We need to keep a log of all kinds of stuff on Emet: maintenance, repairs, inventory, passage. This being the digital age, I naturally turned to a database. Data is sortable and editable. (Could be an issue. Ask any DB administrator.) The structure can be changed and updated to suit future needs. Some of the functions, like position information, are automated thus eliminating input error and the time it takes to actually input that information. And as I type this, I realize that I could add the crew list to this database. (That’s important when clearing into a foreign country. They want a crew list usually. What? You don’t have to provide one when you arrive by airplane? I don’t know. Stupid politics I suppose.)
The problem is that the database, Filemaker Pro, only runs on our MacBook Pros. And MacBookPros are power hungry beasts, comparatively. At least the ones we have are. The database means that while under passage, we must have one on or at least asleep ready to be awoken. We use Navionics on an iPad with an XGPS160 receiver feeding it location data through Bluetooth for charting and navigation. It will track our path and we could use that as a passage log . . . if only Navionics would let you export it. To date, the version that we have doesn’t allow that.
I had thought about just keeping a written log. It’s not subject to hard disk corruption. It uses no power. It’s simple. It won’t suffer from “data corruption” due to a misspelled word. It never needs an update. It can, however, be misplaced and lost forever. How does that happen in approximately 150 sq ft? Excellent question. I have no idea. But, it happens. I’m sure there are other downsides.
What was the point of this post?
Oh yeah, I have no fewer than 4 maintenance tasks that I have written down because the laptop was not on and I didn’t want to fire it up JUST to enter a maintenance task. A written log would have been easy to use. Instead of writing them on a piece of paper, I just write them in the log.
I just entered them in the database in the middle of typing this blog post. Nothing like writing a post to motivate a person to complete a past due task.
OK. Sticking with the database option. I never could find a log book that I liked anyway.