PDA

View Full Version : Newtek deserves kudos and a thank you



fabmedia
06-01-2004, 02:24 PM
Please read this in full. This is not a rant, but a thank you.

Having ordered Lightwave 8 upgrade back on March 21/ 04 I have not yet received my cd. I had waited with baited breath to the arrival of the software. So much that I had started a post with my concerns. Unfortunately, and understandibly, the post was removed. I would assume this had to do with the potential loss of future sales. My post was not malicious or degrading, or trying to degrade NT in any way. Infact I made sure that I was very pleased with NT and enjoy LW fully and I do not intend to switch software. That post was made about 3 weeks ago.

Chuck Baker had sent me an email stating that he had forwarded my concerns to customer service after I was unable to reach customer service due to my time constraints and forgetfulness.

I would like everyone to know that Newtek is very concerned about their customers and users of their product. And rightly so. I found that when I had purchased my LW upgrade through a reseller which I will not name because I'm very happy with their service too and don't want this email to be taken the wrong way but somewhere along the lines there was a mix up and my information was not sent or received by NT. I had talked to a very nice and extremely polite person I would say overly appoligetic but understandable I guess and she immediately contacted the reseller to confirm the order and asked for me to fax my invoice to her. In a matter of 30 minutes she called back stating that my order had been processed and my upgrade is being shipped and that I will receive it in about 7 days.

Thank you very much Melissa. It is very much appreciated which is why I'm writing and posting this letter. Everyonce in a while I notice that some people tear into and complain about NT, I've been guilty of expressing my sorrows as well, but I would like everyone to know that NT is doing not only the best that they can, they are very much trying to exceed everyones expectations. Sometimes this isn't recognize by all. So before anyone rants about something not working ask first before screaming. Because if we online can't help you, NT can.

NT has done and is doing everything it can to keep bringing new advances to LW and if we give them constructive criticism and positive suggestions, it will make the process so much better not only for NT, but for us too.

Thank you for reading.

macsupremacist
06-01-2004, 05:35 PM
Wow crazy story. I'll give you credit you have to be pretty even tempered to come out optimistic like you did. I definitly would've given up and gone with someone else.

fabmedia
06-01-2004, 05:57 PM
I agree it's a crazy story, but you just have to put things into perspective. They could have easily said no, but they didn't and I know that they wouldn't have.

You know for all the quirky things that people get angry about with LW crashing or not working right, it generally comes down to a few things: corrupt preferences, a deleted necessary file, software conflicts in the background of the operating system from programs and widgets installed on the computer, and most likely bad or conflicting hardware (ie. RAM, motherboards, soundcards, etc.).

I think we freak out because weird things happen at the most inappropriate or inconvenient times. That's when we need to sit back and relax and not be the first to blame someone who is there to help you at a moments notice.

We really do have it quite good. We don't have to pay for support except long distance. You won't find that with Maya, XSI, or Max, AND you have to pay an annual fee. YUK!

So we have it good.

eblu
06-02-2004, 07:33 AM
Originally posted by fabmedia

You know for all the quirky things that people get angry about with LW crashing or not working right, it generally comes down to a few things: corrupt preferences, a deleted necessary file, software conflicts in the background of the operating system from programs and widgets installed on the computer, and most likely bad or conflicting hardware (ie. RAM, motherboards, soundcards, etc.).


ummm... yeah... you forgot design flaws, bugs, and poor coding practices.
NT is not perfect, and LW has been through the internal ringer. Its too much for you to ask me to accept that its my fault that LW runs like a drugged kitten sometimes. I mean, lets face it... serious professional grade applications just don't eat their own preference files.
I know that the guys at newtek generally care what we think of them, I just wish they could throw more resources at the serious problems, such as Design and implementation of their Mac products.

mlinde
06-02-2004, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by eblu
ummm... yeah... you forgot design flaws, bugs, and poor coding practices. Ted, I know you are personally very frustrated with Lightwave. Sometimes (and please, take this lightly, I'm not being insulting) I wonder if you would ever be happy with any improved version of Lightwave. Unless, of course, Newtek came to your office, took down your personal list of wishes for Lightwave, and made it just that. Please, show me the "perfect" application that Lightwave should emulate, or the "perfect" design practices that they should follow, or the "perfect" coding practices they should maintain. In the real world though -- not in a university setting -- in a business setting, where every dollar counts.

