I've downloaded a chart file in the .exe format but nothing will open the file on my Mac. If this is a compressed self-extracting archive then unzip should have opened it, but it complains that the file is incomplete. The error is
End-of-central-directory signature not found. Either this file is not
a zipfile, or it constitutes one disk of a multi-part archive. In the
latter case the central directory and zipfile comment will be found on
the last disk(s) of this archive.
I'm hoping the answer won't be "use a PC" but I suspect that's the case.
If you aren't using standard zip format for the compressed file (which can be opened by any computer), why?
Ahem. We are not charging for the Free Charts in any way.
If you really want to complain that we should open a whole new development division, hire programmers, buy computers, add support staff, etc. all for a product that we give away to a market that we would see little or no return on this investment, feel free to argue the point.
Now, maybe once NOAA offers this service themselves (which is what they are planning on doing) they may make it Mac friendly. If not, and it makes some sense for us to make a Mac edition of the extraction program, maybe we can do this. Or, maybe we can work with GPSNavX to do the extractor, etc.
Why do you need an installer program? We drag the files from one folder to another. installation done. We're *Mac* users; we don't need our hands held. These are chart files, not OS updates. Package them into a standard ZIP file and post them. We'll take care of it from there.
I want to complain about the fact that you've locked out all users not on a PC. You could have done this the right way and had a standard ZIP file with a PC installer that the PC user ran after unzipping the file, and us Mac users would just ignore the irrelevant installer and do what we always do anyway. Instead we can't get anything from ***FreeBoatingCharts.com*** (note the FREE in there) - instead you had to hire programmers, add support staff, etc. because of your own decision to do it the Wrong Way. And don't try to say you didn't do this, PC support is 10x more than Mac support (I did both, and we had a lot more people on PC support than Mac support).
Your argument is irrelevant, the real problem is your approach is flawed from the start - fix it!
Maptech built FreeBoatingCharts.com off of existing technology that we had developed for our PC-based chart update service. No new programmers or support staff was required - we whipped this together with minimum effort. If we had tried to make it Mac compatible (based on zip or something else) it would have required a great deal of additional time and resources. Thus, our approach is not flawed and the argument is highly relevant.
FreeBoatingCharts.com has been up for just over one week. We'll be evaluating the site and looking for ways to make it better, and easier to use. We also will be looking at ways to employ it for generating revenue (no revenue = no Maptech = no web site.) This will not include charging for the charts, these will always be free. If a partnership with a Mac navigation software provider develops, we will have to look into changing the way the system works. For the time being, the extraction application will remain PC-based.
No worries for Mac users. GPSNavX offers all the freeboatingcharts.com BSB charts on a DVD. They are expanded, not encypted, and no registration required - ready for immediate use with GPSNavX and MacENC. More details here..
Correct the zip files will work fine on the Mac although their filenames have the "MS-DOS" style path in them. Example: "BSB_ROOT\11006\11006_1.KAP". Causes no problem, but is a bit unsightly in Finder. I find NOAA's site is down often.
Ugh. I just tried to download the "free" BSB chart files, and I too found the .exe extractor unusable on my Mac. I understand Maptech not wanting to change the way they're software works, but how about a BIG disclaimer somewhere in the process that says Windows is REQUIRED to use the product. I'm not really downloading "charts", I'm downloading a program that installs/extracts the charts.
Well, off to NOAA to see if I can get them from there.