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Author Topic: Software Product Life  (Read 5747 times)
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Richard Cullin
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« on: October 09, 2014, 07:37:17 PM »

Hi everyone
           I'm having an interesti ng experienc e with DolphinCa dCam's Partmaste r programme .in oct 2011 I purchased a 
"hobbyist" version of Partmaste r pro V10.  (about $500us) not cheap. I have been very happy with it . DFX to gcode is fast 
and easy with pretty comprehen sive tooling and machining options including  a animated preview .
   However last week the motherboa rd on my pc(win7) "died" and a completel y compatibl e replaceme nt was unobtaina ble ,so 
windows had to be reinstall ed . I took the "opportuni ty" to upgrade to windows 8.1 and an I7 cpu . everythin g worked 
smoothly until Partmaste r . partmaste r won't activate the licence. Ok i thought I'll put Partmaste r on the win7 laptop , 
Partmaste r still won't activate.
   After contactin g support at Dolphinca dcam I was informed
Quote
'
Hi Richard,
     We no longer have access to V10 licensing, just V11 or V12. Have you considere d upgrading to V12?

--
Regards,
Thomas Luttmann

'
my second query got this response

'It's not that we don't want to help, it's just that we can't. What I can do is give you the Milling software for $200 to 
help.  There are some nice features added since v10.  The software industry does work the same, there are many programs that 
you cannot run on old Windows. Let me know if there's anything else I can do.


On 10/8/2014 10:01 PM, richard wrote:
> Thomas
> What are you telling me here, is it that v10 is not compatibl e with windows8. 1 and that I have to buy an upgrade that 
costs heaps and offers no extra functiona lity at all for me. Or am I now unable to even reinstall it on another win7 machine 
.Of all the software packages I use yours is the only one that has no migration path to windows 8 . if this is the way you 
support customers  don't expect any repeat business from me.
> I tried your latest version in july and was very unimpress ed at that
> time (and also particula rly annoyed that the trial totally trashed my
> v10 installat ion) I can see no benefit in it for me . v10 does
> everythin g I need I really just want to use it on my new pc  (the old
> pc has a dead motherboa rd repair/recovery  was not possible)
>

'
note that the "am I now unable to even reinstall it on another win7 machine" question remains unanswere d.


my third try as yet unanswere d

'
Thomas
I have tried to install v10 onto my win7 laptop and get the same error (no internet connectio n available) . can you answer my question  .

am I now unable to even reinstall it on another win7 machine  Huh?
I won't be a happy camper if I need to buy a new version every few years for no other reason than your crappy activatio n process  is no

longer supported .how long till the new version fails too ?
Of all the software packages I use yours is the only one that won't reactivat e  .very disappoin ting I'm not keen to reinvest in a product

that has such a unreasona ble shelf life, my version 10 licence is 3 years old today.
I simply can't believe you would expect me to pay for a reactivat ion.

'






   I feel somewhat cheated by this and i never expected such a short  life for this product (especiall y at the 
price).   $500 us for 3 years hobby use  . now it feels like extortion, buy their upgrade or go somewhere else and then have   
learn how to use it all over again.

   How do others Feel about this sort of treatment and has anybody else had a similar experienc e , it certainly makes me 
appreciat e art's work with gearotic more and more.
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John S
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2014, 04:06:38 AM »

Richard I feel for you.

I have had this discussio n before with Dolphin over the crappy licensing software they used on V10.
It's a third party piece of software that they no longer buy and so that is why they have problems on the renewal of licenses.

My biggest complaint was that it needs internet access to check the license every 3 or 4 days or so and if it can't find it, it does into demo mode until it can. Now none of my workshop machines have internet access, in fact there is no internet over there and so it won't run.

The upgrade to V11 was a paid upgrade and was mainly to change to a different licensing model. Something which I didn't agree with as it was there cock up not the users. The only other thing in V11 is the ability to load 3D IGES files but as Dolphin is a 2 1/2D program it can't do anything with them ?

I still run V10, like you it does all I need, in fact there isn't anything useful in V11 and V12 to warrant a paid upgrade. I am on XP and W7 so can't comment on W8 or 8.1 in fact it's a path I wont be taking. I need a new laptop around Christmas but will be getting one with a downgrade part back to W7.

On a more general level though I think a lot of it depends on how the user sees the applicati on of the software, to keep to forum specific and this is the Gearotic forum I was far happier using Gearotic Motion than I an using Gearotic Thought from a user screen point of view. I know it's a work in progress and have not said anything until now as I know Art is doing a big rewrite this fall.
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John S.
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Richard Cullin
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 05:08:09 AM »

hi john
thanks for the reply , I did a search for others having the same issue with partmaste r and it seems they did the same thing to v9 users after v10 was released . if I had known that or if they a decent product disclaime r I'd shop elsewhere . I fully agree that there isn't anything useful in V11 and V12 for me either to justify an upgrade.    they could easily have warned us of the impending change and offered a usb dongle or something
what happened to customer service ?
 once bitten twice shy
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JustinO
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2014, 05:25:57 AM »

Things ain't that way they used to be.

I have tools that have been used for six generatio ns and show no sign of wear. To buy tools of that quality now would cost a hundred times what the single use (if you're lucky) chinese tools cost.

Software producers have to decide if they will make their money selling a expensive lifetime license, or a cheap short term license. Bottom line is the bottom line -- they have to make enough money to keep their doors open. Every business model will benefits some customers more than others.

Another thing to keep in mind is Hanlon's razor:

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequatel y explained by stupidity .

