New Year Update – 2020-01-15
2021 at last! Happy New Year
Right after Thanksgiving, on Cyber Monday, 11/30/2020 we went live and finally released MacENCx64 v9.0.1!
And then it all went sideways right away. The very next day after we sent out 5,000 emails telling one and all to come and get it. The website went down! Our hosting provider did something wrong and shut us down. 24 hours of troubleshooting later, we got back up. But it took a week to get the egg off of our faces.
By the end of week one things had calmed down to a dull roar. Our debut release had a few bugs in it and thankfully folks were able to use our support desk to open issues. That worked really well!
We released a batch of improvements late December in MacENCx64 v9.1.0. Thanks to all for catching and reporting on the misses. See Release Notes here: https://www.navstation.net/knowledge-base/current-release/
And download latest here: https://www.navstation.net/downloads/
New Knowledge Base
During the holidays we launched our Knowledge Base. It’s still growing but we have a few helpful articles covering frequently asked questions, charts and how-to’s, upgrade considerations, and known issues. Check it out here: https://www.navstation.net/knowledge-base/
We do have two outstanding issues. One is the new Apple Silicon M1 Macs. KB article here: https://www.navstation.net/knowledge-base/new-m1-mac-wont-open-macencx64/
This one is super frustrating. We’ve been plugged in on the early planning for the new M1 Macs. We invested in Apple’s early developer transition kit to obtain a hardware and beta software machine to test ahead of the release. During Beta, our intel compiled code DID work. Only after Big Sur 11.0.1 released did they somehow break us. Apple is not forthcoming on what changed or how we or they can fix Rosetta II so MacENCx64 can run on the new macs.
Sadly, we are sooo close to having a native M1 build. In our new app, we have third party libraries of code to perform some functions. We were able to get all but one of them updated to support the new Apple Universal App build. This is an app that can run on the new Apple M1 Macs AND the Apple Intel Macs.
We are waiting on just one more vendor to fix a really nasty bug in their library and we’ll be ready to go.
We did, briefly, have a version that ran natively before the bug reared it’s ugly head and I must say it was amazing. MacENCx64 ran beautifully. On the native M1 Chip, she is a ROCKET! It is so much faster and more responsive compared to even a top of the line MacBook Pro with Intel’s most capable i9 processor it’s embarrassing.
As soon as our vendor fixes the bug, we will release the next version that will run on all macs.
Actisense Library Issue
We have a second known issue regarding the support of Actisense NGT-1 gateway device connection to boat systems. Right now the 64bit recompiled library from Actisense doesn’t translate GPS data properly causing an error in location. The Actisense library and device was the one way we could support native NMEA2000 messages.
We are still troubleshooting this but we are far away from a resolution. So far we’ve had no owners messaging us for this problem. We may need to consider removing support for the Actisense device.
We have tested Yacht Devices solutions which solve NMEA2000 to NMEA1083 translation with MacENCx64 and they work flawlessly. We are presently researching support of Yacht Devices RAW protocols for direct NMEA2000 instead of relying on a library (such as Actisense).
Yacht Devices Dealer & Gear Store
We are so impressed with Yacht Devices hardware that we are not only highly recommending them, we are now a dealer and reseller offering that directly to you on our site. This is the launch of the NavStation Gear Store.
We are partnered with Amazon for fulfillment and payment services. Through this channel we will offer boat networking hardware that helps facilitate inter-networking of boat systems.
Inventory is flowing in and we’ll launch the Gear Shop soon!
Our Laser focus for 1Q 2021
We are hard at work on two fronts:
1) Get more chart options available for MacENCx64.
We are in active negotiations with half a dozen chart providers to bring new content to the platform. News as soon as we have it.
2) New Chart view rendering engine.
We are exploring options to move chart view rendering to modern GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), hardware acceleration, and OpenGL layer rendering. This is a biggie and will enable us to offer new services as well as drastically improve performance for chart display.
We should have a minor release by end of January offing some improvements and fixes. We’ll keep you posted on progress on our next blog.
Till then, happy sailing!