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Very Interesting....


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As posted by Dan on PC:

The initial release of S2 does not include any firmware upgrades or changes to the communications protocol. Thus we do not have any new lighting effects included. When we do release new effects it will require changes to the protocol. At that point we at LOR have a very important decision to make. There are two ways we can go. One is to expand the existing protocol to support the new command and the other is to completely change the protocol and take advantage of everything we have learned over the last 5 years.

The protocol is extensible so it can be changed in such a way that all existing LOR hardware can continue to operate but simply not respond to new commands. However we can take advantage of this change to make a number of efficiency changes and improvements to the protocol that we have wanted to do for a while now. This change would render existing LOR hardware inoperable until firmware was updated.

We would really like to make the big change and the longer we wait the more controllers there will be and the more disruptive things will be. But the big change does require more effort from customers and thus will be more "painful" and require significantly more support. What we are going to do has not been decided.

One important thing we have decided: If we do decide to make the big change, we will include engineering support. not only for upgrading LOR hardware, but we will provide support to upgrade any commercially available hardware that operates using the current LOR protocol.

My vote - big change now. Why wait? The anticipation!!!!

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I also think now is a great time to go and make all the changes needed to improve lor. I fell we have all been willing to deal with past changes upgrades so to here there will be big changes to come with greater workability and new fx's I'm all for it. as long as the core support people are around all the time when needed to help us out I'm for it. to add my two cents for what ever changes are made, heres my thoughts, I just went through i huge systems webinare for my company we had to do some very hard technical things on our own but with the webinare going on live, i was able to do the work and follow the webinare and also was able the record the webinare so if i needed to go back and redo anything i had it. So I think if needed the lor gods might consider as a idea to do a webinare and we all could do this together, it would save alot of support time.

Ralph

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I would rather see changes sooner than later just in case there are wrinkles that need to be ironed out before Christmas. Bring it on, Dan!

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I would say that sooner is better, but things I would consider:

1. How will this impact the pending release of the Holidaysoft 4.0 that is being worked on to interface with LOR?

2. With a lot of new people getting involved with LOR during the sales, how would a release after the June sale impact the LOR support capabilities.

3. A release before the June sale would be ideal as far as upgrading the firmware before new controllers were shipped, but this is probably not logistically possible for LOR, even if the new protocol were ready right now.

4. If the new protocol and firmware upgrades are released much later than August, I would be concerned about trying to upgrade everything before Christmas. (I remember my concerns, and those of many others, about upgrading to the gamma version this past year so close to Christmas.)

Even though I would like to see it this year, I think the more realistic time frame would be in January of next year. Perhaps it would be better just to get S2 out now, and get S3 (for lack of a better term) out next year. And although I would like to see a free upgrade to S3, it would probably make more sense for LOR to charge some kind of an upgrade fee to help defray support and other costs. A fee might also "slow down" the number of people upgrading at one time, giving better support response.


Edit: How about someone developing a poll to get opinions on the release of "S3?"

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Cajun Cheesehead

Although I like the "new and improved" of anything, I think that with all of the new users (there seems to be quite a few including myself) it is important that the next release be as bug-free as possible. It will be very discouraging to new users if updates are needed every month or so.

I say, if it's ready, release it now, but don't do a Microsoft and release something that keeps needing patches.

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Stupid me you are right. We need to be patient and let them get right the first time out........Don't need any problems on my end. Not smart enough to notice problems...

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LightORamaDan

Cajun Cheesehead wrote:

Although I like the "new and improved" of anything, I think that with all of the new users (there seems to be quite a few including myself) it is important that the next release be as bug-free as possible. It will be very discouraging to new users if updates are needed every month or so.

I say, if it's ready, release it now, but don't do a Microsoft and release something that keeps needing patches.


I agree. We have no plans to include new changes in the initial release of S2. S2 is very stable, was used successfully by a large number of gamma users to do their displays last year and will be released as is.

We will also be making one more major release of the software this year. That release will have the new lighting effects and other enhancements. All of this has been decided. The only decision we have remaining is how we implement the changes. Do we go for broke and re-engineer the protocol or do we take the existing protocol and extend it to support the new features. Regardless of which way we go the new features will be implemented.
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LightORamaDan wrote:

Do we go for broke and re-engineer the protocol or do we take the existing protocol and extend it to support the new features. Regardless of which way we go the new features will be implemented.

Go for Broke, like most of use with our displays. I now have 12 Boards and access to 6 more - MORE then happy to test it also. Maybe few guys in Texas would be willing to loan their boards out and we can put that MAX to the test.

Harrison
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LightORamaDan wrote:


We will also be making one more major release of the software this year. That release will have the new lighting effects and other enhancements. All of this has been decided. The only decision we have remaining is how we implement the changes. Do we go for broke and re-engineer the protocol or do we take the existing protocol and extend it to support the new features. Regardless of which way we go the new features will be implemented.


I say to look even further in the future after the second major release. If you know you will need a re-engineered protocol in the future, then do it now before it gets even more complicated. If you are going to need it sooner or later, in the long run, wouldn't it be easier to do it now. The longer the wait, the more complications could arise down the road.

This advice from someone who knows absolutely nothing about computer programming!
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Figures, I just get use to S2 now I'd have to get use to another update...
I agree though; the sooner the better. Else, it will be on the 2009 to do list.

-Evan

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George Simmons

As a Newbie trying to absorb all the collective wisdom on these pages, as well as learning the software and the insider tricks, I cast my vote for doing it sooner rather than later. Learning something new is challenging enough without having to unlearn/re-learn things over and over.



George Simmons

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Do BOTH.

Make it a configuration option.

I don't care now, because I am going to use the software that fits my hardware, so you still have to sell the hardware that fits my software. I know you by now. ;)

So, do BOTH.

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I have 30 boards with nine more coming so would be willing to do what ever the owner of the company decides. I just do not want to do it twice.:P

So Dan if you want to go for broke then let's get er done.

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I for one would like to see the big change asap so that I can l become familier with it. Also I would suggest that everything be put on CD so that their would not be any problems caused by internet downloads. Yes a small cost would be fine for legal users.

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I have to agree with everyone else...Go for broke & do it now! Why put off the inevitable???

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I'll have 17 boards by Wednesday this week. I'll be busy wiring and putting them in enlosures. As I go through and test them, it would be awesome if I had to do any updates to firmware at that time. The next phase, while waiting for lights to ship, will be sequencing. I've already started creating templates for chasing and such and would have some heartburn if I had to do updates and testing again.;)

If firmware changes are coming, please let us get them out of the way and let us use the new/added features (if any are due to a firmware update) before we get to deep into sequencing.

I vote for sooner than later. :)

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