Home Register Arcade Gallery Chatroom Members Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Log In
Go Back   Inside: SereneScreen Fan Forum > SereneScreen Products > Marine Aquarium 3 for Windows
Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-17-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
Dale
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2005

Location: Western Missouri
Posts: 960
How will purchasers of MA3 Beta know an update is available?

Prolific clearly wants "real customers" to purchase MA3 Beta ($$$ revenue is a good thing) and then download updates as updates are available.

It seems probable that most purchasers won't be following the forums in detail, and in any case the "forum" downloads are really versions for testing (BetaBeta, I guess).

The "official" (installer) versions of updates are those that are downloaded via the SereneScreen (server) download link.

How will a customer know that something new is available there?

[I know how I found out, but I suspect that's not what Prolific really wants customers to do]
Dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2009, 07:04 PM   #2
Jim Sachs
Developer
 
Jim Sachs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000

Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 9,711
Yes, it's been a bit of a problem. There's a News section of SereneScreen.com, but everyone at Prolific has been too swamped with getting Qtask done to keep it up very well. I've even been slow to update my own News section at Fish-byte.com.
Jim Sachs
Creator of SereneScreen Aquarium
Jim Sachs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2009, 08:13 PM   #3
jroseone
Registered
 
Join Date: Feb 2006

Posts: 93
I see that serene screen did do an update to thier version, so do we just download the demo to update it?
jroseone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2009, 08:19 PM   #4
Jim Sachs
Developer
 
Jim Sachs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000

Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 9,711
Yes.
Jim Sachs
Creator of SereneScreen Aquarium
Jim Sachs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2009, 08:33 PM   #5
Dale
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2005

Location: Western Missouri
Posts: 960
Perhaps there should be a "version" notice on the page where the [Website] button takes people. [Expecting folks to have the insight to click on "News" is perhaps a stretch]

[The way I found out there was a new version, was to download the installer version, and check the size of the file in bytes, compared to the previous one. Checking the usual things like "file version" didn't help - it is so far always 0.0.0.0. Of course, repeatedly downloading the file - in addition to being a PITA - does increase the download count, and bandwidth cost for Prolific]

This isn't a new problem. For instance: https://www.feldoncentral.com/forums...ad.php?p=74521

However, with MA2, the versions came much less frequently, and were easier to identify (somewhat). And, further, the "corrective updates" weren't very important except for people who were having a specific problem.

Now, with MA3, Prolific is encouraging people to buy the Beta and (implicitly) download all of the newer production versions until it's "finished". That's quite a different situation.

Jim, you've said several times that "everyone at Prolific has been too swamped with getting Qtask done..."

Please pardon my blunt expression of feelings. If Prolific isn't prepared to do a quality job of introducing MA3, then they shouldn't offer it until they are prepared - regardless of the Peanut Butter situation. And rolling out a CD version of the Beta is going to further complicate the "update awareness" situation.

Sorry to say that, but it seems to me that you are busting your butt to produce a first-quality artistic simulation, and getting a lot of constructive help from folks here -- but you're having to also do a lot of apologizing for Prolific.
Dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
Jim Sachs
Developer
 
Jim Sachs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000

Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 9,711
It was my idea to release the Beta. Prolific was nice enough to contract for new servers, rework the e-commerce stuff, update the website, and give me some of Edgar's time to deal with some deep Windows-related, and Mark's time to build the installer.

It worked. Sales are now double what they had been. We're still limping along on impulse-power compared to the warp-speed that we had been accustomed to for several years, but getting enough peanut butter to survive long enough to finish the program.
Jim Sachs
Creator of SereneScreen Aquarium
Jim Sachs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2009, 10:28 PM   #7
Dale
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2005

Location: Western Missouri
Posts: 960
Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
It was my idea to release the Beta. Prolific was nice enough to contract for new servers, rework the e-commerce stuff, update the website, and give me some of Edgar's time to deal with some deep Windows-related, and Mark's time to build the installer.

It worked. Sales are now double what they had been. We're still limping along on impulse-power compared to the warp-speed that we had been accustomed to for several years, but getting enough peanut butter to survive long enough to finish the program.  
Survival is good!
Dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2009, 04:51 PM   #8
cjmaddy
Registered
 
cjmaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001

Location: Lancashire, UK
Posts: 7,858
This has all been covered before, Dale, - many times!

Most recently.... https://www.feldoncentral.com/forums...889#post110889

I don't see the need to start yet another new thread to repeatedly go over the same ground, when the points raised have already been answered.

