Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Whoopsie Daisy

Whoopsie Daisy

Yes, it's been a long time since I made an entry. I'll get to that later, probably in another post. But for those of you who have read any of my entries, you probably are aware that I'm a logbook junkie. What I mean is, I get a big kick out of trying different logging programs. To drive this point home, I maintain 4 different logbooks, keeping each up to date regularly with all of my QSO's, simply because I've not found one single program that does everything that I want it to.

You might think that something like that takes a lot of time and trouble. No, not really. I've got it down to a pretty quick science and I can update all the logs within 5 to 10 minutes. Is it overkill? Undoubtedly. Is it stupid? Absolutely.

But, hey, it's my sickness and I'm not looking for a cure. Fact is, I enjoy it.

And now that you know my dark secret, let me say that this entry isn't about me and my fetish...uh...obsession.

This is about a major error that occurred to Ham Radio Deluxe on Friday the 13th. Now, surely the new developers should've known NOT to release an update on Friday the 13th, but since they didn't heed the bad mojo, they're paying the price.

HRD has always intrigued me with its eye-candy and pretty interface. But, despite cutting my teeth on it a few years back, I quickly moved elsewhere because of some shortcomings that were show-stoppers, in my opinion. For instance, the cluster not providing the proper mode (I think this has been addressed), not showing duplicates, not showing a confirmed vs worked status readily, a resource hog, screens that required substantial real estate, and obscure menus that didn't lead where you thought they would.

Worse, every so often you'd read about how things like dates and times were modified unknowingly. You did make a backup, didn't you?

Nevertheless, every now and then, whenever a new release was issued, I would download it to see what had changed and if any of those shortcomings had been addressed or corrected. Just before Simon sold it to the new owners, a major revamp of the awards was completed and it really was a step in the right direction, I felt. I was encouraged.

Then the news that it was going to become software that you pay for. I was good with that. I've paid for a good many logging programs. No problems there.

Back to Friday the 13th. Version 5.20 was released that day. In case you don't know, check out their site, http://www.hrdsoftwarellc.com/ The opening screen says it all, although they've toned it down a bit last time I checked, but feel free to read the online forum posts.

Apparently this release was a total disaster. Now my purpose is not to drag them through the coals one more time. I write software for a living myself so something like this is my worst nightmare.

The real reason that I'm bringing this to everyone's attention is a post on the HRD forum from the owners that states that they are considering monitoring and censoring posts that are "not constructive". This is in reaction to some upset users who have voiced their frustrations.

Bad move. You blow it and your next move is to throttle what people are saying? I will never pay a penny for this software if they choose to go this route. If you lay a clunker, you take your licks, you don't keep people from voicing their displeasure.

At least that's how I see it.


PE4BAS, Bas said...

Interesting post as I did test a lot of logging software as well. Still use HRD V4 as most convenient one. V5 has more options but in my eyes too complicated. What is your favorite logging program? 73, Bas

VE3WDM said...

Good morning Ed, I have moved away from HRD and am using DXLab...great group of programs.

John AE5X said...

There is a new QRO autotuner now on the market, complete with its own YahooGroup. The company owners are the group moderators and a recent thread asked why posts critical of the tuner had recently been deleted. The answer was the same - they aren't "constructive".

They should just fess up and say from the git-go "This forum's primary purpose is to further advertise our products. As a side benefit, we may also help you with any questions."

w4kaz said...

LOL. Agree with you - the best approach to a major fubar release is not to cover the t**d with kitty litter.

They would be better served by pulling the release(if they did not), apologize profusely(if they did not), and then fix the bug(s)(if they did not).

Cogent responses to unfavorable comments rather than "disappearing" them would likely do more to restore/rebuild their reputations. Edit out the profanities[maybe].

I liked logger32 fairly well, but was using dxlab for its more robust tools. Been several years though, since I don't log a lot of casual QSO's.