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plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

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beefy
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Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby beefy » Thu May 03, 2018 11:52 pm

And have a look at this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=54&p=156460#p156460

This guy can't even get a DVD for his old system. They'll have the old DVD files for sure but they won't even give him them. They said they'll give him a new DVD if he upgrades his software.

Maybe someone can make an ISO file from their DVD and give the guy a download link via Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
8 x 5 water table
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tcaudle
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Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby tcaudle » Fri May 04, 2018 3:34 pm

Dammed Capitalists!
I seldom defend PCAM but let's be fair about this. Few software vendors make their older software available for free. If you lose your CorelDraw CD you can't go to their website and get a free download of their old versions, not even for $$. Especially if it was something that had to be bought to begin with . At some point as new people join the vendors staff the knowledge to support an old release goes away. So the argument: "well, its obsolete just put it out there for free download" is less than reasonable. That then opens up another lane for trash when it gets downloaded and it does not work right. "well are you going to support me , it's YOUR software" Look at software vendors (and software licenses) from most of the major vendors in the world. PCAM got excoriated several years back because they would not even talk to you if your did not have a current support contract in effect. They changed that policy but they had to change other rules. You would be shocked to find out that you don't actually own most software. You pay a fee to use it. You are not allowed to sell or in most cases, even give it away! A lot of companies are now opening up "renting" you the software on a monthly or yearly basis. You stop paying, it stops working. Others let it continue to work but you can't update it , get support or download it again.

I won't even go to the dongle wars. As IT director in a Fortune 500 we had to try and track software licenses and dongles in 125 locations all over North America. Dongles got lost or walked off. Vendors were not impressed when we called and told them we can't find the CD or the HASP and would they just send us the unlocked software? We finally had to ban purchases of software that required a hardware hasp / dongle to run. Even then we had to rebuy a lot of software or face the wrath of the Software Police.

I understand there are a lot of hobby level or light users that either have or buy older used equipment. I word of warning: If you lose your CD or your Dongle (sounds painful) you may be SOL. The tacit lability of a software vendor that continues to either sell or give away older versions carries the distinct obligation to support it unless it's open source to begin with. When you marry into the PCAM family you accept the fact that their software and hardware is all proprietary and its a "for better or for worse" situation.

beefy
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Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby beefy » Fri May 04, 2018 4:07 pm

Fair enough, they don't need to have a download link.

But however you look at it, it's no big deal for Plasmacam to burn a DVD and post it out to an old customer. They could make sure they profited from the small amount of work the staff had to do, and the blank DVD that cost a few cents. If the customer can verify he is a genuine customer, he's already bought the software. The few cents DVD is just the medium on which it's carried. And as far a verifying he's a customer, shouldn't they have a database where it only takes seconds to verify his unique customer number, or whatever is used.

I don't exactly call that "supporting" software. As already said I don't believe for a second they wont have the ISO file on disk, no matter how old the software is. If they claim they don't have it, that's for the sole purpose of forcing existing users to upgrade.

Doesn't matter what I say though, customers will form their own opinion of the business ethics of Plasmacam.
8 x 5 water table
Powermax 1250 with Duramax torch
UCCNC controller, UC400-ETH & UC300-ETH motion controllers.
Sheetcam
Geomagic Design 3D solid modelling
Coreldraw X5

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rdj357
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Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby rdj357 » Fri May 04, 2018 4:46 pm

Well said Tom. I had a big response started yesterday but just deleted it and moved on. I have personally had several instances where I had to upgrade to install on another/different computer. It is smart business to stop free support after a time, including sunsetting an older version. It's not like they're having version shifts on an annual basis like many pieces of licensed software.

I suggested previously that they should go back to a subscription based support. It's certainly not an uncommon business model. I've also recently criticized the way they rolled out the sunset on support. It should have been MUCH better communicated and far friendlier for their consumers. So in a nutshell, I understand and expect the change that was made but had I been running it I would have handled it much better.
Robert Johnson
----- PlasmaCam 5x10 Table -----
FourNinety Creations & Learn PC, LLC

Learn Plasmacam Website
Learn Plasmacam on Facebook
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tcaudle
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Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby tcaudle » Sat May 05, 2018 2:48 pm

And as far a verifying he's a customer, shouldn't they have a database where it only takes seconds to verify his unique customer number, or whatever is used.


Well that assumes :
1. They keep all that data and it was originally or later registered to that user. PCAM did have (and may sitll) have a "transfer fee" of the software ot a new user of 500 bucks but that would have a time limit and probably not propagate tot he next major release.
2. That he is the original owner and bought it new or did a legal transfer under the terms of the software license
3. They are willing to provide and continue to support an obsolete system. Its kinda like you giving a minor a brew....even if its an old out of date brew. :o
I know this sounds simple but the act of a company offering to provide a user with obsolete software can create a legal obligation that is unintended. You are not covered by the so called "Good Samaritan Laws" .

While the cessation of support may not have been handled in the most "humane" way , providing free support forever is a formula for failure. When you have thousands of systems out its a different metric than when you have a few dozen or even a few hundred.

Any vendor that does not build in cost for support and warranty will find a point where something has to give. You can't go back and collect on a 3 year old table or control. Beware of "lifelong Warranty" its their life not yours! A warranty from a company that is no longer in business is worthless.

I know this sounds simple but the act of a company offering to provide a user with obsolete software can create a legal obligation that is unintended. You are not covered by the so called "Good Samaritan Laws". There are even countries where it is illegal to sell obsolete or unsupported software.

Okay, enough on this subject. I have to go answer questions on our Support Forum!

justjiuit
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Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:58 am

Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby justjiuit » Wed May 30, 2018 5:13 pm

Does anyone have the V3.11 software? My son installed the new disk that came in the mail and I lost my existing software?

Rory
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:33 pm

Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby Rory » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:46 am

I'm a victim as well. I'm thoroughly disgusted with PlasmaCam. Completely unprofessional business practice, and disgusting the way I was treated when I called. I was basically given the middle finger when I told him I didn't have 6 grand laying around. Absolutely refused to speak to me unless a check for 6 grand was sitting on his desk from me.
Does anyone know of a company that I can purchase their software, and program to retro fit on my PlasmaCam. That way five years down the road they don't screw me again for another 6 grand, or more.

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rdj357
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Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby rdj357 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:14 am

If your choice was a 6 grand option then you must have a second hand DHC (I see where in a previous post that you bought it in 2017) so though it may be in good condition, it is quite old.

The value of your table is in its control and software. 3.11 software is outdated and as you know, no longer supported. As far as I know, you should have a $2k option to upgrade from 3.11 to 4.44 software without the hardware improvements but you have pretty much 3 options:

1. Spend the money to get the software to the current version (4.0+).
2. Sell the table (very little value for a non working 3.11 table) and buy a different brand.
3. Spend a bunch of time and money on new controls and motors and hope for the best.

A fourth option, assuming your controller is not blown is, there are several very willing and able people who have used these tables for years that might be willing to help you troubleshoot if you decide to come at it from that direction.
Robert Johnson
----- PlasmaCam 5x10 Table -----
FourNinety Creations & Learn PC, LLC

Learn Plasmacam Website
Learn Plasmacam on Facebook
Learn Plasmacam on YouTube

beefy
Posts: 1300
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Re: plasma cam no longer offers technical support for thier program?

Postby beefy » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:31 pm

So did you guys get fixed up with v3.11
8 x 5 water table
Powermax 1250 with Duramax torch
UCCNC controller, UC400-ETH & UC300-ETH motion controllers.
Sheetcam
Geomagic Design 3D solid modelling
Coreldraw X5


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