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Author Topic: Your thoughts on Ham Radio Deluxe 6.xx  (Read 44351 times)
W4PC
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« Reply #30 on: May 29, 2013, 03:58:28 PM »

We stopped development of 5.x on 2/08/2013. It will continue to be free, but no more work is being done with it.

A good point was made here by one of the paid users.

" Besides as a paying customer of ver. 6, why should my
hard earned money be used to write software updates for a version that is not
supported or bearing any profit to the company?
73
Todd AC9EX"



http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ham-ra.../message/39652
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NK7Z
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« Reply #31 on: May 29, 2013, 04:03:37 PM »

We stopped development of 5.x on 2/08/2013. It will continue to be free, but no more work is being done with it.

A good point was made here by one of the paid users.

" Besides as a paying customer of ver. 6, why should my
hard earned money be used to write software updates for a version that is not
supported or bearing any profit to the company?
73
Todd AC9EX"




http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ham-ra.../message/39652


Well said, the old HRD is just that, old, and unsupported...  The new HRD is new, and supported...  Had I spent the cash to buy HRD, I would do exactly the same as W4PC, and group.
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
W4PC
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« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2013, 07:52:36 PM »

And.. $10.00 off this weekend with coupon code atlanta2013, for the Atlanta Hamfest
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2013, 03:51:09 PM »

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.


We stopped development of 5.x on 2/08/2013. It will continue to be free, but no more work is being done with it.

A good point was made here by one of the paid users.

" Besides as a paying customer of ver. 6, why should my
hard earned money be used to write software updates for a version that is not
supported or bearing any profit to the company?
73
Todd AC9EX"

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ham-ra.../message/39652


When the day comes and this happens I hope the HRD folks don't do that because I can assure you all hell will break lose between the Ham community and HRD.  I am almost certain that an anti HRD movement will start up very quickly if  HRD 5 owners feel like they are being forced to upgrade to 6.0 just because of a simple fix.

 My suggestion from day one was that HRD 6 needs to have a compelling set of features to make people want to upgrade and not for HrdSoftwarellc to be trying to force people to upgrade.  The last thing HRD needs is for people to be coming on forums asking what software to use and everyone saying get DXLab or some other software and for others to be saying that HRD is Vampireware, "stay away!!"

Right now I have cash that’s burning a hole in my pocket just begging to be used to buy HRD 6 but I am still waiting for the DM-780 to have the promised CW waterfall decoder. I am honestly thinking of going ahead with a purchase based on faith that this will come out soon but I am still a little hesitant because I am still wondering about the upgrade policy that Hrdsoftwarellc is offering on future versions.  It’s all well and good to say that "you don’t have to pay an annual fee" that you can keep using HRD 6.xx after the one year is up but what happens after mid 2014 if QRZ or LoTW decides to do another change?  Will I also be stuck like 5.xx owners???

I would love to hear from Hrdsofwarellc on what will happen to 6.xx owners who don’t pay the annual fee after the year is up.   I have been using HRD for almost 5 years now and not a year has passed when some sort of change was made to QRZ or something else that has caused HRD to stop working and honestly I am afraid that my 6.0 purchase will be greeted with the same response 5.xx owners are getting now from ver 6 owners, just with a little rewording by the new Ver 7 owners.


In Late 2014 will this be the new post?

" Besides as a paying customer of ver. 7, why should my
hard earned money be used to write software updates for Ver 6 owners who have not upgraded”

« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 04:26:02 PM by KD8MJR » Logged
WS4E
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« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2013, 04:01:44 PM »

Supporting a $99 software program for only 12months is piss poor service.   

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KD8MJR
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« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2013, 07:24:34 PM »

Supporting a $99 software program for only 12months is piss poor service.  

