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OpenCPN 4.8.4

Quickly route the best way to get your boat to a destination

by Chris Wiles

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License: Freeware
Operating Systems: Windows 10, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 22 April 2018
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 668
Developer: OpenCPN
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OpenCPN 4.8.0
Quickly route the best way to get your boat to a destination

There are a tonne of tools out there to navigate your way through to an intended destination, by car (or moped, bike and other options), on the road. In fact, tools such as Waze are incredibly detailed with live information on potential road blockages or other issues.

But what happens if you hire a boat or are a boating novice and you need to get to a destination you've never navigated? Or you need to get the boat to a quay which is far in-shore and you're not quite sure how to get there. There are plenty of obstacles and other issues in the way, plus you have to compete with the tide, weather and other boats.

OpenCPN is a tool you can use to navigate rivers and parts of the sea to get yourself to a destination. You can download and load the latest mapping information, but herein lies the first issue. It's not live and up-to-date information, but details pre-recorded and intended to help. Once you load your map, you can take advantage of collision detection, tidal-based route planning and weather updates (with a separate plugin).

The big downside is, this is a desktop application. There is a paid Android version available, but to navigate you'll need to take your laptop on the boat. You could simply choose your route and possible issues and print off the information - at least you have a route and fairly up-to-date warnings. But it sort of defeats the object of live navigation with alarms and updates along the route.

Verdict:

Powerful tool for boat navigation, but you need to download maps for updates.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Windows 10 October 2018 Update (build 1809)

Free Full Commercial Software

This is the latest version of Windows October 2018 Update. it's a media creation tool that can be used to upgrade an existing installation of Windows or create installation media for another PC. Just make your choice after launching the tool and it'll do the rest.

What was new in Windows 10, when it was released? The OS brought back the Start Menu, though with a Windows 8 twist: live tiles keep you up-to-date with the latest news while also providing an easy way to launch apps. (Don't worry if you prefer the Start Screen, it's still there and you can boot into it if you prefer.)

Apps now work much more like regular desktop programs. They have minimise, maximise, restore and close buttons, and can be resized (to a degree) and organised however you like.

If you've still lost track of a program in the mass of open windows, a new Task Spaces feature can help. Click its taskbar button and you'll see thumbnails for everything running now, a little like OS X's Mission Control - just click something to switch to it.

Better still, Task Spaces also supports virtual desktops. Add extra desktops as required and it'll display thumbnails of each one, making it easy to identify whatever you're after and switch to it.

There's also smarter snapping, new customisation options, and even a bunch of experimental additions to the command prompt.

Fall Creators Update brings a whole host of new features for Windows 10. See the Microsoft Blog for more information.

The Windows 10 ISO here will give you build 1809 which is the October 2018 Update.

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