Anyone beta testing should, of necessity, be reading ALL the posts in all of these 'Marine-Aquarium-3-Beta-Test-Forum' threads! ... Yes?
cjmaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2009, 05:09 PM   #9
Dale
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2005

Location: Western Missouri
Posts: 960
Originally posted by cjmaddy:

Anyone beta testing should, of necessity, be reading ALL the posts in all of these 'Marine-Aquarium-3-Beta-Test-Forum' threads! ... Yes?  
Really?

Where does it say that on the SereneScreen or Prolific site, or during the Installation procedure, when someone purchases (or just downloads the demo) of Marine Aquarium 3 BETA?

There is an obscure invitation (under "More") that says:
"You are also welcome to go to the Fan Forum and give your thoughts and suggestions. "

Do you really expect everybody who purchases MA3 BETA to be reading everything (or anything) here?

More importantly, do you really think that Jim or Prolific expect that to happen?
Dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2009, 05:12 PM   #10
cjmaddy
Registered
 
cjmaddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001

Location: Lancashire, UK
Posts: 7,858
Yes.
cjmaddy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2009, 05:38 PM   #11
Jim Sachs
Developer
 
Jim Sachs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000

Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 9,711
The new website I'm designing will address most of these issues, but first I have to get some of these other jobs out of the way. I agree that important info shouldn't be hidden behind a tiny "more..." button.
Jim Sachs
Creator of SereneScreen Aquarium
Jim Sachs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 08:24 AM   #12
CheriePie
Registered
 
CheriePie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009

Location: SF Bay Area, CA, USA
Posts: 24
I'm kind of leary to jump on the bandwagon here because I sensed a little bit of hostility, but I actually found myself in a quandry thinking about this same thing last night, and not knowing how to recommend Marine Aquarium to a non-techie friend who saw it on my computer.

The general concensus here seems to be that if you're going to use the v3 Beta, you'd best be a participant of this forum and subscribe to the Release thread to stay up to date with the most current version. But what about all the non-techies you know? Computer users who may know how to use Word and Excel, their browser and email, and know enough to run a firewall and keep their virus definitions up to date, but that's about it. Casual computer users like that are at an extreme disadvantage right now. Because the way the SereneScreen/Prolific web site is set up, you only see version 3.0 on the front page. When you go to the products page, version 2.6 is still listed there, but it's the 3rd item down! If the Beta version is going to be listed first, there really needs to be a larger disclaimer there about the expectations when using Beta software, particularly since it's not going to auto update or anything.

For example, I know my girlfriend wouldn't be too happy having to press C every time she wanted the screen saver to display the clock, and not having it remember that setting between launches. Jim, I'm definitely not criticizing you for not having this done yet. I'm just pointing it out as an example because it's the kind of thing that will cause frustration for casual users and possibly unhappy customers if the Beta designation and expectations are not more prominently pointed out. (Heh, many casual computer users don't even know or understand what "beta software" means so by pointed out, I mean described and explained in layman terms on the front page.) So steering these users towards the 2.6 version for now, like I did with my friend, might need to be made clearer on the web site.

Jim, I noticed you said that an upcoming website update would address this, but if that's not going to be ready all that soon, you might want to at least get the suggested text in there about Beta Expectations on the front page, and/or reorder the items in the product list. If you look at the way other companies handle beta software, non-updating beta versions are never the primary version offered up to the general public. And for good reason. They don't want to present a bad image to their customers by offering a possibly buggy version. I understand your wanting to push this new version over the old because it's "the butter on your bread", but until it's ready for prime time for casual computer users, and they can get some kind of update notification when the non-Beta version is ready, then it really shouldn't be pushed as the primary version to be downloaded.


Okay, so what did I end up doing with my friend? Well, I directed her to version 2.6 for now as I said, and made it a point to tell her not to grab the top item on the product list just because it said Marine Aquarium. That said, she did like the "slow scrolling from side to side" of my 3.0 version, as well as the way the fish looked so real. So I'm sure she'd love to have 3.0 eventually, just not yet since I know she won't have the time, the inclination, or the technical know-how to participate in this Beta Forum. And without any automatic updates mechanism, I defintely felt more comfortable steering her towards 2.6 for the time being, at least if she was going to be paying for something.

However, I also was no longer sure of the 2.6 upgrade policy after seeing the pricing changes (version 2.6 went down from 14.95 to 9.95). Jim, you'd stated out here that anyone purchasing 2.6 now would be eligible for a free upgrade to 3.0. Is that still the case? And if so, does it apply to all users and purchasers or only those who participate in the Beta forums?


