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Thread: Alternatives to centrafuse ?

  1. #31
    Constant Bitrate NoTec's Avatar
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    Thanks Vegas, very well put. Vegas has been all over 3.5 for months like he said. We couldn't have done 3.5 without him.

  2. #32
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
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    The hard, simple truth is that (for the most part) the retail market for carPC software is insufficient to support a viable company of more than one or two employees. Not unless the market can support a $700 product...and it can't.

    ^^^BINGO^^^

    There have been a few vocal people about CF's lateness that claim to understand business but they can't seem to grasp the above concept for some reason.
    Maybe when the software is being sold, a better disclaimer would help that states something like "this software is for hobby purposes only. Updates, patches are not guaranteed on a regular basis.. yada yada yada"
    Because let's be honest, in todays business enviroment, there is not much good will. It's usually "I paid for this so make my f'ing product work NOW"
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTec View Post
    As a full-time employee of Centrafuse, I've been neck deep in 3.5 for months now. If you saw the resolved bug list since 3.1 you would know how much time we've put into this update.

    No one at CF will ever combat you on our disappointing lack of customer service, we are all fully aware of it, and aren't proud of it. It's hard for a small team of guys to respond and defend every thread and every time a kid asks when an update is available over and over and over again. We know we've missed deadlines and launches, but for good reason. We're not just sitting back laughing manically as the date goes by. We're hard at work fixing bugs and fixing skins and working for other clients who help keep Centrafuse afloat.

    Our goal is to resolve some of our customer service issues with the 3.5 launch. We hope to be able to spend some more time on the forums and helping you guys out. We've pushed back deadlines for several reasons, but honestly they are all worth it. We'd rather push a deadline than release the software with critical bugs because that's when even more flaming and more bug tickets are submitted and more of a time sink is created.

    Just hold on, cause 3.5 is like....5 minutes away. Like 2 blocks away at a red light. He'll be right here any minute.


    edit: I don't generally like pandering to arguments, but I feel like I needed to post. I hope this cleared some things up.

    ---------- Post added at 11:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:16 AM ----------




    Posts like this are a lot more motivational and make us want to interact with the community. You guys should take note.
    A LOT of time was spent centered around Bluetooth / Stream Audio / Phone. It came up in every meeting and release.
    One of the hard issues we've had is that we don't have total control over the Bluetooth Stack, as that is licensed from another company - but hopefully we've addressed and fixed most of the bugs revolving around anything b/t related.
    No-tec
    Thank you very much for this useful and informative post my only fustration has been lack of information, just about a year ago I also had about 6 prospective customers that I was embarrassed to demo it to. (Remember the 6/8 pin cable and LED connector we discussed via PM a while back) I wanted something to plug and play for them, whereas like vegasguy stated earlier I dont mind getting my hands dirty tinkering away on my own system...... I didn't want to end up with a long-distance tech support situation.

    Only just realised its my first post on this site, could have sworn I did when I joined...
    Last edited by Gobanna; 02-24-2011 at 08:37 PM.

  4. #34
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    I am a chemical engineer and i can completely understand where you guys are coming from and i know what it takes to design something from the ground up and trouble shoot it. My issue is with the deadlines that fluxmedia itself sets and can never keep. In industrial planning theres a concept called pessimistic planning, which means if you expect something to be done in two weeks, you say it will be 4. That way if u dont get done on time you have leeway, and if you do, then you just gave everyone a pleasant surprise. We in the field always find it funny how the new guys will try to impress by setting short deadlines, and always wind up missing it. From then on, they know whats realistic. The other main issue that just gets my blood boiling is the navigation. This has been an issue from nearly day one, and it seems that flux just cant get a handle on it. And im sure it will be said that it will be fixed in the 4.0 version, but that means i have to drop another 200 dollars on something that to be honest based on past experiences probably will be another huge waste of money. So how is a customer of over 2 years supposed to still trust a company like this? And the attitude of "well this company wouldn't exist based just on the car pc community but we have to tailor to oems" is demeaning. How many countless hours have we all spent trouble shooting and testing and leaving feedback for a product THAT WE PAID FOR that will then be used to sell to oems. Without the used community that has stuck around, fluxmedia would not have reached the point where it could try to appeal to big companies. We are all mature intellectual adults with good cause to be peeved at this company, and calling us children for asking for an update when a product that was promised on a deadline (one imposed by the flux team itself) is late, well thats just wrong. I love Centrafuse and would love to keep using it, but theres just no respect for the consumer from the company. We've been loyal to you, try being loyal to us.

