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TOPIC: PC Navigo 2019

PC Navigo 2019 12 Jan 2019 08:17 #103224

  • Pete_Milne
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Tim Hackett wrote: Not wishing to look like a dumbo but does that make much difference Pete?

Yes, a huge difference. Bob has already quoted the statd system requirements including "A separate processor for the graphics is a must (computers on which all the graphic information has to pass through the main processor will almost always be too slow);"
You can get by without, as Bob and otheers d0 (e.g. me, with a very similar spec laptop to Bob's) provided you don't zoom in/out too much or change the area, when the map can take some seconds to r-display. It can certainly be frustrating and annoying, e.g. to zoom in on an approaching lock to look at the queue. Sinc the cost of a PC with graphics card can easily be double the price, many (me!) are prepared to put up with it.

Pete
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PC Navigo 2019 12 Jan 2019 04:51 #103223

  • Bob Marsland
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I am sure you will all have looked at the PC-NaviGo site to find the system requirements for running PCN which are more onerous if wishing to use the system with an AIS. I copy them here, below.

Ever since I introduced PC-NaviGo to DBA a zillion years ago I have used the software on computers of very modest innards, even running it on a now 11 year old MacBook (my old one) under Parallels but:-

When AIS became a necessity for ships of our size I looked into buying a Windows computer to use *just* for navigating and found a Toshiba Portege R930 i7-3520M 2.9GHz 13.3” 8GB RAM 128GB SSD Windows 7 Pro (Refurbished/Grade A1) for the princely sum of £350. It stays on board all the time and sits on the wheelhouse dashboard whenever we move…and when we are on board and stationery! Before buying this system I emailed Noordersoft (PC NaviGo) help desk to check it would be OK and fairly future proof. With their assurance it would last a number of years I proceeded with the purchase and haven’t regretted it. The system works a treat.

I haven’t updated my 2018 version to 2019 yet as, before the start of this thread, I didn’t know it had been released. It is usually later in the year and has previously followed an email notification. I’ll do my update now as we are planning to return to La Chouette later this month… not that we’ll be going anywhere!

I don’t subscribe to the view that the small screen of an AIS is adequate for navigating. It would have been absolutely no use to me when navigating the IJmere between Amstedam’s OranjeSluis and Naarden largely in the dark. Yes, you might ask why I didn’t plan my journey better. Good point. But leaving the lock in the afternoon in winter meant we only got half way before we lost light. The track we were making and all the buoys came up before me on the screen and Bobbie and I could tick them off with the binoculars and were led into the tight entrance to the marina at Naarden.

I suggest any member who has a problem with the latest update to get in touch with the Helpdesk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. From their website:
The helpdesk in Belgium is multilingual; it is available by e-mail (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or – if an mail message is not possible – by phone 00-32-3.670.19.85 (on week days from 09:15 a.m. till noon).

If there seems to be a problem with your set-up they have the ability to access your computer remotely and look into the problem, assuming you have an internet connection. I have used this a couple of times over the years. As Peter C said, they are very helpful.

Best wishes,

Bob

System Requirements
PC-Navigo requires a number of minimal performances of the system on which the software is used:

As its operating system the computer must be equipped with Windows-7, Windows-8 or Windows 10 (please verify that drivers for GPS and AIS are Windows 10 compatible before upgrading your PC); PC-Navigo will sometimes not work on older Windows systems like Windows-XPor Windows-Vista and not on the mobile versons of Windows (RT or Phone-7/8 for example);

You can run PC-Navigo also on a MAC under Windows. For this we recommend a minimum memory 4Gbyte or beter 8 Gbyte. As processor best a Quad (4) Core type. As virtual emulation of Windows you can use a virtual machine (VMWare Fusion, Virtualbox or Parallels Desktop).

The processor frequency of the computer must be at least 2 GHz; for the use of PC-Navigo in combination with an AIS-transponder a frquency of at least 2,6 GHz is recommended. As processor we recommend Intel i5 or Intel i7. (or similar)

The available RAM memory must be at least 4 Gb, and every extra byte helps to improve the performance of the software. Here, too, the use in combination with an AIS transponder is reason to double this value to at least 8 Gb;

A separate processor for the graphics is a must (computers on which all the graphic information has to pass through the main processor will almost always be too slow);

At least one USB connector must be available;

To load the installation files, the computer must either have a DVD station or an Internet connection with sufficient band width (the files can be loaded either from the DVD or from our web site, but their size is considerable so more than 2Mb/sec is recommended to succesfully download the files);

Some functions (like downloading stoppages and on line help desk support) require Internet access; the use of the program itself does not require access.

