Jump to content
shawndeveau

Jeezus H Christopher

Recommended Posts

Dear Line 6, 

 

I love your products, but could you please hire programmers who understand how to create updates that don't require the user to jump through 17 different hoops?

 

Have you seen your update instructions?

15 pages (Arial font, size 11)

6,678 words

33,126 characters (not including spaces)

 

Utterly ridiculous!

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you are saying simple step by step instructions for some doesn't mean its easy for others?

 

I agree. They "could" have made it easier, but it "is" what it "is". What we have is what we have.

 

And, really the steps were not that hard to follow for me, because I read them 1st before starting the update.

 

That said, there are also some hardware issues that arise at times even after reading everything before you start.

 

I work around/with many very smart Engineers and Programmers from time to time, who can't remember where their car is parked at Walmart.

 

Good luck with a better install manual. ; )

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d have to agree with this.  I’m not sure about the presentation, and I got a giggle from the name, but the point is valid. 

Updates are a very messy and dangerous experience. 

I bet most of you agree.

A lot of do this and absolutely don’t do that instructions are things software can do. From checking the validity of the download, to asking you to do something and checking you did it before letting you progress with the install, it’s all done all the time by good software design. 

As I said in an earlier post, I’d rather reliability over cool. 

Naturally, I’d prefer both. 

There’s a lot of Helix product out there, making new people feel comfortable, might be the best update Line 6 could make to improve it’s market share. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure that we all wish it were easier. I'm equally sure that simplifying the update process is a work in progress. I'm sure of that because L6 has been improving the product, on all 5 platforms, since it's first release.

 

I'm with spikey. As a former (retired) programmer and all-round IT pro, I'm here to tell ya it ain't as easy as many seem to think, and with the relatively small team at L6, they're doing a great job!  I have more problems from Windows updates. Nor are the MAC folks immune to that.

MS and Apple have THOUSANDS of programmers on the payroll, and still can't get it right 100% of the time!


BTW - I read and follow the instructions for every update, and I've never had a problem.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also this one was particularly crucial that you get the detailed instructions right since they were updating the whole platform.  Let’s see if future upstates are this difficult although they may be or at least there may be two sets of instructions depending on whether you’re updating from 2.7 to 2.9 or 2.8 to 2.9 (or whatever the update happens to be named)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

User error, and/or a failure to follow instructions is responsible for more of life's ills than anything else. For proof I refer you to any of the numerous news stories of people driving down railroad tracks, or off the end of a pier because their GPS "told them to".

 

Truth is, basic reading comprehension and some common sense is all that is required to keep one's update experience from becoming a clusterf*ck. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, people don't like to follow instructions, and there will always be those who assume that they're so smart, they don't need them. How many threads popped up in the aftermath of the firmware's release expressing dismay at the "boot failure" error, despite the fact that it was WRIT LARGE that this is entirely normal? How many got stuck half way through because they didn't download the new version of HX Edit first? That's the FIRST friggin' step... it's a virtual certainty that most, if not all of those who fell into either of those two categories, probably didn't bother to read the instructions at all. I guarantee that there were a bunch of folks who had updated before without incident, who figured "I got this", and forged ahead blindly. Obviously this is not provable as nobody's gonna cop to it...but it's a safe bet.

 

Wouldn't matter if the update instructions were 3 sentences long, and simple enough for a chimp to follow...if you don't read them, you'll end up screwed, and it's you're own fault.

 

 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, rvroberts said:

Updates are a very messy and dangerous experience. 

I bet most of you agree.

 

Can't say I do. Walking through the south Bronx after dark without an armed escort is a "messy and dangerous experience". Updating firmware, even if it results in a toy that's temporarily unusable, ranks somewhere between "the car I want isn't offered in 'burnt sienna' ", and "I'm sorry, but we're out of the cheesecake".

  • Haha 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never had an issue. I just back up and update. 5 minutes later it's done. So easy a monkey can do it. So if the OP can't.......

  • Downvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, jwoertz said:

Never had an issue. I just back up and update. 5 minutes later it's done. So easy a monkey can do it. So if the OP can't.......

 

I bet this guy actually works form line 6, sounds lime the official line to me.

 

-

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Andy1175 said:

 

I bet this guy actually works form line 6, sounds lime the official line to me.

 

-

 

If a tree falls in a forest, what does a lime sound like?  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

If a tree falls in a forest, what does a lime sound like?  ;)

 

Sounds like Andy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, jwoertz said:

Never had an issue. I just back up and update. 5 minutes later it's done. So easy a monkey can do it. So if the OP can't.......