Honestly I don't know of another company that says if your software is broke after 1 year your on your own!  Even today in 2013 I am 100% certain that if a something happened to cause Windows XP to stop working that Microsoft even though they have discontinued support would still release a patch very quickly to get the user base up and running. (And yes that would happen as soon as the millions of XP users started to hit the news talking about how they cant access their data)   Even if I put aside Win-XP we can still compare Windows 7 which is still fully supported many years after it's release even though windows 8 is on the market.

What I am looking for from HRD is not a free copy of Ver7 when it comes out, just a guarantee of support for a reasonable length of time on the version that I paid for!  If I want the new features of Ver7 I will buy it, if not I expect at least a 3 year support period of free software patches for the version I already paid for.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 07:29:11 PM by KD8MJR » Logged
W4PC
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« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2013, 09:27:51 PM »

Discussing these issues with Mike (WA9PIE) one of the other owners, stand by.. Smiley

We do listen to the base.. 
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WA9PIE
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« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2013, 09:44:31 PM »

Well, you guys sure make some good points.  To summarize, the question is this...

For folks who have purchased a copy of v6.x - what is our position on providing bug fixes to customers who are beyond the paid support period?

To answer that, first let me make a general statement and then answer the question more directly.

There's a term used when developers continue support for a previous version... while moving features into a new (and somewhat unique) code set.  It's called "forking the code".  Basically, every time you "fork the code", you end up with a new and unique code set to maintain.  To that end - we have two developers and can't afford to fork the code (which is why we can't go back to 5.x code).

To answer the question directly...

For folks who have purchased software... and we later find MAJOR bugs in the software... I believe we should extend support on a case-by-case basis to ensure that folks aren't expected to live with major software bugs forever... or feel like we're bilking money out of them for any reason.  I fully support the idea that our customers should have software that is useful and free of major bugs.

There could be some subjectivity about what a "major bug" is... but we'll know it when we see it.

Bottom line is this... we want you to use the software... we want the software to be useful.  We're committed to that.

But gosh guys... we simply took-up the task of keeping HRD alive so that the best program on the market could continue.  We're not making any money here.  We're not breaking even.  But we are taking a lot of grief for our efforts.  So just please understand... this isn't about making money.  It's only about making sure that you have a useful product.  We'll stand behind it... and we don't expect you to live with major bugs that render the software unusable.

Far too much is made over the 12 months of software support.  Heck, if you like v5.x... you're never required to pay for it and you can use it forever.  If you buy a copy of v6.x and it works for you... you're never required to renew support and can use it forever.  But if we don't continue to introduce new features and fixes... then shame on us for expecting you to renew support.

I respect you all... and your opinions.  I'm thankful for them.

Mike, WA9PIE
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #38 on: June 19, 2013, 03:26:23 PM »

Hi Mike

I think I can speak for most of the others and say we greatly appreciated it that you took the time to come on the forum and address some of the concerns voiced in this thread, these same concerns as you also mentioned can be found on multiple forums and so it's great that you are listening and coming up with some solutions. We all know that the road with HRD has been very bumpy and I think most us can truly believe that it has not been a profitable venture but at the same time it seems to me that based on reading numerous forum threads that the reason that HRD 6.0 has not been embraced and therefore not profitable is mainly due to few factors.

1) Many people feel the price is too high.
2) An unpalatable policy on Version upgrades if they invest in 6.0
3) Uncertainty as to what will constitute a completed version 6.1 and how that affects current owners who may have been in Beta land for most of their contract.  
4) A compelling set of features that really sets 6.x apart from 5.x.  IMO that was CW Supersweeper a welcome addition that would have stopped me from needing to buy CW skimmer.

I guess my main question to you is why HrdSoftwarellc didn't approach the software release with the normal protocols that almost all software companies use

And to be more specific I mean an official declaration that:


1)   Software Patches and fixes for Major bugs will be free for several years not just one year.
2)   A lower price on the cost of the software and decouple the support from the price and charge separately for phone support.  In this day and age of forums why are people who can easily figure it out on their own being charged extra for those who can't?
3)   A Guaranteed list of features that Version 6.1 will have when it is complete.

