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October 2002 Vol. 17, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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When Good Computers Go Bad

from the October, 2002 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Do you have an Oceanic Data Max Pro computer? If so, our advice is to upgrade or replace it.

Each month, Undercurrent sends out an informative e-mail to more than 10,000 divers (sign up at http://www.undercurrent.org/) and we asked them to report any problems with computers they have had.

Of the forty divers who responded, most all problems were random and no significant problems could be associated with any brand with one glaring exception.

Several divers reported failures with the Datamax Pro air-integrated Oceanic model, and its successor, the Datamax Pro Plus. In one case, a Data Max Pros low battery indicator started flashing though the battery had just been changed. In another Datamax Pro failure, the pressure indicator began to show decreasing values. One Pro Plus failed to even power up. Another time, the Sherwood version of the Datamax (made by Pelagic, which manufactures Oceanic, Sherwood and many other brands of computers) suddenly began providing only depth and time readouts. Commonly, the owners reported that they could return the damaged units for repairs or rebuilt replacements. Yet that was after poor technology had compromised their diving safety.

We called Oceanic tech rep Ron Lendess, who explained that the Datamax Pro was discontinued in 2000. It was replaced by the Pro Plus, which debuted in 1999. According to Lendess, Oceanic will continue to service the Datamax Pro until 2010 and offers an upgrade program that allows Oceanic owners to trade in an old computer for a newer model, at a discount off retail price. The current retail list price on the hose mounted Pro Plus is $899, but the upgrade price is $540.

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