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Software Review: Iguidance 2009 (lack of) support

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  • Software Review: Iguidance 2009 (lack of) support

    Well I bought the new IGuidance 2009, upgrading from my old v3 software. Excitedly, I opened the box and installed the software (after removing v3). On the reboot after the installation, my cursor started jumping wildly all around the screen, selecting buttons, selecting areas, and all kinds of other nasty things. So I uninstalled, rebooted, and the problem went away. I then tried again, and it had the same behavior.

    I went through a variety of things, including disabling the touch screen in case something was causing a conflict. No go on that one. So I sent INav a support request, and here is what I got back:

    "Hi Jim:
    This is an isolated case since we have not received any similar reports from other customers. It most likely is due to a conflict w/ your serial port driver for any devices that are also connected through your serial port (ex. your gps receiver). You might want to try using a different receiver such as USB or bluetooth, or try to remap your receiver to another serial port (if possible, depending on your gps receiver and driver) and see what happens. "

    So their initial response was basically 'buy a new GPS', or you have some kind of conflict. Like a wasn't pointing this out to them. I also pointed out to them that I already new of a conflict (my original request), but the cursor went crazy before I even started their program. Just the install screwed it up. So I sent a letter back saying I am not buying a new GPS for their product, and what are their thoughts of possible conflicts. I then received:

    "Hi Jim:
    Unfortunately, we are not able to duplicate this problem, and since there's no other customer reporting this issue so far, we have no other information that we are able to use in our attempt to determine a pattern in customer's software or hardware at this time.

    Please follow the steps below to de-activate your program."

    So after one email, with zero discussion about what the problem might be, they want me to return the product. Of course I eat the shipping both ways. This isn't my idea of support at all. Usually they at least have you try a couple of things.

    Not wanting to eat the shipping which would end up being a good portion of the price at this point, I decided to play with it a bit myself. After digging into it, for whatever reason, their install caused a 'Microsoft Track Ball' to be installed on my GPS's port. Once I removed that device, everything was OK. I was able to fix it myself with just looking around at some things that I had not previously thought of (I kept thinking it was the touch screen). 'Support' should usually try to support you some....

    In my initial playing around, oddly enough the routing was better in the v3 than the new one. Just driving to work, it came up with a few really crazy routes. v3 was almost dead on with the quickest route, while 2009 sends me down side streets rather than the interstate that parallels them.

    I am not sure which one I will keep. I need to play around a bit with it first. But my main point in the review is INav is horrible in their support. So if you have any kind of installation issue (or others that I imagine) that have not already been reported, you will be on your own.

    Dissapointed so far,

    Jim Olsen

  • #2
    How is this a review? It's a Windows issue with (Non-mouse) serial devices.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default...b;en-us;819036

    For example, in certain situations, a serial device, such as a Global Positioning System (GPS) device, may be incorrectly detected by Windows as a serial mouse. To work around this issue, you can edit the registry and add an entry for the port where the device that is incorrectly detected by Windows is connected.

    Maybe you can pass the information along so they can help the next guy.
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    • #3


      Jim, I understand your frustration, and most (if not all) of us would feel exactly the same way you did. But realistically, we cannot expect them to know all the answers, and to support Microsoft Windows issues.

      They suggested a different GPS receiver would likely correct the problem, but you were not willing to buy a new USB GPS unit, so they offered you a refund. I thought it was quite reasonable, even though I understand you expected they would do more troubleshooting. They would likely put out more effort into it, if the issue was reported by more than one of their customers.

      I'm glad you found a solution, and thanks for sharing it here. It may help the next guy.

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      • #4
        It is a review because it reviews an important part of buying software, the support that should come with it. Would you honestly tell a customer to just go out and buy a new GPS? That is not support.... Further, if I weren't more savvy about things, I would have wasted some serious money on a 'quick fix' the blurted out. I can't believe that anyone could think this is a reasonable thing to do (especially since it was dead wrong).

        Further, it was not a MS Windows thing. Before I installed IGuidance, everything was fine. After I installed it, everything went bad. After I uninstalled it, everything was back to normal. So something they are doing in their install caused windows to change what it believed was on the port.

