I think you deserve an apology

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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Dear customers,

About a month ago I responded to a FlexRadio Community post titled “SSDR Roadmapless Future Development.”  I would like to sincerely apologize for the terse tone of my response to criticism of FlexRadio regarding how we prioritize requests for specific graphical user interface (GUI) feature enhancements relative to other enhancements.  I also used the term “eye candy” to characterize those requests, which was insensitive to the requests of our valued customers.  I would like to ask for forgiveness from anyone offended by my post.  

We genuinely appreciate all constructive feedback that will help FlexRadio improve our products and services.  We also agree that GUI enhancements, which benefit a broad customer base should be considered on par with all other valid requests.  My response to the referenced post clearly gave the wrong impression in this regard.  

We have a formal process for assimilating, sizing, prioritizing, and assigning software development tasks.  Each week the customer service and development teams along with representatives from the management team review and disposition every incoming issue from the prior week.  If the an item does not fit within the current cycle or is not of a critical nature, it is assigned to the global backlog to be reviewed in conjunction with planning for subsequent releases.  GUI enhancement requests are considered right alongside all other feature requests based on merit, consistency with our core design philosophy, prioritization within our overall business objectives, and broad customer applicability.  

While I cannot promise when or if ever a specific feature request of any type might be incorporated into SmartSDR, I can say that we will diligently review and consider each request. We appreciate the support of all our customers and desire that you truly enjoy our products.


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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jim Jerzycke

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Well, I certainly wasn't offended in the least.

We know you have a process in place, and it works.

And I'm still looking forward to the OK from my CFO (aka, my wife) to get the go ahead on a new 6000 to replace my 5000!

We appreciate all you do, Gerald.

73, Jim
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Ron Morgan

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Offended? I just upgraded my Flex and with every software release I have a new radio. Kudos to your team.
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Steve (N9SKM)

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No worries, You guys have a process and i'm sure you have to make tough choices sometimes on what gets implemented depending on who has had issues. This is why it is so important for us to create help desk tickets when needed (Go to the community first to see if you are not doing something right). But when everyone is pushing about "their issue" im sure it wears on you guys a bit.

I for one am in part a flex owner because of this community and how active FRS is on it. The level of communication we are able to take advantage of is truly wonderful.
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Brian Morgan VK7RR/4

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Gerald, I regarded your post as being a little humorous so did not take the slightest offence at it. Therefore no apology is necessary.

Brian VK7RR
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Gerald,
Very nice comment.    When I read you original reply to Jon, it did surprise me.  And it was a bit discouraging although I wasn't offended.   We all have bad days and I hoped that was the case.  

On the GUI ideas -- I've entered a few of them, voted on others, and taken the time illustrate a few of the GUI improvements for others.  I was beginning to think maybe it was a waste of time.  

I'm glad to hear that they are still being considered.   It would be nice to see some positive feedback or status updates in the idea posts so we would know which ones are likely to be implemented.    I understand the logic to not disclose competitive information on the big ideas but many of the requests are for small improvements that don't fall into that category.   For example fixing the color scheme on the POWER and SWR meters, or implementing automated AGC-T or AutoZeroBeat on CW.  I could list many others.   I'm sure the competition wouldn't care one way of the other if those things get done.   But some (or many) of the SSDR customers here would like to know. 

I understand priorities and while everyone would like to see faster progress, I'm content to wait and even more so if I know the ideas are being seriously considered or planned.  Again, it would be encouraging to see some feedback on the viability of the more popular (i.e. high vote count) ideas.  

I truly appreciate you taking the time to express your thoughts on this, and I'm sure others will feel the same way.  

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
6700 - HW.................... V
SSDR / DAX / CAT...... V
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Jon - KF2E

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Hi Gerald,

I wasn't offended, maybe a little disappointed...but not offended. All I hope is that those of us who enjoy our radios everyday while DXing, chewing the fat with friends or just scanning the bands, still get a little love from the development team. 

If you are looking for ideas on how to maximize the wow factor of SSDR, just look at the work Darin is doing with PSDR.

Thanks for your comments.

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Bob - W7KWS -

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I read the piece Gerald & taking offense didn't even cross my mind. It just sounded like necessary business. Just got the Maestro an hour ago. It was up & running on WiFi by my easy chair within ten minutes of arrival. Thanks to you & your team! See you in ten days if I can penetrate the mob that's likely at your booth in Dayton.

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Hi Gerald,

I do admit to taking a sharp intake of breath and doing a double-take at the post that you mentioned. I could not say any more nor anything better than Al's post above.


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Kevin Va3KGS

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Morning Gerald, and the Flex Team

Myself, I really enjoy reading all of the comments every morning, which your customers are sending in.  Its also very appreciated that your Team of experts read all of these comments and answer them back when needed, and in a timely manner.

My comment applies to the Beta Testing Team as well.


Kevin, Va3KGS

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Paul, KB3ML

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Hello Gerald,

Please no apology.

When you started with the 6k series you needed to start with a clean sheet of paper, both for hardware and software.
True Smart SDR may not be as mature as Power SDR but we can only look for exciting things to come.
The 6k series is the best thing in amateur radio for years,  so we all benefit.

