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Thread: Some software/firmware fixes are overdue

  1. #1

    Default Some software/firmware fixes are overdue

    As many of you know, I am a longtime Carvewright user and have done many and varied projects with it. I like the machine and Designer software. However, there are some firmware and software bugs that really should be addressed.

    You probably have your own "favorite" bugs that you'd like to see fixed, but the big one for me is the occasional instability of Designer Pro. There are times when I get errors of various types when starting the software that cause a crash, and the only remedy to get any work done is to reboot my computer. The Open with Preview function has never worked for me. I get No preview Available or a runtime error and crash. There are various workarounds that have been suggested, but to my way of thinking these are excuses. Software should not crash because of too many patterns or whatever.

    By way of background, I have spend my entire professional career in the firmware business, both firmware development and test and verification, in Fortune 500 companies. So I have some experience. Software should never fail because of input conditions. If code is going to fail because of too many this or that, then at minimum that input condition should be checked and handled by exception routines. I developed firmware for disk drives, and I can say with confidence a very large percentage of that firmware is handling exception conditions. Best-in-class firmware developers employ a technique called Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (FMEA), a structured methodology to uncover potential failure modes and properly deal with them. At minimum, if a developer experiences a runtime error, it is never ignored; it is always traced to root cause and addressed. It is not acceptable to understand or guess what lead up to the error, then leave it to the user to avoid that condition.

    I cannot think of an application that I use other than Designer that has resulted in a runtime error or crash, and I have been thinking hard.

    A pesky firmware bug for me is that the machine occasionally and randomly "forgets" user inputs. I have set user options to never ask to stay under rollers and other options to save time. These are sometimes "forgotten" and the prompts return. OK, annoying, but not critical perhaps - or perhaps it is. Let me explain.

    One of the options is to set X calibration. Mine is off a bit from the factory setting, so I have adjusted for it. Yesterday I ran the first 48" board of a two-board wide project. Today as I started to machine the second board, the default prompts came back. I checked X calibration, and sure enough the setting had reverted to factory default. So now the dilemma: did the X calibration get lost before or after I ran the board yesterday? If yesterday's board ran without calibration, the carving will be a bit longer than designed, but would not be a problem, IF I also run the second board without calibration. In that case I should leave calibration alone for now. If, however, the X calibration just got lost, and yesterday's board ran WITH calibration, then I need to readjust calibration today. With this large of a pattern on the board, if I don't guess correctly, I'm liable to trash $35 in lumber and 5 hours machine time.

    (So yes, a workaround, I should check X calibration value before starting a big project, IF I remember and IF calibration cannot be lost while a project is running. I'd much rather have a fix.)

    I'll let you know how my project turns out in a couple of hours.

    Designer software and firmware is quite good in my opinion - it could be great if some of these bugs were properly addressed.

  2. #2

    Default

    Well, looks like I guessed wrong and did not get an exact match. However I lucked out in two regards. First, my calibration was not that different from factory, amounting to about 1/16" difference over the span of my pattern. While that could be enough to ruin a project, I can massage a couple parts of the pattern where there is mismatch and make this work. But only because of this particular pattern.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southern Delaware
    Posts
    678

    Default

    Haven't done the amount of carving you or others have so I don't have the volume. Have tried to shut off the Cut off board prompt with no success, just learned to live with it, am only up to 1.187 version and know there won't be any fixes. Did notice a double sided carve had a slight offset but haven't checked it out. Spent a lot of time getting it right but don't do enough to offer an opinion on it. Will try to find time to check that. Guess i should write down all my settings first to be sure if anything changes. Like you most of the time I can correct the problem with sanding. Will post what I find.
    Rick H

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Cornwall Ontario
    Posts
    898

    Default

    I think the STL add on should also get an update there is a lot of people having to use third party software to resize the STL then convert.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Fayetteville, GA
    Posts
    345

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    I'm with you Dick, exception handling needs to be improved. While I love my CW, it's the only software that I use that I actually expect to fail periodically. I've learned to save frequently, but I still get caught too often.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    George
    Life is short....drink the good wine first!

  6. #6

    Default

    I agree. The software needs some updating. Today, while trying to set up a simple carve, no less than five times I got a runtime error and the program quit. I can't find any temp files for those times I hadn't saved recently. Fortunately, I only lost 5 to 10 minutes of work, but it is very frustrating.

  7. Default

    I agree, Carve Wright answer is to Open As Administrator. I think that's the option.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    The Great Texas Gulf Coast
    Posts
    5,355

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rflournoy View Post
    I agree. The software needs some updating. Today, while trying to set up a simple carve, no less than five times I got a runtime error and the program quit. I can't find any temp files for those times I hadn't saved recently. Fortunately, I only lost 5 to 10 minutes of work, but it is very frustrating.

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