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View Full Version : where's the 8.5 learning edition?



extrabyte
12-28-2005, 09:44 PM
hello folks.

is it me or is there no 8.5 learning edition available?

also, how come anyone can download any of the ver 7 updates freely,
but not the 8.5 update?

why has all this changed?

besides, at least half of the reason why i would upgrade to 8.5 or 9
is for the opengl preview.

but i won't pay for that unless i can test it first.

is that asking for too much?

thanks.

Wickster
12-29-2005, 01:26 AM
To add to that...where is the new Inspire 3D?

pauland
12-29-2005, 05:39 AM
Welcome to the patchy side of Newtek.

mattclary
12-29-2005, 07:05 AM
Very valid questions. :devil:

jb_gfx
01-01-2006, 10:22 AM
LightWave v8.5 can run in discovery edition (demo) mode if you run it without a dongle attached but you can't install it in this mode because the installation script needs the dongle.

Plus it's not avaible for download for non registered users.

I think LightWave is the only 3d package to not have a demo version actually (well a recent one).

Haven't seen it in any cg magazine either.

I guess Newtek don't want new customers.

Thor Simpson
01-01-2006, 10:33 AM
They've already stated that a downloadable demo version is coming in the version 9 cycle.

Anyone who has purchased 8 should be able to get the 8.5 update without any problem.

I don't even know what a "learning edition" is, so I can't comment on that. If it's a running demo that you can just watch, that sounds like a fantastic idea and would be great to have available as a free download. Hopefully something like that is worked into the free trial of 9.

mattclary
01-01-2006, 12:05 PM
They've already stated that a downloadable demo version is coming in the version 9 cycle.


They've been saying it's coming for a few years now. :rolleyes: How hard is it to at least advertise on your web site what my signature below says?

edit: The part about the patch, not Anthony....

BazC
01-01-2006, 12:38 PM
I don't even know what a "learning edition" is,

Discovery Edition, that is LW running without a dongle.

I assume the reason that LW won't install without a dongle anymore is that Newtek are concerned about piracy and are planning additional anti pairacy measures for LW9? They must be aware how damaging the lack of a demo is, just about every other major 3d package is constantly being given away as demos or time limited versions on magazine cover disks. I'm betting the LW( demo download will appear in due course! - Baz

Wickster
01-01-2006, 03:20 PM
I don't even know what a "learning edition" is, so I can't comment on that. If it's a running demo that you can just watch, that sounds like a fantastic idea and would be great to have available as a free download. Hopefully something like that is worked into the free trial of 9.
A "Learning Edition" I wold asume is a version with no Poly count limit. So basically all features are opened to you as the user. The only exception is that it has a proprietary object and scene format and no "export / import" capability. So you can forget about importing or importing to OBJs. It also renders with a watermark. And even if you do buy a full version of Lightwave you wouldn't be able to load you files from the Learning Edition and vice versa ( you wouldn't want big companies running a set of Learning Editions and one LW license to render them all do you).

The Learning Edition is a way to open up the software for tryout without limiting its features. It is also setup to be included with LW books so reader/new users can follow along with the excercises, save their work (without poly limits) and continue working on it. Again with a proprietary LWO or LWS format it would only load and work witht he Learning Edition.

I think LW can use that to promote itself, then again it may already be in the works.

Riplakish
01-01-2006, 04:34 PM
I think a Discovery Edition is sufficient for demo purposes - Newtek already provides a fully functioning product for students at a seriously reduced cost for "Educational Purposes".

Its a bummer 7.5 is the last version that can install sans dongle key. It hinders sending your friend home with a copy. It'll be nice to have w/9 again.

I'm still waiting to see if the Lightwave License allows to give copies of the media for demos, though - while the content has an express license for reuse, the program CD doesn't seem to. Asked Chuck, waiting for the "Official" answer :)

Silkrooster
01-01-2006, 07:59 PM
If they choose to do away with discovery mode, and have a separate demo program, then pirates would have no way to circumvent the anti-piracy measures as there wouldn't be any in the demo program for them to find. This would increase the sales. If they do away with the demo mode and have a secure way of purchasing/downloading and installing lightwave, then perhaps one day there would be no need of the dongle. This would benefit everyone except the would be pirate.
Just a thought,
Silk

Philbert
01-01-2006, 10:01 PM
If they choose to do away with discovery mode, and have a separate demo program, then pirates would have no way to circumvent the anti-piracy measures as there wouldn't be any in the demo program for them to find. This would increase the sales.


