Monday, March 3, 2014

Dive Computer Buddy Kickstarter Project To Enable Direct Dive Computer Download On IOS

An innovative new wireless device being developed by DiveNav, Inc. called the Dive Computer Buddy (aka DCbuddy) will finally make it possible to support direct dive computer download into Dive Log on iOS. More Mobile Software is excited about the possibility that this device and our recent agreement to license the API offers our users. Using DCbuddy and a dive computer specific cable or Inferred (IR) interface, it will be possible to import your dive data into Bluetooth 4.0 low energy capable smart phones, tablets and computers. We are working with DiveNav to bring this support directly to Dive Log on iOS. We will also have the option to integrate support for the DC Buddy directly into Dive Log Manager/Dive Log DT for Mac OS.

Dive Computer Buddy is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign that ends on March 19, 2014. You can pledge to the Kickstarter campaign (use this link) to help ensure that Dive Computer Buddy comes to market in a timely fashion. Don’t forget to spread the word by telling your diving buddies and your dive club how much you like Dive Computer Buddy and ask them to become backers too. The success of the Kickstarter campaign is key to our ability to start integrating support for this device.

We have fielded requests since we first launched Dive Log to be able to directly import dive computer data while traveling without having to bring along a laptop. The ability to do this has been limited by the inability of iPhones and iPads to talk directly to the USB interface cables supplied by the dive computer manufactures. DCbuddy solves this problem by providing an interface to the dive computer and the ability for a Bluetooth 4.0 low energy equipped iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac to receive the dive data from the DCbuddy. You should visit the Kickstarter page for details on the DCbuddy and DiveNav’s plans to bring it to market

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tips N Tricks : displaying your SAC Rate

SAC stands for Surface Air Consumption. So the simple definition of your SAC Rate is the rate at which you consume air when scuba diving. It is measured as some quantity over time, usually 1 minute and refers to how much you would consume on the *surface*, or at 1 atmosphere, over 1 minutes time.

Knowing your SAC rate gives you, the scuba diver, another piece of data about a particular dive and gives you an indication of how hard you worked, or how relaxed you were while diving. If you review your SAC rate over various dives and conditions, you'll get to know how long a particular tank will last you and this can assist in your future dive planning.

So what pieces of information are needed for Dive Log/Dive Log Manager/Dive Log DT to figure this out for you:
1. Average Depth over the length of the dive
- if you have a dive profile from a dive computer, your average depth will be calculated from the profile itself (this is the green horizontal line on the dive profile display). If there is no profile, you should enter your best guess at your average depth in the place provided.

2. Length of Dive
- again, this is obtained from the dive profile if there is one, but otherwise a time must be entered. Note that some dive computer manufacturers include the amount of time that you spent on the surface at the end of the dive in the total length of the dive, and some explicitly end your total dive time as soon as you reach a shallow depth. This extra time, or lack thereof, will effect the calculated SAC Rate.

3. How much air/gas you used, which needs:
a. Starting Tank Pressure and Ending Tank Pressure
- the difference gives the amount used in pressure units, like 2000 psi or 150 bar
b. The size of your tank
- if you're using metric units, the size of the tank is given in liters which makes calculations easier
- if you're using imperial units, the size of the tank is given in cu ft which doesn't tell you enough information. So you must also enter the working pressure of that tank. So if you have a high pressure 80 cu ft tank that is normally filled to 3500 psi, it will hold more gas than a low pressure 2200 psi 80 cu ft tank, even though they are both the "same size".
- and of course, if this "tank" is really a double, then there is twice as much available

So that's it. You'll see you're SAC rate listed next to the tank information on the Environment Tab in Dive Log Manager/Dive Log DT. Dive Log shows it as part of the Tank Details information.

And what about you techies who use more than one tank on a dive? Dive Log Manager/Dive Log DT will also give you a "per tank" SAC rate for the amount of time you used that tank, and then also give you the over all *dive* SAC rate for all tanks combined. Information for the calculation is taken from the dive profile information, and the tank switches, to determine the average depth for the time on a particular tank and then the SAC rate is calculated accordingly.

So, be sure to fill in all that information for each dive so you can also view your scuba dive SAC rate!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tips N Tricks : Keyboard Shortcuts

You know when you're typing on the keyboard and you have to stop and take your hand off so you can move the mouse and click somewhere - it takes some time. This is true if you're lucky enough to be a touch typist, but it's also true for the "hunt and peck"crowd too - you need to takes your *eyes* off the keyboard! :-) Dive Log Manager/Dive Log DT has lots of keyboard shortcuts for you so that you don't need to use the menu items to do things, as well as conforms to many of the Mac-isms in this area.

