Can I sell my BTP program??

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Can I sell my BTP program??

Postby billvelek » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:52 am

I'm seriously thinking of writing off the hundred hours or more that I've invested in BTP and am thinking of moving to a different brewing program; haven't decided which one yet. If I do, can I sell my license to BTP on eBay or something like that? It just seems like development has completely died here, and despite the creation of an inventory feature -- the one and only significant development in the past year -- I am extremely tied of making suggestions or reporting what appears to be bugs, and then never getting so much as an acknowledgment that anyone in the world gives a !@#$. Still no really useable 'Help' file or 'User Guide' despite complaints for a YEAR now. When there was at least a few posts from the developers, there seemed to be some hope. Now the silence is deafening and I've about had it. Maybe I can find a brewer who will be more patient than I can afford to be any longer, and he'll give me ten bucks for the program. Probably best to just cut my losses right now.

Cheers.

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License Transfers

Postby jeff » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:03 am

Bill,

If you find a buyer, all you have to do is let me know the username of the person you want to transfer the license to. If they don't have a BeerTools.com account, they will have to create one. Then I can move your BeerTools Pro assets to the new account.

I hope your search for a better program and development team is successful. I think the two major players are BeerSmith and ProMash, but perhaps there are some newer startups out there too.

As is the case with myself, writing brewing software is typically not the developer's primary source of employment. Thus you may encounter similar circumstances with other projects you evaluate. However, the other programs are more mature than BTP so the presence of certain features may compensate for the cyclical nature of the product development.

If you have any other questions about license transfer, please let me know.

Best.
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Postby warthog » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:21 pm

bill, i know your frustration. though i also know where jeff is coming from. with the understanding that btp is really a part-time job for jeff (i suspect for lathe too), it is understandable that he cannot always respond in a timely manner to any and all issues that turn up.

i don't know if jeff has a family, but we all need to strike a balance between professional and personal life. since btp is not his primary employment, we can assume from a monetary standpoint, btp needs to take a lower priority. as for personal, jeff, i suspect, has already made some pretty significant sacrifices there.

as for me, my opinion is that btp is a pretty slick program. it does pretty much everything i want it to do. it runs just fine on my machine. it doesn't have everything that i would ultimately want in a brewing program, but i've run it head to head with a friend who uses pro mash, and i like btp better; my friend likes promash better (though he agrees that btp's interface is nicer).

so there you go. you have been a very active contributor to this site (far more than me), i'm sure your input is valued.

regards,
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Postby jawbox » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:03 am

Good luck Bill. Hope you find what you are looking for. I'll be sticking it out here as I'm not about to buy a pc for brewing software.
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Postby aaron_aus » Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:17 am

The update cycles on Beersmith and ProMash are certainly not better.

I understand that this may not be the primary source of income for the developer. However, if you are going to offer a commercial product for sale there is some expectation of support. If that expectation is higher than the developer can or will deliver they should set the expectation correctly by informing their customers what hey can expect. ProMash has done a particularly poor job of that.

I wouldn't change to either of ProMash or BeerSmith expecting faster upgrade cycles. That said I'm not a BeerTools pro customer yet as there is no demo yet. Once I can try it out I will most likely buy it.
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Postby jawbox » Tue Jan 01, 2008 8:42 am

I believe Jeff (promash) has been having very serious health issues to take care of with his wife which is why development of the next version of promash has been halted.
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Postby dasein668 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:14 am

+1 on what everyone here has said. I actually see more development going on here than I had experienced with other software.
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Postby TCBrewguy » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:17 pm

Bill,

Are the upgrades you're seeking in BTP merely creature comforts or elements that you think are integral to the software? It seems to me like there are a few incidentals that I would like to see in the app, but it certainly isn't detracting from my support and use of the program -- it does exactly what it is supposed to do and it does it quite well, IMO.

As for the programmers, I not only sympathize with the need to find balance between day jobs, family life and what is likely a part-time endeavor (BTP), but also with the balancing of user interests. You can't please all of the people all of the time.
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I'm not going anywhere ...