I know that a few of these have been put out already but they have been put out in a very unappealing manor and at other time a very confusing manor that even conflicts with YOUR forum post. For example on the HRD FAQ you have this posted.

________________
Q: What happens when my Support Subscription expires?

A: At the expiration of your Support Subscription the software DOES NOT stop functioning.  The only thing you lose is access to the technical support and updates and patch fixes.
________________

This clearly indicates that at the end of one year there will be no more patches sent out.

Then on another part of the website it states.
_________________
Ham Radio Deluxe 6.0 retails for $99.95 for one year of support and upgrades. Those who have purchased 6.0 will get 6.1 and any other upgrades during that year at no additional cost. The optional support renewal after the initial year of support is ½ of retail, which is currently $49.95. Like 6.0, 6.1 will not stop working after the year of support if you decide not to renew
__________________

So lets say I am an early adopter from February or March of this year, at this point I have not yet gotten some of the big features that 6.0 promised and the bug list is still pretty long, yet I have already used up 1/3rd of my subscription and still have not gotten the completed product and worst yet I may get the completed product with only months left on my contract time and be facing the one year limit stated in the FAQ soon afterwards.

Mike I know that your saying “look it’s ok we will take care of you, we are reasonable people” but you have to understand that at the same time we are all looking at your FAQ’s one year statement and also the price and the rate of progress on completing version 6 and most of us are scratching our heads saying hey maybe its just better to wait until they get to ver 7 and lets just keep on going with Ver 5.x  for now.  Maybe at Ver7 they will lower the price and we will then have all the features completed.  Most will avoid the completed Ver 6 because they figure version 7 Beta will be on out just a couple of months later and it will have the core of the completed Ver6 and a fresh 1 year contact.

I think something along the lines of a very simple clear declaration like the one I described would really get your sales going by giving all of us who are on the ropes a feeling that the price is fairer and that the path forward is more clearly defined and more palatable.


All The Best
Robert
KD8MJR
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 03:50:33 PM by KD8MJR » Logged
W4PC
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« Reply #39 on: June 19, 2013, 05:51:53 PM »


1)   Software Patches and fixes for Major bugs will be free for several years not just one year.
         Yes, that is correct. We'll support 1 version back for major bug fixes for free, but no enhancements..  new policy thanks to you guys Smiley

2)   A lower price on the cost of the software and decouple the support from the price and charge separately for phone support.  In this day and age of forums why are people who can easily figure it out on their own being charged extra for those who can't?
         No one is being charged extra, it's all one price and that includes UPGRADES and SUPPORT, not just support.
         Everyone pays the same.  So no, no unbundling.   It's $99.95.

3)   A Guaranteed list of features that Version 6.1 will have when it is complete.
        Well yeah.. Smiley


While we're not making a profit, we are making enough revenue to HIRE people. 8 hams now have paying jobs in HRD, and like all companies, 75% of revenue is salary, and we're paying above average for above average people.

So , no, $99.95 is not too much to charge, we've even had a majority of people that have purchased that have said it's TOO LOW!   Several thousand in fact have joined up. This is not a one man operation anymore. See above. Smiley

A one trick pony like CW sweeper is $75, DX4Win $89.95  and Logic 9 is $119.95

We're less than $25 more on two of the above and less than the 3rd, and you get SO MUCH MORE.

QST has a review coming out in August...  can't wait for you guys to see that... Steve Ford tells it like it is Smiley

And if you dont want to buy, you can still use 5.24.38 for free.. forever.

Best


Rick - W4PC

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KB1NXE
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« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2013, 07:21:49 PM »

I keep saying this over and over and over.  I would send Simon $100 A YEAR while it WAS FREE!!!!  If more of you did just that, all these discussions on price would BE MOOT!!!!!!!

The New HRD owners ARE A BARGAIN for me.  Because I footed THE REST OF THE BILL FOR THOSE WHO SENT SIMON NUTHIN!