Dedicated computer

Professional use of PC-Navigo (in particular the ENC charts and AIS data) causes a considerable work load for the computer. We recommend the use of a “dedicated computer” for PC-Navigo, on which no or few other programs are run. In situations in which the information generated by PC-Navigo is vital for a safe navigation, such a dedicated computer is the best guarantee for a performance without interruptions or surprises. Often the conflicts with other software, or with other com port users, are the cause of malfunctions of PC-Navigo.

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Bob & Bobbie Marsland
MS La Chouette

PC Navigo 2019 11 Jan 2019 21:54 #103222

Absolutely Martyn,
I just wanted to make clear that there was a choice.
Enjoy PCN - there's lots I grizzle about and as others have said, lots of non-intuitive gymnastics, but there really doesn't seem to be anything of remotely comparable capability out there available to use ordinary folks.
Cheers,
Ian

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Ian & Lisette McCauley
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

PC Navigo 2019 11 Jan 2019 21:41 #103221

  • Martyn Fryer
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Ian

You pay your money and take your choice

Happy days

:)

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PC Navigo 2019 11 Jan 2019 21:34 #103220

Martyn Fryer wrote: A graphics card does make a lot of difference.

It may be worth pointing out that the reason I have a laptop with one installed is so that I can use PC Navigo !


Broadly, I simply don’t agree. Yes, a graphics card presumably makes *some* difference, but not enough to mandate (“so I can use PCNavigo”) buying a PC with such a high spec configuration to run PCN.

I, and certainly one other person I know, have run PCN (including AIS services) at least up to ver 2018 on a low powered laptop and have had a perfectly reasonable experience with planning and navigating. I’m not sure how much Martyn paid for his high spec laptop with advanced graphics, but the HP Eitebook 8440p (2010; 2.93 Mhz i5; 4GB memory; integrated Intel GMA graphics) I purchased second-hand cost about GBP100 several years ago.

While I am sure this is not as snappy and responsive as Maryn’s new laptop, this oldie could still even do a serviceable job planning and navigating in the middle of Paris when system was loaded down with handling the hundreds of AIS signals in that busy region - sure it was slow, but not overly so. Navigation was no problem (Catharina is not a speedboat so updating does not need to be superfast) and the obvious difference was in zooming and panning when planning - it certainly took a little (5-10 sec) to update. In other locales, with less AIS demands, any delays are of the order of a couple of seconds maximum - I can’t see any real need for a high spec machine for normal use of PCN.

Given there are a lot of folks on limited budgets and PCN itself is pretty pricey, having the option to use a standard spec PC shouldn’t be discouraged. As I and then PCN (via Peter) suggested earlier - the most important feature in this use case is to minimise other programs and services running on the machine and, if possible, do some customising.

That said, I haven’t seen how PCN2019 runs on the old machine and this version is a significatint upgrade in the (visual aspects) of the user interface, so I’ll post back (and maybe eat my words) when I’ve tested it.

Ian

Lisette & Ian
Catharina Elisabeth
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Ian & Lisette McCauley
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

PC Navigo 2019 11 Jan 2019 20:10 #103219

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A graphics card does make a lot of difference.

It may be worth pointing out that the reason I have a laptop with one installed is so that I can use PC Navigo ! When I was looking for my 'boat' laptop last year I spec'd it up to the requirements of the software I would be using, eg Navionics and PCNavigo along with my other day-to-day Word, Access etc etc. and then went a bit further on processor, clock speed and graphics capability to give it a bit of redundancy.

In much the same way you wouldn't get a great experience buying a Toyota Prius for track days at Silverstone, I think similar applies to buying a £200 laptop from PCWorld or using a 5 year old laptop to run PCNavigo, (or any other high-end, graphics hungry software).

Martyn

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PC Navigo 2019 11 Jan 2019 19:07 #103216

  • Tim Hackett
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Not wishing to look like a dumbo but does that make much difference Pete?

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Tim & Jo Hackett
Maria of Zaandam

Dutch Barges are only built in the Netherlands. Anywhere else is something else.

Our rivets are real not fake!

PC Navigo 2019 11 Jan 2019 18:47 #103214

  • Pete_Milne
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Martyn Fryer wrote: Just installed 2019 onto my existing laptop which is i7, Radeon graphics card.

Seems to be fine - in fact less clunky when in Google maps overlay

That'll be the graphics card! Unusual for a laptop.

Pete

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Pete Milne, Quo Vadis, Europe

PC Navigo 2019 11 Jan 2019 15:55 #103213

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Just installed 2019 onto my existing laptop which is i7, Radeon graphics card.

Seems to be fine - in fact less clunky when in Google maps overlay

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PC Navigo 2019 09 Jan 2019 12:41 #103202

  • Peter Cawson
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How quick is this? I wrote to Navigo yesterday afternoon and received this reply from Tim this morning. They're happy for this reply to be shared here. The screenshot won't reproduce here. I hope it is helpful to those who've already bought the 2019 update.