 

Not what OP's comment was about. He was commenting on the lengthy update instruction vs a simple "push the button" update.

 

Devil's advocate for a moment. I've noticed that a lot of users who had problems with the update seem not to be native English speakers (or victims of the public education system).

I wonder - how many languages have the instructions been translated into, and if lack of translations could be part of the problem?

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

(or victims of the public education system).

 

 

As long as we're still in "demanding accountability mode", this is as good a scapegoat as any. Plus it lets us blame politicians and lawyers for the update aftermath, and everybody already hates them anyway, so no harm done. It's a two-fer...a new boogeyman, and still no personal responsibility. Nicely done!  ;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

(or victims of the public education system).

 

16 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

As long as we're still in "demanding accountability mode", this is as good a scapegoat as any. Plus we can blame politicians and lawyers, and everybody hates them already. Win/ win! ;)

 

Actually, the NYC Public School system taught me well enough that I've always been able to comprehend the written word, and use it to learn anything I wanted to learn.

But then, that was in the 1950's, before diplomas were handed out as rewards for showing up to class more than once. I blame THAT on politicians and lawyers!

Demanding push-button installs and whining about having to read instructions is the natural result, an extension of the much discussed entitlement mentality......

(grumble grumble get-off-my-lawn)

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, rvroberts said:

A lot of do this and absolutely don’t do that instructions are things software can do. From checking the validity of the download, to asking you to do something and checking you did it before letting you progress with the install, it’s all done all the time by good software design. 

 

 

Precisely.  But you'll never get it past the fanboys.  LOL.

 

-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait!  Do you mean that this install makes me have to READ SOMETHING and the FOLLOW DIRECTIONS?!? 

 

Baring the actual hardware failures, If following directions (non-software automation) makes me a fanboy then so be it. 

 

Could it have been done better? Yes, just like nearly everything else after the fact. 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, spikey said:

Could it have been done better? Yes.

 

Good post.

 

-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read and followed the update process and it worked fine. One of the bugs had me contemplating rolling back so I wouldn't have to redo a bunch of patches I gig with but I got around it and I don't gig that much anymore anyway so it was an easier decision.  I do agree with a previous comment that instructions may have been difficult for those that were not native English speaking. Also, the tongue-in cheek style of the writer of the instructions doesn't seem to be a pure "technical writer" but probably the product lead for what seems like a very small team that has multiple duties.

 

While I'm also surprised there wasn't a full install package rolled out versus having to separately update Edit, Native, Updater(Firmware), many may do this process without really using the editor - or have Native, etc, etc. Pulling it apart maybe assures they get the full base and covers the possibilities how everyone uses this product and maybe single owners of multiple children of the product? Regardless, the new toys were never a guarantee when you put your money down. You don't have a contract up front that says "Line 6 will hereby provide said user with 4 new amps and 10 new features a year upon receipt of your dough" I'm definitely not a fanboy. I use this this equally as some other similarly featured multi-effects and gig with different stuff based on how I'm feeling to express myself. But I've got a ton of stuff that "is what it is" when you get it and thats it. I'm thankful they're giving me a choice to extend the life of the product if I want to. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, not trying to put down the small hard working team at Line 6 working on this - but isn't that part of the concern?

If the team is struggling - then they need a bigger team!

When I got my Helix, it was new technology and there were only rack and floor.  By now, I believe this product has significant market penetration.

It's not bleeding edge any more.

And there is a lot of competition.

Making the thing easy to use (including updates) is part of it's selling power.

When friends ask me should they get a Helix, I have to check out their ability to deal with technology including computer literacy before I can answer.

And I got to say, I can't recommend Helix to more than half of them!  It would give them a great solution to their musical needs, but they'd brick the thing and never get decent tones either - or I'd become the local unpaid Line 6 support person - no way!

This is where selling the thing is failing.

Seems techno-fear is not being addressed - maybe it's easier to sell them a spider (I don't think that works by the way).

I don't buy the "it's hard" conversation.  I'd come right back with "it's the job".

So I think Line 6 could sell a significant amount more Helix products if this type of conversation was not happening.

So I'd address that if I was them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love is all you need.

 

You can't always get what you want.

 

Everybody hurts.

 

Don't worry, be happy.

