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Is a more structured Alpha/Beta program needed?

2456

Answers

  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited February 2017
    I'm sure there are Flex users out there that are constantly chompin'-at-the-bit for the next software upgrade.  I'm not one of them.  I normally sit back and read the feedback after a new software version is released, then only upgrade only if I feel there's a real benefit to the newer version.  In fact, if not for my Maestro purchase I'd probably still be running V1.5.1. 

    Putting out new software versions every few months, only to have customers become their own beta testers, reduces my confidence in the product.  Personally I'd prefer Flex reduce their software upgrade frequency, perhaps just moving to an annual software release, if this would result in a more reliable product. 

    Granted Flex is on the cutting edge and has its loyal customers.  On the flip side I'm constantly comparing my Flex-6700 reliability to my ICOM IC-7800.  If the bug or configuration frustration levels get too high with my Flex, I find myself reaching for my 7800's On button.   
  • Mike W9OJ
    Mike W9OJ Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The OM-4000 is not an older tube amp.
  • KC2QMA_John
    KC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited April 2020
    Flex may be doing this now but with all of the success of the amateur radio division it’s time to higher a bunch more software engineers to speed development SSDR and Maestro. I am happy with the performance of my 6500 I just wish the software would move along faster to at least have many of the features of PowerSDR.
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I agree with that 100%. Updates are needed more than 1 every 6 months or so. Bugs need to be corrected as a high priority.
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Yup blame it on the user environment.
  • Burt Fisher
    Burt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016

    So why are you making a public comment now?

    To show the king has your ear?

  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Good point Burt! 

    Jon...kf2e
  • Burt Fisher
    Burt Fisher Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    You mean "hire" KC2QMA? Are you going to pay them? Flex is not a charity, they need to make money, how they do it on hams amazes me.
  • Jon_KF2E
    Jon_KF2E Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    No Burt, they need to hire Darrin KE9NS...and YES, I will contribute to get some of the same work he is doing for PSDR.

    Jon...kf2e
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Sign me up . . . I second that.
  • KD7CAO
    KD7CAO Member
    edited July 2019
    I can agree with what you are saying. At the same time however, V2 of the software was promised shortly after sale yet I have not seen the promised functionality. To me the Maestro is useless without the remote control over the Internet. Heck, it is the whole reason we purchased 4 of the 6700 and Maestro controllers.
  • KC2QMA_John
    KC2QMA_John Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Good catch Burt :)
  • WW1SS - Steve
    WW1SS - Steve Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Ive said that before and couldn't agree with you more
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I knew as soon as something ever went wrong some would jump on the opportunity to say Flex does not know what they are doing. And they think they do. Not only do the testers test, but Gerald and Steve as well as many of the Flex staff have used their Maestros for hundreds of hours with out problems.
  • Jay -- N0FB
    Jay -- N0FB Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Yes Steven, the environment is a major consideration...a multi-tier application such as SmartSDR is reliant on all portions of the system to work flawlessly or at least reasonably well.  That system includes the radio, the client application (SmartSDR), the Client computer, the client computer operating system, the network, the network latency and current utilization at the time of the update, the mode of the network (WiFi vs Direct Connect Ethernet).  There are many points of failure and most are out of the control of FlexRadio Systems.  Unless you fully understand software development in such an environment and what the challenges Flex Radio is up against, you might want to give Flex a little slack.  

    I find many of your recent comments not useful.  Most appear to be borne out of ignorance. 
  • Jim Jerzycke
    Jim Jerzycke Member
    edited July 2016
    Agree 100% with 'NXT.

    I have "spousal approval" for a 6500 now, but I'm hanging back to see how the software issues pan out.

    I would MUCH rather have fewer features as long as ALL the included features work properly, and the software is 100% rock solid.

    Too many requests for new bells and whistles tends to dilute the effort of the teams working on *ANY* project.

    BTDT, and eventually left that company....

