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Author Topic: Your thoughts on Ham Radio Deluxe 6.xx  (Read 44273 times)
N7SMI
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Posts: 305




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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2013, 07:09:12 PM »

I purchased 6.0 in July of last year based on their promises of frequent updates and bug fixes. Since that date there has been exactly ONE update (last week's minor update to fix the LoTW issue - one of their own making for not following LoTW's published protocols). There are still significant bugs that have not been addressed - in fact the bug list seems to be exactly the same as it was almost a year ago. If you check their online bug tracker, there doesn't seem to have been a single bug fix in the beta since January.

Maybe my expectations were too high, but I don't see myself paying an additional $60 a year for the exact same software. Subscription software necessitates frequent and continual updates, and I see no substantive progress on this project in the last year, certainly not enough to justify my continued investment in it.
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AF5FH
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 10:18:42 PM »

I'm not currently an Ham Radio Deluxe user, although I have tried it. Currently I am using DXLab suite, with additional software (JT65-HF and JT-Alert) to add JT65 capability. HRD does not give me anything I need that I don't already have with other software. 

You might try listing what software features you use, and see if other software that is not $60 per year subscription satisfies your needs.

Also, several folks I've chatted with recently on psk31 have told me they using HRD version 5. Of course, I've also had folks tell me they are using fldigi, MixW, WinWarbler, etc. Lots of different software out there that folks are using.

Jim, AF5FH
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KD2CJJ
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2013, 07:49:05 PM »

Seriously you can't complain for what is in this software.  I personally think its amazing compared to the other junk i have tried..and i have tried them all.lol!   I have developed and managed very large software development projects and HRD is very complex and comprehensive.  There are probably hundreds of man years of development in this product already.   I am only a ham for a year so I didn't have the befits of leaching on someone else's work for free for long.  I honestly could not believe this was for free when I first  tried-it. now that the software is mature and rich with features plus having support you now have to pay.  It's no different than buying photoshop or any other off the shelf software package.  The software could be more aggressively priced.. i agree its about $25 to 30 dollars too high.  And I do agree that support is very very high.  Most support contracts are no more than 25% of net.  Most Developers are not good businessmen thus that could be their demise.  With that said give them a shot for a year then decide if they lived up to their obligations.
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73

Mike
KD2CJJ
W4PC
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2013, 09:35:50 PM »

It's not $60 a year guys... it's an OPTIONAL $49.95 a year.. you dont HAVE to renew.

As stated in the PR, we're working on 6.1. Bunches of bug fixes... Joe Taylor is working on JT-65 and JT-9 with us inside DM-780 (including the GPL source for it), and lots more..

After 6.1, we'll do releases with every few bug fixes...  Mike (one of the other owners) had Erik focus on doing the reports for DXCC and other logbook stuff, and ive been focusing on the rest, including the new radios and day to day operations.

That's why Erik and I are working this weekend, like we did last weekend during Dayton to get the LOTW fix out (that was about 24 hours of work with Erik and I, the alpha and beta teams, etc).

We are still growing, thanks to the hams.  We need to continue to grow so I can hire another coder.  We've put alot of effort into support, which I feel is what sells a product (support after the sale gets repeat business), but we need to find another code who knows C++/MFC, Ham radio (DXing, digital, rotors, etc) and those are few and far between and costs about $100,000 a year.  Good coders are not cheap.  Look at some of the open source and you'll see how bad some code can be. Wink

BTW, we had a special at Dayton for the users who purchased before the 2/8/2013 release. We knocked $10 off the next year, so a few hundred hams are covered until 2015....  We are always doing deals.

So come and join us on the dark side.. we have cookies.. and $10 off with coupon code atlanta2013, for the Atlanta Hamfest next weekend.  Offer good until June,3, 2013

Best

Rick - W4PC



« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 09:38:57 PM by W4PC » Logged
WA9PIE
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« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2013, 10:20:57 PM »

Greetings folks.  I'm the founding owner of HRD Software.  I don't reply to a lot of this stuff, but thought I'd offer a few thoughts.