  5. #35
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moelsaied88 View Post
    *edit*
    i'm gonna try to take this one

    i have been a rr user for the entire time that i have used a carpc, and have never used CF, but come from a broad background.. while i can understand everyone saying that CF needs to treat the customer better, i need to ask "how?"

    i guess a good start is trying to provide consistent updates, and maybe extending their deadlines to make for a more realistic goal?

    but from the support side,
    i work in the customer support, and field service/installation areas, and have decent experience with how paper-thin small business budgets are, and i honestly cannot think of how CF could offer better support for such a cheap product that covers such a broad range of installations..

    remember, it is a software package that ANYONE can install on ANY hardware..

    so that means that anything could be wrong, and the most common question is "why won't 'x' work?"

    so the support that everyone wants means that it requires someone to sit at the phones/computers, and answer these questions.. this takes time, and, because any knowledgeable support person always needs to be reimbursed financially, their paycheck has to come from somewhere-- usually from the sales of said software..

    and because small businesses don't have large budgets, this means that it is the software engineers (who need to take time away from fixing the bugs everyone complains about to answer), or maybe one or 2 dedicated support reps that take these calls-- no matter how many there are...

    and it has already been said-- carpc's are a niche, and there is not a big market for products for them. so CF has turned to larger OEM's to keep their doors open, and to keep themselves alive. so when the OEM's are footing the bill, and keeping the doors open, i would expect CF to provide support faster for them, rather then individual users... even if i was one of those users(though it is a point that needs refreshing occasionally)

    everyone says they understand business, but there seems to be some lack of it-- part of staying in business means that you take care of your larger customers first, with smaller customers coming second. period. of course you try to provide everyone with the same level of support, but if a large customer, and a small customer call at the same time, the large customer will get picked up, and the small customer has to wait/get a call back/etc..

    while this isn't always favorable, and even i am not crazy admitting it, but it always comes down to where the money comes from-- if business needs to keep alive, the larger companies are going to keep that a reality. sadly, this comes at the cost of support quality to the smaller customer, but that is the harsh reality of small-business-support...


    the next point-- navigation. hasn't this always been crummy in-car?(before, wasn't there only 3 options for navi?) because of such a small user base, it is tough to find a company willing to put the effort into the software required to make it work... this has to do with large companies and their budget-- many times, they are too large to consider taking on such a small project for a niche market, with such a low roi (return on investment)...


    i also think it is a little questionable to complain about all the little things in $80-140 software.

    the complaints i am reading appear to expect it to be as flawless as other advanced computer programs like autocad-- that retail for over $4,000...

  6. #36
    Constant Bitrate NoTec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moelsaied88 View Post
    issue that just gets my blood boiling is the navigation. This has been an issue from nearly day one
    What's really great about Centrafuse is that we've given a great tool set to programmers and designers to implement their own plugins, such as alternative navigation engines - so that if they don't like any part of our application, such as the Destinator engine, they can put their own in and run them fairly well right from within the Interface. Check out the plugin section of our site and you will see many people have already done it to their favorite navigation engines!

    I happen to love our engine and it works great with all the GPS units on the MP3car store.

  7. #37
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    when i came to this thread it wasnt to bash centrafuse, but instead to look for an alternative. Though you may find flux's buisness practices to be acceptable, many more do not. I know in my setup im using the bu-353 which is supposedly the most commonly used gps receiver, and destinator is always 5 seconds behind and does not take turns at all. As for the concept of tailoring to the big business, its the niche market that has kept centrafuse alive so far. And the excuse that this software only costs $150 so you shouldnt expect much is completely flawed. You can buy a hyundai for 15K, does that mean you should expect it to fall apart and not work as originally promised? And again, these are problems that Flux brought on themselves by firstly making deadlines they cant keep, and selling a product that is flawed. If im paying an extra 100 for navigation software that Flux no is sub par, theres a problem. They gave us a platform where we can use plugins. Great. but why should i have to drop another 100 for a navi software when i already bought one? why is flux offering it at all? Desitinator was used in 2.0 and when they switched to 3.0 they promised that its much better. Its still crap. I wish i had known before dropping money on the navi version. For those of you in the IT field, would you release hardware that you knew was faulty and reassure the customer with promises that it will get better in the next iteration when they complain?

    and the important issue here isnt a matter of liking part of the software. Granted i wish i could make playlists, but i have no gripe about that. My issue is that part of what was promised, part of what i paid a premium for, is beyond useless. Who is able to use the destinator navigation? and the BU-353 is the go to reciever, your telling me they cant get it to work with it? and then to get it to even recognize it you have to use Xport, a separate program. These are issues that have been around for years now.

