Before I purchased my 6300, I had a 3000 using PowerSDR. One feature I really loved was the ability to hover the mouse cursor over any number on the frequency display and tune using the mouse wheel. This allowed the user to easily step by 1Hz, 10, 100, 1k, etc. It made tuning a breeze.
This high level of application polish has been neglected in SmartSDR. You can only tune by whatever step value you have set.
One of the things that set Flex apart was attention to little operating details that made the PowerSDR developers stand out. SmartSDR has lost many of the "smarts" that PowerSDR had and while it is a nicely done program, many thoughtful details are gone. Indeed, many mouse hover and wheel "opportunities" are simply ignored.
Are there any plans to bring this back in SmartSDR?
Please do not abandon your efforts towards those user friendly little features that turn a good application into a great one.
Right on target, Brian. I complained about this long ago to no avail. SmartSDR appears "industrial" or "Military Contract" compared to PowerSDR which has "Heart".
My mouse wheel works from anywhere inside the SSDR screen. Flex 6300.
I use it all the time.
They appear to have turned all attention to the Maestro and
I wouldn't look for things to change any time soon. As you know things are full bore Maestro at the moment and it seems likely they will swing to full speed WAN remote next.
In several posts Gerald has made it clear that he views things like this as eye candy that don't help the Flex bottom line.
I have been a commercial Windows software developer for over 25 years and I wouldn't know where to begin to start counting the number of companies I have seen fool themselves into believing that the UI user experience is second priority. Flex is indeed a top-drawer hardware company, but they also have the responsibility to an equally dedicated and responsive software company. We all buy the hardware, but we spend all our operating time with the software.
With the introduction of the 6000 series and SmartSDR, Flex "pretty-fied" the UI. Fancy looking UI's generate better screen-shots for ads and reviews. Older Flex users salivated at having a much nicer looking interface. PowerSDR obviously didn't have the same pizazz as SmartSDR.
But I wonder how many others were as disappointed as I was that much of the "heart and soul" of the original design was missing? Or, how many more mouse clicks and keyboard presses it takes to do some things now?
We have a cardinal rule in software design. "Less clicks is better". Flex missed a lot of opportunities to utilize the mouse capabilities like missing or incomplete tool-tips, hover detection and wheel operation over slider and spin-box controls, and of course, frequency tuning. Other things like band segment markers were apparently dropped for a reason that escapes me. That one little detail generated more "gee-whiz's" from my friends I demoed my 3000 to than any other thing.
True, none of these user friendly and ease of use functions make for better screen-shots for marketing material and it is understandable that Flex would mistake these for superfluous "eye candy".
But in my opinion, they should re-evaluate their short list. What Flex thinks is "eye candy" is what turns "Flex users" into "Flex evangelists".
None of these things are hard to do, that's what I do every day. What worries me is that it sends a message to us Flex users that the commitment to excellence that drew us to Flex in the first place has now changed.
One final thought that anyone with experience in the software industry would agree with... When you let the marketing department define the software development schedule, no one wins in the end. Listen to the users. They are your best salesmen.
http://www.dxlabsuite.com/commander/Help/ChangingFrequency.htm#Changing frequency via mouse wheel
My bet is that most of our wish-list won’t materialise until V2, in which case the current “eye candy” will then suddenly morph in to “show-stopping can’t live without great new features”.
Somewhere at FRS there’s a secret list of user wishes and UI shortfalls, along with observations and user responses to the foregoing developments of PowerSDR. This will naturally be used to make us all salivate $$$ over V2.
So here’s, the thing: had FRS been honest with us upfront and clearly stated that SSDR would not be close to PSDR in several key areas for many years to come, then I would not have purchased a F6k, would you?
You can understand the marketing strategy, get the users locked-in (US software guys love vendor lock-in), but then hold back on the really cool stuff for v2 or even v3. I get it. It’s a commercial world, I’ve spent enough time in Microsoft software/systems to know how it works.
So, FRS I hope you get me too: I will only be buying V2 under very firm expectations: 1) that it has the majority of functionality currently within PSDR, 2) that keyboard input and mouse navigation is properly sorted out, especially with sliders and other clumsy UI stuff, 3) that programmable filters or macros are via F-keys, 4) that you learn to listen to users not just shareholders, and most importantly that V2 is released within the next 9-12 months max.
I do hope that FRS has this firmly programmed on their timeline, otherwise I’d expect to see lots of surplus F6k hitting eBay within a year.
73 de Steve G1XOW
I was immediately disappointed that most of the really neat little features I loved were missing. I expected some of this based in reading the posts in the forum but I never expected things like the mouse wheel tuning to be ignored, especially when things like that are easy to do. It seemed careless to me. You never want to release something with less features. But, giving Flex the benefit of the doubt I have watched and waited patiently, hoping that we would see small interim releases along the way as application "polish" was applied.
Rather than see them make an effort to catch up and fill in some of the niceties we were used to, they seemed to change their focus. There was no longer an emphasis on giving users a unparalleled experience. While we waited for some refinements to appear, we instead got the "road map" which basically told us that Flex was working hard finding ways to charge us more money. In fact we hear that some of the features we want like WAN access are indeed on the "road map" for a future paid upgrade.
This bothered me because I felt that the state of SmartSDR was and still is a "released beta". It is not even at "release candidate" stage. In my opinion, they still had a lot of work to do to bring SSDR up to the feature set of PSDR. What I really wanted was Flex to finish the current version before they charge me for a new version.
Of course Maestro development has taken over all resources at Flex. Nothing else is happening other than to prepare for the Maestro. So those of us that are really not interested in the Maestro much have to wait it out. We aren't going to see anything for us for awhile, it at all.