Mind you, I'm not saying Lightwave or Newtek is perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. I'm saying that there is nothing they could do to please you, but if you honestly looked at where they are going and what they are doing, they really are trying to make a better application for everyone, even disgruntled Mac users like you.

fabmedia
06-02-2004, 10:04 AM
ummm... yeah... you forgot design flaws, bugs, and poor coding practices.
NT is not perfect, and LW has been through the internal ringer. Its too much for you to ask me to accept that its my fault that LW runs like a drugged kitten sometimes. I mean, lets face it... serious professional grade applications just don't eat their own preference files.
I know that the guys at newtek generally care what we think of them, I just wish they could throw more resources at the serious problems, such as Design and implementation of their Mac products.

Yeah I hear you. I'm not saying that LW runs flawlessly, but for the most part alot of people scream when it's not really the software's fault. Preference files, or other software/ hardware conflicts. Panther was buggering things up for LW for the longest time, BUT that was a change in the OS, not LW. A lot of people were really upset, I was too, but neither party was at fault for that, but at the same time, maybe NT could have done more. In my opinion, Apple is at fault for making severe software design changes. But that's not really the issue here. NT can do a lot more with the software yes I wholly agree and they will. Considering that they have a major release every year or so and they don't charge for one of them, that's a really good deal. I think sometimes we expect a lot more than we should and I think that's fair because it pushes NT to strive to meet those expectations of it's customers.

But remember, we just need to stay positive and help them as much as they help us.

eblu
06-02-2004, 11:29 AM
funny,
I always thought of my position as a helpful critic.

I know I'm loud and obnoxious, but I don't ever recall demanding anything that was unreasonable. I mean is it really too much to expect LScripts (motion designer actually fails if you do this bc they HARD coded the directory name in the LScript based interface) to work if I change the name of my main lightwave directory? or to expect that when I want to quit screamernet, i can, just by selecting "quit" from the menu?

I think I've laid out a pretty concise and straight forward list of things that Newtek could do to make me happy. I did that Almost 5 years ago, and you know what... not one item (as far as I know) has been addressed. These are things that are blatantly obvious, that I "work around" every day. or in other words, these are things that cost me man hours, very frequently in my daily use of LW.

(this is a paraphrase of a story I read)
Steve Jobs once said to one of the original Macintosh engineers "I want you to shave 5 seconds off of the startup". the engineer said that it would be very difficult and that the current time is good enough. Steve smiled and said, "look, shave 5 seconds off, and you'll be saving lives". The engineer did not understand how 5 seconds could affect anything, so Steve elaborated a bit. "the user, starts his computer up every day, so its not just 5 seconds right? its more like at least 25 seconds a week, and this happens 52 times each year... which is 1300 seconds per person, or 21 minutes a year! and since apple has a much larger market than 1 person, lets multiply that by 1,000,000 (a nice round number that comes nowhere near Apple's market size but helps to illustrate the point)... giving us 361,111 hours... or 41 years. And thats Every year per 1 million users." In the end, the engineer felt that 5 seconds was worth cutting off for the sake of saving lives. It was difficult but Steve was also correct. Anything that you can do to save the user (me in this case) time, is worth doing. Anything that you deliberately do not do, knowing full well that it is easy, and will save the user time, is just plain laziness, and bad business.

Too many developers are WAY too busy trying to cram features into poorly designed software. This is a double edged problem because they have to cram these features into a mess, that can't support them, and the features feel and act as if they were bolted onto something inappropriate for them. This is an issue because it is one of the many Traps that a developer can get into that create an environment that is friendly to bugs.