    ---------- Post added at 11:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:54 PM ----------

    listen guys, im sorry i dont mean to be taking out my frustration on you guys. I honestly do understand what it takes to build a fantastic piece of software like you guys have and its appreciated. Maybe part of the problem is that you guys have designed such a great piece of software that we've started to take it for granted. The constant push backs really do take a toll on your customers tho, and i hope you guys can appreciate that as well. I really am looking forward to 3.5, i guess im just not looking forward to the pricetag of upgrading to 4.0 when it comes out. I think that both sides need to put themselves in the others shoes and maybe readjust or standpoints. I think a small gesture on Fluxmedia's behalf would go a long way. Maybe a youtube video of actual use. It'll show the community the work actually is being done and that we are near completion. I literally check fluxmedias forums multiple times a day. throw us a bone.
    Last edited by moelsaied88; 02-24-2011 at 09:57 PM.

  8. #38
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    Any search engine functional with most GPS programs, but is the only port configuration with .. the rest either gps sends the necessary information, be it IGO, Garmin, NDrive, Destinator and related

    If you find a browser such as completely outdated Destinator 6 works very well, so that the signal is Fluxmedia is going down the wrong path, it should have updated this a long time since he launched the destinator 7 ...

    But the laziness of fluxmedia is such that it is preferable to leave others to develop plugins for GPS alternative and let them cover for a plugin that the company itself could provide an additional cost ...

    For these and others who prefer the RR .. and waiting anxiously for the skin elite 2.0.... Centrafuse skin never enter into my pc

  9. #39
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    Cool

    I think a small gesture on Fluxmedia's behalf would go a long way. Maybe a youtube video of actual use. It'll show the community the work actually is being done and that we are near completion. I literally check fluxmedias forums multiple times a day. throw us a bone.
    I would reckon Flux has just given you the whole butchery

    Go download 3.5 on "Your Account"

    All I can say is thanx to Vegas and no-tec, and the rest of the Flux Devs for a very, very nice product - it was well worth the wait.

    But the laziness of fluxmedia is such that it is preferable to leave others to develop plugins for GPS alternative and let them cover for a plugin that the company itself could provide an additional cost ...
    I guess this is true for most of the more common Front-end users - this lazynezz-thing you're on about Of course, it's always easier have someone else do something for you.
    Last edited by mrbean_phillip; 02-26-2011 at 05:07 AM.
    F6 Tornado Project Log ; HP Blackbird Watercooled Server

    Beta Tester for Centrafuse and 3dConnexion (No business affiliation with either)

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoTec View Post
    What's really great about Centrafuse is that we've given a great tool set to programmers and designers to implement their own plugins, such as alternative navigation engines - so that if they don't like any part of our application, such as the Destinator engine, they can put their own in and run them fairly well right from within the Interface. Check out the plugin section of our site and you will see many people have already done it to their favorite navigation engines!

    I happen to love our engine and it works great with all the GPS units on the MP3car store.
    Hey dude, good job to you and all other people working at Centrafuse. Your program in my opinion is developed fairly well considering any average joe can download and install the software with ease without any other help. Yeah sure there are some cons, but that will always be with any other software.

    And you are right about the gps engine, the garmin gps plugin is just amazing and works just great. My only issue that I would sincerely request is the iphone/ ipod touch compatibility and ability to recognize ipod playlists. I'm not sure about others but I like to combine different playlists (i.e - trance, rap, hip hop, etc) and combine different songs from different artists into that playlist. It would be awesome if Centrafuse could recognize those playlists.

    I was really hoping that CF3 would resolve that issue, but it didn't. Do you know if CF3.5 would fix this issue?

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