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truly frustrating experience

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valerierobalino Posted: 04-14-2013 1:29 PM

I am the director of the campus observatory at Yale, I'm trying to upgrade our telescope control computer from Sky6 to SkyX, and also install the Tpoint and dome control add-ons.  The new Software Bisque system for downloading and installing software is horrible.  

The product was purchased by our dept. secretary, so I've logged in with her account and downloaded and installed The SkyX.  I can not seem to get permission to download the Tpoint add-on.  It is difficult to find on the website... I have to click through to page 9 on the downloads page, but when I try to download the program, I get an "Access Denied" page, even though a serial number for the program shows up on our "subscriptions" page.

Enabling Tpoint and the dome controls should be built-in to SkyX.   At the very least there should be a hyper-link from the subscriptions page that would let me download the product directly.  

michael.faison@yale.edu

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valerierobalino:
The new Software Bisque system for downloading and installing software is horrible
Thank you for the feedback.

For starters, (since we should not expect you to read the User Guides), please read the Paramount Quick Start Guide: http://www.bisque.com/sc/media/p/77034.aspx.  It attempts to address common points of confusion about registering the Paramount and related software serial numbers, installing TheSkyX Professional Edition for Mac and Windows, activating Add Ons and installing the MKS 5000 driver.

valerierobalino:
can not seem to get permission to download the Tpoint add-on.
As described in the document above, there is no separate download for the TPoint Add On or Camera Add On.

valerierobalino:
Enabling Tpoint and the dome controls should be built-in to SkyX.
The TPoint Add On and Camera Add On are integrated into TheSkyX Professional Edition.

valerierobalino:
account and downloaded and installed The SkyX.
Was this part "horrible"?

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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Dude I don't work for these guys but wow, your criticism is way off base.  Try reading the freaking book first before you blow chow.  All those points are right out of the quick start guide which for people like me, for whom...."instant gratification is not soon enough" was sufficient for me to get my PME and TSXPro up and running first day.  Dome included.

www.Darkestskies.com  Remote Astroimaging

www.astrometrics.com Dome Controllers

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Yeah, it's pretty bad.  I'm especially disappointed with how they are now outsourcing customer support to user forums.  

It's a good thing that www.bisque.com/media/p/77034.aspx is so easy to find!  With such a memorable URL!

I'm being sarcastic. 

I would say the main source of my frustration is the big changes from "Sky 6" era control software to the "Sky X" ecosystem.  I found it very difficult to track down the changes and how to properly install software in the new system.  Looking for software on the website leads one to pages and pages of old software and updates.  User support is very hard to find.  The whole system could use some Steve Jobs style streamlining. 

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Daniel, 

What's your e-mail or phone number?  I'm having more frustrations (trying to install the Paramount ME USB driver from 2006 on a Windows 7 machine), and I would like to speak with you. 

Michael

 

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valerierobalino:
What's your e-mail or phone number?
Apologies, Software Bisque does not offer priority phone support at this time.  Please bear with me and I'll try to help you get this sorted out as quickly as possible (and as best as I can). 

valerierobalino:
(trying to install the Paramount ME USB driver from 2006 on a Windows 7 machine),

  1. Download and install the latest digitally signed driver MKS 4000 from here: http://www.bisque.com/sc/media/p/29839.aspx.
  2. What is the exact wording of any error messages during installation? 
  3. If no error messages occurred, does Windows Hardware Manager list the MKS 4000 driver under Ports (COM & LPT) when the Paramount ME is plugged in, turned on, and connected to the Windows computer via USB cable?  (See the Paramount ME User Guide: http://www.bisque.com/sc/media/p/28169.aspx, "Appendix E USB Driver Installation and Use" on pages 109-116.
  4. Stepping back, has this Paramount ME ever been controlled via USB?  Does connecting the mount to the computer through the Paramount's RS 232 port (with USB to serial adaptor) permit TheSkyX to control the mount?

Thank you in advance for your patience and assistance.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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valerierobalino:
Yeah, it's pretty bad.
Sorry you feel this way.  While I must disagree with your opinion, please hang in there, we'll try to help you as best we can.

valerierobalino:
 I'm especially disappointed with how they are now outsourcing customer support to user forums.  
This statement simply cannot be substianted with facts; please review the number of posts on the Software Bisque forums made by Software Bisque engineers, SB technicians and SB's front desk staff.  (I alone average about 6 posts a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and have for the past 8 years now. Is SB support perfect?  Of course not.  But, in no way is Software Bisque "outsourcing" support in any way.

That said, the Software Bisque community and support forums are thriving with constructive feedback, suggestions, discussions and bug reports by thousands of users.  IMO, this is a positive, not a negative. 

valerierobalino:
I would say the main source of my frustration is the big changes from "Sky 6" era control software to the "Sky X" ecosystem.
Yes, there is a learning curve and you are not the first, and won't be the last, to voice this opinion.  