First, when you're in Edit mode on any screen, tab will take you from field to field. And did you know there was a "reverse tab" - just keep the Shift key held down and hit tab and you'll go in the reverse direction.

One of the most used keyboard shortcuts is to get in and out of "Edit Mode" in the first place. Just use "Command-E" (⌘E) to toggle in and out of Edit mode instead of clicking on the Edit button. Way faster.

When you're working on any of the "Items" found in the Logbook list on the left side of the applications, these keyboard short cuts work to manipulate an "Item", such as a Dive, a Buddy, a Dive Site, a City, a Country etc.

Down Arrow - Next item
Up Arrow - Previous item
Command-M (⌘M) : New
Command-D (⌘D) : Duplicate or Copy
Command-delete (⌘delete) : Delete
Command-P (⌘P) : Print

(Note: Delete actually takes two key presses because you need to confirm that you meant to do it. You can click "OK" or hit return on the keyboard)

When you're working on "Logbooks" or essentially files, you can use keyboard short cuts to manipulate them as well.

Command-N (⌘N) : New
Command-O (⌘O) : Open
Command-W (⌘W) : Close
Command-Shift-S (⌘⇧S) : Backup

You've got those memorized right? They do conform to the very loose Apple guidelines, but no, you don't have to memorize them. If you look at the characters next to the menu item, it will show you what the keyboard shortcut is. You just need to memorize what symbol means what key for the meta-keys, and you just need to get used to using them. Then it becomes "muscle memory" and you'll wonder how you got by without them!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Gift Ideas for Scuba Divers!

Did you know you can give app's as a gift? Tis True!

Why not give a give of Dive Log or Dive Log DT to your favorite scuba diver friend? Get them started on the road to logging their dives.

In the iOS app store, just search for "Dive Log" in the search bar. There is a triangle icon right next to the Buy button, underneath the Dive Log icon. If you click this, you can select "Gift This App" from the menu. You'll get a popup asking you to enter the email address of the person you want to gift it to. But you don't have to send it right away, you can arrange to send it later - like maybe have it arrive on December 25th! You can gift an app up to 90 days in advance.

Unfortunately, Apple does not yet support "gifting" an app in the Mac App Store. But you can find the price of the app and then purchase an iTunes gift card for that amount and send it to the email address of your choice. If you also start up the Mac App Store app, search for Dive Log DT, and then find the same triangle icon next to the Buy button, you can "Tell a Friend" about the app. This is combination with the iTunes gift hard is *a* solution to gifting a MacOS app, although clearly not as nice. Someday, Apple will get around to it and figure out that MacOS gifting is important too!

To purchase Dive Log Manager as a gift from our website, and not through the Apple Mac App Store, you can use this link here. You won't have the option of having the gift delivered on a particular day, but you will be able to send the license for the application to another email address after paying for it yourself.

Happy Gifting!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tips N Tricks : Easy Logging with Template Dives

We sometimes get asked if we support "Equipment Groups" or a way to mark a bunch of "things" at once for a particular dive. We do!

What we suggest is this. When you go on a trip and start to log your first dive, you will mark all the things that are specific to that particular trip. So not only the set of equipment you are using for likely the majority of dives on the trip, but also the amount of weight you use, all the Environmental conditions like salt/fresh water or shore/boat, any tags you're using (aka Dive Types), set the City/Boat and Country, set the Buddys you're diving with, etc etc …. so set everything you can think of.

Then, just copy this dive for all the subsequent dives! All that information will be copied so you don't have to set it again. Woo Hoo! You can always copy that dive and then change whatever is particular to the next dive. And, if you keep refining it and adding more information, you can just copy the latest version.

If you're doing this on the Desktop, just select a dive and under the "Action Menu" (the little gear wheel next to the Edit button), just select "Duplicate Dive".

If you're doing this on your iOS device, just navigate to the main dive list and touch the "+" button in the top right. You'll be prompted to add the new dive from either an empty dive, the last dive, or you can choose any particular dive as a template.

One variation of this is to log a dive as your "base" dive. Say you regularly dive at home and use a bunch of, let's say cold water gear and shore dive. If you go on a warm water trip, you can do the above and create a new template dive for that trip. But at home you want a different template and just have it always available. You can just select an older dive to use, or, what some users have suggested is to create a dive #0 (zero), and then just always use that to copy from.

