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Hi John,
 
> Also at the time of my inquiries,
> NAUI had already begun to offer nitrox course
 
I think that you'll find the time-lag between the two agencies' EAN course
was due to nothing but event organizers' different approaches. One agency
wanted to wait until DEMA that year to make the announcement, another wanted
to be first to market. Profit was the motive for both, and to my way of
thinking there is nothing wrong with that.
 
>         Actually, I have the opposite opinion about the TDI and
> IANTD introductory
> manuals (and thus probably would about the recreational
> EAN courses).  I wanted to see all the available data on ox tox hits to
> better assess my risks and felt that the 80 pages in the TDI
> manual and the
> 117 in the IANTD manual weren't as data laden as I would have preferred
> particularly given the difficulty of finding additional information.  In
> fairness though, both these tek agencies' manuals did/do(?) offer
> bibliographies.
 
Your desire for additional knowledgde is commendable, and a pretty common
trait for all of us on this list. However, I personally dislike the training
approach that overloads the students with unnecessary data.
 
>         In that respect, you're probably right in implying that
> most recreational
> divers would prefer a nitrox course that is easily mastered with a minimum
> of extra information.
 
That's what a recreational course is all about, in my opinion. Recreational
EAN is NOT rocket science.
 
  Except for that damned wheel, PADI is good at
> distilling out the essential material that a person must know for safety's
> sake and putting it into a palatable form
 
The Wheel video is old, and the release of it is not one of PADIs proudest
moments. But the Wheel itself is a tool I find that my students vastly
prefer over the tables :-)
 
Bjorn