 

etc...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, rvroberts said:

Well, not trying to put down the small hard working team at Line 6 working on this - but isn't that part of the concern?

If the team is struggling - then they need a bigger team!

 

Since you seem to be referring to my post, remember what else I said. MS and Apple have THOUSANDS of programmers on the payroll, and STILL can't get it right 100% of the time.

How many more should L6 hire from the massive pool of programmers experienced in creating guitar amp sims? How many millions in profits do you imagine that L6 is making that they can afford those programmers and the training (which would divert experienced resources and further slow development) that it would take to get them up to speed?

 

16 minutes ago, rvroberts said:

When friends ask me should they get a Helix, I have to check out their ability to deal with technology including computer literacy before I can answer.

 

When friends ask me if they should get a motorcycle, I have to ask them when they last rode, and fell off, a bicycle. Because anyone who rides knows that it's not a question of if, but when you're going to fall down. It's the nature of the beast. Should Harley-Davidson be held responsible to make riding a motorcycle absolutely safe and without risk, without need to learn how to ride?

 

Likewise, anyone who's used a computer for more than a week knows that software is imperfect, and OS crashes happen. It's the nature of the beast. This might sound harsh, but there are some people who should not ride motorcycles, and some who shouldn't use computers. (NOTE: opinion based on years of experience riding and repairing motorcycles, coupled with years of experience doing tech support for computer users, including currently being tech support for all my friends, some of whom should not be using computers!).

 

Wait, I have the solution! Motorcycles and computers should carry warning labels like cigarettes. "Use at your own risk!" And "RTFM!!!"

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

When friends ask me if they should get a motorcycle, I have to ask them when they last rode, and fell off, a bicycle.

 

You know it's funny... well not "haha" funny, but unexpected I suppose...I've wrecked both bicycles and motorcycles. Once each... and I got 3x as mangled falling off the bicycle. The universe is weird....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for the 2.8 installer... I do agree with many here, it's not hard to add a safe guard and it should have been done. The "firmware install" should be checking to make sure HX Edit and the Drivers are properly updated before attempting to update the firmware in the hardware. Even if they couldn't automate the other updates from that, it could have stopped the install process and told the user to go read the instructions again :) 

 

That said.... anyone that calls me a fanboi has never seen my account and the tickets associated with it! I don't complain to the public (these forums, facebook, tgp, etc...)... I complain to the people that need to hear it (L6 through the ticket system). It's amazing how much gets resolved through the proper channels :)

 

30 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

Since you seem to be referring to my post, remember what else I said. MS and Apple have THOUSANDS of programmers on the payroll, and STILL can't get it right 100% of the time.

 

100% of the time? IME they bat about 80% - 90%... then get it right 1 or 2 updates down the road.
I consider this to be the way it is with software (any company) and that saves me a lot of unnecessary grief :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, codamedia said:

That said.... anyone that calls me a fanboi...

 

Ah, let them. In the absence of an actual argument, it's all they've got. In their minds, the instant application of the "bad guy" designation means that they "win"... it's the tech forum equivalent of playing the race card.

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Conceptually, the steps for doing the update aren't really all the complex. I think DI's instructions are very detailed simply because he's trying to cover all the bases. They are so long and wordy because he's outlining every single step along the way - like to the point of telling people how to sign into Line 6 Updater. The fact of the matter is that once you go through the process once, it's a pretty simple thing. In my mind, I fundamentally see it as the following:

 

1. Create backup using the currently installed version of HX Edit.

2. Download and install new version of HX Edit.

3. Run Line 6 Updater and install update.

 

For most updates, you can actually stop there. Now this update was different because it affected the Global Settings, so you might want to restore from backup to get those back. Also, if having the new factory presets is important, it requires another step.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

... it's the tech forum equivalent of playing the race card.

 

In fairness... I know what you mean but IMO, (trying not to get political) the race problem needs some addressing and the card is played appropriately and blindly discarded by others as much as it is over played... just saying :) 

 

But the point is extremely valid... it's a default insult when you actually have nothing substantial to debate. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, phil_m said:

 

1. Create backup using the currently installed version of HX Edit.

2. Download and install new version of HX Edit.

3. Run Line 6 Updater and install update.

 

Just one more to add....