Honestly I'm not sure it would increase sales. I think those who pirate the program are people who never intended to purchase it in the first place, not people looking for a good deal. I'm no programmer, so I don't know anything about securing a demo, however I do think a demo is a good idea for getting the word out.

Marketing is one thing LW really needs more of I think. For those who don't know, Digg.com is quickly becoming the most popular tech news (or social bookmarking) sites on the web. So when I see a story about Lightwave on their I "digg it" and whenever I see some interesting LW news I post it on there. Just doing my part.

Silkrooster
01-01-2006, 11:00 PM
For increased sales I am more or less talking about users who are at a debating point on whether or not to purchase Lightwave, that just happen to find a link on a website to a cracked copy and since that's free, no point in purchasing. If the only people who can install lightwave are those that are valid customers, then in theory the only people who could give away a copy to some else would be someone on Newtek's database.
Silk

pauland
01-02-2006, 03:33 AM
When I bought LW a few years back, it was a complete toss up between buying LW or Real 3D. I didn't work in the business and the only thing to go on was advertising and articles. I've no doubt it was the correct choice, but it would have been a much easier choice with a demo/trial version to try. These days the competition all have this option it seems beyond understanding why it isn't out there and always out there.

The only explanation I have (and it's a guess) is that Newteks resources are finite and this isn't as high a their priority as some other things. I'm not sure that's a wise move.

Zane Condren
01-02-2006, 10:45 AM
If you would like a LW 8 Discovery Disc all you have to do is call us and we will mail you one.

pauland
01-02-2006, 11:10 AM
If you would like a LW 8 Discovery Disc all you have to do is call us and we will mail you one.

Three points:

OK, I'm just a guy whose interested in LW, how deep do I have to dig to find that out on your web site? It's not at all obvious to me let alone the casual visitor.

Most of the LW user community don't think these discs exist - what does that say about how well the message is getting out about trial versions? The users who would help promote the company beleive they can't.

Why isn't it available as a direct download like every other company under the sun? You could harvest contact details via a download web form.

I don't think that a reply in a forum "just call us and we'll mail one" is really acheiving the objective, though I appreciate you were trying to be helpful.

Having one that's available but not promoting it is probably worse than not having one at all.

Imatk
01-02-2006, 11:43 AM
Agreed.

It's really quite sad that someone in charge of the website can't be bothered to put a link to download 7.* for a demo... or for that matter actually have a demo version.

This has been something I've posted / commented on for hmmm I guess a year or two now.

Obviously Newtek must feel it has enough customers.

Shameful.

extrabyte
01-02-2006, 08:53 PM
i bought lw ver 7 when it first came out.

and started a distance learning course with 3dexchange at the same time (but that's another story).

one of the most frustrating things about lw has been the lack of opengl hardware rendering/accelerating.

while i can rotate a million plus poly model in modeler, it does it at about 1 frame every 2 seconds; and every other function is equally sluggish.

opengl hardware rendering/accelerating is very important to me and i won't upgrade to 8.5 or 9 unless i can test it first.

it is my understanding that the opengl hardware rendering/accelerating did not show up until ver 8.5.

so while i do appreciate your invite to request a cd, if it's not 8.5,
then what's the point?

thanks.

Thor Simpson
01-02-2006, 11:15 PM
so while i do appreciate your invite to request a cd, if it's not 8.5,
then what's the point?

Wait for 9.

Chuck
01-03-2006, 11:10 AM
i bought lw ver 7 when it first came out.

and started a distance learning course with 3dexchange at the same time (but that's another story).

one of the most frustrating things about lw has been the lack of opengl hardware rendering/accelerating.

while i can rotate a million plus poly model in modeler, it does it at about 1 frame every 2 seconds; and every other function is equally sluggish.

opengl hardware rendering/accelerating is very important to me and i won't upgrade to 8.5 or 9 unless i can test it first.

it is my understanding that the opengl hardware rendering/accelerating did not show up until ver 8.5.

so while i do appreciate your invite to request a cd, if it's not 8.5,
then what's the point?

thanks.


If you request the LightWave Discovery CD (email [email protected]), the disc you will receive is the v8.5 program CD. The mention of LightWave [7] was a reference to a downloadable update that has been left in place on our public FTP and that some users have on occasion used as a downloadable discovery edition.

Thor Simpson
01-03-2006, 04:00 PM
If you request the LightWave Discovery CD, the disc you will receive is the v8.5 program CD. The mention of LightWave [7] was a reference to a downloadable update that has been left in place on our public FTP and that some users have on occasion used as a downloadable discovery edition.
See, that's perfect. Now there should be a downloadable version of it, or a form on the site to request a copy and we're all set.

inquisitive
01-03-2006, 09:36 PM
.... I didn't work in the business...

