1.5 Favor for All

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Gang,

Since SSDR and firmware versions 1.5 are due soon, may I ask a few huge favors before they hit?

Please read the instructions thoroughly before clicking on the installation button. Maybe print them out.

Confirm your system meets the requirements for the software. All of the requirements.

Follow the instructions to the letter. Every letter.

Export your profiles and memories to a safe place before you begin. Maybe two places.

Don't upgrade anything over wifi.

Before you start, reboot your computer and don't have anything running in the background during the install.

If it doesn't work, keep calm and troubleshoot. Start by looking for ghost devices.

I hope these tidbits, all forged in painful experience, are of some help, and the coming days/weeks feature a lot of success stories.

See you on the radio.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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  • anticipation...

Posted 4 years ago

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Walt - KZ1F

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First, I suspect I should start the timer on negative responses. Second, that sound eeri!y similar to there are installer issues. Installers should just work, including saving /updating / migrating profiles and other data. If it can't do that then there are installer issues and the installer isn't ready yet.
(Edited)
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k0eoo

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@Walt, I think over time the installer will get better....  It has gotten better in the two years I've been.....

Regards, Dennis, k0eoo
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Walt - KZ1F

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As a non-member of the Alpha team I don't have the ability to qa product or review code before it is turned into a shipped product. In software, when a product or component can only be successfully executed within a very narrow set of parameters, it is referred to as 'brittle'. Brittle is often referred to as broken. Especially where 1.5 has been referred to as the buffed and polished pinnacle of the first version of smartsdr, I believe it is in everyone's best interest for the crowning release of version 1 to not be brittle. As a customer and user, my vote and sincere advice is, if it isn't robust please don't ship it.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Kind of sounds like you pushed the start on that timer not having even seen the release!

Installers never "just work" if the target machine is "special."

The FRS Installers have been great, always improving, and work quite well.  Actually exceptionally well if you follow the instructions!

But will they work first shot on say a iMac running Yosemite in an uncommon VM instance sandboxing a highly customized version of a Beta Windows release with lots of extensions/services/add-in software already installed as easily as it loads on one of Neal's FlexReady Boxes with less complexity? 

George KF2T's advice to Read the Instructions, Verify Meeting Requirements, Shut Down the extra stuff and let the Installer does its work is rock solid.

Actually reading so many of Problems here on the community the commonality seems to be skipping one or more of these steps, user selected add-ins/customizations interfering, non-compliant hardware, and cockpit error.

One wonders how to begin to help someone who gums up their own machine, who reports irreproducible errors they are not even sure of the steps they did leading up to the problem?  Or why they even bothered to post their problem knowing it couldn't be reproduced?

Or the stream of posts about errors under a pre-release developers edition of an operating system that is automatically self-updating with revisions?  Not only is the system not on the supported by FRS yet, but FRS is at best on the same distribution cycle as the poster, so FRS will not have tested SmartSDR on this new build. 

Or the folks who have added all sorts of software (usually unknown quality freeware or under supported open source software) only to find out these internet gems actually degraded other aspects of their system, yet point to their SmartSDR install as the problem?  

Did they forget the steps in good system troubleshooting to shut down anything not core to the system and try again?  I'm sure many of us remember how super critical this was back in the pre/early-Windows days when TSRs were the vogue and new developers struggled to get everything to play well together.

Again thank you to George KF2T for the reminder and here's to a new level of exceptional radio experiences with a soon to come release!

73

Steve

K9ZW

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k0eoo

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Very good Walt,  I understand and agree with your comments.  Its just that in my past lives I've been intimately involved with high-tech product development, both hardware and software, and understand how long the list of things to do can be and how much prioritizing goes on, and, how impatient customers can get with the time it takes....

If you know what I mean....
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Walt KZ1F - Wondering with so very few reports of installer problems, what are you seeing that no one else is seeing? 

Remembering that this Community is the magnet that should attract problem reports, a quick search isolates a cluster of pre-general release Windows 10 issues, some core Windows 10 update issues also affecting SmartSDR and then it goes back many months to years before other clusters show in the search.  In the case of Windows 10 Upgrades there is a process that works and direct fresh installs of SmartSDR on Windows 10 machines seems pretty normal.

So what is the hand wringing all about?


73

Steve

K9ZW

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Walt - KZ1F

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:-). Actually the timer was for how long it would take to get a response like yours. You're approaching this as a user of consumer written software. I approach it as someone who spent a career designing and writing commercial software. Way different perspectives. With FRS written software, we are both users. Some of us set the bar higher than others Steve, this isn't a debate. My wish and advice still stand and does not require snide comments.
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K1UO - Larry

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WOW...1275 Posts...  ;-) 
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@ Walt - Have FRS installers been continuously problematic since general release?  Nothing major seen, so answer is No.

George KF2T's advice is sound, and if heeded adds to user satisfaction ultimately reducing user problems. 

Sorry if I come across as snide. 

That was not intended and sorry if you took it as an affront.

In earnest I fail to see why you posted anything but support of George KF2T's advice with your software career behind you? You might email FRS with developer level concerns but why scare monger among the users over something that has not been a problem?

Think of how much time those projects you were on would have saved if end users simply followed advice like yours and George KF2T's?

I would say we're actually on the same page and to be clear I do not to imply that you are wrong as we can all agree that a bad installer ruins user experience. 