Newtek is a small company with big goals and they already have the cart before the horse. I have heard about the need to have new features to "keep up" with the competition, and I am aware that Newtek IS doing Something, about bugs in general. What I am trying to do, is influence the next BIG decisions About LW, so that it is better. better to use and maintain. And I don't remember asking for anything that wouldn't benefit the developers in the long run.

I don't want features so much as I want features that work. in order to do that, LW must be re-written. and Before that, LW must be re-designed.

here are a few of the themes I have been harping on for the last 5 years:

1. the renderer, should be its own OS level service. for which ever os it runs on. this makes it easier to maintain, and upgrade.

2. the network renderer controller should NEVER be the animation app, thats just plain lazy.

3. consider some of the advantages of merging LW and modeller, I personally am on the fence about it, but the inherent Power of such a move vastly outweighs any reasons not to.

4. design the app, for once. take cues from everybody else, stop ignoring OS conventions like window ordering. too many things just don't fit or invent their own logic (vertex paint, LScript, motion designer, hypervoxels to name a few). If the app makes sense, then you shouldn't have to learn each and every tool from scratch. If it doesn't have a consistent internal logic (ie: make sense) then you have to re-design. this is Bible, in development, and its platform agnostic.

5. make really heroic and responsible choices about what to optimize and when. I read in these forums that the intel code was moved to a new compiler several years ago, because of the optimizations in that compiler. Of course its all hearsay, but this is just the kind of thing that should have been done about 3 years ago to the mac version.

6. re-work the antiquated content directory setup, so that LW is not responsible for content directories, but the scene file is. Every scene file should know, without screwing up, how to find its associated files. This makes it easier to hand off the render to a separate rendering app, and its standard across the boards for every other program.

7. bug fixes before features. no exceptions. if this were being done, Quicktime would be reliable (among other things).

8. really get to know who you are developing for and learn what they want, sure its a port, but who ever said it HAD to be exactly the same as the PC version? there are a few ways to make it more mac friendly without killing compatibility.

turbo
06-02-2004, 12:42 PM
<*thanks NewTek>

I am happy with my customer service and product. :D

<*hugs LW8>

<*goes back to uvmapping newly segmented and increased poly version of Kria Krabbit for paper dolling>

:p :cool: :D

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 01:08 PM
This is laughable.

If anything, Newtek owes a HUGE thank you to us users who stick by their software.

fabmedia
06-02-2004, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by unc1e meat
This is laughable.

If anything, Newtek owes a HUGE thank you to us users who stick by their software.

What's laughable is the simple fact that everyone is ready to blame without looking into what the real problem is. Like I said individual problems are system oriented, not NT fault. Bugs are an NT issue.

But really what I was getting at in my initial post is that NT is going above and beyond to make sure that we are happy.

Trawler
06-02-2004, 02:06 PM
OK, I can't let this thread go by without putting my two cents in. Here's my take: I like Lightwave! It's got it's problems, but frankly, if you can build a better 3D app, then do it. We'd all love it. Certainly, my limited Java and C++ skills aren't up to the task of creating a 3D app than can rival anything that's out there. So I went with the one I could afford: Lightwave. And I like it.

Years ago, I used to have a Jeep. The transmission kept going out and it had all kinds of problems with the radiator. Cars are more expensive that 3D apps and I didn't constantly trash Jeep on the web or through the mail. I just sold it and got a Honda. And now I like the Honda. The same can be said for things like restaurants and musical instruments and clothes; home insurance, legal advice, and medical care. At some point, when things aren't going as you'd like, you need to re-evaluate your expectations or try something new.

I like Lightwave and I agree with fabmedia that Lightwave has treated me well.

turbo
06-02-2004, 02:22 PM
what he said.. :p

.. if all you can do is cry about something.. make a better one or go away.. :cool: :p

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 02:24 PM
you're such good sheep- follow blindly......

fabmedia
06-02-2004, 02:27 PM
Originally posted by unc1e meat
you're such good sheep- follow blindly......