What were you doing before? and what are you doing now? just curious. thx

pauland
01-04-2006, 01:51 AM
What were you doing before? and what are you doing now? just curious. thx

At the time I was - and still am - a software developer. There was a particular project where some distinctive 3D stuff would have worked well and I went and bought the software. Probably closer to the truth is that I felt like having a dabble. These days the situation remains pretty much the same, though 2005 has been a disasterous year for me (and particularly my wife). My Wife has spent almost five months in a hospital 78 miles from where we live, so workwise it's all come to a crashing halt while I have visited her and run around after our teenage kids. LW or anything else wasn't too important at times. I've no doubt that some people got more critical comments as a result of the situation than I might have given in better times. I'm expecting her home quite soon, but she has a long way to go. Hopefully in 2006 things can only get better.

The only real thing I have done in 2005 is to work on three websites - something that's only provided a small income in comparison to previous years. LW is essentially a dabbling hobby for me, but I do love to keep up with the community and find the way Newtek does a lot of things quite odd (this LW demo situation, for example) but I really want them to do well. I guess that's partly why so many people express such passion about what Newtek does (or doesn't do) - because they care about the company and product. It may just be I'm a sucker for the underdog...

colkai
01-04-2006, 03:11 AM
I understand where you are coming from, being pretty much a "dabbler" myself.
Maybe we can hope that with the new structure at Newtek, we will get the demo easily downloadable and visible to everyone, so as to encourage folks to give it a try.

That said, I feel the discovery edition needs to be tweaked so it becomes more useful, such as raising the point limit, watermarks. The problem lies in the whole 'special version' of objects etc. so anything done in the PLE is unique and so if you do work in the learning edition, you can't re-use it in the final version.

I guess you could save a special object, but then, if you restrict the loading of PLE objects, you lose out on seeing the content files that come with LW and show it's power. It's not an easy solution, but I do think the 400 pt limit puts people off trying it, there isn't much you can build worth really playing with at under 400 points.

I'm sure Newtek are aware of all of this as well, and I don't envy them trying to come up with "fits all" solution.

extrabyte
01-04-2006, 02:40 PM
thank you kindly chuck for your response.

what email should i use to request the cd?


thanks again.

Chuck
01-04-2006, 04:52 PM
thank you kindly chuck for your response.

what email should i use to request the cd?


thanks again.

Apologies that I missed including that! Email [email protected]; I've added this info to the post above now as well.

cresshead
01-04-2006, 05:11 PM
does newtek europe run a similar thing?

[[[Apologies that I missed including that! Email [email protected]; I've added this info to the post above now as well.]]]

...also do you have plans to put it on the cover disc of 3dworld at some point?
[be it lw8.5 or lw9.0]

steveg

Amberwolf
01-10-2006, 10:30 PM
I do want to point out that I was looking for the discovery edition for someone in Virginia who is thinking about getting into 3D modelling, but is across the country from me (in Phoenix), so I can't demo her any of my versions (6.5 or 8.x). However, after I pointed her at the Newtek site, she couldnt' find any demo versions or any way to even get one--she thought the only way she could test it out would be to buy it, and then just be out hundreds of dollars if she didn't like it or couldnt' figure it out.

So I looked for her, since once upon a time there was actually a form to fill out to have the Discovery Edition snail-mailed to me (BTW, I filled out that form years ago, and never did ever get a CD. I gave up waiting and started working with another product, until another friend of mine helped me get 6.5. If it weren't for her, Newtek would never have made that sale, simply because they never sent me the demo--if I'd had the demo, I would have known immediately how powerful Lightwave was compared to 3DS, and I'd never have had to waste my time with the other program!).

Anyhow, I couldn't find a thing on the site anywhere about how to get a demo version, and the form appears to be long-gone. I finally thought of looking on the forum, and searching for "Discovery Edition", and seeing if anyone was complaining about it, so I could see if the replies told me how to get her one, and voila! :thumbsdow but I'll say that this is not a good way to help people try your product out.

Flatly stated, Newtek really needs a clearly marked demo section, to at least show how to order the demo cd for Lightwave, Aura, or whatever other product a potential customer needs to try out.


Sincerely,
Michael Elliott
Opporknockity Tunes Studios, Uninked
3D Artwork: http://members.cox.net/amberwolf

CB_3D
01-11-2006, 10:49 AM
Flatly stated, Newtek really needs a clearly marked demo section, to at least show how to order the demo cd for Lightwave

Quoted for agreement. A downloadable demolink on every single newtek page and section would be even better.

