[ct-user] ct software difficulties

Tod Olson-MN Tod Olson-MN" <tao@skypoint.com
Wed, 28 Jun 2000 10:07:20 -0500

In response to:

>Our club used CT (version 9.50) this past weekend for FD.  For some
>strange reason, the option (CTRL-F9), graphic rate sheet DID NOT WORK
>at all.  The screen came up, but the graphs were non-existent.  What's
>the deal here?  I think the computer was in the DOS mode, and I could
>not get the rate graph to work!

>Does Ken use his own software??????

The rate sheet display worked fine on the two computers (not linked) in use
at WAA during FD. In fact, every feature we tried worked fine.

It is really very, very difficult to support a widely used, multiple
platform (single transmitter, multitransmitter with linked computers, etc.)
operating system. That is what CT has become.

In the 'olden days' when I had operational and economic responsibility for
system software that was widely distributed, I found that the real "cost" of
manufacturing software was composed of two parts -- one the cost of writing
the code and the other the cost of supporting the code. The second one was a
far greater cost than the first and got higher and higher as each Version of
the software was released because customers who had purchased and continued
to use earlier versions expected 'forever' support and customers who
purchased later versions expected 'complete' backward compatibility with no
bugs ever appearing as a result of creating additional functions and

If you want to get a feel of what happens when you add one element to an
existing set of elements, try playing with your kids (or friends) the game
"I went to the Zoo and saw...." which requires each player to recite from
memory all of the preceding animals that were mentioned and then add one
more to the list to challenge the next player. It doesn't take long to see
that keeping track of everything that is going on is HARD!!

No software creator has time to run regression testing on all the features
that end up in a multi-version multiple release system. The only rational
way to ferret out and correct all of the 'bugs' is to rely on a set of users
who will perform the 'tests' in real life and report any unexpected results.
That is what we have with CT. We pay a one-time fee to rent the software. We
do not have to pay a continuing fee to get improvements and fixes. It is a
bargain. We should be very careful to not "beat up on the only guy in the
world" who can fix problems if we find them ---- he might quit and take a
better job.

Tod, KTO

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