For the record, 5.24 isn't the latest release.  But like I've said before, we fixed a bunch of the bugs in 5.x... and if you like it... it's FREE... FOREVER.  Use it if you like it... use it forever for FREE.  That's completely fine.  Most of the folks complaining about the fact that three ordinary guys stepped up to keep HRD from becoming extinct have moved off of v5.0b and are using the most recent FREE version.  We must have done something right.

We're not making any money.  We'll take a loss every year.  All of us have regular jobs.  Our only expenses are related to employing a few hams to do development and some support.

The software maintenance plan (similar to what Microsoft does with businesses) is merely there to help support the development of new features.  If the features aren't of value to you, there's no need to do it.  You may change rigs at some point... a new rig where control was developed... and need the upgrade.  Buy back in later.  Guys, it's not a requirement... seriously.  As an incorporated business, we have no way to accept "donations".  So this is the only way to accommodate those who find value in staying current and wish to support us.  Even Microsoft won't give you a free upgrade to Windows 8.

As for reasons to buy 6.x, well... if you're not interested in the bug fixes and the lengthy list of new features we've added, then it's probably not for you.

The great thing about ham radio is that there are tons of hobbies within this hobby.  Some are DXers, some awards chasers, contesters... rag chewers... digital mode enthusiasts... satellite fans... emergency service... and much more.  In the 6.x releases, we focused on bug fixes, awards reporting, DX cluster improvements, digital mode improvements, and rig support.  A lot of work went into this by the few hams we have paid to do the development and the volunteers who help support the product.  And I'm very thankful for those volunteers because without them... and given that the rest of us have jobs that prevent us from being on forums all day... but without them, we would be in a world of hurt.

So guys... what I think HRD has is a sleek well-integrated suite of software for hams.  It's not for everyone.  Some may prefer other products that aren't so well integrated... or a variety of applications that aren't integrated at all... or applications that clutter the screen with tons of windows where you need to be a developer to figure out how to configure it.

But on behalf of my partners and me, we're simply going to continue our quest to make HRD the most compelling ham radio suite of software you can find.  If we succeed at that, I'm hoping you'll use HRD.  If we don't succeed at that, well... then we just don't deserve you as a customer.

73 de Mike, WA9PIE
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2013, 12:17:45 AM »

Some may prefer ...  applications that clutter the screen with tons of windows where you need to be a developer to figure out how to configure it.

Right! When your application is missing functionality, accuse applications providing that functionality of cluttering the screen. What user would want the option to display a window that shows active DX stations so you can identify operating patterns, or shows which bands are hot, or shows propagation forecasts, or shows where to listen for the DX you need by band and time-of-day, or searches multiple web sites for QSL routes, or automates award submissions, or highlights errors in award credits? Having access to all that functionality would be terrible! - especially, if it were free.

     73,

           Dave, AA6YQ
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W4PC
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« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2013, 11:30:30 AM »

DXLabs is a fine product, HRD is a fine product. Both have active development going on. The advantage Dave has is he wrote all the code and Simon wrote HRD. No matter how good a coder you are (and we even still talk to Simon a couple times a week), it takes time to find and fix issues...  since we have to do a trace in the code, rather than know the area it happens in.'

Same thing with my ROC TNC code, since I wrote 99% of it, it's easier for me to fix things since it was my logic.

For both DXlabs and HRD, it's like getting a FTDX-9000 in kit form, and only having minimal docs.  This is just the nature of the beast, as with any software company.  I remember my first day at Microsoft and going OMG, this code is insane.

At least I dont have a fellow coder stabbing my back like I did at a contract job! LOL.   He thought I wanted his job and my goal was to fix the bugs, make the $$$$ to buy HRD and get out of corp America. 

Dave and I met up at Dayton and got along great!   He's good people.



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AA6YQ
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« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2013, 03:01:38 PM »

I know that you and Erik have been working hard to drain the swamp, Rick, and am glad to hear that you'll be making defect repairs available more frequently; HRD users will appreciate it.