Phil
01-11-2006, 12:03 PM
I'm a little puzzled to be honest. The lack of a "good grief, you know - we never even realised. We'll fix it immediately" response is amazing. Tucking an email into a forum reply is really a fairly limp response. Look around and see just what your competition is doing and you might spot a trend in new customer adoption tactics :

3ds max : downloadable 30 day demo, upgradeable to the full version with the purchase of a license key. All tutorials and help files are also available to trial users. No special file formats, no messing around.

Maya PLE : special file format, but non-timebombed software that includes most of the Maya Complete feature set.

XSI : versions available for game modders, demo versions available. Linux and Windows versions available.

Blender : free of cost, capable and entirely downloadable. Various platforms supported.

Meanwhile, NT cannot muster enough enthusiasm to even bother to hook up a web form or downloadable demo of their current release. I requested a NT demo CD a few years back - it never turned up. I emailed about it and was ignored. I only got a CD by prodding a reluctant distributor in the UK. Just how hard do you want customers to work to get your product?? I assume you actually want to sell licenses, but on this performance, I begin to wonder. I would not make the effort. Alias|Autodesk and Softimage make the job of evaluating their products far easier and actually seem to want to encourage new customers. For no cash, Blender is hard to beat.

It's truely, deeply disappointing to see what seems to be a fairly glib attitude from NT. Even worse, you deliberately crippled the 8.x installers so that they cannot be used to install demo versions for people that don't have dongles. The one *tiny* saving grace is that, assuming a potential customer has not simply thought 'screw it' and also assuming that a 8.x LW-user is available and knowledgeable, a ZIP of the key parts of the LW installation is deployable as a 'Discovery Edition' (and can be sent via email). I suspect that neatly captures around 0.1% of your potential customers. All for the want of a web form / downloadable demo.

*shrug*

pauland
01-11-2006, 12:13 PM
Yes, this particular drum has been banged for years now, to little avail.

Paul

mattclary
01-11-2006, 12:32 PM
So lets take matters into our own hands. Everyone edit your signature to point to the 7.x download. I wish we could point to an 8.x download, but at least any casual visitors will read it in our signatures, and maybe NewTek will get the message when every single person on the forum has a link to it in their signature.

They just don't seem to GET it. :bangwall:

pauland
01-11-2006, 01:23 PM
LOL - Doh!

OK, Done!

pauland
01-11-2006, 01:29 PM
OK - testing

Chuck
01-12-2006, 09:23 AM
I'm a little puzzled to be honest. The lack of a "good grief, you know - we never even realised. We'll fix it immediately" response is amazing. Tucking an email into a forum reply is really a fairly limp response. Look around and see just what your competition is doing and you might spot a trend in new customer adoption tactics :

3ds max : downloadable 30 day demo, upgradeable to the full version with the purchase of a license key. All tutorials and help files are also available to trial users. No special file formats, no messing around.

Maya PLE : special file format, but non-timebombed software that includes most of the Maya Complete feature set.

XSI : versions available for game modders, demo versions available. Linux and Windows versions available.

Blender : free of cost, capable and entirely downloadable. Various platforms supported.

Meanwhile, NT cannot muster enough enthusiasm to even bother to hook up a web form or downloadable demo of their current release. I requested a NT demo CD a few years back - it never turned up. I emailed about it and was ignored. I only got a CD by prodding a reluctant distributor in the UK. Just how hard do you want customers to work to get your product?? I assume you actually want to sell licenses, but on this performance, I begin to wonder. I would not make the effort. Alias|Autodesk and Softimage make the job of evaluating their products far easier and actually seem to want to encourage new customers. For no cash, Blender is hard to beat.

It's truely, deeply disappointing to see what seems to be a fairly glib attitude from NT. Even worse, you deliberately crippled the 8.x installers so that they cannot be used to install demo versions for people that don't have dongles. The one *tiny* saving grace is that, assuming a potential customer has not simply thought 'screw it' and also assuming that a 8.x LW-user is available and knowledgeable, a ZIP of the key parts of the LW installation is deployable as a 'Discovery Edition' (and can be sent via email). I suspect that neatly captures around 0.1% of your potential customers. All for the want of a web form / downloadable demo.

*shrug*


Apologies that I've been occupied and did not sooner get back to this thread. Please rest assured it does not indicate anything other than that I was occupied elsewhere with other tasks.