        I didn't have to run any disable or any such thing. All I had to do was delete the trackball entity in the hardware manager.

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        • #5
          > if I weren't more savvy about things, I would have
          > wasted some serious money on a 'quick fix


          The very popular GlobalSat BU-353 USB GPS receiver costs only about $35 nowadays (less than 1/3 of what it sold for few years ago).

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          • #6
            Yes, but I have a very serious unit that comes with excellent topo maps on a large very nice screen (Lowrance Baja GPS). I want the carpc for turn by turn, and I want the Baja for the large amount of dirt road driving I do in the desert. Very different purposes.

            Besides, a serial port GPS should not be considered obsolete by a navigation software....

            Oh well, this is probably straying a bit off topic. My intent was to pass along the information about the quality level of the support I received. Not whether or not I should by a GPS.

            Jim

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            • #7
              a serial port anything is considered obsolete by Microsoft themselves...

              The last few mobo's I bought didnt even have a DB9 port. Just like a few before that didnt come with a LPT1 port. Times change, and a $35 USB receiver isnt very cost prohibitive.

              But serial ports do not play nice with one another period. That is why USB is supreme. Unplug 2 USB devices and switch the ports they are plugged into, OS doesnt care, it keeps on going sending the packets to the right one after they are reinitialized. Switch 2 non-usb serial devices and the OS doesnt know or care and keeps talking to the wrong one essentially.

              Have to agree it was a system specific error, and iG has no reason to support that.
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              • #8
                Man, guys, you are saying serial ports are obsolete? That's why car computers usually come with a couple of them. A silly usb gps puck is not going to compare with an NMEA2000 based GPS that you can add sensors to (fuel, temp, etc.). The head unit is just a head unit that deals with all NMEA2000 compatible sensors. The entire GPS device is a large receiver on the roof. I get clear signals INSIDE my garage with it.

                Windows recognizes a comport as a comport. It does not care what is attached to it. Software that attempts to do something with that comport is the problem. If you simply change the comport number on the utilizing program, it is fixed. The idea of plugging in comport devices at random is not the intention of a comport. That is the intention of USB. Having written many Java based programs that interact with many different devices on the 'obsolete' comport, I have to strongly disagree. There are many things (especially as you go industrial) that utilize the comport. Hard to add usb as input to my ham system for vehicle tracking (APRS).

                The simple fact is that their install caused windows to map a device to the comport. Uninstalling it removed that improper association. You can't blame windows for that. It is their installation process.

                Remember, the software is very new. There always has to be a first at some point. I'm betting there are others out there that have serial ports in use as well.

                We will just agree to disagree on this one, as I don't want an inferior USB type puck. My nice big screen with live topos on it is a tad bit better...

                Jim

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                • #9
                  We used to see this issue a lot with our W2k clients at work which use serial devices (barcode scanners, data loggers etc).

                  During boot windows searches all comm ports to see if a mouse exists so it can load drivers. This can cause some devices (even existing) to be detected incorrectly as a mouse. When software tries to communicate with the device or if the device automatically sends a signal upon initialization Windows interprets this as a signal from the phantom mouse and the pointer will jump around the screen and right or left click at times.

                  MS has several articles on this on their support site so I find it hard to believe iGuidance is the sole problem. To be fair I do not know what all is installed during the installation of iGuidance. You can test this by uninstalling iGuidance and reinstall to see if the phantom mouse reappears (now that you identified what was causing problems). I am glad you were able to correct your issue however.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                    a serial port anything is considered obsolete by Microsoft themselves...

                    The last few mobo's I bought didnt even have a DB9 port. Just like a few before that didnt come with a LPT1 port. Times change, and a $35 USB receiver isnt very cost prohibitive.

                    But serial ports do not play nice with one another period. That is why USB is supreme. Unplug 2 USB devices and switch the ports they are plugged into, OS doesnt care, it keeps on going sending the packets to the right one after they are reinitialized. Switch 2 non-usb serial devices and the OS doesnt know or care and keeps talking to the wrong one essentially.

