C_wiz: for total recall

Low cost, high performance vessel monitoring for Microsoft Windows

"Small minds discuss people, average minds discuss events, great minds discuss ideas."

- Admiral Hyman Rickover


Acknowledgements to Ken (Will's brother)...

D3 Library and SDK

At the heart of the flexibility of C_wiz is the D3 (data device driver) architecture.

What is a D3

There are an enormous range of potential devices that could supply data on a vessel. To cope with this challenge C_wiz has been specifically designed to be independent of all data devices.

C_wiz itself has no knowledge of the characteristics or behavior of any data device that may be supplying data. This is handled by data device drivers - small pieces of software, independent of C_wiz, that may be written by third parties.

This unique feature of C_wiz allows it to be interfaced to almost any source of data in an extremely flexible manner.

This concept is very similar to that used by Microsoft Windows to interface to the galaxy of printers that are available - every printer comes supplied with a printer driver.

Most data that C_wiz is normally required to acquire exists in the real world as some physical condition of some physical entity. By nature, it is "analog" or continuous with respect to time.

C_wiz, however, runs on a PC which is a "digital" device, a wholly artificial world of 0's and 1's in which data can only be kept in the form of samplings at points in time.

For the data to pass from the analog world to the digital, various combinations of hardware and software are required which we will attempt to explain by example.

For the sake of illustration, lets follow one possible mechanism for the transmission to C_wiz of the pressure of an engine's lubricating oil:

o The oil pressure is measured by an oil pressure sensor which in this case consists of a diaphragm that deflects under pressure which in turn changes a variable resistor.

o The sensor is connected via 2 wires to an analog /digital converter, in this case a VDO Logic Combi, which takes the variable resistance reading and, once every second, converts it to a digital message.

o The VDO Logic Combi is connected via an RS232 cable to a COM port on the PC running C_wiz, which is also running a small piece of purpose written software (in this case named VDO Logic Combi.d3x) which reads the digital message, once every second, and converts it into a form understood by C_wiz.

o The small piece of purpose written software sends an intra-PC message containing the converted digital message to C_wiz via the Microsoft Window's internal messaging system.

In C_wiz parlance:

o The engine is a "data source".

o The engine's oil pressure is a "data parameter".

o The VDO Logic Combi is a "data device".

o The small piece of purpose written code running on the PC is a real "data device driver".

o The intra-PC message is a "data device driver message".

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