Consider reviewing "Appendix B: Migrating from TheSky6 to TheSkyX" in TheSkyX User Guide (click Help > TheSkyX User Guide to view the PDF, or download it from here: http://www.bisque.com/sc/media/p/30354.aspx.

valerierobalino:
I found it very difficult to track down the changes and how to properly install software in the new system.
Did you read my previous post?  It attempts to address your confusion with activating Add Ons.

valerierobalino:
Looking for software on the website leads one to pages and pages of old software and updates.
As Software Bisque has been selling astronomy software for 30 years now, many legacy pages are still available for legacy software.  Sorry you are burdened by these actively used resources.

valerierobalino:
 User support is very hard to find.
As I see it, you've made exactly three posts over the past few weeks, and each has been answered promptly by a Software Bisque engineer. 

Going forward, consider posting future questions to one of the support forums: http://www.bisque.com/sc/forums/.    We do try to help as best we can.

valerierobalino:
The whole system could use some Steve Jobs style streamlining. 
Thank you for your feedback and suggestion.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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From a relatively new user persepective.

valerierobalino:
I'm especially disappointed with how they are now outsourcing customer support to user forums

I'm not sure outsourcing is the right word but I think I know what you are getting at. I actually see the very active and organic nature of the Bisque support forums to be a very positive aspect. There are a lot of people on here who have used Bisque products in the field for a number of years and this collective experience is made available to everyone through the forum and becomes a part of the product resource. This simply would not be the case with any form of closed support. The forum also helps drive product development. If you read the change log over the last few months, much of it has been as a result of forum feedback and suggestion.

valerierobalino:
 User support is very hard to find.

Try posting a "Help please I am stuck with ..." type of message on the forum and I think you might be pleasantly surprised as to how quickly the community here springs into action even if time zones mean one of the Bisques themselves might be enjoying some down time.

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Chris Bailey:
From a relatively new user persepective.
Thank you for this refreshing perspective. 

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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I agree - I have been demoing PRISM - and wondered - should I compare SkyX?  I had to buy it to compare. I get 2 weeks only?  Prism offers 80 days (no pay).  Prism is IMPRESSIVE but needs polish. It has that European "hard edge" feel to it.   Offers A LOT - but just little quirks with the interface and sky chart.  I cam here and it's CONFUSING.  
I think I bought and paid for Pro.  I later found that the dome control will be 250?  ouch.Dome and pointing and more included in Prism. So Sky X best be perfection. 

The website is - not really crude, but klunky. I paid - and had some weird links, instructions here to go to download. I clicked the first link and the instructions were gone.

Hoping I got latest version to install,  I could not find a version comparison chart of features of this version vs that one. By the time I add camera, dome and pointing - I'm at the 1200 universal.  (then 200 a year optional for ? updates?)  I mean at that - it best be dang perfection.  we'll see... if the site is any indication. ???  

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rojoyinc:
…had some weird links, instructions here to go to download. I clicked the first link and the instructions were gone.

See this table with links to all installers for TheSkyX Professional Edition.

rojoyinc:
Hoping I got latest version to install

The above referenced table should help, but also see Installing TheSkyX Flowchart.

rojoyinc:
I could not find a version comparison chart of features of this version vs that one.

Assuming you mean a comparison of TheSkyX editions, please see:

rojoyinc:
By the time I add camera, dome and pointing - I'm at the 1200 universal.

Actually $977 (TheSkyX Pro at $329 + Camera Add On at $150 + Dome Add On at $249 + TPoint Add On at $249).

rojoyinc:
(then 200 a year optional for ? updates?)

For a Universal Subscription, yes. But $100/year for a TheSkyX Professional Edition subscription (updates to software add-ons are included; see How to Obtain, Activate and Update TheSkyX Add Ons). Also, the first year's subscription is included in the purchase, and as you noted, renewing is optional.

Brian S. Rickard
Software Bisque, Inc.

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I just want to throw my comments in about SB and customer support......I think it’s awesome. It’s the best customer support I’ve ever had. Ok you might have to wait a while but other people often help in the mean time. They must get inundated with idiots like me asking questions that are so obvious but they are always there to help and help they certainly do.

sometimes I wish people would calm down a little and accept in life that sometimes things can go wrong. A lot of the time this is through user error ( me included) by not following the instructions closely. But SB are always willing to help.

i have nothing but immense praise for the excellent customer service and support the software bisque team provide along with all the other members 👍

im sorry but I just had to post this after reading this post  

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Thank you so much for the positive and encouraging feedback!  We really appreciate your kind words.

Daniel R. Bisque

Software Bisque, Inc.

862 Brickyard Circle

Golden, Colorado 80403-8058

Office Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday GMT-7:00

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