    73, Jim
  • Jay -- N0FB
    Jay -- N0FB Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    Burt, there maybe some method to your madness.  I don't know the full makeup of the Alpha testers as I'm not one, but it may make some sense to not have all of the Alpha group made up of technically savvy individuals who have shown a propensity to be overly positive.  A non-technical person might provide a helpful alternate view of the health of a given release.  

    Again, I'm arm-chair-quarter-backing here.  FRS might already be doing this.
  • KF4HR
    KF4HR Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    I couldn't agree more.  Get rid of the current bugs before complicating things with more features (and more potential bugs).
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Jim, the radio it's self is very solid, what is being discussed here mostly is a problem with the latest Maestro update.
  • Jim Jerzycke
    Jim Jerzycke Member
    edited July 2016
    OOOPS!

    Must have dropped the ball on that. I was under the impression that it was SmartSDR that was being discussed.

    I'm not in the market for a Maestro. I saw one at the HAMCON in Torrnace, CA, and while I thought it was a beautiful piece of hardware, I just can't justify the price-to-own for the type of operating I do.

    Thanks for the clarification!
  • Bill -VA3WTB
    Bill -VA3WTB Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Howard made some good points
  • Jim Jerzycke
    Jim Jerzycke Member
    edited July 2016
    I'm pretty happy with my 5000A, but it's an early one and I'm kind of itching to see how much better the new ones are.

    I see the type of person you mentioned in many different hobbies I'm in, from cars to photography to shooting sports.

    I just shrug them off unless they try and get me involved in their "cause". Just not worth getting all spun-up over....
  • Dave - W6OVP
    Dave - W6OVP Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    In my professional life by far my best beta tester was a secretary in our office who could break anything she touched...

    ABSOLUTELY CORRECT! We used to rotate draft Instruction and Installation Manuals among normally bright secretaries who knew nothing about computers or programming. If they could not follow the directions to perfect conclusions without any help we knew WE were not good enough and had more work to do before retesting. And NO excuses were allowed for us!

    I have told this story for years to haughty technical cognoscenti and received back only cynical laughs of disbelief. (BTW, from what I've seen, as with virtually all of the computer industry I doubt any of the FLEX product instructions would come even close to passing this tough test.)
  • km9r.mike
    km9r.mike Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    My risk management program has me on 1.6, however , the greater the reward the more risk I will take. I did not get maestro so 1.7 had little reward and I was about to do 1.8 and could have done so w/o any risk, but  some stubborn maestros have temporarily gotten in the way.  
  •   VE6KWA
    VE6KWA Ken Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    <<< "rock solid" >>   I see we;ve  gone from buying amateur radio gear to Rocks again...  B(   Everyone simply needs to decide what level of risk exposure they are comfortable with and upgrade (or not) accordingly. There will Always be more risk with new or bleeding edge technology. It's exciting stuff, but... if you aren't comfortable with the inherent risk, then stay an appropriate  margin behind on the curve. I'm currently an SSDR version behind and loving it.
  • Jay Nation
    Jay Nation Member
    edited August 2016
    And don't forget the hyperactive power foldback when feeding complex impedance's, found on many amateur radio amplifier inputs. We wouldn't want our Flex's getting a complex would we?
    I'm really looking forward to 1.8.4+.
    Ya see what knobs are good for now. Right?
    Still, I kinda prefer my Knobs unbricked. image
    So far mine are.

    73, Jay - NO5J  
  • km9r.mike
    km9r.mike Member ✭✭
    edited July 2016
    I currently do not have an amp, but a conservative feature is a good thing. Better than the alternative. I am actually a fan of no knobs. Good thing they did not incorporate them when designing the first computers.
  • Jim Jerzycke
    Jim Jerzycke Member
    edited July 2016
    I'm pretty comfortable close to edge. I just don't want software that locks up, crashes, or blue-screens my computer on a regular basis.

    I'll tolerate the occasional crash as long as it doesn't happen too often.

    Jim

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