As I and other NewTek staff have mentioned in other similar threads many times, we do plan to have a downloadable discovery edition for the v9 update, and it will take a different approach than our current discovery edition. We'll be able to provide more information about the new discovery edition at the release of v9. In the meantime, in the US we do provide the current install CD as a discovery edition on request, and it does install for people who do not have dongles and operate as a discovery edition. NewTek Europe provides the 7.5 Discovery Edition CD which includes special learning content and marketing materials, as their experience suggests they have gotten better results with that than by using a program CD without such content. We would have liked to have produced such a dedicated CD for the 8.x series - we "get" the value of a discovery edition with proper supporting materials, and we'd appreciate if folks "got" that sometimes we have to make choices about how we apply our resources in a given cycle. We can certainly understand if you may disagree with them, but please rest assured that we do understand this and a great many other issues with product marketing and presentation, and are working to address them.

We do not link to the update because we do not want to present it as our discovery edition. It is not a current version of the software and it does not include proper additional supporting materials that would give it the value of a proper discovery edition. We feel that this is an instance where "better than nothing" is not the presentation we wish to make. We can appreciate that many of you may disagree. In any case, please rest assured that we have no intention of meeting the v9 update without a proper discovery edition.

Phil
01-12-2006, 10:25 AM
As I and other NewTek staff have mentioned in other similar threads many times, we do plan to have a downloadable discovery edition for the v9 update, and it will take a different approach than our current discovery edition.


That was said when you shipped 8.0. There were concrete plans then insofar as the discussion/post went. It all seemed to amount to nothing.



We'll be able to provide more information about the new discovery edition at the release of v9. In the meantime, in the US we do provide the current install CD as a discovery edition on request, and it does install for people who do not have dongles and operate as a discovery edition.

Except you don't state this clearly on the web site. You don't provide a web form to allow people to easily access this. The only indication that it exists *at all* is this thread, complete with the [email protected] email address. I cannot believe that this is regarded within NewTek as being satisfactory.

As a customer, you cannot expect me to make allowances for the fact that NT never had the time/resources in the past few years to upload a simple web form. You don't appear to grasp this, but instead hang on to:

a) We didn't have time
b) The 7.5 version is obsolete and should not be used as a demo
c) People should somehow pull the knowledge of a demo CD and the [email protected] address out of thin air.
d) People actually will be bothered to jump through these hoops for a company that cannot get its act together. Plenty of other companies make every effort, NewTek doesn't.



NewTek Europe provides the 7.5 Discovery Edition CD which includes special learning content and marketing materials, as their experience suggests they have gotten better results with that than by using a program CD without such content. We would have liked to have produced such a dedicated CD for the 8.x series - we "get" the value of a discovery edition with proper supporting materials, and we'd appreciate if folks "got" that sometimes we have to make choices about how we apply our resources in a given cycle.


Hmm. I suspect faulty logic here. It takes no time at all to put a web form up to request the demo CD that you already acknowledge exists. That is the key point - at the moment, aside from this thread and NT staff, *no-one* knows this exists because you haven't bothered to tell them.


We can certainly understand if you may disagree with them, but please rest assured that we do understand this and a great many other issues with product marketing and presentation, and are working to address them.

On current performance, I wonder when the results will appear. Again, one simple web form is all it would take. Surely your webmaster isn't so busy that a web form cannot be linked to from the front page of your web site?



We do not link to the update because we do not want to present it as our discovery edition. It is not a current version of the software and it does not include proper additional supporting materials that would give it the value of a proper discovery edition. We feel that this is an instance where "better than nothing" is not the presentation we wish to make. We can appreciate that many of you may disagree. In any case, please rest assured that we have no intention of meeting the v9 update without a proper discovery edition.

Again, you said that about 8.0. Hey, I lose nothing from this, although I admit to being incredulous at this 'stealth' marketing approach, so I don't need to 'rest assured'. My job doesn't depend on the bottom line at NewTek. At the end of the day, your efforts will determine the number of new customers and your bottom line. If new customers get a bad impression because all you make available is 7.5d, that's hardly my fault or that of anyone else other than NewTek. This *is* the result of the 'nothing' approach that NT have adopted, assuming the potential customers want to make the effort at all. Personally, I don't think I would.

Again, why on earth should potential customers have to wait around for NT to raise their game? What impression of NT does all of this give potential customers, compared to your competitors?

I suspect this is an entirely fruitless debate because apparently everyone who has a dying urge to obtain a discovery edition will wait until 9.0 ships....whenever it ships + whatever slippage of the discovery edition occurs. Is that another 0.2% of the potential customer base?

Chuck
01-12-2006, 10:41 AM
All the necessary points have been made repeatedly, and have been directed to the attention of the appropriate managers.

The thread is closed.