Server performance

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  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Answered
I wonder if the numbers of hits on the FRS server tends to peak when a release of SSDR is thought to be imminent.
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DrTeeth

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  • brill!

Posted 3 years ago

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k3Tim

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I would bet it ramps up at the release announcement.    :-)

I'm thinking any day now..... 
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DrTeeth

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>>I'm thinking any day now.....
Me too...that is why I asked ;-).
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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I would guess after NYD, first week or two in Jan. People tend to take off the week between Christmas and New Years, kids are out of school, perhaps the testers are otherwise occupied..This is a hectic season.
(Edited)
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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It's pretty much what you would expect.  You can tell our release dates of software just by looking at the server statistics.  This is the release of v1.4.  The dark green color is the bandwidth.  We typically run well over 100GB of bandwidth in just downloads during a release month.



We are putting out another Alpha of v1.6 this weekend.  We feel very close, but I probably said this about a month ago.  With many of our staff taking off at various times between the 23rd and the new year, we made a decision not to release v1.6 until after the first of the year.  Part of this decision is because the release is not a simple add of a few features, but rather makes significant changes in the capabilities of the radio for contesting, digital modes interfacing, logging, etc.  More than one of our Alpha team has suggested that we number the release v2.0 because of the significant capability increases.  Of course, we promised everyone that v2.0 is WAN functionality and we're sticking to this.  

The changes require our first update to the DAX drivers since their release.  As many of you know, driver installs often go without a hitch, but can also run into issues from time to time.  We wanted to be sure we had full staff if any of you had issues so we could help with them.  Without a driver update, we might have made a different decision and of course it ultimately depends on whether we've got everything just like we want it this week.  We're working hard to get it to you as quickly as we can!
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Thanks Steve! Looking forward to a "new radio" in the new year.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Thanks, Every little "leak" of information whets my appetite even more!
I guess I can endure a few more days!  
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year to the whole staff!

Ken - NM9P
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Bill N5TU

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Thank you very much.  I'm looking forward to the upgrade.

Have a great holiday!

VY 73, Bill, N5TU
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KF4HR

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Thanks for the update Steve.
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DrTeeth

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Thanks Steve. Each new release has had different version numbered DAX drivers, so are you saying that the number change did not signify a driver change?
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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The DAX control panel has continued to be updated each time, but the drivers have not been.  Generally in Windows user-mode applications are very compatible across versions of Windows.  Drivers can have issues since they are privileged applications that operate more closely with the operating system.  We have seen some occasional issues during Alpha testing with the updated drivers.  We've worked to ensure as many of the issues we've seen during testing will not appear for the majority of customers (thanks to the Alpha team for being Guinea pigs), but we can't predict all of the software and hardware combinations a customer might have, so problems can occur from time to time.  Our support team has been helping customers with this sort of thing since we've been in business so we can help if problems occur.

Long term, the only reason for the DAX drivers is a translation shim from VITA-49 over Ethernet to Windows sound cards.  Most digital applications today use sound cards so we will probably not be getting away from them anytime soon, but I hope in the future that a standard like VITA-49 is more widely adopted so we don't need virtual sound cards -- and the drivers that go with them.
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DrTeeth

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Mni tnx for that info Steve.
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Sergey, R5AU

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Sounds good Steve, thank you !
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Walt - KZ1F

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What no one, so far as I can tell, has asked; is 1.6 it for version 1?
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Marv

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It was just clearly laid out by Steve above that Ver. 1.6 will be just that and Ver 2.0 will be for WAN as promised!
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Marv

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Thanks for the post Steve.  You guys are doing a fantastic job , and always giving a lot to look forward to.  Merry Christmas to you and all of the Staff, and Happy New Year!

Marv

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Walt - KZ1F

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Marv, would you like to point me to where Steve said there would be no 1.7 release? I don't see it. I did see where a tester suggested that 1.5.1 be the last release on 1.x.
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DrTeeth

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The tester was plainly wrong (and naughty for breaking the NDA). I have not seen any mention at all that any given version of the 1.x line would be the last; indeed bug fixes will still be made available after the release of the v2 line. I use some softwares that is continually and frequently updated and the last major version update (aka the last time I paid anything) was years ago.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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There have not been any declarative statements regarding the last 1.x release of anything.  No need to get any feathers ruffled.

And, unless the information comes from an actual member of the FlexRadio management team, it is not authoritative.
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Marv

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Walt Corey-KZ1F

I do not know anything about a 1.7 release. But if you look at and read Steve's post about the use of bandwidth used and showing the chart, he specifically states that 1.6 will be released separate from Ver. 2.0 which will have WAN!

