be enough.
        However, if I were starting out again now, I’d definitely give iSailor careful consideration.

        Although I’ve already done my Christmas shopping, browsing through one of the countless catalogs we receive, I came across Glencairn crystal whiskey glasses.  I have been known to drink whiskey. Generally I do from Dartington crystal double old-fashioned glasses, two of which are carefully stowed on GANNET, as well as several here in Evanston.  In the catalog the Glencairn were $40 for two.  Before buying I checked Amazon and found them for $13.57.  Quite a catalog markup.
        I ordered a pair and have been using them.
        They are lighter and smaller than the Dartington and do seem to concentrate what Amazon calls “that all important bouquet”, which is, indeed to me, one of the pleasures of Laphroaig.  They fit easily in the hand, but I do enjoy the smooth weight of the Dartington.  
        Do they enhance my enjoyment of 10 year Laphroaig?  Well, that would be hard to do.  I guess I’ll have to drink enough to use both. 


        Google sends me alerts when something I’ve written appears suspiciously online.  I don’t know why and I don’t recall asking them to do so.  However, I find the alerts interesting.
        In the past week I have been told that a Russian site is offering the free PDF download of A SINGLE WAVE, which has been downloaded 2048 times in a month.  I didn’t know I had that many readers.  But then the price is right.
        And I am advised that the above painting appeared on something called Scoopnest with the caption, a sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.
        I’m losing track.  That makes a greeting card, boat shoes, a sweatshirt, a painting, and I can’t remember what else.
        It’s great to have a literary legacy.


        A reader, who shall remain anonymous less he receive hate email, observed that posts in this journal bookending the recent election are ‘a city turned upside down’  and ‘you want it darker’.