MacDive – Not just another dive logging app

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A screen grab of the dive profile in MacDive

When I was given my dive computer, back in 2010, it had a data port. Unfortunately it didn’t come with a cable to connect it to the computer. I decided in October 2013 to rectify this and I bought a cable for my Suunto Vyper. I just wish I had bought it sooner because the Vyper only holds information for about 50-60 dives and that meant I lost a lot of information about my previous dives, but don’t worry I have a written log book of the dives I have done. I tried using the dive logging software that Suunto provides but I just couldn’t get it to work on my mac, it would work on my PC but that’s old and I don’t use it that often. So I looked for alternatives. I came across MacDive.

Once you have downloaded the software and installed it, to make it work with your dive computer you have to download the correct driver. Luckily MacDive provides a lot of different drivers for different dive computers. So once I had installed the driver for my Suunto it was very easy to get it working with my Vyper. The software comes with a trial, it allows you to import your last 5 dives and that is all. However, none of the other features that come with it are limited. I quickly purchased the full version once I saw how user friendly and useful MacDive was.

The software allows you to log every part of your dive. Here are some screen shots of the information entry pages.

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You can enter dives manually, and I did do this for about 80 dives as my dive computer no longer had a log of them. It takes some time but it is nice to have a back up your paper log.

A lot of the dive information is automatically added to the log when you import from your computer. This makes for a quick logging of your dives. My computer also tracks the air I use to that is recorded on my log, all I have to do is enter the tank information, which you can easily set up. I have my tanks set up as A40, A80, A100, 10L, 12L, and 15L. This means that I can easily track the different tanks that I have used in different parts of the world.

One of the nice features of having everything stored electronically is that you can get a summary of the information that you have collected. This can either be by country, buddy, dive computer used, diver (as you can track different divers in the one program), or even user generated by keywords that you are interested. I do like the buddy one. It allows you to see who your “favourite” buddy is. Unfortunately Brad you’re not my favourite buddy as you’ve just been pipped at the post, I think we will have to get some more dives in to rectify this situation.

It allows you to see who is your "favourite" buddy.

It allows you to see who is your “favourite” buddy.

Although every thing has worked well with the program I did experience one problem. After I had entered all the information manually the program just kept crashing. I tracked the problem down to the statistics page (and more accurately to the dives in Malta). This was most frustrating, I didn’t want to have to re-enter by hand all the data that I had just typed in. So I emailed the creator of MacDive and within 30 minutes he had got back to me with a “beta” version of the software and asked me to try that. It solved my problem straight away.

I do like the software. It makes logging and keeping track of your dives a breeze. Searching your dives and seeing statistics about your dives is a nice addition that you do not get with a paper logbook. There is also a phone app that syncs with the software on your mac. I have heard some nice things about it but as yet I am still to try it myself. Maybe it is something to try in the coming year.

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