Is “Preview Edition” really such a hard concept? What SmartSDR Preview Edition is and isn’t.

FlexRadio Systems has been crystal clear that the present June 2013 software is a voluntary participation “SmartSDR Preview Edition.”

Any pre-order slot holder who participates in this Preview Edition has volunteered to do so with the understanding that the software is basically a wide spread beta.

yet for many hams this seems to be confusing and hard to understand.

Despite stating that as a volunteer using pre-release (Preview Edition) software I received several emails daily asking questions that should be directed to FlexRadio Systems on schedules, performance data and comparison data.

Every ham has their pet feature that matters a lot to them, and the scheduling questions or “what is included in Preview Edition as of this moment” questions are really neither ones that any SmartSDR Preview Edition user can answer or really matter as the availability is limited to Preview Edition volunteers, as subset of early pre-order holders.

So let’s try this again:

SmartSDR Preview Edition is:

  • Not a general release
  • Being distributed to Limited Edition deposit holders who have taken a second set of volunteering
  • As prerelease software is inappropriate to review in detail
  • Being updated with new features and tweaks on FlexRadio System’s schedule

SmartSDR Preview Edition is not:

  • Software a non-program participant gets
  • Wouldn’t run without a Flex-6700 or Flex-6500 even if a non-program person had a copy
  • Distributed in a demo mode form
  • The Production Product (hence “Preview Edition”)
  • Part of any annual support (that starts with the first full edition)
  • Software that is ready to be reviewed, or formally comparison test.

Reviewing software than is being rapidly upgraded/updated and that is not available outside the volunteer group, especially when any reviewer knows the software (and hence radio) will be different with the next download, is unfair to the software as the persistence of Internet posts will linger one while the software will have been modified many times.

Impressions are fair comment, details and hard comparisons are not.

That of course all changes when the production software releases.

One interesting thing though is the radio challenges the hardware/firmware/software mental model I held. It seems to make more sense if the idea of a “Radio Server” is used.



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