August, 2005 AVIONICS, ELECTRICS, & CONTROLS
Aug 5 - Got a new copy of One Mile Up's Panel Planner Version 3 at OSH. Decided to give it one more try to make it work. Gene Velazquez, the President at One Mile Up, had sent me an email a month or two ago, asking me to stop by his booth at OSH05. I had tried Panel Planner last year, and was not at all happy with the product or the responsiveness of his employees. Gene invited me to pick up a free copy and try it again. Gene has always struck me as very customer-oriented, and I really appreciate that, so I said I'd try it again. Spent a couple hours installing the software and laying out a very basic version of my panel. Upgraded One Mile Up's review status a notch on my vendors page. Update web site a bit 2.0 hr + 0.5 hr doc
Aug 13-14 - attended a Bob Nuckolls AeroElectric electric wiring seminar at Plymouth. Other than the fact that the temperature was nearly 100 degrees, and the hotel room cost double what the seminar did, it was good. We drove down very late Friday night, and left as early as possible Sunday, to avoid the horrible Cape Cod and general Massachusetts traffic.
Aug 17 - worked on Panel Planner awhile. Carumba!! SOS - it's the exact same old crap as last time, with all the exact same basic problems!! There's no help system, no icon labels or tags, no undo (and this program REALLY needs an "undo" button, believe me), and it's inconsistent in how it handles alignments. You can't control where 0,0 is. When you select an item & try to move it, the first thing it does is jump so the center of the object is at your mouse pointer. That makes it impossible to move an object a little bit. As with last year, I spent a long time finding the obscure link on their web site to their support. Sent an email to their support about this. Decided to look up my old emails to see what features I had complained about last year. It turns out it's all the exact same complaints! A year later, and it's exactly the same crappy major holes as a year ago. 1.0 hr wasted
Aug 18 - got a reply from One Mile Up support - at least they responded. Last year, their failure to respond was the final straw. They explained how the alignment tool works. At least there is now SOME sort of logic to it, even though it's done poorly. You can't control which item the other items align to, but at least you know which one it will be aligning to. There is still no undo function. They said it will be in Panel Planner 3.0.4 due out at the end of August. They ignored all my questions about the other problems. What have they been DOING for the last year?!?!? Other than a couple details, the free Experimental Panel Builder is much better and easier to use. The only thing the Experimental Panel Builder doesn't have it the detailed cutout layout. But I don't trust the Panel Planner layout anyway. When I lay my instruments out on it, the view does not match (proximity to which rivet hole) where the actual instruments line up on the actual panel. That was one of my gripes last year. I had sent them an email about it last year, but did not get a response.
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