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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"Those who readith betwixt the lines are bound to find white space..."

Seriously, I think the comment Steve was making about 1.6 was a bit of tongue in cheek, referring to the fact that we have put in a lot of time and effort into release 1.6 where it feels like we have done a major release's worth of effort.

One of the major (not not the only) feature of the upcoming 2.0 is WAN access.
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Steve - N5AC, VP Engineering / CTO

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After we release v1.6 and get Maestro out the door, we will work in earnest on v2.0.  There is no plan, at this point, for a v1.7.  But as time progresses, we could decide to produce an interim release for some reason.  The largest factor would be the time required to design and build v2.0.  At this point, no one at FlexRadio can tell you anything about any potential release between v1.6 and v2.0 because we simply don't know. 
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DrTeeth

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Steve, SSDR *needs* a GUI-centred release before v2.

It has some very rough edges and places where some very poor design choices were made; the power and SWR meters spring to mind. There are others sufficient in number to warrant a separate GUI release.

Those who do not wish to upgrade to v2 should get the enhanced GUI as part of their v1 package IMHO.
(Edited)
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W7NGA

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Why this hubbub about Power and SWR meters? Big deal ... you shouldn't be relying on the radio for this information, at least not to any precision. Antenna current, SWR on the feed line, these are important and not the duty of the transceiver. Just my opinion .. but good engineering practices should lead you elsewhere.

I am really enjoying the user-interface, and am starting to fear the distinct possibility of it getting mucked up a bit by attempting to support too many tertiary considerations.

W7NGA  dan
(Edited)
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Guy - While the SmartSDR GUI should be continued to be tweaked a lot falls into personal preference rather than show-stoppers needing a redesign. 

A GUI addition that would be nice to see is "skins" like PowerSDR had but with more customization available, particularly in colors, font sizes and other legibility tweaks.

That could be rolled in somewhere along the line, rather than a dedicated release.

73

Steve K9ZW




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Ned K1NJ

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      The GUI is how this radio presents itself to the world.  It should be as
powerful, practical, and efficient as possible.  Some functions should be
available, but ought to be able to be turned off and on or modified as
needed by the user.
      Flex produced "PowerSDR" and knows how to make a GUI that does
not get "mucked up .... [by] ... tertiary considerations"  They know how to
do this.  A serious "GUI centered release" would be a pleasant surprise
even to those who may not think one is needed.

    Ned,  K1NJ






   
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W7NGA

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Not sure what any of that has to do with fixating on the Power and SWR meters. Microsoft Word is incredibly complex and powerful, and yet, when I try and use it I am overly burdened with sorting thru too many features.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Guy and Ned,
Agree on wanting to see some GUI improvements. There are plenty of good ideas already in the list that would make SSDR better.

Steve ,
Agree that they don't have to be in a seperate release. It would be nice to get them before 2.0 but that is not a requirement for me. I'll get 2.0 when it is available even though I don't have any plans to use the WAN remote feature. I expect there will be other enhancements in the 2.x. Series.

One reason I asked for a status update on all of the ideas (including many GUI improvements) is to find out which ones are even in play. Re: this thread.

https://community.flexradio.com/flexr...

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
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DrTeeth

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@ W7NGA - you have just got used to the current GUI, designed by sombody who thought it was a good idea that the meter bar (the bit that moves - not saying this to be disrespectful, just to make myself clear) gets darker the lower down the scale it moves, just when most would want more precision. For example, on most of 160M, I am only allowed 32W at the antenna. I can make a few calculations for my line loss, but then I cannot see the dark bar on the power meter. There are decisions taken that do not follow windows convention like most (>99%) of windows programs follow and areas where it is very difficult to control. You have just got used to this like most of us, but that should not stop progress :-).

Cheers,

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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Walt - KZ1F

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Some may well feel there needs to be a UI focused release.
Some may feel the UI is just fine the way it is.
Personally, I think over the last two years there have been articulated 'flaws' in the design of the UI. Season to taste.
The primary reason I asked the question, with an expectation of an official answer, is 1.6 apparently will have some major new features, for those features, it will be essentially a .0 release. I'd like to see, prior to the end of release 1 and a money release, notwithstanding what Steve just said, a point release dedicated to cleaning up all remaining reported bugs, sev 1 and sev 2  counts to zero and significant reduction in sev 3 bugs. In that way those not progressing on to release 2.x would not be burdened with unresolved bugs.
(Edited)
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DrTeeth

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Walt, I think there could be a reasonable compromise, but it would take a lot of work. It would require a search through the whole forum to see where somebody in authority from FRS has confirmed the bug/cosmetic issue and said it would be put on a list for fixing...like the date in the lower right hand corner not having the system format (whistles to look nonchalant). I'll get my coat...
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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While I agree there are a truckload of low risk UI polishing items that should be addressed sooner rather than later, the problem with such fixes is that the urgency of the issue and the correctness of the fix often lie in the eye of the beholder.