QUOTE:

I understand the frustration about the program not running smoothly on older laptop. The thing is, older laptops can mean a good laptop you bought 3 years ago, but it could also mean a laptop with hardware of 5 years ago, which is of course, not sufficient to run high-demanding software.

If you are not familiar with the BIOS, i suggest to not do this, to prevent any harm to the system. Only do this if you are confident in what you're doing I also noticed that PCN is a single thread program, which means it uses only 1 thread of the processor. If the processor has 8 logical cores (you can find this in the systemspecs of your pc), it uses 1/8 of the processors capabilities. In this case, i would recommend to disable hyperthreading (or multithreading) in your BIOS settings. Unfortunately, i can't tell you how, since the BIOS of every PC-brand is different, however, you should find this option (if available) somewhere in the (advanced)settings of your CPU/processor. You'll have to look how to get in your BIOS, this is different for each brand too, some use esc, some use f2, some use f9, some ... so it really is a guess which one to use. At the boot of the pc/laptop, you should see what button to use to get to the BIOS for a second or two, so you have to be quick to see it.

Something else that can be done is disable ALL unneeded programs. In windows 10 (and i assume 8 too), you can do this via taskmanager -> boot/start tab. Disable everything there that you don't recognize or use. In many cases, a lot of background programs run at the startup of Windows without the user knowing it. disabling them can have some impact on the performance. In windows 7, from the Start menu, click All Programs, and then click Startup. Right-click the program you don't want to open at startup and click Delete.

[screenshot shown]

A third thing that can be done is in "energy management". This can be found in the configurationscreen (or via rightclicking the windowsbutton in win10 and choosing energy management). Once there, click on "change scheme-settings" of the scheme currently active (in most cases, this is the Balanced or energy-saving scheme). After that, you go to "advanced energy settings". In this screen, you have to change 3 things:

1. USB-settings, you disable this option to selectively disable usbports (for a laptop, you have to do this twice for powersupply and batterypowered)
2. Energymanagement for processor, you set the minimal status to 100% (this is 5% by default) (for a laptop, you have to do this twice for powersupply and batterypowered))
3. Harddisk, set the option to disable the "harddisk after" to 0 minutes. (for a laptop, you have to do this twice for powersupply and batterypowered)

After this, click on "apply" and "ok" and close every screen that's still opened. When you have done these changed in energy management and startup folder (or via taskmanager), you'll have to reboot the computer. In most cases, this has a huge impact on the performance, so the PC should be (at least a bit) faster.

We will also look to make the program more stable and faster. In the meantime, the above steps can be taken on your part to make it (a bit) faster. Feel free to share this on the forum, in case it might help others too. This is especially helpful on computers with a lot of pre-installed unused programs. I did this on some older and slower systems, and the users noticed a boost in performance, even though it might be minor, it is a bit better than having these options on the default settings.

Another thing to do (for the people using AIS) is set the range in navigo to (maybe) 5km instead of the default 12. This can help to improve performance too, if 12km is too much.

Feel free to let me know the experience of the users after changing these settings.
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PC Navigo 2019 08 Jan 2019 21:09 #103184

Hmm,
My experience is different, although not typical, but as it leads to a suggestion, I’ll post it.

The PC laptop that I use for PCN is in France on Catharina Elisabeth, so while I’m home, I use VMWare Fusion on my Macs to run a virtual instance of Windows 7 to run PCN. I test and run it on my oldish (early 2015) MacBook Pro which has a 2.7 GHz i5 5257U processor - four-year-old processor technology, so way off being a performance system. I run the virtual machine with only 4 GB of memory. Given also that there is a performance hit for running a virtual machine, this is very much not a high powered system.

I’ve been in and out of PCN2019 quite intensively over the last several days, planning, zooming, exploring new areas (I still have no idea what the Google Maps or Blue Water stuff is for despite asking and receiving information from Noodersoft) and in all my planning and playing around have never had any problem.

No crashes, the responsiveness has been perfectly adequate, not lighting fast, but plenty responsive enough for planning use. There are some new features I like, some I don’t, some information lacking, some minor bugs/labelling - all of which I’ve fed back to Noodersoft who have responded promptly.

Putting aside the difference in running a VM on a Mac as a factor (questionable perhaps!) the other main difference is I always run PCN on a stripped down PC. Virtually nothing else than the bare OS and PCN. I don’t even replace Internet Explorer. I do the same with my PC on Catharina, which is an HP Elitebook 8440p (vintage 2010, early generation i5, 8 GB, minimal Windows 10) and this old machine ran PCN2017 perfectly last year including handling AIS while navigating and planning on busy waterways like the Seine through Paris.

My recommendation to anyone I advise about using PCN (and testing PCN2019) is that the computer does not need to be a gaming machine, it just needs to be free of all the crap that accumulates on a Windows ’home PC’ - and instead be dedicated to the task.

