Vista operating system. I always wonder why microsoft calls it "operating system". Seems like a misnomer.
I use MaxSea for the Pacific as the charts are better. MaxSea ver 10 and 11 both work on Vista, haven't "evaluated" ver 12 yet.
Problem with MaxSea is it is clunky software, especially if you consider the vast amounts of money they want for the thing. Setting up the GPS, AIS and charts can consume much of your time and patience, requires knowledge of baud rates, computer ports, interrupts, etc. Most other software packages have much simpler installation and don't suffer from "mad mouse". It is powerful software but requires the user to spend many hours measuring boat dynamics to use these features. I only know of one cruiser who has actually done that...everyone else just uses the simple features. 3D and 2D features are also difficult to setup and I don't know anyone who uses this. If you are going to buy this I would rate this as the least valuable, bang for the buck. If you "evaluate" a copy of this, then the most valuable. JMO
Garmin Mapsource...much friendlier software. Plug in the GPS and off you go. Easy to plan routes, never need the manual for help, intuitive, simple easy features that far outperform MaxSea for the basics. But...Garmin charts suck for the Pacific and the software isn't nearly as powerful. You just can't use it in many places in the Pacific. I use MaxSea and take the data and plot it in Mapsource, just for the ease of using Mapsource.
I've used Open Captain but required a lot of setup for use with Vista. You can't run certain other programs which control screen resolution. Pretty basic software.
I've got WXtides but they've managed to make a simple program complex with increasing numbers of menu selections which add nothing to the display of tides and moon cycles. I highly don't recommend this anymore.
GPSdiag..Freeware great for determining what is at fault when you are interfacing the GPS.
Seatty can take the place of the SCS modem for email but I still prefer the modem approach.
I have used Fugawi (purchased), an older version, but the raster chart thing really stinks (not seamless or scalable). Maybe the newer version and charts are better. It was an affordable solution, intuitive and bug free. It was a good tool to use to get an overview of an area but doing serious long distance routing, requiring use of many charts, is difficult at times. Simple and easy to use, nice features like plotting weather (grib files) on the charts, etc. Well written program. I may look at this software again as they have more chart options available now and it maybe seamless.
A`ohe `ulu e loa`a i ka pokole o ka lou.
No breadfruit can be reached when the picking stick is too short.