...As I said to the manager - from my perspective as a programmer, there are some clear coding issues and interface consistency issues (there should be consistent ways to do everything within the design as much as possible).
...If I have to stay with tiles, I will learn, if I have to look into tiles for recordings and scheduled recordings, I will learn, but I think they can also consider how to improve it based upon our feedback. We are the users, let's remember.
... I ust want to watch my TV and my PVR in a reasonably logical and simple way. I don't think I am asking for much here.
Dear BS (and you too, Rogers Repair Team...),
I thought I was done here, but apparently not. While I agree with most of your various messages, I must take exception to a couple of things you said above.
Yes, all the actual programming errors must be fixed, but in addition to that, as users, we should not have to accept an illogical, difficult to read, reduced-functionality, reduced information user interface just because (and this is an assumption of course) some programmer thought it would be a good idea to emulate Windows 8.
The PVR interface is *not* an improvement -- it is a significantly less user-friendly interface than the previous design. Forget about the various operational programming differences. There is simply no reason to switch from a grid of lines/columns, with a line for each recording, to the ridiculous 'Tile' interface that provides practically no useful information on the main page.
As I said before, if tiles were such a bright idea, instead of a failed copy of Windows 8, why not use them for the channel guide also? If not, why change something that was working, and reduce the font size and color contrast while you're at it?
Why eliminate the running time from the information displayed?
Why show ‘recommendations’ from pay-per-view / on-demand instead of a list of the recorded shows?
Why change the simple, and already-learned command for recorded shows vs. scheduled recordings (additional 'list' button clicks)?
There is *no* reason to change any of the command interface to do a cosmetic change on the interface design, and there is *no* reason to do a cosmetic change to the interface that reduces the available information and/or menu choices. In fact, there are *many* reasons not to.
At the very least, there should be an option to use the old interface if you want to. Where's the harm in that? There is a lot of software (even prior versions of Windows) that allow you to select the 'classic' interface.
Don't give up now! We should *not* settle for a 'new' poorly-designed interface. We should *not* have to 'learn' how to deal with tiles, work-arounds, etc., because we aren't being paid to use the software. To use the equipment in a 'logical and and simple' way is to use a 'logical and simple' interface. Fix the programming command problems, yes. Solve the deleted recordings problem, yes. But let us use the old interface if we want to! Or get someone who knows how to design interfaces to redesign the new one. Or preferably, both. Seriously!
@park Yes, what you speak of sounds very familiar. My earliest programming days were cards, and even telex tape. Boy I had forgotten about tape. Cut a chunk out of the tape where you want to remove code, duplicate the tape, put three spaces which punches three holes into it, put three spaces before the new code and at end of code, and three new spaces on the remainder. Then stitch it all back together again, interlacing the holes at the end and beginning of the sections.
I was a data input person at the time working telex data to railway mainframe in Montreal. If there was an error in the data entry (you have a rail car going to the wrong place, or the wrong number on the designated car - real big problem, because this code then tells the whole system where to send and find the railcars. When we found the error, we would call programmers in Montreal, and they would send us a code to put ahead of the error put in the old data and the new data. Basically the code was find this record sent by this terminal and change the data from this to that. There was a specific way to code this, and originally they were only able to do it until one day, a programmer said, you seem pretty bright (over the phone), here is the code (I said, it did look like I was getting the same code to proceed the changes, just slight changes some times). He clarified that there were specific changes that related to type of error and how far back you were going. You could not go back more than 24 hours, but he indicated how they create the days code. So we began fixing our own errors, and about a year later, we were all given the coding methods to make changes as we moved from cards or tape, to monitors with keyboards (dumb terminals to the main frame) - wow we were in the future now. We also used to save our tapes because each type of run had different headers and trailers, so we could just cut and paste them together with the new data and not have to redo the run headers and trailers which was actually very time consuming and prone to errors. They did ask us to telex them (live telex terminal to terminal) over telex lines the railways owned and operated. Way back when, before Rogers even came along, there was CN and CP telecommunications, the CNCP, then Cantel and on and on from there. So yeh I have been at it for a day or two.
But enough reminiscing - yes if Rogers team want to pick my brain and pseudo code the fixes and identify models of interface, and even test, I would be more than happy to. I think between me and many others, we have probably given them every thing they need to know (knock on my wooden head), and other than the fact that I can't see the actual code, I can certainly as others have, pretty much tell them where to look. But to be truthful, I would rather just enjoy my TV and recordings, play with my computer, but boy have I ever enjoyed debugging.
