I'm going back through my dive logbook after a three year diving hiatus. The software I use to track my dives has become an ungodly mess of company acquisitions and software maintenance. Turns out the company that made my dive-computer was bought out by scuba-pro.
To even get my hands on the software to open my dive-log file, I had to scour looking for a hidden link that would take me to the SmartTrak site. That wasn't even enough alone, I had to engage in browser witchcraft to coerce the site to not redirect me to scuba-pro's main site. The file is nowhere else, at least by my searching. Interesting that no one liked it enough to keep a mirror of it...
Of course, the software didn't solve my problems. oh no. The dates were incorrect on some of my dives. Another example malady of poor software support: I could turn the background of dive profiles gradient olive green, but I could not edit basic dive info---e.g., the date and location of a dive. For the first-time in my life, I'm actually facing a deprecation of software that I need. It's important that I keep the data I collect when I'm diving.
After going through old dev-forums and dive-forums, I found a converter which takes shameful SmartTrack files and converts them into a modified XML for use with SubSurface. At least I can coerce the file into being read as XML, rather than proprietary nonsense. More than that, not only does sub-surface allow me to edit the date of a dive in increments greater than 7, I can edit multiple dives at the same time.
It's the future.
I can't help but feel that this is a sort of digital vagrancy. SubSurface seems great now, but what about in 3 years? 10 years? I know there's a trend of web-based dive-logs, but I don't want to have to shuffle around, converting what has no business being anything but XML or a CSV to bunch of proprietary, uninterpretable file formats.
Having been burnt by SmartTrack, I'm looking for robust export functionality. Luck for me, it seems sub-surface is able to export as CSVs. This seems like a clear candidate to make a stand and own my own data.
It's just screaming to be added to the blog. Then if something breaks, it's my own damn fault.