A couple of posts ago I discussed my experiences with 4 or 5 different logging/rig control programs. I was hoping that I might hear from others about their own experiences, but I only had a couple of replies - Thanks, Keith, W4KAZ! I always enjoy reading your blog.
But the other reply was unexpected and came as quite a suprise. It also reminded me of one of my very first posts where I wrote about my frustrations with trying to obtain a TVI filter from ICE.
Not to rehash an old story, but the quick summary is that I had ordered a TVI filter from ICE and after a couple of months I hadn't heard anything from them, although my credit card had been charged. My attempts to contact them, both via email and phone either went unanswered or provided no information about delivery. I should say, in fairness, eventually the TVI filter arrived and it did clear up my problem. I believe I wrote something to the effect, "great product, crappy customer service" and went on a little rant.
So imagine my surprise when one of the replies to my logging software post was from Dave, AA6YQ, the fellow responsible for the DX Labs Suite, which includes Commander, DX Keeper, and several other useful programs. In my post, I had written how much I liked the DX Labs software, but I had experienced some problems with it after applying XP SP3. Specifically, my log had become corrupted (I had a backup fortunately).
Somehow Dave had run across my post and, as an act of kindness and concern, written to ask if I could provide him with any further information about my troubles. He wanted to help.
Now, for anyone who isn't aware, the DX Labs software Suite is free for anyone who wishes to download and use it. Completely free. Not shareware or trialware, like a couple of the other programs that I evaluated, but 100% free.
It doesn't cost $79, or $129, like some of the others...it's free.
I had a brief exchange with Dave, explained what had happened to the log and Dave offered a suggestion and even mentioned a possible culprit. I told him that since reinstalling the software (actually installing OVER the original installation) everything had been fine. He told me to let him know if I ran into any further problems and invited me to join the discussion group dedicated to DX Labs software on Yahoo.
Did I mention that DX Labs Suite is free?
Now, here's the result of those two experiences. The next time, heaven forbid, that I need a TVI filter do you think I'm going to call ICE? I doubt it. I'll shop around for other alternatives.
But when it comes to my logging software, I'm now a DX Labs proponent.