So thanks for the story and the ideas. Would love to talk more and get to know you more if you are interested. PM me if you are interested. I love a good programming story. I have a fair share of my own. I have even ultimately lost a job over a bad implementation (amongst being downsized, but due to that big error, I was picked early out of the bunch), as a result of a rushed implementation that I said from day one was going to fail if they forced me to keep that schedule. Good design, engineering, programming, pretesting, debugging, fixing, alpha work, then beta testing, and sometimes you are even forced right back to the drawing board again, say like a programming interface related to a related program turns not to work once you try to integrate - yes integration of all the various commands and programs within our devices is critical. Generally, I expect that the nextbox is no different than any programming these days. There are modules that are called by user inputs from the remote control, outputs to the screen to change interfaces (all different modules of their own), and calls to change programming to update menu content from the Rogers side, and to update the software and modules, and interfaces for viewing the built in networking features and hardware functioning by the rogers techs who can see our screens and functioning and error messages, and signal strength and so on just by calling up our IP on the box, and logging into see our box. Same as we can send a reset code to the network that comes back to box and resets it with a reboot. Programming is very complex these days, and takes great care and extensive testing to get it right and I can assure the people out there that things always go wrong, so I am now taking the position of I will wait and see. I have said enough for now. I have a second thing to say, but it is in response to someone else - a continuation of this thought, but I need to find his name again.
Thanks to you and everyone for working so hard as a user, through all the emotions that we have all had, to make ourselves heard, and being persistent in our requests. Oh by the way, please fix the font. BS (initials only - this is now our inside joke).
Maybe Tiles are an appropriate look for Navigatr.
After all, bathrooms have tiles, and contain a device for flushing away things we never want to see again.
@Mister_A Just to clarify, I have not given up on pushing that I want a fully logical (from the user's perspective), and simple interface. I am not a big fan of the tiles, and to be honest, I have never gone to Windows 8 because of the tiles. On a touch screen, I am ok, but my PVR is not a touch screen. I only say I can learn to live it because I forgot to say, for now until I see the next rollout. Because I am getting tired and I need a break, as probably the Rogers people do in order to get all these requests looked at and seriously looked at. They have said change will come, I am going to wait for that change and then I will be back again if I am still not happy. I have hope that they will be close to getting it right and have it well tested.
By the way, when I use on demand to look for movies, I switch back to the alternative menu structure that is still available to get rid of tiles because scrolling up and down through a text list is rapid and efficient. It is like my programming days. There are lots of GUI (graphic user interfaces) for programmers to drag and drop common code into, you just have to search through lots of menus and screens to find the ones you want. Me, I continued to program in a programming box, learning the new code, typing raw code always, because I can type almost 150 words per minute, and I remember every bit of code I ever learned over the years. By the way, the basic programming has not really changed that much, it has just become more complicated by the integration of everything that we want a single device to do for us. That is very hard work to achieve successfully. So to continue with a programmers point of view, I want my DOS and Linux and IBM raw code back. In windows, I still hit the command line for many things and I am very glad that Microsoft has allowed those of us who want to do that to be able to go to what we know, but the reality is that some things I have no choice but to change because they removed it because they didn't even have the programmers to support it anymore. A side story is that most programmers who know their code, do not use the graphic interfaces to program, except maybe when they forget a code, then they go back to the raw code and note it for next time. They get the best of both worlds, but when it comes to our nextbox, our digital tv's, our cars, sometimes change occurs because technology changes and the programmers have no choice but to move forward and yes it creates changes we now have to deal with. So I suspect some things we may have to live with. All our smartphones, my thermostat, our tablets, and if Microsoft had its choice, would be on tiles. Great for touch screens, but not great for a remote control with so limited input options. But I don't know what programming limitations they have, I leave that to them to hopefully find a balance between what all of us want (and we all don't want the same things), hopefully the programming still lets them access a list view and they can code an option to swap views like we can do with Roger's On Demand for movies.
So don't get me wrong, I am not backing off, I neglected to say, that I am waiting for what comes then I will comment more. I just need a break and for now I can learn to live with it, because right now today, I have to, and I may actually come to love it (doubt it), but I certainly would prefer choices, which may or may not be able to be programmed for. I have never programmed a PVR, but I have certainly programmed a lot of input and output models and things do go wrong - Murphy of Murphy's law sits as a part of the team of every program implementation team and he is really good at making what can go wrong go wrong, sooner or later, and sometimes all at the same time.
