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Why not Write Installation Software that Deletes the Old Version First?

Wheelin RevWheelin Rev Member
edited January 20 in New Ideas
Over the weekend, I encountered a "blue screen" Windows 10 crash. It had an adverse effect on on my FLEX-6500 where when DAX (v)1.7.30 was started, I got the dreaded "DAX Driver" error screen and the DAX channels would not work. I uninstalled SmartSDR (v)1.7.30 (and de-installed the DAX drivers) and reinstalled everything but was still receiving the DAX Driver error screen.

Rather than calling up Dudley right away or opening a HelpDesk Ticket, I decided to use Tim's all-inclusive instructions (https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/204975589) to completely remove ALL old versions of SmartSDR and install SmartSDR (v)1.7.30 as a clean, brand-new installation. That resolved the DAX Driver error.

For most software vendors, when a new software version is released, the installation software FIRST removes the old version and then installs the new version such that only one version of the vendor's software is installed on the hard drive at a time. For the Flex Radio Systems SmartSDR, unless one does Tim's complete removal procedure (a manual step-by-step process I might add), your Add/Remove Programs Window will possibly show five or more versions of SmartSDR. And as a CAUTION NOTE, you cannot use the Add/Remove functionality to remove the older SmartSDR versions. You MUST use Tim's method to safely remove the old versions which includes removing the most recent version first.

(EDIT: According to this post by Tim, you CAN remove old versions with no harmful effects. If that is the case, why Tim, does one need to use your procedure to completely uninstall SmartSDR for Windows starting with the latest version first?)

Sooooooo... Why can't the SmartSDR Installation software be written such that it does NOT leave residual old versions of SmartSDR on the hard drive? Then, should a DAX Driver error screen occur in the future, all one would need to do is to remove the one-and-only current version completely and re-install it whereby resolving the error.

Makes sense to me...

73, Dave Hamm K4EET
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Comments

  • Wheelin RevWheelin Rev Member
    edited August 2017
    For some reason I got locked out from finishing editing my post above even though no other person has replied. The post that I referred to where Tim said it is OK to delete old versions of SmartSDR indiscriminately is posted here. But my question then is why do we need a manual procedure to completely remove SmartSDR to start afresh? Can we simply use the Add/Delete functionality of Windows and just remove all SmartSDR versions in any order from the Installed Programs List? 73, Dave Hamm K4EET
  • Bob K4RLCBob K4RLC Member
    edited August 2016
    Dave. I strongly agree with your suggestion for removal of old versions with the new installation. While I'm not a computer scientist, as a neuropsychologist, I work with very sophisticated hardware and software that measures and manipulates the electrical activity of the human brain. The two companies I primarily work with (one in Montreal, the other in Cleveland) write the new software installs to delete the old stuff. I'm with you.
    Bob K4RLC
  • Al_NN4ZZAl_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    There are valid reasons to keep the previous version so how about adding an option to the install process.   Something like this check box below.....although it is never as easy as it sounds.  .

    Even for those of us that like to keep the previous version, it would be nice to have this option for those occasions when we have an issue and want to start clean. 

    image
    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
    6700 - HW.................... V 1.6.21.77
    SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V 1.6.21.159
    Win10

  • Roy StieglerRoy Stiegler Member
    edited July 2018
    Is it possible to just have your computer restore to a previous restore point, like one that was identified a week earlier (or whatever) when the computer was functioning properly?  Easily done with Windows.

    Not for this particular problem, but for other incidences, I have done that.  Not a bad idea to have a recent restore point handy.  Easy way out.

    73

    Roy  W5TCX
  • Jim GilliamJim Gilliam Member
    edited May 2016

    I have been trying to "hammer" this point home for two years now. I even said I'd trade that feature for a delayed WAN!


    Jim, K6QE

  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    My preference with a clear out the old would be an option that allows archiving the old version in a file/folder that could later be used to restore back or be deleted. Just a hedge against those moments where an upgrade doesn't work quite right or one finds an otherwise perfect upgrade orphans third party software/hardware making a roll back desirable. 73 Steve K9ZW
  • K7NXTK7NXT Member
    edited May 2016
    Add me to the list..

    73, William  K7NXT
  • Jay -- N0FBJay -- N0FB Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    In a Multi, Multi environment, you may have several Flex 6000 radio's on the network. They all might be on a different 'dot' releases for specific reasons. Can it be a pain sometimes? Sure it can. However, I would not want to give up that flexibility because a few folks can't read instructions. Come on gang! We are all at least General class operators and supposedly at least a little more technically savvy than the average Schmo. I don't expect Flex Radio to be in the diaper changing business. It's time for a few of you to Cowboy Up!
  • Bob K8RCBob K8RC Old Guy Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    While we're on the subject, how about installing to ONE location. Putting the program in a new version-numbered directory each time may be useful for ALPHA testing purposes but is inconvenient and messy.

    Inconvenient - My logging software can be configured to launch external programs but, since the path changes each time, it has to be modified for each new version release.

    Messy - I have many directories of obsolete Flex software. I can imagine what the Registry entries look like.

    We're making progress on DAX slobbering unused audio drivers everywhere  (still a long way to go). CAT is being unbundled at last for those of us who don't interface to COM ports anymore.

    Let us finally admit that many of us use the hamshack machine for things other than ham radio and clean up our act on install practices.


  • Martin AA6EMartin AA6E Member ✭✭
    edited January 20
    I favor the "standard" (in the industry) of new software versions replacing old versions - and keeping the same app name (W/o version numbers). The installer should do all necessary registry cleanup, too. In the rare (?) event you need to downgrade, it's easy enough to re-download. Multisystem ops who use multiple versions side by side have my deep sympathy, but surely there aren't many of them! As a rule, the burden of "big" installations should be borne by those folks -- who have the resources -- and not the vast majority (?) of us with simple setups.

