Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

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Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

Postby billvelek » Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:55 pm

Jeff, I purchased BTP on October 26th, and received v.1.0.1; I downloaded a few upgrades along the way, but never really had time to play with the program long enough at a time to figure it out. Today I read some posts in these forums, downloaded v.1.0.9, and decided to really commit myself to actually trying to learn this.

Now, I also sent you an email on October 26th explaining some issues that I was having with BTP; a copy appears at the end of this post in case anyone else can help. You sent a very nice reply that same day indicating that you would try to address them one at a time and that if you could not get things working, that you would refund my money. I am more than happy to wait awhile -- even quite awhile -- before asking for a refund, since the purchase price won't make me or break me. I also posted a suggestion in this thread on October 27th requesting that the User's Guide be made available in a better format to enable easier printing of hardcopy, and you replied that you would make it availabe in .pdf format. As I mentioned in that post, I prefer to have a hardcopy of a user's guide next to me as I learn a new program; sometimes I like to paperclip pages, and use a highlighter, etc. When trying out your latest version today, I couldn't find a .pdf file yet, although it seems to me that this could be done very easily and quickly on your end.

I would like to ask now if some of the simpler issues could be addressed soon, because I'm still having the sames problems with this latest version; i.e.,
1. Selecting 'Online' / 'My Recipes', I still get the message "Unable to retrieve recipes at this time", and also the "Beer Tools.com" button at the bottom of the online pop-up window still doesn't work.
2. I'm not positive whether the other menu choices under 'Online' on the menu bar are working, since I'm already online now and don't want to exit until I finish this post, ... but I would expect, if they are working, that my computer would at least change over to my browser and open to the forum, etc.

Finally, regarding my previous question about where are the 5,400 recipes, and noting a thread which has developed since then, I have to agree with the concensus that your advertising is misleading; I'm not saying that you intended it to be so, and I'm not going to debate the meaning of "access", but I fully expected to have more than 5,400 recipes easily and immediately at my disposal, and not have to go online to get them. Perhaps your method will be better in the long run, but surely you need to at least have a handful of recipes ready to go for someone to try your program when they can't be online. As it stands right now, I have NO recipes to use with BTP, and have been frustrated in my attempts to fix the problem on your webpage. This is probably the fourth time I've played around for an hour or so without any luck at all. Now, if the problem is that I am not a GOLD member, please tell me before I waste any more of my time. I purchased your program without any knowledge that a GOLD membership was needed or preferred, and declined to upgrade to GOLD because I didn't think I would need or use it; heck, if I had 5,400 recipes available offline, as I expected, plus the equivalent of all of the tools -- a recipe generator, recipe calculator, and beer analysis which I assumed are somehow built into BTP (are they?) -- why would I ever need to use the website. Now, this is constructive criticism, so please don't be offended, but I just haven't used ANY of the resources at BeerTools.com at any time in the past, and I have never used any brewing software, either, so this is all unfamiliar ground to me. Anyway, if I need to send you another five dollars to be able to have access to some recipes, please let me know. Meanwhile, I have logged into your website using my trial membership, and still haven't figured out how to retrieve a single recipe to start to play with BTP, and your user guide hasn't helped me to find an answer, either. Perhaps the problem is that I'm having to learn two things simultaneously -- your website and your program -- and maybe I'm a little dense. As I mentioned before, I don't think your program is as intuitive as I expected, but I can work around that ... I hope.. So, ... will someone please help me. Here is what I've done:
1. Logged in to your website;
2. Selected 'Recipes' on your menu bar;
3. Noticed a 'featured' recipe -- Road Trippel -- but couldn't find any way to 'save' it to 'Recipes' under 'MyBeerTools', ... OR ... to mark it as a favorite;
4. Went to 'MyBeerTools' / 'Saved Recipes' and confirmed that I still have one slot available as a trial member; under 'Library Entries', I have NO library recipes saved, and I don't want to have to go through all the trouble of creating my own recipe with 'Recipe Calculator' or 'Recipe Generator' just to be able to play with the BTP program and try to figure it out; after all, ready-made recipes was one of the primary reasons I bought the program to begin with; I did manage to mark one recipe as a "favorite' -- which I did manage to find using the recipe library -- but still couldn't find a way to call up the favorite in my BTP program;
5. I just used 'recipe search' under 'Recipes' on the menu bar on your website again, and marked a second recipe as a favorite. Went back to BTP and tried to retrieve a recipe again with no success ... and please, ... PLEASE fix that pop-up window so that I can tell it to remember my user name and password.