                    Have to agree it was a system specific error, and iG has no reason to support that.
                    OMFG Iso agree with you on this. IEI put 4 Serial ports on my MoBo, and because I have so many USB devices, I decided to put XM, HD Radio, OBD2, and Amp Ctrl on the ports. I then had to do a major reinstall of Windows and forgot how I configured the ports. It was a nightmare if i tried to assign new port numbers to any of the devices. Then Winodws went bonkers and I had to do anotehr reinstall of Windows. This time I left the origianl port numbers there and so far so good.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marvin Hlavac View Post


                      Jim, I understand your frustration, and most (if not all) of us would feel exactly the same way you did. But realistically, we cannot expect them to know all the answers, and to support Microsoft Windows issues.

                      They suggested a different GPS receiver would likely correct the problem, but you were not willing to buy a new USB GPS unit, so they offered you a refund. I thought it was quite reasonable, even though I understand you expected they would do more troubleshooting. They would likely put out more effort into it, if the issue was reported by more than one of their customers.

                      I'm glad you found a solution, and thanks for sharing it here. It may help the next guy.

                      I was on the fence until I read it twice. That's pretty lazy of them. If you don't want to support serial GPS devices (which are not uncommon at all), then throw USB GPS on the requirements.

                      From there first response, it appears they knew were to look and simply didn't bother to offer anything beyond that. It wouldn't be hard to say "Send us a list of your comms and what's associated on them". "Or look at your comports, see any "weird" devices?".

                      I spent some years in tech support, from low tech to running a bunch of projects (and notoriously running Ibid aka Microtouch support, ALL serial port issues). I can understand you have to have a cut off someplace, but another sentence or two would have been nothing and gone a good way towards solving it.

                      And personally, I use comm ports all the time, my new PC? First thing I did was get a port header to attach to the motherboard. Homebrew is much easier with RS-232.
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                      • #12
                        Here you go so it doesnt happen in the future:

                        Add this to your boot.ini file, and no more serial mice.

                        /NOSERIALMICE=[COMx | COMx,y,z...]
                        Obsolete Windows NT 4 qualifier-replaced by the absence of the /FASTDETECT switch. Disables serial mouse detection of the specified COM ports. This switch was used if you had a device other than a mouse attached to a serial port during the startup sequence. Using /NOSERIALMICE without specifying a COM port disables serial mouse detection on all COM ports. See Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q131976 for more information.
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                        • #13
                          The stupid serial ballpoint issue drove me nuts when it first happened, especially because I already had the computer in the car. with no way to disable the GPS which was connected THROUGH a USB adapter. Some ing and lots of ing revealed lots of information that all pointed to the OS (windows) installing a serial ballpoint driver when it detected any sort of activity on a serial port. Used some patches and switches until I was able to get it working properly. Haven't had any issues since!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                            Here you go so it doesnt happen in the future:

                            Add this to your boot.ini file, and no more serial mice.

                            /NOSERIALMICE=[COMx | COMx,y,z...]
                            Obsolete Windows NT 4 qualifier-replaced by the absence of the /FASTDETECT switch. Disables serial mouse detection of the specified COM ports. This switch was used if you had a device other than a mouse attached to a serial port during the startup sequence. Using /NOSERIALMICE without specifying a COM port disables serial mouse detection on all COM ports. See Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q131976 for more information.
                            This is the issue I am having, but sometimes the serial mouse isnt there, but then I restart and all of a sudden its there again. Can the boot.ini be edited while Windows is running, or can i just go and edit? Also what if i wanted to do this on ports 1, 2, and 3? The 4th has the amp ctrl and it never acts up. The other though are having a identity crissis.

                            PS: so in the boot.ini, I am putting /NOSERIALMICE=[COM1,2,3], do i need the bracket things?
                            Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                            1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                            4X MK808b
                            3x Perixx Touchpads
                            3x 7 inch Screens
                            1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                            1x Win 7 PC

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                            • #15
                              If it's still showing up, when your mouse starts jumping around on the screen, disconnect the GPS, go to your hardware properties and disable, don't remove, the "serial ballpoint". It *should* work.
                              Kids, don't play with too many knives! -Crack Stuntman

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