    73 Martin AA6E
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I'm with you chaps 100%. Ever since I started with computers the only two things that have annoyed me from the start were a) version numbers in the install folder and b) the company's name in the install path. *Very* occasionally I will keep it for tidiness, but I do not understand why a small company that has one product needs to do this.
    
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    I could see wisdom in archiving old installers for prior releases but none for old installed images. By virtue of downloading new installers in the Downloads subdir, that archiving chore is accomplished. I recall no instance where commercial InstallAnywhere executables don't remove prior versions. Similarly, rpm, yum, dpkg, deb, all clean up the environment removing orphaned versions.
  • Bob K4RLCBob K4RLC Member
    edited August 2016
    Your negative comment is why I don't like posting to this list. I take care of brains for a living and don't have time to mess with software revisions that are not seamless, and software updates that create additional problems. Maybe you have extra time to waste, but I don't
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Martin, that wouldn't work with ssdr as the radio needs to be syncd withe the UI. On muli-user systems each user have their own sandbax and can't even see other users non public data. Just as in the UNIX world people fell into the incredibly bad habit of signing on as root, giving themselves global access and execution privileges. This too could be done with Windows but, luckily, Windows never really made it into the multiuser would.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Once a new release of ssdr is installed prior versions are, in fact, orphaned.
  • Steve K9ZWSteve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    Don't miss the opportunity to "go positive" whenever possible is a great life value. There are compelling reasons to discuss several possible improvements, and fortunately the status quo works reasonably well and the documented remedies for the occasional glitch largely work well. Keeping the discussion above personal jabs helps strive towards clarity. Acute time deficits are not uncommon, but are only one item of many being balanced. I would expect there are axis of discernment we've not even touched upon that FRS must deal with. 73 Steve K9ZW
  • Martin AA6EMartin AA6E Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    @Walt - I'm not sure I follow.  Of course the versions have to match between the radio, the PC, and (now) the Maestro.  If you're using one PC to support multiple versions, you've got a special problem -- maybe you're a developer or beta tester.  That's what virtual machines were invented for. :-)  Maybe I don't understand your use case.
  • KC2QMA_JohnKC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited December 2018
    The point of Updating to NEW version is to Replace the OLD version. I agree at minimum give an option to completely remove old version!
  • DrTeethDrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Bob, don't be so precious. Many people here do different things for a living, all valuable for society. Please don't think that what you do is more important than what anybody else does.

    If you don't have time for your hobby, maybe change your rig so that you don't have any updates. If you cannot take humorous criticism, then maybe this place is not right for you.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Martin, I believe you and I are in agreement. My points were, given this is a 100% Microsoft environment, multiuser system is incredibly unlikely as multi user Windows is generally not simultaneously. But if I, as walt and you as Martin, did shifts at a multi station contest station I could have a different version of ssdr for windoze than you did but but I still couldn't use the same radios without breaking everything. I don't believe there is a viable use case for multiple active versions of ssdr for Windows so preserving them is nonsensical as well as non standard in the industry. Yes, I know about VMs, I've been running a cloud here in our basement for about a decade now, Eucalyptus then, more recently OpenStack.
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited November 2016
    You are making the PRESUMPTION uninstalling everything first in a windows environment and across several versions of windows is without consequence.   My experience is that is not the case.  So tell me how do you feel about installing the entire O/S again in the face of corruption?  Would that be Flex's fault or would Flex just get to wear the blame?   The dreaded DAX issue as far as I can see is a problem with how Microsoft enumerates and integrates sound cards, not a problem with DAX per se.  Windows is hardly bullet proof

    73  W9OY
  • Steve (N9SKM)Steve (N9SKM) Member
    edited May 2016
    Agreed, I deal with usb to serial equipment at work and windows tends to do a terrible job with that kind of stuff. I have made it a habit to go in and delete unused ports before connecting. The dax and cat stuff is up the same alley. Not a FRS problem IMHO
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    I'm not sure I'd go that far. It may, in fact, not be their 'problem' but they are the closest to knowing, for any given update, if keeping two incompatible versions is going to be a problem and, in deed, if two or more versions are, in fact, incompatible. The problem I have with 'make it optional' is only the vendor knows if having the newly installed version coexisting with one or more prior versions would cause destabilization s. And, if they don't, they should. And that is independent of the vendor or who gets blamed for it.
  • Rich McCabeRich McCabe Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    I would appreciate something like this as well.  With Windows 10 I get tired of setting up my tile menu again every time I update. Small thing but sure would be nice.  Flex is pretty solid now and the odds of having to go back to old version are getting small.
  • Walt - KZ1FWalt - KZ1F Member
    edited November 2016
    Further, this is not about afixing blame. It is about doing whatever ensues the best user experience. That generally involves following industry best practices. Doesn't mean there can't be exceptions, but generally not, which is why they are best practices.
  • KC2QMA_JohnKC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    What I have noticed is that even though we can almost all agree that the Sky Is Blue someone always will show up and say no... it’s BLACK?

    People used to think the world was Flat once too. ;)

  • Bob K8RCBob K8RC Old Guy Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Actually, the sky, as observed at sea level on a cloud free day is cyan.

    Blue is an adjacent but different part of the spectrum.

    ;)

  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    Too funny
  • W9OYW9OY Alpha Team Member ✭✭
    edited May 2016
    When a customer shows up saying his computer is **** up and its your program that broke it its about fixing blame

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