73

Steve K9ZW



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Bill Turner

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I would also strongly creating a restore point using Window's Control Panel. If you run into any grief, this can undo everything and put you back to your starting point. Never used System Restore? Google it out and get to love it. It will save you endless trouble.

Bill, W6WRT

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Walt - KZ1F

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C'mon Steve, there absolutely have been. Further, there have been releases that, shall we say, have escaped prematurely. If you take an unemotional look at what I said, not what I didn't say, it was effectively, where this is the buff and polish, and potentially final, release of version 1, if it is not, in your (FRS's) mind, as robust has you'd like it, don't feel compelled to release it. There are no aspersions in that sentence or sentiment.

And with that I end my involvement in this thread as, I agree with Bob, this has gotten depressing.
(Edited)
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Bob - W7KWS -

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Boy this is depressing!

I can see that a machine cluttered with corrupt OS files or overly aggressive virus scanners may exhibit issues but around here SSDR has gone onto four different machines at various times using various SSDR releases for over a year under Windows 7, 8.1 & 10 without out any major hiccups. 

Occasionally a previous installation isn't uninstalled properly and the new installation doesn't work right but this is unusual since completely removing SSDR is straight forward.

For the best, absolutely assured uninstall results, follow Tim's SSDR uninstall tutorial linked below.  I've never found all of it necessary in my case but if you want to be sure, the extra time it takes may solve many potential problems in the new installation.

https://helpdesk.flexradio.com/hc/en-us/articles/204975589-How-to-do-a-Complete-uninstall-of-SmartSD...
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Steve W6SDM

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Flex SDR is a complex system as is the Windows operating system. Even if the installer were perfect, there are a variety of things outside of the installer that could cause problems, I.e. other programs and hardware and how they're configured.

Anyone who pilots an aircraft knows you go through the preflight checklist each and every time, even on an aircraft that you've flown hundreds of times. That doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with the airplane.
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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I'm not an alpha or beta SSDR tester. Haven't seen the installer for any future releases, and make no suggestion about its quality. I am sure that the FRS team has worked diligently to improve all aspects of SSDR and the radio firmware. My original post was made in hope that a brief reminder and mini-checklist from experience would help my fellow Flexers with the impending update.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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From all the thoughts and energy posting on this topic, would it be useful if the FRS SmartSDR presented an option to Print the latest install notes and exit?

One suspects some of us innocently forget to follow the recommendations in the excitement to update our radios. (Confession time here - though until now I didn't post about it as it was pure operator error rather than FRS problems - and despite been there, done that, there was no tee shirt...).

The creation of a restore point slipped by a good many of us until Bill W6WRT reminded us.

Let the installer "call off" the steps like the caller at a square dance?

73

Steve K9ZW


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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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You can display and print both the Changelog and the Release Notes after the SmartSDR v1.5.0 software as the last step of the installer process.  You can download the Release Notes before you install the software too.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Tim,
You also posted the changelog in the last installation notice.  (partial snapshot below)  
It was nice to be able to see it and the release notes before doing the install.  Will that be a regular process?

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW V 1.4.16.63
SSDR V 1.4.16.142
Win10

  
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Yes, that will be a regular part of the release process.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Tim - If the Release Notes should really be read before the installation, should the installer suggest reading/printing them as its first step, rather than one of the last?

(What I am admitting is I got caught out myself by eagerly "doing first, reading instructions second", reading the release notes only after installation wasn't successful on one of the installs.  Wonder if others fell into the self-inflicted trap doing this too?)

Just a suggestion.


73

Steve K9ZW

(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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That is the Amateur way!  Plug it in and play...read the manual only if you foul things up!  ha.

I find myself agreeing with both George and Walt....

In a perfect world, program updates SHOULD "just work"  without any hoop-jumping, uninstalling, etc. 

But the Windows multifaceted world is far from perfect, often the fault of neither Microsoft, or the provider of the software being upgraded.  Many other programs can foul things up.... 

So George's advice is sound for our imperfect world...I would add, as others may already have, these OCD procedures that may be overkill but won't hurt anything...

1) Back Up your profiles,
2) Do a cold boot of the Rig before upgrading to make sure you haven't had a static glitch that could cause problems,
3) Uninstall the previous version of SSDR
4) Reboot your computer before upgrading.
5) Install the new SSDR and run it to upgrade the rig..
6) Reboot the Computer after the upgrade
7) Do another cold boot of the rig after the upgrade.
8) If necessary, reprogram the parameters for DAX audio devices and CAT serial ports.
8) Enjoy your new software!

Ken - NM9P
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Walt - KZ1F

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FWIW, I was not, in the least, going after George or Ken, or anyone else. I didn't know that George wasn't an Alpha team member and his caution sounded a lot like a head's up about the fragility of the 1.5 upgrade process. As for my initial advice (wish, sincere hope) about not feeling pressured or obligated to release something before it is done cooking ("not a drop is sold until it's 12 years old"), I've expressed that over the last year or more to FRS mgmt oob.

Nuff said?
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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No problems, Walt. I seldom take disagreements about issues personally. I enjoy a good debate, even if I don't know what I'm talking about. That's how I learn! Ha ha!

BTW, I am not an Alpha or Beta tester either. I wish I were! I did, however take a stab at early release of Win 10. And I was in the second wave of early adopters of the 6500 two years ago, about three or four revisions before the release of v.1.0.