2.1.... do not open HX Edit (or keep it open) while running the updater!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not updated to 2.8 yet so I cannot comment on the specifics of this install.  However, I don't care if install instructions are 5 lines or 5 pages, there should be code built-in to check for prerequisites and abort the install if not present.  You shouldn't have to rely on the user no matter how clearly it's spelled out in the instructions.  It's easy enough to fool-proof those items and not hard to do no matter how big or small your development team is.  However, with any software/firmware update you should always run a backup first and read the instructions completely before running the install package.  That doesn't mean you won't run into trouble, but it will certainly minimize problems you may have.  There is no reason for not doing this other than you're rushing to get it done.

 

Regarding the statement that Microsoft and Apple "have THOUSANDS of programmers on the payroll", that's true, but they're not all working on the same product.  Each product has it's own development team and you'd be surprised to know that not all of them have massive headcount.  But you're also right they they do not get it right 100% of the time.  Nobody does, that's why patches are released on a regular basis (aside from security updates) for bug fixes, feature updates, etc.

 

Ah, the wonderful world of software development :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, kraftybob said:

However, I don't care if install instructions are 5 lines or 5 pages, there should be code built-in to check for prerequisites and abort the install if not present.

 

I don't understand what you mean by this in this context... What prerequisites?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From these comments:

 

22 hours ago, rvroberts said:

A lot of do this and absolutely don’t do that instructions are things software can do. From checking the validity of the download, to asking you to do something and checking you did it before letting you progress with the install

 

2 hours ago, codamedia said:

it's not hard to add a safe guard and it should have been done. The "firmware install" should be checking to make sure HX Edit and the Drivers are properly updated before attempting to update the firmware in the hardware. Even if they couldn't automate the other updates from that, it could have stopped the install process and told the user to go read the instructions again :) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, kraftybob said:

From these comments:

 

 

 

 

Well, if you don't have the drivers installed, Updater won't even see the Helix. As far as HX Edit, technically, it's not required to install the update... It's just that - the editor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, kraftybob said:

...

But you're also right they they do not get it right 100% of the time.  Nobody does, that's why patches are released on a regular basis (aside from security updates) for bug fixes, feature updates, etc.

...

 

Yup agree, complex products are going to have bugs when they undergo improvement, are re-architected/recoded to facilitate future development, and have new features added. Having a history in IT myself  I would say that the best you can hope for is to minimize the number and seriousness of the bugs, report the known bugs when you release the update, and get fixes out in a timely fashion. If you don't you can expect push-back from some users, depending on how much impact a bug has on them, for the duration until it is fixed. If you consistently find that it takes you too much time to get out a fix for a critical bug you probably need to beef up your development team, realign some priorities and shift over some resources, or figure out how to improve your development process to get fixes out faster. Not saying Line6 has to do any of this, just speaking from my own experience. Too easy to be an armchair quarterback.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I look at updates with some degree of mixed feelings--although, I am always better for the effort.

 

Admittedly, I am not a fan of the update process kludge; however, I have not incurred any issues to date following the instructions--once distilled/filtered for my Helix floor unit.

 

In the end, I am very appreciative of the Line 6 team and their proven results.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, phil_m said:

Well, if you don't have the drivers installed, Updater won't even see the Helix. As far as HX Edit, technically, it's not required to install the update... It's just that - the editor.

 

I'm simply commenting on what others have said - which is that there could be more safeguards in the install.  As I initially stated I have not installed 2.8 yet so I can't comment on personal experience.  But here's the thing - these guys/girls are customers, and if that's the customer perception - right, wrong, or otherwise - then the company (Line 6 in the case) would be smart to at least monitor this feedback (and others) to see what's real and what's not.  Companies improve products by listening to their customers - that's what helps drive their product roadmap - and if there's enough feedback about a complex install process then it would behoove them to try and improve/simplify it.  That's all I'm saying.  

 

But it seems like you're getting defensive about the feedback provided in this thread, and I may be speaking out of turn here, but it seems like the significant majority of us like/love our Helix and only want the best experience whether that be updating the unit, using it, tones, etc., and I don't think that's a bad thing.  If somebody did something wrong, skipped a step, etc., sure, point that out so they don't repeat, and I agree with you that they have no right to complain if it's user error.  But the OP was simply commenting on his perception that the install was lengthly.

 

In a perfect world we would all have a Test environment/Helix to load this on first and validate the install for our own device.  But, assuming most of us don't have an extra Helix laying around it's crucial the updates are as simple and reliable as possible.  As rd2rk said, not everybody is IT savvy and owning a device like this for them could preset real challenges.  A friend that I play along with has no clue about any of this stuff.  In his own words he says give me the the guitar cable and show me where to power the amp on.  He's a great guitarist but ended up asking me to program his Vox Valvetronix for him - he just wants to play and not worry about the tech.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, ThePup said:

In the end, I am very appreciative of the Line 6 team and their proven results.