Give me a break. It has nothing to do about being sheep. It's about taking responsibility for things that are not NT's fault but the fault of either your custom machine (without researching properly), OS fault, software conflicts, or even yours.

Sheep.... ha.

turbo
06-02-2004, 02:34 PM
more, an innovator.. know your target, meat.

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 02:34 PM
"It's about taking responsibility for things that are not NT's fault but the fault of either your custom machine (without researching properly), OS fault, software conflicts, or even yours"


So it's the users fault that NT is too lazy to optimize their code so opengl performance is on par with some other apps available for OS X ?

turbo
06-02-2004, 02:41 PM
ouch! hmmm.. lookit the immature accusing! lol

NT is not lazy.

Anyone who knows anything about development understands what it takes to get it done.

LW is the only app that addresses my specific needs, and I for one, am gratefull it exists.

Everything it gives me is worth the price. The price is so much less than the other apps. There is certainly value for the dollar here.

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 02:43 PM
"Anyone who knows anything about development understands what it takes to get it done."

hmmm...lets see, how many years has it been since opengl performance on Lightwave Mac hasn't been optimized

turbo
06-02-2004, 02:54 PM
<plays thumb violin> <goes back to work> :cool: :D :p

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 03:45 PM
I'm not sure which is more sad, the fact that Lightwave's open gl has not been optimized on mac for a long time or that you find it humerous.

I bet when you go to your local store and buy something and find it's not fully functional as the box stated it would be, you laugh about it and write a letter to the manufacturer and commend them on their wonderful product. ;)

fabmedia
06-02-2004, 04:07 PM
You see you're going on about something that is not NT's job. They don't write OpenGL, they use it to build their menus. They did not create the language or how it displays. If you want better performance with OpenGL, get yourself a better card. But don't sit and b**** at NT or us because it's not working for you. LW broke when Panther was released. That wasn't NT's fault. It was Apples. They changed how it worked in the OS.

So if you want to b**** at someone, b**** at Apple or get yourself a new video card.

It's quite obvious that you have to find something on your shoulder that you want to someone to take it out on. That is not what this thread is about. It's my gratitude and appreciation that I wanted to state.

Go start a b**** thread somewhere else because you are getting WAY off base.

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 04:10 PM
fabmedia, I already have the latest 9700 128mb card available in a powerbook. The open gl performance is not anywhere near as good as it should be with this brand new card. So it's not my hardware.

baaaaaa...i hear sheep :)

fabmedia
06-02-2004, 04:28 PM
then it's either some file/ preference that is causing a conflict, or it's the OpenGL in the OS. NT does not supply OpenGL with it's product.


I think you need to trouble shoot first, ask questions, and call NT instead of crying.

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 05:32 PM
I think you may be slightly confused about Open GL. Open GL is what is used on the Mac in Lighwave and Modeler to render in realtime the preview image that you can rotate and zoom in. It's a crutial part of Lightwave. Some other 3d apps (such as Cinema 4d, and others) have their code optimized so the Open GL performance is fast. Lightwave on the other hand doesn't perform nearly as well in this area because the code is not optimized within the application. It has nothing to do with preference files being corrupt. This has been a problem with Lightwave since I first started using it at version 5.6. This has nothing to do with my hardware.

Now the argument about why us users who are disappointed with the performance, just switch to a different app. Why should we, we paid good money for Lightwave. We should get a product that delivers on it's promises. We aren't talking about some cheap $20 shareware, we are talking about a software package that costs nearly $1600. I don't know about you but that's a lot of money to me. So when I get this expensive software and is not performing as well as it should, I'm more than disappointed.

fabmedia
06-02-2004, 06:10 PM
for crying out loud. Go use the other software. Obviously you need to do that because you'll never be happy. Go ahead. Pay the $2000-10,000 annual fee + maintenance, etc. Go ahead. I know how this stuff works and I'm not confused on OpenGL because it's a universal language and has been for quite sometime. Other software packages do not have accurate renderers, are cut into seperate apps and you pay through the nose for them.