I'm still hopeful that these problems can be fixed, so I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet. You have clearly been working very hard to have issued so many updates in such a short time. Please forgive me if I seem impatient, but I've brewed four batches of beer from two different partygyles since buying BTP, and I still haven't used BTP yet. I don't even see the point in typing in my own recipes if I'm not sure I'm going to keep the program.

Thanks.

Bill Velek
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Jeff,

I just purchased Beer Pro and downloaded it, but there are some features that I'm pretty sure are not working correctly for me -- although I will keep playing around with this to see if it's something I'm doing wrong on my end, but I'm pretty sure I'm not.

First, when I did my install, I closed my browser and EVERYTHING except for my antivirus and my firewall programs; I routinely do so when installing a program.

Second, my system: I have an e-Machine T-2682 with an Intel Celeron chip running at 2.6 ghz, and it has 512 meg of ram, 240 gigs of harddrive space, and I'm constantly connected online via DSL. I'm running Window XP v. 5.1, including service pack 2; I keep it updated automatically, so nothing should be lacking there. I alternately use two browsers: Netscape 7.2, which is my first preference, and also Internet Explorer 7.0.5730.11 which I'm pretty sure is one of the latest releases.

My problem is that when I click "Online" on the Beer Pro menu bar, I can't get anywhere. When I select the first option -- "My Recipes" -- a window pops up for me to enter my user name and password; however, when I do that and then click "Login", I get two messages: "Welcome to Beer Tools.com Bill!" and then "Unable to retrieve recipes at this time". I have tried it repeatedly, without any success. Also, when I click on the "Beer Tools.com" button at the bottom of that window, I get nothing. I have tried it with both browsers open, and also with both browers closed. I have even opened separate blank windows and tabs in each and have tried it but nothing happens. I have also tried it WITHOUT "Logging In", and I still get nothing.

Also, if I go to Beer Pro menu bar and select "Online" and then try ANY of the other selections -- "Beer Tools.com", or "Membership", or "Forum", I get no reaction from the program at all. I check my browsers, and there is nothing there either.

What I'm trying to do is take a look at some of the 5,400 recipes I'm supposed to have access to. When I go to the menu bar, "File", "Import", "BeerXML", that doesn't do it either. I believe it is looking for something on my own computer, which I apparently don't have. And I can't seem to find any other selection available anywhere from the menu bar or any controls to open a recipe. Now, I have to admit that I have only skimmed over the user manual, but I did use the search function for "recipes" and found nothing that way except for the importing of an .xml file, which is what I have already tried.

I hope you can get me started in the right direction. Other than the above, it looks like a nice program although it isn't as intuitive as I like -- but that just takes a bit of time and use to get used to. If there is one thing I would suggest, it is that you maybe try to incorporate a tutorial (not about how to brew beer, but rather a simple step by step process for using the program without having to read through what looks like a lengthy help file. Just my two cents.

Thanks.
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The online issue first..

Postby jeff » Sat Nov 25, 2006 10:22 pm

I figured that I would start by testing out your online login from within BTP to see if I got the same error that you get. The login worked fine and here is a shot of the list that came up under your account:

Image

Does that seem correct? I am wondering if the problem that you are experiencing has something to do with your network or firewall. What kind of configuration are you running under?
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You are correct, sir!

Postby billvelek » Sat Nov 25, 2006 11:36 pm

Thanks, Jeff, for your extremely prompt attention. Yes, those are the two recipes that I have marked as favorites in order to experiment. As for a firewall or network settings, I have a DSL connection -- constantly connected -- and haven't experienced problems with any other programs that require or use a connection. My firewall is ZoneAlarm version 6.5.731.000. I hope that helps. Let me know if you need any other info. Data about my system and WindowsXP were provided in my original post (in the email pasted at the end).