For example, I don't care what the date format is (I didn't even realize there WAS a date there, actually) but I REALLY want tuning when you mouse over the VFO digits like we had in PSDR. Of course, maybe most people think that's stupid, and think the most important fix is a better S or SWR meter. You know? Subjective stuff is annoying to fix, when you're just going to take a beating from a different group of folks when you change something: "Bastard! Why did you change THAT!! I LOVED the old any it was!!"

Peter
K1PGV
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Walt - KZ1F

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Well, in theory, FRS does have a list of reported bugs...actual bad results, some they looked into, maybe not all though. I am not sure how many on here recognize the difference between a sev 2 and a sev 3. I would certainly stipulate Peter does. It's not a slight that someone else does not, anymore than I'd expect most people to have ever heard of Robert Martin. Some sev 3 are 'eye of the beholder', yes, some aren't though. I was merely arguing for a ' bug squash' release. Without putting words in Steve's mouth it sounded like his answer was a no to that. And to Peter's last point, yes, it seems universal that new bright shiny dev work is always more alluring than maintenance but even though it's annoying to fix, it needs to be, otherwise ... well, there is an otherwise I shall not go into here as I was already reamed out for having done previously.Again though, it's all rhetorical as Steve has already answered the question.
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DrTeeth

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The GUI issues are not that urgent, granted, but Steve gave the impression that 1.6 would be the last of the 1.x series meaning that people wishing to stay with that would lose out and I do not think that that is right. Maybe (m)any changes could be made configurable?

@ Peter - Sad though it is, it annoys me that the "z" is in upper case and not lower case like it should be it is in well over 99% of the cases I see.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Like everyone else I have my personal list of Most wanted GUI improvements including

1. Integrated Spots into SSDR display
2. The ability to select colors of different items (SKINS0 so as to improve the readbility for those who are visually challenged.
3. Replacing the almost useless analog S-Meters, Power and SWR meters with Much more useful digital meters like was found in PowerSDR

HOWEVER...FLEX IS A BUSINESS.

THEY NEED TO MAKE MONEY TO STAY IN BUSINESS

With the possible exception of Integrted Spots, I do not believe that any of the suggested GUI improvements by anyone will generate new sales to pay for the costs of new software development.

OTOH Contest integration and especially WAN definitely will generate new sales to pay for the software development.

So when you are suggesting a wish list of new features you need to consider how many NEW sales that feature might generate to pay for the costs of development.
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DrTeeth

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Whilst the features themselves might not generate sales, the way FRS behaves to its customers will, if they play it right. I am not saying that they have to implement everything or behave uneconomically, but they could do better on this front. I do not imagine, for example, leaving GUI tweaks to v2 will win FRS any plaudits. They really *HAVE* to be made available for non-upgraders too.
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Guy

I totally disagree with you on this point.

Giving away products for free is the best way to go broke.

If GUI fixes are so important then they will generate revenue to pay for them. So they definitely should be part of V 2. And not Free.
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Walt - KZ1F

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Independent of how one wants their graphical control point, there are bugs, and for those 'unknown' new features being introduced in the last slated point release for 1.x, seems to me there will be enough rel 1 features that will need to be 'buffed and polished' before rel 1 is , effectively, ended. It's too easy and unnecessary to get mired down with font sizes.

What you're alluding to Howard isn't the issue. Where there appears to be brand new stuff introduced in 1.6, it would be nice if there weren't outstanding issues with rel 1 features. Nobody is going to go broke by having a solid release before they leave for the next cash event. I believe all Guy was saying, not that he can't speak for himself, outstanding rel1 issues should not be left to rel 2. And if they are they should be back ported to rel 1.

Jim, back porting is when fixes performed in a current release, that are relevant to a prior release, are added to the prior release, even if that means rewriting the fix for the prior release.
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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There is a significant difference between "Buff and Polish" and Bug Fixes.