But to summarize, As I said to a manager today, you have lost the trust of this 22 year customer, and I am at my limits of what I am willing to put up with. For now I am still talking, and fortunately not losing my temper, which is a good thing for everyone, most importantly me and my family. I also said, I hear your apologies, and I hear and see that you are listening, but I still can't believe it until I see it. I don't like to be that way with any provider of my services. I enjoy being a happy customer, but right now I have not been.
So having said all that, I want to add a personal note to this, as many others have. My decision to back off for a while is completely selfish, and also caring for all of you and the Rogers teams who are clearly working very hard at this and other issues. I have been on this forum on about 5 issues in the last month, and that is more than I have been in my whole experience in 22 years (of course by phone years ago - I like talking so we can work with emotion and feelings of both sides. Why am I really taking this position as I have mentioned before - I am a lucky person who has severe depression, servere anxiety and PTSD to boot. I say lucky because I have had the opportunity to learn to deal with these battles and know when to call it quits for a while to recover, and when to return to the rear lines to recover for the next battle, and sometimes just to go home and let others take on the job. Yes, I have served in the military, so that is why I framed that section in military terms. It is how I understand the world. A lot of us have been on these Nextbox front lines for quite a while on this one, as well as the people on Rogers side too. I need a break, as I am sure some of you do too, and I have no doubt that the heads of the programmers are spinning. It doesn't matter how it happened, what should or should have not been done. Now it is time to move on, let them figure out where they are going and for me trust that they will do their best, knowing very well, there will be more bugs. And we really do not want their heads spinning when they need to have them deep into very complex coding and bug fixing and then finding people to test it, while trying to get it out as fast as possible. I don't want them to rush, I want them to do their best, and that is why I have decided to back off, at least for now.
I stay strong on the fact that I don't like the tiles, give us the option to use the classic interfaces (if they haven't stripped that code to death in the change). I hope not because sometimes unfortunately, there is not going back. I also want a bigger font, and predictability in what happens when I push a button as well as confidence that my recordings will be there.
So there it is, it has been a fun battle, I have learned a lot, I have got to work my intellectual brain that has been stagnant for quite a while and I have been able to work my therapy interactional skills and it has been a lot of fun.
I leave it to the rest of you to carry on for now. I am actually not going to log on unless I learn a new issue, and until the new rollout has benn done.
My best and hopes to all of you.
Bruce (now you know my first name) S.
I believe there was supposed to be some kind of announcement today via the Community Blog. I haven't heard or seen anything.....did I miss it or is it still coming? If it's the latter, do we have a timeline on when we'll get the big announcement?
Number 5 from my earlier list seems to have been addressed. I can now record the sjow being watched by one press of the red record button. I'll take the small win and hope now for the old list style menus back!
I think that was there since day 1, at least on NB3s.
You can cancel it as well, with the same button.
I completely understand -- it's why I haven't been back until now also. We've had our say, now let's see what Rogers does. Since you're a programmer, it is natural that you would be focused on the code. I've also programmed, but really, I design *things*, so I focus on the interface. You are correct that they could simply have used an off-the-shelf interface (menus, perhaps?) and plugged in the commands, but they didn't.
The three or four of us here with design experience, I'm sure, could do a better job if we got together.
From my personal experience, for the majority of users, the interface is more important than the specific functionality, since most users want to *use* the product, not necessarily understand the intricacies of the command structure. Big advantage for a simple, logical arrangement of controls. Those of us with a technical background may understand what's under the skin, but the skin is important -- it's the connection to the non-technical user, as I'm sure you appreciate.
I was reacting to your statement about we users 'learning' whatever counterintuitive screens and command structure are foisted upon us. I object to the inherent design flaws, amply enumerated by yourself, NeilPalmer400 and others, but I also understand that they have to fix what they can fix to try and recover, so my message was in no way an indictment of you or your comments, just that we should *not* let them off the hook for this.
I have only one question (for anyone who can answer): What *additional* functionality, or *improved* performance, has this so-called upgrade delivered?
Frankly, I don't see any, so why do it at all, if it's just a fashion statement?
I am also waiting to see what happens, but so far I'd be satisfied with the previous system, sans upgrades.
We will both wait and see. Thank you all for your interesting posts.
All the best,