Postby billvelek » Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:52 pm

TC, I've reconsidered and don't plan to get rid of BTP any time soon. To begin with, I'm not hearing anything better about any other brewing software out there. As for the question of whether I was just looking for creature comforts or essential/integral elements, it was probably my perception of both when I initially started this thread; mostly it was a sense of intense frustration.

First, when I bought the program, it was in what I would have considered at an 'unmarketable' state of development; there were too many bugs, and some very basic features were not even working correctly, like saving files. Fortunately all of that is now behind us, ... but at the outset it was unimpressive and should have still been in 'alpha' development.

Second, also when I purchased the program, I think the developers were a bit misleading about the recipes that were available; while it might not have been intentional, their advertising gave a very different impression than what actually came with the program. I expected to have the full number of recipes available as advertised rather than a limited number if I paid extra for Gold Membership, and even less with a free membership. I then paid for the Gold and I don't think I ever downloaded more than a half dozen recipes in an entire year. I still don't think that was right.

Third, as 'intuitive' as many of you might have found the program, I did NOT find it very easy to use without detailed directions (which are virtually non-existent); I'm not talking about the easy stuff of setting volumes and selecting ingredients, but rather of vessels and mashing schedules. I guess I just never had the patience to experiment on my own long enough to work through the confusion (e.g., why do I have a heat setting for a plastic mashtun which has no means to heat it, etc.). The result was that I _never_ successfully used the entire schedule portion of the program throughout an entire year of use until I finally applied Slothrob's instructions in conjunction with the latest 'alpha' program ... which hasn't been released to the public yet. I feel sorry for the average buyer who might not be visiting these forums; it must be a nightmare. Is it because I'm stupid? I doubt it; I graduated with high honors from college and I've been a lawyer for 27 years and a municipal court judge for over 20, so I'm probably not _too_ far below average. And some things are just more intuitive to some people than others, but the instructions for software and the help files should be written so that they can help everyone -- including even somewhat stupid people. This has never been the case with BTP, and one of my major frustrations has been that I had been crying and _begging_ for a better help file ... repeatedly ... for over a year now, and I don't think there has been even a SINGLE edit of those files during all of this time. Instead, the burden was shifted to volunteers to write a 'Wiki', and after spending a LOT of my own time trying to help with that, I finally gave up ... realizing that _WE_ shouldn't need to do that.

Fourth, members were invited by Jeff and Lathe to make suggestions/requests for what we would like to see in future releases; this led, ... at least me ..., to an expectation that we could see those improvements within the near future. Consequently, I spent my valuable time, as did many other users, to write down those suggestions, and, at least in my case, many have never even been acknowledged or critiqued by the BTP staff, let alone implemented.

And finally, my major frustration has been what seems like an awful lot of silence from the developers. I don't expect daily reports, or even weekly reports. I don't expect _every_ post to be acknowledged. And I don't expect miracles. I realize this is a part-time venture, and so I don't expect everything to be implemented at once. But the way things have slowed down lately, I have strong suspicions that we're never going to see the things we've been expecting. Nevertheless, if my present 'alpha' release could just be made permanent so that it doesn't expire after awhile like my last one did, I would probably be satisfied enough with the program as it is.

EDIT: I forgot to add that, as a marketing tool, BTP is missing sales, in my opinon, by failing to implement a demo program of some sort. If they are able to put a time-limit on the life of an alpha release, then why can't they do the same with a demo-program. I've always maintained that BTP's marketing and sales has an indirect impact on the rest of us ... users ... because the more successful the program is, the better assurance we will have of continued support and improvements, and the greater exchange of info and recipes between us. The use of a demo has been mentioned for the next release, but it seems inexcusable that this wasn't done a year ago, especially with so many people who stated that they would not buy without being able to try the program first. On the other hand, without either an improved help file or a much more intuitive interface, BTP might have lost potential customers who, after having difficulty with the demo, might never consider it again. Perhaps that's the sensible reason why we don't have a demo for this yet.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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Re: I'm not going anywhere ...

