Originally Posted by haiqu
Just knowing the difference makes you a homo.
I haven't seen any of these toys yet, but I can almost guarantee the monthly service payments will kill you. I'll stick to steam driven instruments for now.
As retired electrical engineer/physicist I find steam driven instruments very difficult to operate and maintain. I stick to the electronic ones.
Seriously now there is and will continue to be a tension between all the new technological marvels and their complexity versus the simplicity of the 19th century. My approach is the cautious outfitting of my boat with modern conveniences, that I can afford, like refrigerator, GPS/Plotter, Radar, AIS, electric head pump, and recently iPhone. My rule is that I should be able to handle my boat without them. So, I also have a manual head pump to replace the electric when it fails, a sextant to navigate without the GPS, paper charts, etc.
As far as the monthly service payments to GSM provider it is true that they easily bankrupt you but I have found that I, at least in the EU, can keep the minimum monthly fee and then cautiously temporarily upgrade it during my cruising months. The last time I did so it came to about 40 € per month. This covered all my e-mail, and weather forecast needs.