EDIT: Ooops; we have a problem, Houston. I just saw your post announcing that version 10 is available, so I downloaded it and tried to install it. It asked me for my license key, and I typed in the one that was sent to me when I originally purchased BTP in October. Now the program is telling me that it is expired, but the really odd thing is that it is telling me that as soon as I type the last character -- without waiting for me to click on the 'Register' button.

EDIT#2: Now I can't go back to version 9 because I'm getting the same message about an expired license key. This concerns me even more than the other issues discussed so far, because now I'm wondering what all this is about. Expired license keys??? ... what's up with that? If my harddrive crashes next year, or ten years from now, I should be entitled -- and able -- to reload the BTP program without any problems. Ten years from now, you might be dead or impossible to locate; who knows. So I need to be assured that this is just some sort of a glitch and that the key that I have now will never expire. If this is how you are protecting your copyright, you need to find a better way to do it.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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Re: Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

Postby billvelek » Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:25 pm

billvelek wrote:snip ...
1. Selecting 'Online' / 'My Recipes', I still get the message "Unable to retrieve recipes at this time", and also the "Beer Tools.com" button at the bottom of the online pop-up window still doesn't work.
2. I'm not positive whether the other menu choices under 'Online' on the menu bar are working, since I'm already online now and don't want to exit until I finish this post, ... snip
Jeff, I have some info to help you out. The problem with item #2, above, ... i.e., that non of the options is that I use Netscape and had that set as my default browser, at which time those buttons did not work at all. I decided to experiment and changed over to Internet Explorer as my default browser, and now when I click on the menu items -- 'Online' / 'BeerTools.com', ... 'Membership', ... 'Forum', or ... 'Check Updates', my Internet Explorer browser opens to the appropriate pages. So, the problem is that that aspect of your program doesn't work with Netscape (which I hope you will eventually fix, because I think IE sucks); I haven't tried it with Mozilla. Incidentally, I use Netscape Navigator v.7.2; I know that they have a more recent version, but I don't like it as well since it doesn't have 'Composer' which I use all the time).

Now, there is a new issue with v.1.0.11 -- in previous versions I had the problem as described in Item#1, above -- couldn't get 'My Recipes' to work ... but at least I was able to get to the pop-up window. NOW, when I go to the menu-bar -- 'Online', the 'My Recipes' choice is no longer highlighted, i.e., it's unavailable to click on, so I can't bring up the pop-up window and therefore can't check to see how any of that is working.

Cheers.

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Online issues

Postby Lakota » Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:59 pm

FYI,

I am using Firefox 2.0 as my default browser and every thing works as it should. I can login, see My Personal Recipes and load a recipe into BTP. I would disable ZoneAlarm temporarily to determine if it is causing a connection issue.

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Re: Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

Postby jeff » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:03 pm

billvelek wrote:Now, there is a new issue with v.1.0.11 -- in previous versions I had the problem as described in Item#1, above -- couldn't get 'My Recipes' to work ... but at least I was able to get to the pop-up window. NOW, when I go to the menu-bar -- 'Online', the 'My Recipes' choice is no longer highlighted, i.e., it's unavailable to click on, so I can't bring up the pop-up window and therefore can't check to see how any of that is working.


You may be running in demo mode in which case you should enter your license key again using version 1.0.12. 'Enter License Key' is a new menu item that will allow you to enter new registration info (or re-enter registration info). The dimmed menu items should become active again after your license file is rewritten.
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Re: Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

Postby billvelek » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:12 pm

jeff wrote:
billvelek wrote:Now, there is a new issue with v.1.0.11 -- in previous versions I had the problem as described in Item#1, above -- couldn't get 'My Recipes' to work ... but at least I was able to get to the pop-up window. NOW, when I go to the menu-bar -- 'Online', the 'My Recipes' choice is no longer highlighted, i.e., it's unavailable to click on, so I can't bring up the pop-up window and therefore can't check to see how any of that is working.