I can see where significant bug fixes belong in V1 .XX where they impact reliability, stability or performance. But "Buff and Polish" and new features such as WAN more likely should be part of V2 where there is a revenue stream to pay for the labor needed.

I guess I have had to make too many payrolls every month to have any sympathy with customers continuing to want products to remain free of charge. Even the guys at Flex need to eat regularly .
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Walt - KZ1F

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OK, Donald...um, Howard. Buff and Polish isn't new features. I don't believe anyone has ever intimated WAN should  be backported to rel 1. So now you are just chumming the sharks, huh?
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Bernie...oops Walt Just wanting to make sure the rent is paid, the staff is paid, the light bill is paid...

Feeding the Sharks = giving things away for free. As they are always circling around for a free lunch.
(Edited)
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Jay / NO5J

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Rant mode on

I'm willing to download and actually run the next release, before I start complaining about what's not in the next release, and again with the release after that. If i get something extra in version 2.0 then that's just fine with me.

Too many wannabe back seat drivers. Wait till we get there.
Without a signed NDA you have nothing, to already be complaining about.
Try it, before you cry about it! 

Rant mode off

Never mind!

73, Jay - NO5J
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Walt - KZ1F

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No Donald, think about it, chumming for sharks... think about it in the context of the enforcers of Flex Fealty. No, unlike you I am not feeding at the trough so be careful who you point those fingers at.

Sweetie, I actually do have an NDA.
No, I wasn't talking about the next release aside from the .0 inclusions.
So, unless and until you know what you are talking about, you might abstain.

And the part that makes it all better...
never mind.
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Jay / NO5J

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Agreed!!

Never Mind!!

73, Jay - NO5J
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Burt Fisher

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Howard re: hams eating, has not been a real issue of not eating. If 1.6 were released on Christmas would children be abandoned?
(Edited)
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Burt. Funny Pix

But people working at companies that negatively impact their cash flow by doing work for free might find it hard to eat when there is no cash to make payroll''

Pretty obvious that neither you nor Uncle Bernie have ever had to come up with the cash to make a payroll.
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Burt Fisher

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You are right I know nothing about the business world. My investments have done so poorly I am only able to give away $17,000 a year. I can afford to buy almost any car made for cash, so why don't I have a 6700?
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Walt - KZ1F

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Donald, once agn u missed the boat. Rel 1, cost owners between $2600 and $8,000. Nobody is doing anything for free.

Actually, you know so precious little abt the people you attack. But there is a reason for that, the less you know, the more you can just make up as u go along.

So long as you are trumpeting your tenure of 'making payroll' how abt telling the audience the inconvenient Truth about that.
(Edited)
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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As somebody who has been responsible for "making payroll" every month for the past 20+ years, I can tell you this: The discipline it instills isn't always, or even necessarily, good for the company, the people who work for the company, or the consumers of the company's products.  Carl Icahn has made lots of payrolls. That doesn't mean he knows how to run a company well for the long term, treat his employees well, or delight his customers.  In fact, I would argue that Mr. Icahn (whom I do not know personally) has mostly done none of those things, ever.

A track record of delivering software that delights the majority of your customers over a long period of time easily trumps "making payroll" as a criteria for "knowing what you're talking about", at least when it comes to the software industry.

It seems to me that this thread ceased to be productive, or even polite, in the past 24 or so hours.  I wonder: Does the name-calling add anything to the discussion?

Peter
K1PGV
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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@Walt, Burt, et al..  Pretty far off topic and needlessly personal.  Like schools kids.  Kind of cute though.  However whether winner or a loser in any given round "Topper" is one lousy game.  Guess switch that cute to sad.

@Howard - the observation that development costs needs to be recovered (AND THEN SOME) is important for all of us to understand.  It is in the vested (or perhaps invested would work as the word) interests to each of us to have FRS handsomely successful.  They deserve it and our ever evolving product we've purchased with continue to be improved if they are.

@FRS - My radio is Awesome and becomes successively more Awesome as it updates.  Looking back to what we had with the initial SmartSDR releases and what we have at v1.5 the growth is fantastic.  Reflecting on what January's v1.6 and the future v2.0 have on offer - simply WOW! 

@All - I have had the best ROI (Return on Investment) on my FRS Signature Series radios of any of my lifetime radio purchases to date.  Like many of you I've had opportunity to work with the radios early (the Flex-6700 is #11), participate in some aspects of product development (yeah, NDA here too - fair trade though) and worked my little antenna setup harder & more effectively than every before because of the Signature series.  I've been having that special "Radio Fun" that makes the hobby worth it.