Our products compete, but we also collaborate and share common interests. Lots of ops use DM780 with DXLab, and we both depend on healthy ADIF and LotW developer communities. Coopetition can work when the players focus on highlighting their advantages rather than on denigrating competitive products. The working relationship that Simon HB9DRV and I established had largely survived your acquisition of HRD, but WA9PIE's descent to the dark side earlier in this thread is an ominous sign. I hope you'll nip that in the bud.

By the way, maintaining and extending DXLab is not at all like "getting an FTDX-9000 in kit form, and only having minimal docs". The architecture is modular, with loose coupling between the major components. The code has been refactored when appropriate, avoiding any serious accumulation of technical debt, and includes consistency checking that triggers an internal error logger if anything goes amiss. I'm significantly more productive now than when I started 13 years ago, in large part due to the idea flow from the DXLab user community.

It was good to meet you at Dayton, Rick.

     73,

            Dave, AA6YQ
   
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F6DEX
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Posts: 9




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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2013, 09:47:17 AM »

Hello to all

Quote
applications that clutter the screen with tons of windows where you need to be a developer to figure out how to configure it

I just remember a time when HRD's team was very sarcastic towards (says) commercial software developers. I think this time is gone...

Anyway, I confirm these kind of software are very difficult to maintain : +100 transceivers with different behaviors on the market, +50 types of devices and all the various database ... + all combinations of the various elements of a station and all individual desires (+ multilanguage if english is not your mother language).

We're totally crazy to do that and no commercial company could seriously address this "market". Commercial/free distribution is a personal choice of the developper, probably nothing else.

Fortunately users are friendly and patients because it is not possible to be 100% perfect.

Let 's hope they will continue to have a choice between all available "soft" (full list on eHam).

Congratulations to you. Good luck to HRD, N4PY, DXLab, Commander, FTBasic and many others...
Laurent F6DEX
http://trx-manager.com
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NK7Z
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2013, 11:04:48 AM »

Look at some of the open source and you'll see how bad some code can be. Wink
Rick - W4PC
Look at some of the commercial software and you will see how bad some code can be Wink
Lets not start bashing Open Source...  To imply only open source produces bad software is a distortion of the truth.
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K2CMH
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Posts: 275




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« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2013, 04:54:21 AM »

Quote
Just take this into account.  The ARRL just changed their URL for LoTW.  Users of HRD 4.X and 5.X will not be able to do automated LoTW up and down loads.  HRD 6.X users will..

The question I have is why are the URLs hard-coded in the first place?  Anyone with any common sense would expect that those will change over time, so why not make them configurable values that can be changed by the user?
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2013, 05:04:28 AM »

The question I have is why are the URLs hard-coded in the first place?  Anyone with any common sense would expect that those will change over time, so why not make them configurable values that can be changed by the user?

The URL in question provides access to web services, not access to a user-visible web page. Changes to web service URLs are unusual. LotW management intended to make the change in a way that was transparent to client applications, which is why they did not alert the development community beforehand.

      73,

           Dave, AA6YQ
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WS4E
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Posts: 199




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« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2013, 05:33:44 AM »

So, the question I would have for W4PC and the others who work on HRD6 now is this:

If something like LOTW up/downloads, or QRZ lookups etc breaks in HRD5, and its an easy fix will they update HRD5, or are they hard set on using it as a big stick to get people to abandon HRD5?

Personally, the answer to that will be a big part of the decision I make to ever go to HRD6.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 05:35:59 AM by WS4E » Logged
K2CMH
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Posts: 275




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« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2013, 09:08:21 AM »

>The URL in question provides access to web services, not access to a user-visible web page. Changes to web service URLs are unusual.

Yes, but changes do happen as we are currently seeing.  Good design dictates that 'magic' strings that could change should never be hard-coded, ever, no matter how unlikely they are to change.   
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K0IZ
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Posts: 737




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« Reply #29 on: May 29, 2013, 11:17:43 AM »

I like and use TRX Manager.  Latest is $75 with free updates for 3 years.
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