- its value to you
What is it
C_wiz is a PC based
software product that allows you to gather, log and
transfer data emanating from data devices such as GPS
units, intelligent engine gauges, embedded engine data
control units, depth sounders, "on /off" devices,
analog sensors via A/D modules etc.
The data can then be analyzed by playing, plotting,
mapping voyage tracks and reviewing event occurrences
- thus allowing a comprehensive history of a vessel's
usage to be maintained and monitored.
The claim to low cost is based on the fact that no
specialized or proprietary equipment is necessary -
everything is "off the shelf" and the choice re issues
such as robustness vs cost is yours.
By "high performance" we
mean "comprehensive, full function, flexible, device
independent, low resource consumption..." but this
wouldn't fit on one line and was not very punchy.
Vessel monitoring systems are not new - there have been
high end systems around for a number of years that are
used (and in some situations mandated) on large
commercial vessels. These systems are generally
inappropriate on smaller vessels for reasons such as
cost, inflexibility, power consumption or just plain
Likewise PC based ("Wintel" or Windows + Intel) vessel
monitoring systems are not new - since the inception of
C_wiz in 1995 we have observed several attempts at such
systems. Invariably (and we may be biased here) these
attempts have had major failings in areas such as:
Limited flexibility, the result of implicit or explicit
assumptions re the nature and scope of the problem - you
end up "bending the problem to suit the solution" rather
than the other way round.
Hardware dependence. In some cases the "vessel
monitoring system" is nothing more than a glorified
means of showcasing the ability of specific hardware to
talk to a PC. The focus is on selling the hardware, not
on providing a usable solution for the customer.
Limited horizons. Mimicking in software what can already
be done with analog hardware might facilitate the
showcasing alluded to above but it hardly justifies the
time and expense of installing a PC on a vessel. Some
systems that claim the status of "vessel monitoring
system" don't even have a play facility.
The one and only assumption made in the design of C_wiz
is that every vessel is different. A fairly automatic
outcome of this assumption is that everything is a
variable. This explains the proliferation of internal
"editors" (8 in total) that allow every significant
aspect of the product to be tailored to suit the user's
If everything is a variable then it logically follows
that C_wiz should be hardware independent, able to
interface to different hardware on every vessel. C_wiz
satisfies this requirement by using data device drivers,
a very similar concept to the way printer drivers are
used to interface any printer to Microsoft Windows.
C_wiz data device drivers are small pieces of code
written using well documented standards, ActiveX
controls and templates.
Once you have data in a PC the ways that you can extract
value from it are nearly boundless. The temptation is to
just throw every conceivable feature into the pot and
let the user pick out the bits he wants. This could end
up a bit like a flea trying to have sex with an
elephant. The author of this product has spent many
years in the software industry including a stint in a
software requirements role with a large CAD/CAM software
developer. As a result, the feature requirements process
for this product has been quite rigorous - nothing,
absolutely nothing, has been added to C_wiz that was not
a result of a real need expressed by a user of the
How is it unique? -
read [6 key features] following...
6 key features
Flavours & costs
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