Oh and lastly @Donald (how did he get dragged in here anyway guys??!!) - You've made watching politics fun again, and return the excitement of Americanism to the public limelight.  But AFAIK you're not an amateur radio guy, so we shouldn't be worrying abut how you impact SmartSDR in the first place!  So could you disappear to some other forums please, at least until you get licensed as a ham (pun intended!).

Wishing each of you the vey best as we hopefully swing this thread back away from insults & games to our shared interests in what is next for SmartSDR.

73

Steve K9ZW

http://k9zw.wordpress.com

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DrTeeth

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I do not know why people expect human nature on a forum to be sanitised and so  different from adults having a few beers in a bar and letting the discussion flow (and STILL remain friends afterwards). I feel we all know each other well enough here to let anything said in the heat of the moment just go over our heads and not take it personally. Even the 'bad' posts have brought something to the thread, even a chuckle. Honestly, if anybody takes umbrage from anything said here, they should not have left kindergarten. People just need to relax, enjoy life, remember the "sticks and stones" poem and be adult (both those posting and those reading).

Just as one may phone up somebody the next day to apologise for their behaviour in a bar, people would probably apologise here especially if there were a PM facility.

C'mon people, Christian or not, atheist or not, get into the Christmas spirit!
(Edited)
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Walt - KZ1F

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Personally, I prefer ' I'm rubber, you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you'. I think your point is valid Guy. However, it is clear there are a handful of people on here that viscerally do not like others. What is unfortunate, and this is not my original thought, is that getsatisfaction does not allow people to permanently 'ignore' other posters. I know I'd use that and I know there are a lot of others that would as well.
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Dan -- KC4GO

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"You can get what you want out of life if you help enough other people get what they want." -- Zig Zigler
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Dan -- KC4GO

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When I purchased my 6500 a bit over a year ago I did it with the understanding that when the next point release (2.0.x) came out I was to pay $200.00 for it. I purchased the radio anyway.
I'll pay the $200 gladly... And I can't buy any car I want. 

If you purchased your radio new from Flex you did so with the same agreement. If you purchased it used from someone you should have done your homework. Actually if you purchased it new you should have done your home work.

I don't think $200 per user will near cover the cost of development for 2.0 (just a guess)

Dan -- KC4GO
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Burt Fisher

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$200 won't cover the cost of development but the understanding there would be a 2.0 is what motivated many to buy, thus part of the 6000 series purchase price was a deposit on what was promised. The thought has crossed my mind that that the reason it takes so long to do it, they found out they can't do it.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Actually, when I ordered my 6500 almost three years ago, the current understanding was that after the first year there would be a an annual software maintenance and upgrade fee of $199 per year.  I paid the first $199 when I ordered my 6500.  About a year into i, FRS changed the policy to $199 per major upgrade, with V.2.0 to be the first paid upgrade.  I figure I am already one installment ahead, since I have been able to use it for over two years, without any paid upgrades to date..  

Are there a few frustrations and "spit and polish" updates that would be nice?  Yes.
Are there some places where I would make some major adjustments to the GUI?  Yes.  But I never expected any MAJOR refinements to the GUI until V.2.0. anyway.

What I was taught 35 years ago in computer class....FIRST, get the algorithm working.  THEN dress it up.  That is how I see V.1.x and V.2.X.    V.1.x as getting the "Major" radio functions perfected.  Then the next major upgrade can provide the "shine."  

Also, let us not forget that one of the things most attractive to the whole SDR concept is that it becomes a framework for experimentation and customization that many hams can engage.  The release of the API et. al. provides just that, for those who have the skills to program to it.  I have played a little with programming my MIDI DJ Controller, thanks to work done by William and a few others kind enough to share their code.  It opened up lots of possibilities that I have not had time to implement.  But the door has been opened for me to create my own control GUI or hardware GUI using the simple Processing language and library.  I will be able to create any controls I want and put them anywhere I want.  That puts the power in my own hands.  I won't need to beg, cajole, pressure, whine, or argue for any specific arrangement of buttons on a control panel.  I will ultimately be able to do it myself.  FRS can be set free to work on the really difficult stuff that is WAY over my head!  
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Gosh.  I can't take a weekend off to spend with my family without all of this unnecessary personal banter which is bad community etiquette. So I am closing this post.

Please remember that the holiday season is upon us and to make an effort to show a little dignity and respect to one another.  It is not a requirement to always respond with your opinions to continue a needless debate.

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