The amateur radio community owes you a Thank-You !

73,  Paul
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Gerald is apologising for a particular post and not his design philosophy. When an individual feels the need to apologise for something, it is because they have found a need to and that is to be applauded. That others do not see any need means they have missed the reason and point for doing so.

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Winston VK7WH

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I think you have missed the point Guy
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Dan -- KC4GO

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I'm still very happy with my 6500 after about 18 months.  There have been a lot of improvements over that time. Just this morning I was able to get rid of about 5 to 6 db of noise (local) on 40 meters with WNB (WNB wasn't there when I purchased the radio). Made the difference in hearing net control and not.  I'm just along for the ride I've had a new radio about every 3 to 4 months... How many hams can say that. My TS-480 (mobile) is still the same radio it was when I got it in 2005.  Not that it's not been a good radio but sure could use a pan-adapter and waterfall. :)

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Have you actually read Gerald's post? He has made a most honourable apology for something that he felt the need to. Anybody who does that needs to be applauded even by those who do not see the need for it.
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Jd Dupuy

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I look at my Flex radio purchases (including my new Maestro) in awe and wonder how in the heck do they figure all this out! My job is easy. Work hard and buy radio gear that gives me enjoyment. It's because of you that I have been able to truly focus on a hobby after work and enjoy myself. You stepped up to the plate...can't ask for more than that!
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Thank you for the apology Gerald.

I can't imagine how tough it is to not jump at some comments which only seem to want to attack FRS, with or without merit. If someone attacks my work I get defensive right away.... but as time passes by and I mature as a person I understand there is no gain from attacking back. Ultimately, your customers and your product will dictate the success of your company. And being able to realize your mistake and correct it publicly is what sets this company and yourself apart.

I like the concept of the Maestro, it is a cool addition to my radio shack and I bought it. But it is SmartSDR what hooked me. It is SmartSDR what I truly enjoy and it is improvements in SmartSDR that have the biggest impact.

Good luck with the Maestro launch and keep on adding things to SmartSDR... we love to get the new features!!!
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Ken - NM9P

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Thanks, Gerald.
I interpreted your unfortunate use of the term "eye candy" not as meaning that those issues were unimportant, but that you were focused at the moment at adding major functionality (via Maestro, et. al.) and that the multitude of GUI enhancements and other refinements would be considered in later software releases.  

Indeed such enhancements, which may be seen as merely "eye candy" to some, but critical operation roadblocks to others, are not unimportant.  But they ARE less crucial than major functions that are/were being developed.  

Having considered the incredible stress you and your whole team have experienced in preparing the Maestro for release, and the constant second-guessing from so many arm-chair quarterbacks, it is not surprising that a terse word could have slipped out.  Frankly, I am surprised that a few more haven't.  If I were in your place I might need a two-hour delay on my send button!

Nevertheless, I thank you for your online mea culpa.  It shows class and reinforces your connection to your user base, which is the best in the business.  

Thanks for all the very hard work you and your team have done, and continue to do, to build, develop, and enhance the top equipment in the business.

Ken - NM9P
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Dale KB5VE

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Owning Signature series Flex 6500 #50 I can honestly say I have never regretted buying , even the log wait to get it delivered . What has amazed me is most of the issues I see posted never happened to my Flex. As you know we have talked many tines over the years and I have owned everything you have made and sold.

As to future releases I do have some eye candy items myself but they can wait. The two biggest things I want are # 1 take the original flyer and be able to check off the items promised and I believe true use of the wan is a issue that needs to be released as advertised, the other is a true partnership with a thrift party to produce a software suite which will handle logging and digital communications with very little F lustration on the operator.

Neve did I feel you were talking down to us and I feel the two items will come and just keep moving toward the light and all will be good.

I am glad the Mistroe was released and now the group who held the flex was not contest ready will shut up and learn to play second place to a Flex!
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Hi Salvador,

I'll pass that along to the developers if you do not mind as that issue does not seem to have been raised before. Is that okay?
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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That will be great!
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Done ;-).
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Point out to them that the Mem usage goes up and down for no apparent reason.

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Walt - KZ1F

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Memory usage does go up and down for very well known and predictable reasons, eg, it's being used so in advance of that it is acquired and it is no longer being used so it is being released. Sometimes it goes up and stays up as it is not dynamically used. It's usage peaks at a certain point and that's it. If it goes up and up and up and never stops, that's called a bug. In heap based systems, memory is not allocated directly from the OS that owns it as that is expensive. Rather, a set chunk is acquired from the OS and subdivided out of that and only if that chunk is fully utilized does the program alocate another large chunk from the OS.

For those that only want the best and acquire systems with 128GB, as they want 'the bigger Gee Bees' , 500MB is nothing. Even in 4GB or 8GB, 500MB is not outrageous.
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Philip KA4KOE

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Sir, it takes a really big man with deep seated maturity to admit to a lapse in professional or personal behavior. I went off on a trainee about a year ago and felt really bad afterwards and attempted to apologize. 


Philip Neidlinger, PE
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Philip, been there and done that too. At least you seem to have read the original post before commenting unlike some others.

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