From my experience in the software industry, I am seeing an uncomfortable reality emerge. It is called "recurring revenue". It is what everyone strives for these days. Adobe and Microsoft now charge you *monthly* to use their software suites. You can't buy things and just own them anymore. You have to keep paying. It isn't just the profit this generates that is beneficial for a company. Corporate valuations are greatly enhanced when the company has a recurring revenue business model.
Now, don't get me wrong here. I love my Flex Radio. I would love it more if Flex payed attention to the little things we as users are asking for. One dedicated developer could knock off almost all these little gripes in 2 weeks.
But, what concerns me is the lack of concern as if there is another play in the works. I have seen it a lot of times before. Don't be surprised if we see some recurring revenue system work its way into the next major release. The buzzword I fear is "cloud" because cloud==recurring revenue (and a monthly charge for us). I can see the possibility of some kind of cloud model being introduced when WAN accessibility is available.
I sure hope I'm wrong and Flex is going to surprise us with a new release with all the cool bells and whistles. I don't want to be right, I want to be in love with my 6300 like I was with my 3000.
This thread is really tiring...
Like Lee I spend hours of unpaid time alpha testing products to make sure you get the best possible worry free products.
Unlike most of you, I have run companies that delivered hardware and software so I know how much it costs to develop bug free software that actually works as the customers expect.
Yes.... the recurring revenue model is the holy grail of Hardware/Software businesses... NOT because it gives us a higher valuation albeit it does, Not because of some secret cabal to increase profits ,,, But rather because we needed the cash flow to pay salaries and overheads of expensive programmers to deliver those allegedly simple fixes that you seem to demand....last time I looked, programmers needed food to eat.. and food is not free unless you are on the dole... I do not believe that all you programmers who have responded to this thread would show up to work if you were not paid for your time and effort...
Having paid for the costs of developing those little eye candy niceties in my products similar to a Mouse Wheel to change a single digit on a VFO or move a slider.. BTW.. the MOUSE WHEEL TUNING WORKS FINE...
even tiny changes to a GUI can break major things... so they have to be tested...
Just ask any Alpha testers how many versions of things we have to try when the tiniest of changes happen...Flex is fortunate to have a lot of volunteer alpha testers as the cost of 50+ people testing something like Maestro Software @ a minimum of ($100,000 salary $50,000 overhead = $150,000 per year would add at least $7.5MM to $10MM to the cost of Maestro Development.
People who are whining about having to pay $200 for improvements have no real idea how much it costs to do even the smallest things...
Heck.. I was the first one to wish for Spots on the Display, better color palettes for visually challenged users, Digital Numbers rather than Analog bars for SWR and Power.
BUT none of these are Deal Killers as some of you allege.. and MORE IMPORTANT the presence or absence of these "Eye Candy" will have little impact on revenue needed to pay the cost of developing them.
If you have read the recently released Maestro Manual.. many of the Eye Candy GUI Feature Requests are being handled in a much more user friendly manner by Maestro.... At some point assuming there is a revenue stream to pay for them, some may migrate back into SSDR.
BTW.. almost 10 years of development went into PowerSDR before a lot of eye candy such as Skins stated to appear...
Bottom Line; No one is going to sell their Flex for lack of Eye Candy and few if any will make a decision not to buy a Flex because it lacks minor eye candy found in PowerSDR.
So please stop with this very tiresome whining...
We may be waiting for awhile for our software requests to be considered. I am not encouraged by this at all. I was thinking about taking advantage of Flex's upgrade offer and also getting a Maestro. I think I'll wait now and see what shakes out.
Gents FRS has said over and over that PowerSDR is yesterday. The hardware has support limitations and the software model was economically flawed, as well as the software/hardware design (thick-pipe model) simply not where FRS said they are going.
While it is legitimate to point to features from PowerSDR, as well as from any other software or vision of software, as desirable features to be added to SmartSDR, it is futile to pine for a dead product line to be resurrected.
It is way out of line to prescribe/interpolate/just-make-the-shit-up about the background reasoning behind FRS decisions. Are in all honesty if those decisions don't suit you then it is other options you should be looking at.
To call out the most communicative CEO in our hobby's industry for his honesty that the new product launch is the present and current #1 is out of line. Way out of line!
To further moan that you would do something different as if you could shame him into not having your pet peeve as his main focus is asinine beyond belief.
As a customer you have the right to buy, not buy, be somewhere on the product satisfaction scale, provided invited feedback, but other than not buying or selling off your hardware you did buy you have no stake in the business, and your stakeholder's prerogative doesn't include calling the shots.
Some of you run your own businesses, and I would imagine run them very well. Most likely your success is because you have a vision and carry through with what your business promises.
Note it what your business itself promises - not what some armchair quarterback kibitzing from the sidelines based on their one-off singular purchase decided your firm should do instead of what the firm promised - that is the goal you meet to gain success.
The hover-over addition was worth advocating.
That any given individual isn't happy with aspects of the present GUI is worth sharing.
Expecting FRS to pour resources into your pet idea or hire this or that person is not on.
Pretending that you run FRS and even worse play-fitting your pet theories behind their decisions is really abusive bad news.
If you don't know FOR A FACT the rational behind a decision you shouldn't speculate.
Gerald K5SDR deserves better.
That hasn't happened as of yet. Will it make me sell ou? In a word, no. I like the 6500 too much to do that. And I"m certain I'll like it more when my Maestro arrives. As for the missing features/eye candy, I can roll my own if I want it bad enough.(and have) But, not everyone can do that. So, they are stuck until FRS can find the time and resources to add those missing features they/we would like to have.
So, both sides of this argument (which it's turning into)
should back off a bit and let FRS do what they need to do to keep their income comming in. FRS is a small company with a lot of vision. It takes time to accomplish what they are doing. I trust them to do the right thing.
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