The dive computer has become as much an
integral part of scuba diving as the buoyancy compensator.
As such, its basic functions should be covered in an Open Water course.
In an Advanced Open Water
course, time should be given to identifying
and explaining the built-in functionality of each diverís computer so that
they can make full use of its capabilities.
As with all these electronic gadgets, there is a considerable
difference in price, features and functionality between a basic dive computer
and, for example, an air-integrated Nitrox computer.
A Nitrox dive computer can be
set in the field for one or more gas mixes. A Nitrox computer should have a depth
alarm which should be set to the Maximum Operating Depth of the gas mix being
used. An air-integrated Nitrox computer should display the
remaining bottom time under unchanged diving conditions.