 

I would agree.  I think it's a great product and it has certainly changed my "I must play through a tube amp" mentality (I never thought I'd write those words).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With technology like the Helix also comes some additional complexity with respect to software and upgrades; in one sense you're trading some large amount of tonal flexibility for some higher degree of mucking about with updates and possible issues associated with updates - whether you are aware of this or not. That said, for most people the update is a one-time event, and I'm glad Line 6 decided to err on the side of providing a lot of information rather than not enough. I daresay that despite complaints from people like the OP it's saved them considerable support time and makes life easier for most customers also.

Also, I would much rather Line 6 spend time on new models and software updates than a complete hand-holding updating process. Again, it's a one-time thing that takes way less than 30 minutes to work through - deal with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the most compelling reasons IMHO to make the upgrade process as bulletproof and simple as possible is so that bug fixes and upgrades can be provided quickly. If updates result in a number of temporarily bricked units or prolonged troubleshooting I believe there is a tendency for any software team to delay release of for example a single much needed fix. Instead they are incentivized to wait until several or most known bugs are resolved before releasing the next fix. They are forced into balancing delivering bug fixes and new features quickly against the need to minimize the number of people experiencing problems executing the update .

 

Like crusinon I have no idea how many people have actually had an issue updating, impossible to tell from the forum. I don't find my own experience of never having had an issue with an upgrade anything more than anecdotal either. There are a lot of variables affecting how smoothly an update will go including what computer and OS you are on. Like many others here I have found that I maximize my odds of a smooth upgrade by following the instructions closely and reading upgrade tips and gotchas from other forum members.

 

I've said it here before and it may not be ideal but depending on your requirements, e.g. gig coming up in three hours, be prepared to wait for a subsequent firmware release, no matter how great the new version is(and I'm liking it!). Have backups and be prepared and have the time to roll back if necessary. You may want to check if any of the  known reported bugs, both from Line6 and legit bug reports from the forum, are going to be showstoppers for you. Not suggesting anyone wait this long but to put things in perspective, large or mission critical enterprises often wait years and do comprehensive testing before going to a new version of an OS to make sure everything that relies on it is compatible or can be upgraded.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@HonestOpinion I think you and I have very similar careers :)

 

You make a good point about checking a bug report to see if there’s any show-stoppers for you. I read early on about something with the wah pedal losing its settings or something like that. I’m going to check and see if that is the case and if so, if there’s a work-around.  I purposely held off upgrading mine to see how things went overall. That, and I’ve been traveling like crazy so what little time I’ve had with my gear has been spent playing. 

 

 I’ve heard lots of good things about 2.8 so I’m anxious to check them out for myself 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
 
 
12 hours ago, Andy1175 said:

Could it have been done better? Yes.

Good post.

 

-

You didn't quote what I stated. What I said was... "Could it have been done better? Yes, just like nearly everything else after the fact."

There is a huge difference, but thanks for playing. 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, kraftybob said:

But it seems like you're getting defensive about the feedback provided in this thread, and I may be speaking out of turn here, but it seems like the significant majority of us like/love our Helix and only want the best experience whether that be updating the unit, using it, tones, etc., and I don't think that's a bad thing.  If somebody did something wrong, skipped a step, etc., sure, point that out so they don't repeat, and I agree with you that they have no right to complain if it's user error.  But the OP was simply commenting on his perception that the install was lengthly.

 

I wouldn't say I'm being defensive... I don't work fro Line 6. I have nothing to do with the programming side of things. All I'm saying is that some of the ideas being put forth don't really make sense to me because that's not really how the product works. It's very hard to design a system that has some of fail-safe protection at every step along the way simply because people are really good at coming up with unexpected ways to find new problems. My day job is a lighting designer/engineer. The most complex things I do in my normal work are designing lighting control systems. And I'll just say that if you think the Line 6 software isn't user friendly enough, then never try doing anything with a lighting control system. But from the customer side of things, it's just hard to predict what people will do.

 

This isn't meant to blame anyone, but if I have one word of practical advice for people, it would be this. Please don't update Helix during the middle of a thunderstorm... I've been slightly surprised/amused by a few reports from people who lost power when updating their Helix because they were doing during an electrical storm... :-)

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×