You may be running in demo mode in which case you should enter your license key again using version 1.0.12. 'Enter License Key' is a new menu item that will allow you to enter new registration info (or re-enter registration info). The dimmed menu items should become active again after your license file is rewritten.
Jeff, when I saw your post that v.12 is available, I opened v.11 and used the 'Online / Check Updates' menu command, and it worked okay. I installed v.12 and am running it now. I also went to the 'Help / Enter License Key' menu command, and registered again with the latest license key I received. However, after doing that, the 'Online / My Recipes' menu command is still dim (unavailable). All the other commands under 'Online' are now working fine, even with Netscape. I restarted BTP again hoping it might be necessary after re-registering, but that didn't help. I'm going to boot my computer next and try, but want to get this posted, since I've already started it.

Thanks.

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Re: Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

Postby Lakota » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:29 pm

I am having the same licensing and menu issues with 1.0.12 also. I removed 1.0.12 and reinstalled 1.0.11 but the issues remained. Now I'm hosed.

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Re: Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

Postby jeff » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:32 pm

Lakota wrote:I am having the same licensing and menu issues with 1.0.12 also. I removed 1.0.12 and reinstalled 1.0.11 but the issues remained. Now I'm hosed.


If you want to use a previous version for now, let me know and we will email one to you.
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Reboot didn't help

Postby billvelek » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:35 pm

Reboot didn't help; still can't enable 'Online / My Recipes'. Lakota, do you have a Gold Membership; I don't and so I'm wondering if that might be part of the problem.

I'm confident that Jeff et al will get this all worked out soon. I'm impressed that they seem to be working 7 days/week, and have been very responsive so far.

Cheers.

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Re: Reboot didn't help

Postby jeff » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:36 pm

billvelek wrote:Reboot didn't help; still can't enable 'Online / My Recipes'. Lakota, do you have a Gold Membership; I don't and so I'm wondering if that might be part of the problem.


GOLD has nothing to do with the problem. You may notice that you can't save files either. I'm working on it.
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Re: Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

Postby Lakota » Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:37 pm

I just removed BTP and reinstalled 1.0.9, same results, no go. Obviously there's something lurking (hidden file)on my system that needs to go for a fresh install. I'm OK waiting for the fix but thanks for the offer.

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Re: Some questions, comments, and suggestions re BTP

Postby billvelek » Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:48 pm

Lakota wrote:I just removed BTP and reinstalled 1.0.9, same results, no go. Obviously there's something lurking (hidden file)on my system that needs to go for a fresh install. I'm OK waiting for the fix but thanks for the offer.

Lakota
Okay, this is what I've done recently trying to get this to work:
1. Since BTP doesn't have an uninstall program, I used the Windows uninstall on the control panel;
2. I did a disk clean to remove unneeded files (temps, etc.);
3. I did a Registry Scrub;
4. I rebooted my computer;
5. I shut down everything that I didn't need, including ZoneAlarm (firewall), anti-virus, spybot, my calendar, the resident portion of Netscape that resides in my system tray, my printer driver, etc.;
6. I did ANOTHER registry-scrub, just to be sure everything is as clean as I could get it;
7. I loaded BTP v.1.0.1, which originally had 'Online / My Recipes' enabled;

and ... 'Online / My Recipes' is no longer enabled, so I think you are correct, Lakota, that there must be a system file from a later version that is messing this up and my uninstall and cleaning has not removed it.

So I am back to v.12, and am chilling out with a homebrew. I have 2 batches of beer that I'll probably bottle next weekend, and I usually brew on the same day, so hopefully this will be running. If not, ... I'm patient, Jeff. I know you're doing your best. Hey, this will be a good reason for me to explore the BeerTools.com website for a recipe the old way.

Cheers.

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My last attempt tonight.

Postby jeff » Sun Nov 26, 2006 10:54 pm

Ok, if this one doesn't work. Then I will have to start fresh tomorrow. I have posted 1.0.13. I think the problem is related to a new version of the IDE that I use to develop BTP. Seems like a fundamental change occurred along the way that initialized true/false values as true, instead of false (the previous default). Hope I'm right for your sake :?
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Goodnight, Jeff

Postby billvelek » Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:05 pm

This is not to nag, but just to keep you posted on the status of this problem. I have downloaded and installed v.13, and also registered it as you had suggested on a previous version. In doing so, I took the precaution of shutting down virtually everything (same as in my last post); I ordinarily never shut off my antivirus and firewall, but on the slim chance it is interfering, those were closed too. Sorry to say that I'm still having the same problem.

Thanks.

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