Still though, I feel your frustrati on.
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Richard Cullin
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2014, 05:24:55 PM »

at this point I think i'll give up on any resolutio n and chalk it up to experienc e


Rodney

Ok I may have screwed the currency conversio n but please donít make out I was given a special deal I simply responded to an advertise d deal for hobby users
As per your response to my inquiry Embarrassed
Hello Richard

Thank you for inquiring on Dolphin CAD/CAM.

We strive daily to help machinist s of all worlds. From the home hobbyist, to some of the worlds largest manufactu rers, Dolphin is globally known and used daily.

We're actually offering some great pricing right now.

We're offering our Partmaste r Standard for $399 - unless you're a hobby user. We're currently offering Standard to our hobby users for $199.

Furthermo re, we're offering our Partmaste r PRO for $599 - unless you are a hobby user. We're currently offering PRO to our hobby users for $399.

Let me know what you think.

Looking forward to working with you.
Regards,
Rodney Hill
Dolphin CAD/CAM USA
http://www.dolphincadcamusa.com
570-301-6750

And you did generousl y allow me to upgrade to the pro version ,simply because the only trial available is for the pro version . this trial had misled me to think that was what the standard version would be like .

, you will get this issues absolutel y everywher e
This is simply not the case my  DesignCad ,CopperCam, Diptrace,mach3  even ms office201 0 all reinstall ed without a hitch ,as I would expect

Imho  a full product disclosur e indicatin g that the product will be unrecover able shortly after purchase unless you buy an upgrade or maintenan ce contract should be made perfectly clear to any potential purchaser

(THREE YEARS IS TO ME A RIDICULOU SLY SHORT PRODUCT LIFE )


Another  not happy customer
richard


From: Rodney Hill [mailto:rodney@dolphincadcamusa.com]
Sent: Saturday, 11 October 2014 1:45 AM



Richard,

On the forums, you have claimed to spend $500 on PRO, when I went out of my way to specifica lly help you you with a $199 for Standard deal, and then an upgrade to PRO for another $199. I basically gave you a $398 price when most users pay $995.

You have pointed out the copyminde r issue on the form, which was posted in 2008 (6 years ago). Many users did not like copyminde r, so as a company, we listened, and built our own in-house licensing . Version 10 is 6 years old.

As I mentioned to Tom, as much as you want to bash on the forums, you will get this issues absolutel y everywher e. Every software company that stays in business moves on and develops new software. As a matter of fact, I just tried to re-license our video producing software yesterday on a new PC, and it was to outdated. It's just the nature of the software industry. BobCAD no longer licenses v19 and older, MasterCAM does nothing unless you pay yearly maintenan ce, etc.

To help cover house costs, I had Tom offer you a price that was really next to nothing. I've gone far and beyond what I really normally do. For you to bash it the way you have is entirely unfair--but to each there own.

Regards,
Rodney Hill
Dolphin CAD/CAM USA
www.dolph incadcamu sa.com
724-939-7585
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ArtF
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2014, 11:09:30 AM »

Richard:

   I do feel for you. As most of you know I hate upgrade costs to software. .any software. People like what they get to know. ( As John says, he much prefers Gearotic Motion to Gearotic Thoughts. .( and yes, John I am striving to make you happy this season.. :-) ), and to me once you buy you should stay bought.. but I also understan d why some companies have to charge for upgrades. But if the reason is greed..I get pissed off...

  I wont do that, that much I do promise, I keep Gearotic Motion for those users that from time to time request it, and I try very hard to make sure GT will work on all machines. Anything I write is always in constant developme nt, so you
poor folks do have to put up with my somewhat eclectic style of developme nt and bugs that pop up from time
to time, so for my part I always promise to never charge you another cent no matter how large or complex
the program gets. Some lucky Mach3 users can testify that they paid only $25.00 for over a decade of upgrades. Some Gearotic users who payed $75.00 can also feel lucky. :-)

   True Story... I once used a program called "Involute Gear Generator", I was fully licensed and used it to make things in my shop. The DXF's in it were horrible though and I constantl y had to edit them as they had crossed lines.
Eventuall y, the programs author offered an upgrade that fixed it. He wanted $125.00 to get the fix. I was pissed
at the thought of paying to fix a serious bug in a program I bought and payed for. Hence we are all here using
Gearotic. I truly wrote the program because the one I had pissed me off. I also wrote Mach1 because a program I wanted was way to expensive for what it was and that pissed me off too. So perhaps when you get pissed off at a company you should do as I did, write your own. :-)

 (Im just hoping I dont get too pissed off at Microsoft .. Id hate to invest a century or so in replacing it...)

Art


 
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John S
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 04:19:57 AM »

I have absolutel y no problems in buying upgrades - if they are upgrades. Art's example is a good one as is the Dolphin one, their upgrade is just a bug fix for a crappy licensing token.
Software developer s need to bring out upgrades to keep the revenue flowing. Art is unique in that he's a one man band and rich anyway :-) but if you have staff to pay then you need the revenue flow.

Some companies get it right, adding what users need and ask for at a reasonabl e cost. I use a DTP program called Page Plus from Serif, every year they come out with an upgrade and it costs about $100, hang on a few months and it's discounte d down to $70 or so but you are never penalised for running an old version. I always upgrade when it hits the discount, probably never use the extra features but at least they are still in business.

The CAD system I use is currently on V7 but many serious users according to their forum have dropped back to V6, me included, because V7 is totally different and even the macros don't work in V7. Some of the macro commands have even been omitted and no work round is available but it all falls on deaf ears. All their current work for the last FIVE years has been on getting V8 which is still in beta to work with word, excel and anything else not related to CAD. I wish them well.
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John S.
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 10:28:35 AM »

>>Art is unique in that he's a one man band and rich anyway :-)

 Yes, Im lucky in that I make literally tens of dollars from gearotic, Im thinking of paving my driveway in gold.. lol

Art
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