I suggest that you shouldn't buy LW upgrades anymore, save your pennies and learn something else. Otherwise don't complain. YOU decided to put up with what you percieve as a problem, deal with it.

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 08:23 PM
hey fab, don't get your panties in a wad.

I haven't upgraded to 8 and don't plan to until things are fixed. Why should I switch when I've already paid money to Newtek for their product. It's their responsibility to fix it... and until they do, I'll be here complaining about it. Thank you.

riki
06-02-2004, 08:34 PM
I have to agree Newtek have done a great job with 8. Possibly the best release to date.

turbo
06-02-2004, 09:15 PM
aye. 8 is tight. :cool:

fabmedia
06-02-2004, 09:46 PM
well unclemeat, don't play with fire if you don't like getting burnt. People like you think that you deserve things regardless who is in the wrong. And I'm sorry I'm not wasting another word on you. If you think you're right, fine, so be it.

Now let the rest of us apprciate NT for who they are and what they make.

unc1e meat
06-02-2004, 10:16 PM
Heh, you may want to review the previous posts to figure out who burnt who :)

Cheers and enjoy using your new LW8.

mlinde
06-03-2004, 08:35 AM
Question to Uncle Meat:
Please verify this is what you are saying:
If you create the exact same object in C4D, Maya and LW, perform the exact same surfacing, lighting, FX, and animation, then, (1) Maya and C4D are faster than Lightwave with OpenGL display. (2) Maya and C4D are more accurate than Lightwave in OpenGL display. (3) Maya and C4D have more OpenGL features.

Now, to verify this, you have to be doing the same work, with the same point/polycounts, on the same machine, but with each application. If this is what you are saying, I ask you this -- why are you using Lightwave if these others work better for you?

I've run OpenGL games and applications on Macs and Windows machines, and what I've found is that the Windows performance across the board is better. It's a firmware thing, or a hardware thing, or a driver thing, IMO, because I can't assume that every single software developer uses the same coding style as every other developer, which means the only commonalities across all these variations is the hardware, firmware, and drivers. Did Newtek make any of these?

fabmedia
06-03-2004, 09:47 AM
Originally posted by mlinde
Question to Uncle Meat:
-- why are you using Lightwave if these others work better for you?


Hee hee hee... well put.

unc1e meat
06-03-2004, 12:19 PM
If you read some of previous posts or use common sense, you might realize that it's not necessarily easy for everyone to just go out and buy another software that costs this much or more. When I started with Lightwave at version 5.6 which was given to me, it was buggy. I waited for version 6.0 and it was slightly better but still buggy. With every version the improvements have been there but not very major. Newtek seems to focus more on adding new features to keep up with other apps rather than fixing problems. Now, I can understand that they need to keep adding features in order to remain competitive.

Believe me, I've been seriously thinking about buying another software package. I'm waiting till Siggraph this summer so I can actually talk to some people who use various apps and see them demonstrated to decide. In the meantime, I think I'll try what you suggested about loading the same object into different software package demos and see how it compares.

The reason why most games don't run as well on Mac as well as their Windows counterparts are not because of hardware. Of course this is true if you're talking about consumer level graphics cards. If you start talking of using pro level cards then windows is definitely going to be faster since mac doesn't really have any pro level cards at the time. It's because they are sloppy ports usually. But then, it does require some serious effort to optimize for a specific platform I'm sure.

fabmedia
06-03-2004, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by unc1e meat
If you read some of previous posts or use common sense, you might realize that it's not necessarily easy for everyone to just go out and buy another software that costs this much or more.

Then quit complaining.


Originally posted by unc1e meat
Believe me, I've been seriously thinking about buying another software package.

Then do it or don't complain.



Originally posted by unc1e meat
I'm waiting till Siggraph this summer so I can actually talk to some people who use various apps and see them demonstrated to decide.