Hope that helps you to be more efficient!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tips N Tricks : Smart Text Fields

So, we're starting a new series of Tips N Tricks to help you in your dive logging workflow. We'll post some ideas for how you can use our applications to help you be more efficient with things that you may not know about Dive Log, Dive Log Manager, and Dive Log DT. (aka DL, DLM)

So, let's say you're using Dive Log Manager (or Dive Log DT) to log some information about your dive on your Mac. You're in Edit Mode on the Environment panel and you've got your cursor in the "Dive Suit" field. Now, what did you put there last time? Did you put "5mm" or did you put "5 mm" or did you put "5mm Acme 1 Piece" or was it "5mm Acme One Piece", or do you think about it for a half sec and go "whatever"?

There are several Smart Text Fields - just hit the "Escape" key on the keyboard, and DLM will give you a list of strings that you've used in your logbook previously.

So if you're on "Dive Suit", you'll get something like:
1-Piece Wetsuit
2-Piece Wetsuit
5mm Acme
No Suit

Just click on the one in the list that you want and you'll get the right text.

Also, if you know you want to put "5mm somethingoranother" in there but can't remember how to spell it, just first enter the number 5 in the field and then hit the escape key. You'll then only get the list of text entries that start with the number 5 to choose from.

Smart Text Fields are a great time saver and allow you to use the same information for each dive without a lot of work. Later, you may be able to look at all the dives that you used that particular suit on.

So what fields are "Smart Text Fields"?
--> Details Panel:
  • Computer
  • Altitude
  • DiveMaster
  • Boat
--> Environment Panel:
  • Weather
  • Horizontal Visibility
  • Vertical Visibility
  • Dive Suit
  • Current
  • Surface
  • Gas
Dive Log for iOS also does this for you by just touching those fields while Editing too. Once you select one of the Smart Text Fields under the Dive, you'll get the list to choose from. If you type some characters into the field, the list will reduce to only those text fields that starts with that text.

Stay tuned for more!

As always, just ask us if you have any questions - Cheers!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

iOS 6 and Contacts Privacy Settings

The latest version of iOS released on September 19th, iOS 6, adds additional privacy settings beyond what was available in earlier releases. In particular, you now have the ability to turn off access to Contacts on a per application basis. The first time you run Dive Log under iOS 6 you will (or should) be asked to grant Dive Log access to your Contacts. We'd recommend that you choose to grant access to Contacts for Dive Log to continue to enjoy the full integration of your Dive Buddies with Contacts on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can change your election for Dive Log's access to Contacts at a later date if you like.

To change your privacy selection for Dive Log's access to Contacts you'll want to start the Settings app on your device and select the "Privacy" settings and then select "Contacts" and then change the switch next to Dive Log to the reflect your choice.

You are always in control of what Dive Log does with your Contacts. Dive Log does not transmit any information off your device without your explicit control. Dive Log uses access to your contacts to allow you to add Buddies to your logbook from your existing Contacts on your device (you can also create a new Contact directly from within Dive Log). When you create a "linked" Buddy in this way, Dive Log will store some information about the contact in your logbook database. This information is used to re-establish the link to your Contact when Dive Log starts up or when your Contacts changes (through another app, the Contacts application itself or via syncing with iTunes or iCloud) and to display that Buddy's related information within Dive Log. If you choose to sync your Dive Log logbook with one of the compatible desktop applications (see Dive Log Sync for more information about compatible desktop applications), any Contact data that was stored in your logbook when you added the Buddy is available in the desktop application. This allows the desktop to display your Buddy's information even if your full Contacts database is not available on the desktop computer. It is important to note that you are in full control of syncing your logbook to any compatible desktop application and the logbook is sent directly to the computer over the WiFi connection so your Contact information is never exposed on the Internet (of course what you do with the data after that is out of our control). Finally if you'd prefer to not link Buddies to Contacts within Dive Log, you can always choose to use the "Buddy without Contact" option when adding new Buddies to Dive Log. This option will populate the Buddy's information in the Dive Log logbook with the information you enter at the time and will not import any data from Contacts. You may still see this Buddy as "linked" in the future if the information in Dive Log matches a Contact in your contacts so that you can still view the full Contact information with Dive Log but the Dive Log logbook will still only contain the information that you entered directly.