Postby just-cj » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:05 am

billvelek wrote:First, when I bought the program, it was in what I would have considered at an 'unmarketable' state of development; there were too many bugs, and some very basic features were not even working correctly, like saving files. Fortunately all of that is now behind us, ... but at the outset it was unimpressive and should have still been in 'alpha' development.
Bill, well put. That was one of my early complaints/disappointments with BTP. I haven't used it nearly as much as I'd like -- I still use my own spreadsheet for recipe development. Was it a waste of money? So far, I'd have to say Yes. It wasn't all that much, so I'm not broke because of the purchase -- but when you buy something, you expect it to work fully.
billvelek wrote:Third, as 'intuitive' as many of you might have found the program, I did NOT find it very easy to use without detailed directions (which are virtually non-existent); I'm not talking about the easy stuff of setting volumes and selecting ingredients, but rather of vessels and mashing schedules. I guess I just never had the patience to experiment on my own long enough to work through the confusion.....And some things are just more intuitive to some people than others, but the instructions for software and the help files should be written so that they can help everyone -- including even somewhat stupid people. This has never been the case with BTP, and one of my major frustrations has been that I had been crying and _begging_ for a better help file ... repeatedly ... for over a year now, and I don't think there has been even a SINGLE edit of those files during all of this time. Instead, the burden was shifted to volunteers to write a 'Wiki', and after spending a LOT of my own time trying to help with that, I finally gave up ... realizing that _WE_ shouldn't need to do that.
And this was my second huge beef with the program -- again well put. With the public release, I never knew if I couldn't do something because I didn't know how to set it up or if the program didn't have the function or if the function wasn't working properly or what. Sure, I could play around for hours and hours, but as you said, I shouldn't have to do that. And posting every time I wanted to set up a new recipe because I didn't know how to do it just isn't a workable solution.

Finally, I have to disagree somewhat with others who say that ProMash and Beersmith are slow in improving -- mainly because those programs are already robust, mostly complete, and at least in the case of Beersmith, well supported. The initial release of BTP was very limited, so there's a lot of development (and bug fixes) that needed to be done before it was ready for Prime Time. So what appears to be quick development is largely just implementing what should have been there before the software went public!

Version 1.1 promises to be a lot better, but if it comes without a pdf manual and online help, it'll be just as deficient as 1.0 was. I'm quietly hoping that it will be an improved stable version and that BTP will become one of the standards of brewing software (especially for the Mac) -- but I'm not holding my breath any more.
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Postby TCBrewguy » Fri Jan 04, 2008 10:09 am

FWIW, the first few times I used ProMash I had no idea what was going on. I messed around for a long time before becoming frustrated and trying Beersmith, which I found much easier to use. On the other hand, when I bought my Mac in 2006 and signed up to be part of the BTP beta group, I found BTP to be reasonably intuitive for a brand new app. Even without a manual/help section I still found the learning curve to be less abrupt than with the PC apps.

Just my $.02.
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Wish I'd bought Beer Alchemy instead

Postby bakins » Sat Jan 19, 2008 6:07 pm

Bought BT tools today, read just about the whole help contents and the wiki. Added a few recipes. Played with it for about 2 hours straight. I can say, I wish there was a demo, because I feel like I just wasted $21. I've used the demos of Promash and Beersmith (in Parallels) and Beer Alchemy, and can say that BTP was a major disappointment after paying for it. I should have spent the money on Beer Alchemy - it's not the greatest, but it just "works" for me.

Wish I would have read this forum before I bought it... Oh well, at least I'll get 1.1 upgrade for free. Whenever that is...
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You have a choice

Postby jeff » Sat Jan 19, 2008 7:24 pm

You can either delete your copy of BTP and get a refund, or you can stick around for the beta of 1.1. If you feel like playing around with unstable software, you can try the alpha. Your choice.
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Postby just-cj » Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:44 pm

I wouldn't necessarily call the 1.1 alpha version "unstable." It's more like "unfinished," but I haven't had any stability issues when I've used it -- maybe an occasional unexpected calculation, but certainly not unstable.
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Re: You have a choice

Postby bakins » Sun Jan 20, 2008 3:10 pm

jeff wrote:You can either delete your copy of BTP and get a refund, or you can stick around for the beta of 1.1. If you feel like playing around with unstable software, you can try the alpha. Your choice.


I'm used to alpha software, I work with open source software alot :)

So what is the refund procedure? Knowledge base didn't seem to help...

Would been easier if there was a demo, like all the other brewing software.
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