Mike, Rick and the rest of the HRD team, please keep doing what you are doing despite the chronic negative comments from those who want Great Software for nuthin!
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KD8MJR
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« Reply #41 on: June 19, 2013, 07:38:31 PM »

Hi Rick

Let me be the first to say that this is fantastic news  Grin
Two out of three is pretty good win for us consumers and it really shows that you guys understand the issues that we have expressed so I want to really thank you guys for making the changes to the support policy, it makes purchasing HRD a very easy decision. I also want to thank you and Mike for all the speedy replies.

I will be making my purchase of HRD 6 tomorrow so that I have the weekend to play with it Smiley

To the issue of decoupling the product from the support I really cannot complain, that is totally up to you guys but I would say that I think at some point in time you guys will wish you had done it for your own sanity Wink
 I wrote software for 10 years and it was the increase in support calls as more copies got sold along with VS7 upgrade issues that eventually forced me to give it up.  What I found was that once people knew that they had free support their Brains suddenly went into neutral every time they came across a problem.  I think that it was also support that was one of the big reasons Simon wanted out of HRD.  IMHO it's much better to just knock off $20 and charge separately for support or to offer two separate packages even if that means adding more than $20 for the package with support!   Personally I would have just done it on a per call basis because when people know they have pre-paid for support they use it but when they have to pay for it each time they call, then they check to make sure the Darn thing is plugged in before calling Roll Eyes

Anyway I am very happy with the change in policy and I think that anybody who has any doubts should also feel good knowing that for several years their copy of Ver 6 will be up and running.  Personally I can ask for no more and I think this change should calm all the fears about being stranded after one year and it should over the coming weeks create a nice increase in sales.

Thanks again
Robert
KD8MJR
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 08:02:59 PM by KD8MJR » Logged
WA9PIE
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« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2013, 09:03:29 PM »

All,

I appreciate the kind comments.  Most of us are in the hobby - ham radio - to communicate.  To that end, this dialog has been good.  In the "absence of fact", people do what people do... "speculate".  So I can tell you that - without a doubt - our objective is to have a product that you can all embrace and say that this is worth your hard-earned money.

I'll also say that - we made a conscious decision that - given we were not making progress as quickly as we would have preferred - we did increase the price so that we could add people who can tackle (a) eliminating bugs, (b) supporting the product, (c) finishing features introduced, and (d) work on new things (but honestly, this is a small area at the moment).

If folks haven't seen the improvements to Logbook... well... I'm not sure what to say.  QST will feature an article about HRD next month where these improvements were noticed by the reviewer.  But until we added improvements in DX cluster (worked status indicators) and awards tracking, I was STILL using a 15 year-old version of Log Windows to get over the shortcomings in HRD in those areas.  DM780 has had improvements.  To acquire all these things separately, it would add up to 2x to 3x the cost of HRD.

We're gaining control over this more and more each day.  But 140,000,000 lines of code don't fix themselves.  The user interface is elegant, but the code is complex.  We're not deterred by the detractors... we're encouraged by the fans... but we don't take ourselves so seriously that we think we know more than you do.  We're listening... taking you seriously... and want you to know that.

Mike, WA9PIE
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N4UM
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« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2013, 01:37:36 PM »

The "market" will sort it all out just like it does everything else.  My gripe with HRD is not with HRD, it's with so many operators that inflict the canned HRD macros on me,  For example,  the operator was "created in..."  Does "created" mean conceived or actually delivered into the world?
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W4PC
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« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2013, 02:08:59 PM »

The "market" will sort it all out just like it does everything else.  My gripe with HRD is not with HRD, it's with so many operators that inflict the canned HRD macros on me,  For example,  the operator was "created in..."  Does "created" mean conceived or actually delivered into the world?

I think that's just a phenomenon of the PSK-31 users.  Macros have been used for the digital modes even in the DOS and CP/M software days..

But not as big as an extent as many of the PSK-31 users.

Me, Im a DXer... and I can send "de W4PC 5NN TU" with my Vibroplex Smiley

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