Archive for March, 2009

Diving Log for Windows Mobile update

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Today I’ve updated the Diving Log for Windows Mobile version to 4.5.1. You can download the new version from the following links (either as desktop setup *.exe file or as *.cab file for installation on the device):

SetupMobileDL45.exe
SetupMobileDL45.cab

You can install this setup directly, it will update your existing¬† 4.5.0 version to 4.5.1. Due to the feedback I’ve got from the last beta, in this version a bug in the “Save dive” and “Save as new dive” routine is fixed. And this version uses a newer SQLite runtime because the old one caused in some cases errors on some WM 6.1 devices.

Everyone who is still using PPC version 4.0, please make sure you read also this posting to get the new sync function.

Dive Rite NiTek Logic import

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

This update is for all Dive Rite NiTek users: finally I was able to create an import function and you’re able to import your dive data from the NiTek software. Due to a hint from a Diving Log user I was able to identify the logbook format. You can download the import here:

ImportDiveRite.zip (Update: this is included in Diving Log 4.0.13, so you no longer need this file)

Don’t extract this setup into the Diving Log program folder, because it uses also the newer SQLite runtime mentioned above. But all other components of Diving Log are using still the old version so there would be conflicts. Please extract it to any folder (e.g. onto your Desktop) and use it currently as standalone import program. With the next Diving Log 4.0 update (soon) you will be able to start this import directly from Diving Log. As usual, please provide feedback!

Windows Mobile Sync

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Today I’ve released the beta version of Diving Log 4.5 for Windows Mobile. It is an interim version to Diving Log 5.0 for Windows Mobile and is able to open logbook files from the new sync function included in the upcoming Diving Log 5.0 desktop version. You can install it side by side with your existing Diving Log 4.0 PPC version, if you want. To sync your logbook you must download also the new sync tool. Follow these steps:

  • Download and install Diving Log 4.5 onto your Windows Mobile device (from the Desktop): SetupMobileDL45.exe
  • Download this zip file and extract it into your Diving Log 4.0 program folder on the desktop: SyncWMobile.zip
  • Download this Diving Log 4.0 Update and extract it into your Diving Log program folder on the desktop: English or German (Update: this is included in Diving Log 4.0.13, so you no longer need these files)

Here you can see some screenshots how to open the new sync dialog:

Open Sync Dialog

Open Sync Dialog

Sync Dialog

Sync Dialog

Phone connected

Phone connected

Select remote logbook

Select remote logbook

The new sync function has been improved a lot and is more reliable than the existing one. The new logbook format on Windows Mobile is a SQLite database which can be created on the desktop and then transferred to the device during the synchronization. It is exactly the same database as used in the iPhone Dive Log which makes code maintaining a lot easier. Diving Log 4.5 for Windows Mobile has not yet any new features, only the logbook format has been changed to support the new sync function. It has been tested on Windows Mobile 6 and 5 but should also run on the 2003 version.

Please provide feedback about the sync function and Diving Log 4.5 for Windows Mobile, either in the comments or via Email.

Diving Log 5.0 – Logbook Photos

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

In this post I want to show you the improvements in the photo section of the logbook. As you can see in the screenshot below you have now 2 ways to navigate through the images attached to a dive. You can use the dropdown combo box or the new thumbnail preview list. The dropdown preserves a lot of space which is useful for small screens and the thumbnail list is better for wide screens. But you can also use both together.

Logbook Photos

Logbook Photos

You can now edit the photo description directly in the logbook window. In version 4.0 this is only possible in the Photo Manager window. And you can view the Exif data of digital camera photos. With the “Open” button in the ribbon you can view the current image either in the default application, in the Diving Log Viewer or open the Explorer folder containing the image.

Photos and Exif data

Photos and Exif data

Diving Log 5.0 – Logbook Comments

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

The comments section in the logbook has been improved a lot. As you can see in the screenshot below the comments tab of the ribbon has now a lot more advanced features which you can find in any modern word processor. You can insert images, but you can also load any rich text file (*.rtf) created by Word, WordPad or any other program like OpenOffice for other features like tables.

Logbook Comments

Logbook Comments

In the screenshot the “Quick Access Toolbar” is configured to be displayed below the ribbon and contain icons to create a new dive, save the dive and navigate through the logbook. In this way you don’t have to switch to the “Home” tab of the ribbon while formatting your comments. But you can configure of course the Quick Access Toolbar yourself (the location and the containing icons).

When you click the small icon in the lower right corner of the “Font” group in the ribbon you can open the standard font dialog to format the comments.

Font Dialog

Font Dialog

Diving Log 5.0 – Logbook Profile

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Today I want to talk about the dive profile improvements in version 5.0. Each profile can now be configured separately (each has its own right click context menu). There are several profile areas (by default 3 but you can drag more hidden areas to any place in the window) and each of them can display any profile. So you can display for example the depth, temperature and tank 1 profile. Or you can display tank 1, tank 2 and tank 3.