Anyway, I hope I didn't come across negative in any way. I meant only to provide constructive feedback in the best sense, particularly since it relates to a direct experience. Thanks!
(`v).*`*♥.*..*
`*..*♥ CheriePie )O( ♥
reviews blog twitter
CheriePie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 11:12 AM   #13
Jim Sachs
Developer
 
Jim Sachs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000

Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 9,711
If I had the keys to the website, I'd probably take the time to make all those changes right now. Prolific has been making any changes that I've asked for, but I haven't had the time to go through every page, since I'm working on a total overhaul anyway.

As far as how the casual user will interact with the program, it will be the same as it's always been - they'll download it, set it as their screensaver, and never touch it again. They'll never know about clocks, logos, or any of the other features. They'll enjoy if for years, and it won't give them any trouble. They will impress their friends with it, telling them that it's the best $19.95 they've ever spent on their computer. Maybe some day their computer-nerd nephew might notice that it's an old version, and download an update for them.
Jim Sachs
Creator of SereneScreen Aquarium
Jim Sachs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 11:58 AM   #14
dwax
Registered
 
dwax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002

Location: SOUTH DAKOTA
Posts: 83
LOL Good one Jim. And you forgot, someone will see it on TV with the clock and go looking for it.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By dustywax at 2011-12-13
dwax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 12:10 PM   #15
Jim Sachs
Developer
 
Jim Sachs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000

Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 9,711
No, people who see it on TV never go looking for it. It's been used in dozens of TV shows and movies, but the sales were always totally flat afterward. It's because viewers have no idea what they are seeing - that it's an actual program they can buy, or what name to even search for.
Jim Sachs
Creator of SereneScreen Aquarium
Jim Sachs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #16
Dale
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2005

Location: Western Missouri
Posts: 960
Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
As far as how the casual user will interact with the program, it will be the same as it's always been - they'll download it, set it as their screensaver, and never touch it again. They'll never know about clocks, logos, or any of the other features. They'll enjoy if for years, and it won't give them any trouble. They will impress their friends with it, telling them that it's the best $19.95 they've ever spent on their computer.  
Yep. So, given that, how do the Beta Testers/forum participants feel about the default settings that the casual user will be using?
Dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 02:27 PM   #17
Jav400
Administrator
 
Jav400's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
22 Highscores

Location: Tennessee
Posts: 9,718
If they show up here or in the chatroom, then I will be glad to help them, otherwise if it suits Jim then it suits me.
Jav400 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 05:47 PM   #18
Dale
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2005

Location: Western Missouri
Posts: 960
Originally posted by Jav400:
If they show up here or in the chatroom, then I will be glad to help them, otherwise if it suits Jim then it suits me.  
Well, I thought we were here to help Jim develop the best product possible, including being best for people who never show up here.

You and Morgan beat the crap out of me when I express my opinion, so I thought I would ask for the opinions of others, about the feature set for people who will "set it as their screensaver, and never touch it again."
Dale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 06:24 PM   #19
feldon34
Forum Administrator
 
feldon34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000

Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 10,920
Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
As far as how the casual user will interact with the program, it will be the same as it's always been - they'll download it, set it as their screensaver, and never touch it again. They'll never know about clocks, logos, or any of the other features. They'll enjoy if for years, and it won't give them any trouble. They will impress their friends with it, telling them that it's the best $19.95 they've ever spent on their computer. Maybe some day their computer-nerd nephew might notice that it's an old version, and download an update for them.  
I have made my suggestions to Jim on how to break this cycle. In 5 years, Marine Aquarium will be the only software on modern PCs that *does not* check for updates periodically. After 10 years I have learned that Jim is gonna do whatever Jim is gonna do. Any illusion I had that I could use my understanding of the screen saver market and knowledge of computer software development to help improve the Aquarium was dissolved years ago.

Writing a 2 page posts about this topic accomplishes little. Creating separate topics about it accomplishes even less.
"Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." - George Orwell
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman
feldon34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2009, 07:04 PM   #20
Jim Sachs
Developer
 
Jim Sachs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000

Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 9,711
Automatic updates - not gonna happen.
Update notices - maybe, we'll see when I get over to that section of the program.
Hundreds of suggestions embeded in a "wall of text" (good term, Morgan) - won't even get read, let alone implemented.
Single ideas which are easy to implement - welcome anytime.
Jim Sachs
Creator of SereneScreen Aquarium
Jim Sachs is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Go Back   Inside: SereneScreen Fan Forum > SereneScreen Products > Marine Aquarium 3 for Windows



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.