I’ll be interested to see (in five months time!) how PCN2019 runs on my venerable old PC - but I will make sure I have my installers for PCN2017 and PCN2018 to hand in case!

Ian
Lisette & Ian
Catharina Elisabeth

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PC Navigo 2019 08 Jan 2019 19:46 #103182

  • Martyn Fryer
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I am awaiting delivery of my new PC Navigo 2019 which will be my first purchase of the programme. I shall be installing on a Intel i7 laptop, so should get an idea of how a 'virgin' installation (ie NOT upgrade) runs on their recommended setup.

I'll report back !

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PC Navigo 2019 08 Jan 2019 19:33 #103181

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> Did anyone of you inform Noordersoft?

I've written to them today drawing their attention to this thread. I've suggested that Navigo users will refrain from upgrading until it is made to run smoothly on older laptops, or that some buyers will even be asking for their money back!

I'll let you know of any considered reply.

Peter

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PC Navigo 2019 08 Jan 2019 18:04 #103180

Michel de Lange wrote: Hi early users,
Did anyone of you inform Noordersoft?


I haven't for this version, but I've pointed out to the developers the shortcomings with this software since 2010. It was much more of a two way street before the original developers sold out. I can't remember now, but I bet one of the plus points of the takeover as sold to customers was that the new owners would be better placed to invest in development. AFAIC it's just a cash-cow for them.

I continue to use the 2017 version, when I have to, but I'll not upgrade till it has an intuitive user interface.

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Cheers 'n' Beers

Nigel Crompton
Meander in Belgium

PC Navigo 2019 08 Jan 2019 15:11 #103177

Hi early users,

Did anyone of you inform Noordersoft?

I'm willing to, if I may refer to your experiences.
I haven't bought the 2919 edition yet but....
I'm not sure how old your system is allowed to be of you use PCN together with an AIS to comply with the rules for the biggies to have an approved ECDIS on board when using the main waterways.

Cheers, Michel

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Rebecca Mater/Michel de Lange
luxemotor 't Majeur

PC Navigo 2019 08 Jan 2019 13:38 #103174

  • Tim Hackett
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I've been having a proper play with this today as well. 2018 was no issue with my SSD and a 2.6gig processor but 2019 seems to be virtually useless. I think I'll have to go back to 2018. The processor on my machine can't be upgraded sadly and with a haulout and Es-TRIN renewal this year a new machine is not a priority.

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Tim & Jo Hackett
Maria of Zaandam

Dutch Barges are only built in the Netherlands. Anywhere else is something else.

Our rivets are real not fake!

PC Navigo 2019 08 Jan 2019 13:33 #103173

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> This program sadly needs a complete re-write to debloat the old code.

Chris - do the guys at PC Navigo know of your experience? I guess they use fast PCs in their offices and perhaps don't do enough Beta testing with users working with older PCs.

Each year for seemingly decades, Navigo adds little extra features to their program and sometimes ones that make matters worse - the "river current" feature for example - and it's always been a bit clunky. From what you say, it looks like 2019 has a major additional feature but there's been no root-and-branch review of how the program should best be changed. I'll hold onto my 2017 version and not update.

Peter

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PC Navigo 2019 08 Jan 2019 12:20 #103168

I've now installed 2019 version on our helm PC and an extreme fast laptop and regret to say that the new design and detailed charts are almost unusable on the older helm PC, the screen freezes for 10 seconds after almost any click.

Even on my Intel core i7 it's not impressive, crashed twice just planning a route and several second delays. This program sadly needs a complete re-write to debloat the old code. The addition of surrounding buildings and roads on the PCNavigo charts doesn't help but slow down everything. Google Map option is not much use either as you can;t search for places around, much quicker to use a phone.

I will probably revert to 2017 version for navigating this year as the only way to avoid spending on a new i7 help machine.

Tim Hackett wrote: Downloaded the 2019 PC Navigo update today and it includes Google mapping overlays as well as its own charts.

Still a bit slow and clunky.

The update code provided does not need the UD1819 prefix to be input.

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PC Navigo 2019 04 Jan 2019 10:58 #103109

  • Tim Hackett
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Without looking..
Open the left of screen functions from the button in the top lh corner and its in there, some way down the screen.
They have changed the "front of house" graphic format so it took a while to find in.
Tim
On train to Antrwerp!
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Tim & Jo Hackett
Maria of Zaandam

Dutch Barges are only built in the Netherlands. Anywhere else is something else.

Our rivets are real not fake!

PC Navigo 2019 04 Jan 2019 10:54 #103108

Hi Tim
After seeing your post I downloaded the 2019 update-took for ever! anyway i have only just had a cursory glance at it, but I could see the Google maps overlay-how do you find that function?

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