You can download trial versions.



Originally posted by unc1e meat
The reason why most games don't run as well on Mac as well as their Windows counterparts are not because of hardware. Of course this is true if you're talking about consumer level graphics cards. If you start talking of using pro level cards then windows is definitely going to be faster since mac doesn't really have any pro level cards at the time. It's because they are sloppy ports usually. But then, it does require some serious effort to optimize for a specific platform I'm sure.

Games are not focused on Pro cards. AND yes they are optimized for the Mac too. You're talking out of the wrong end. When you get your facts straight then lets continue this discussion. But till then quit ranting and think of something more positive. I would suggest that if you are so unhappy with LW and NT, go make your own 3D app and optimize it the way you want.

unc1e meat
06-03-2004, 01:23 PM
"If you read some of previous posts or use common sense, you might realize that it's not necessarily easy for everyone to just go out and buy another software that costs this much or more.


Then quit complaining. "


I've paid for this software, it doesn't work as it should, I'll complain as much as I please.

"You can download trial versions. "

If you read my previous post more carefully, you'll see that's exactly what I was saying.

"Games are not focused on Pro cards. AND yes they are optimized for the Mac too. You're talking out of the wrong end. When you get your facts straight then lets continue this discussion."

I know games are not focused on Pro cards. My post doesn't say they are. I'm saying that if you play a game with a pro card it will most likely have better frame rates. Of course this may not always hold true. I guess I shouldn't use the word optimized when it comes to talking about games on Mac. I'll explain: Mac games are usually poor ports from Windows versions. The code is bandaged while porting over to Mac in the time available to the company doing so. This isn't necessarily optimized. It's just so it's presentable but not necessarily as good as its Windows counterpart.

" But till then quit ranting and think of something more positive."

I paid for the software, I'll rant about it as much as I please. You have your opinion and I have mine. We're in America remember. This is a forum for discussing the software and it's strengths, weakness, and how to do things. I'm doing just that.

"I would suggest that if you are so unhappy with LW and NT, go make your own 3D app and optimize it the way you want."

Fab, you should really come up with better retorts. Weren't you going to stop wasting your precious time replying to my posts?

policarpo
06-03-2004, 11:01 PM
Oy vey!

So what if LW has it's problems...I'm sure NT knows what needs to be done. Why don't you call up Tech Support and
give them an ear full. All you are doing here on the forums is showing how pissed you are at being unable to do quality work with your tools.

LW works great for most things, and where it falters you use another tool...It's the law of our professional jungle.


:D

unc1e meat
06-03-2004, 11:31 PM
I didn't say that I can't make some decent work with Lightwave... If you purchase some sort of electronic gizmo from a store and it functions partially, you could potentially still make use of it. However, I bet you'll be annoyed with the maker of the company that not all of it's said features work properly. Is this true or not?

What I'm annoyed about is the fact that there is actually people here who want to thank that company for making a new revision of the faulty product that may fix a few things but not everything. This is nonsense.

Let's suppose that LW version 9 came out and it fixed all problems in the software on Mac. Even then why would you commend the company for doing that when that's what should have been done all along??

That being said, I can see your point about using more than one 3D app, policarpo. I suppose that's what I'll end up doing. Maybe after I use some of the other 3D apps, I'll find that they don't perform as advertised either.... or maybe I won't. Until then I'll keep my LW 7.5 and refrain from giving Newtek any more of my money.

policarpo
06-03-2004, 11:41 PM
I can definitely understand your frustration.

When things don't work as you expect them to we tend to get upset.

I wonder when a software vendor will offer a 90 day money back guarantee on their products. That's one thing I've never understood with software...if it's doesn't work the way you expect it to, you should be able to return it.

Anyway...LightWave is a great tool, but at the end of the day, it's just a tool in your toolbox that you use to get your vision out and into the eyes of the world.

Use whatever nurtures that relationship.

:D