OCENS Weather software
(click here to download)
This software includes 3 modules, which can be used together or separately. All products are free-to-try, come pre-configured for easy use, but extensive capabilities take time to master. Tech support is provided free (for paid users) by OCENS and/or Chris Parker. Training/consulting available at $60/hr:
GRIB Explorer, free to try, $199 to buy, Windows XP, Vista or 7 (or via Parallels, BootCamp or VMWare in a Mac environment): The BEST gridded (GRIB) data viewer I've seen! You'll find GRIB Explorer's best-in-class graphics, user-selectable display options, and support for a wide range of GRIB data types/sources indispensable. The most-useful feature for me is GE's "graphical time profile", which graphically displays the full range of weather information at the cursor location for the entire forecast period in the data set - for instance, see graphically how wind speed, direction, seas, barometric pressure, and precipitation all change from hour-to-hour at the cursor location.
WeatherNet, free to try, $99/yr, plus pay-per-download, Windows (Mac version available): An excellent companion to GRIB Explorer, WeatherNet provides the most-efficient access to 10,000 weather products (text, graphical & GRIB products) from around the world. Start with the pre-configured simple interface, or build-your-own catalog of favorite weather products in "batches (folders)", which makes downloading weather each day as simple as opening the program and clicking the green GO button. Even I can do that before my morning coffee!
WeatherNet is so efficient, Iridium just declared it their benchmark and preferred method for obtaining weather information via satellite phones.
MetMapper, free to try, $169 to buy, Windows XP, Vista or 7 (or via Parallels, BootCamp or VMWare in a Mac environment): Renders classical weather graphics (downloaded from WeatherNet - such as weather charts, ocean charts and satellite imagery) into interactive elements that carry a map overlay, position vessel and route/waypoint information, display TV-like animations of charts and imagery, window text forecasts alongside your weather chart and enable an array of annotation tools intended to allow the user to more deeply analyze the weather or ocean charts.
OCENS Mail software
(click here to download)
This software includes OCENS Mail (single-user & multi-user "Enterprise Edition"), Windows (Mac version available). Free to try. To buy: $59 registration, plus $240/yr or $130 for 6 months or $80 for 3 months:
OCENS Mail is the most-efficient way to send & receive email I've seen.
All versions of OCENS Mail transfer emails up-to 20 times faster than uncompressed email, and often more than 100 times faster than Webmail (Google, Yahoo, etc). Here's how: OCENS Mail instructs your computer to dial your sat phone's data connection in the most efficient method, and connects to the OCENS Mail server. In a split-second, our mail server packs all your mail into a single file, stripping-out extraneous information, then compresses that file, and sends it as a single data stream to your computer, then, when done, terminates the data session. Selectable bi-directional mode maximizes speed on full-duplex data connections. The OCENS Mail module on your computer automatically unpacks the file into individual emails, and sends them to your email client (Outlook, Thunderbird, MacMail, iScribe, etc.), where you read & respond to your mail just like you downloaded it from a wired connection. Outgoing emails are stored in the OCENS Mailbox until the next time you connect to the sat phone, and are sent in the same efficient manner with which you receive email.
OCENS Mail can automatically use (and share with other programs) any existing Internet connection (i.e. a wi-fi or ethernet connection) before attempting to dial your satellite data connection. If your computer can access the Internet, OCENS Mail can make email faster! Webmail offers access to your OCENS Mailbox online at ANY Internet-connected computer, via a standard web browser.
Unlimited attachments & HTML & messaging - never pay extra for any content.
User-customizable settings limit size of emails & attachments. When a large email hits your Inbox, the OCENS Mail server sends you a short notice with the email address of the sender, subject, and size - allowing you to decide whether to download the full message, or, by default, leaves the large message on the server for you to collect within 30-days.
Customizable SPAM filtering
Vessel Position reporting
Mail "fetching" - we can pull-forward mail from your current email account (extra-cost feature).
SailBlogs - update your SailBlogs blog directly from OCENS Mail, in the same efficient manner as email (extra-cost feature).
"Enterprise Edition" is appropriate for vessels ranging from crewed yachts to ocean liners, and has these additional features: Multiple users - each with their own email account Primary user can control when the satellite phone's data connection is accessed. Billing module allows Primary user to bill sub-users for useage.