Dive Profile

Dive Profile

Tank 1 and 3 with context menu

Tank 1 and 3 with context menu

The gauges on the right side are now scalable so they look right on different DPI settings and window sizes. You can drag each profile and gauge on the form around like any other component. In this way you can display for example a small preview profile on the the first tab page additionally to the big profile on the profile tab.

Profile on first tab

Profile on first tab

The profile display is prepared for displaying bookmarks or annotations (like in Suunto Dive Manager) and tank switches. The ppO2 graph will use the real O2 value of the tank used in this profile range.

You can select a profile range with the mouse which offers a wide range of possibilities (e.g. set a compass course or tank number for the selected range).

Profile Selection

Profile Selection

On the profile data tab you can view, edit and export now all profile data. In version 4.0 only the depth profile can be viewed and exported.

Profile Data

Profile Data

Diving Log 5.0 – Logbook Part 2

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

I already wrote about the new ribbon element in the logbook window and I want to show you a few other details in the case you’re not familiar with the ribbon in Office 2007. The ribbon can be minimized so only the ribbon tabs will require space. This is especially useful for small displays. When you click on a tab the ribbon will dropdown and you can use any command. When you’re done it will collapse itself automatically. The 2nd feature I want to show you is the ability to pin any command from the ribbon to the “Quick Access Toolbar”. This is the small toolbar below the ribbon. This toolbar can also be moved above the ribbon onto the title bar so even less space is required. You can add to this toolbar often needed commands so they are only one click away, no matter which ribbon tab is selected.

Minimized Ribbon

Minimized Ribbon

Dropped Down Ribbon

Dropped Down Ribbon

I’m not yet sure what to do with the “Office Button”, this is the round shaped button (without icon in the screenshot) in the upper left corner. In Office this button opens up the application menu with “File Open”, “File Save” and so on but these features are in Diving Log in the main application toolbar and menu, so it doesn’t make much sense to put them also into this menu. I can simply hide this button and maybe this is the best solution if there is no functionality which makes sense. If you have any idea, please let me know.

The 2nd feature I want to talk about in this post are the location and buddy dropdowns. You may know from Diving Log 4.0 that there are two ways to enter “Countries”, “Cities / Islands”, “Dive Sites” and “Buddies”. If you only want to store the name of the location or buddy into your logbook you can simply enter it directly in the field. This is useful for locations and buddies you have no further information, e.g. a buddy who dived only one time with you in your vacation. If you want to store additional information you can link the field to one of the detailed entries. Linked items are displayed in blue font color in Diving Log 4.0 and you have to click the chain icon above the field.

Now in Diving Log 5.0 linking an item is easier. Manual entered items now have a pencil icon, linked items have a chain icon in front of it. And you can link an item by simply selecting it from the dropdown list or by using the auto-complete function. Thus you don’t have to leave the logbook window to link an entry. To create a new detailed entry you can click the plus button which opens up the detail window.

Dive Site Dropdown

Dive Site Dropdown

Diving Log 5.0 – Logbook Window

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

In this post I want to give you a general overview of the logbook window changes in version 5.0. In later postings I’ll go more deeply into details like profile display and photo management. The following screenshots show an early state, so the GUI, the icons and the layout may change over time.

Logbook Window

Logbook Window

The first thing you will recognize is the ribbon at the top of the window. I know the ribbon, first introduced in Office 2007, is a very controversial GUI element. There are users who like it, and there are users who hate it. You can believe me, I was thinking a long time about using it or not. I have not added the ribbon because it is looking “modern” or “stylish”. I’ve added it because I think it’s the only control which makes sense in this place. And here is the reason:

Everything below the ribbon is now customizable. The whole layout can be rearranged by the user, even the dive list and the tabs. You can save any amount of layouts and restore them at any time. You can even share these layouts with other users. It’s the same as the print designer, just for the logbook window itself. You can have one layout on your big 22″ widescreen desktop monitor and another layout on your small netbook display.

So if you don’t like the dive list on the left, simply drag it to the right – or to the top. You want the profile on the main tab? You can do so. And because of this flexibility I cannot add the 2nd level toolbars (above comments, photos and the profile) to the tab pages anymore. Because you can even entirely remove the tabs. I have to merge all toolbars into a single place above the customizable area. And this can be done best in a ribbon control. It offers all the needed space and flexibility. The ribbon layout in the screenshots is not final, I’m still searching for the best number of ribbon tabs, icon size and layout so you need as little clicks as possible.

You can also see a splitter control which makes it possible to resize the dive list. The columns displayed in the dive list are also customizable. Here are some screenshots how you can customize the layout using drag and drop and the customize toolbox window:

Customize Toolbox

Customize Toolbox

Drag and Drop

Drag and Drop

Item Options

Item Options

Alternate Layout

Alternate Layout

You can see from the above screenshots that you have a lot of options – you can create tab pages, expandable areas, group or hide items you don’t use. I’ll dive deeper into the other improvements soon. In the meantime please post your comments and write what you think (especially about the ribbon).