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<  Firmwares, enhancements and upgrades  ~  September bugfix firmware withdrawn

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nwhitfield
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:11 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
The September bugfix firmware update has been removed from the Topfield web site. We are currently updating the links on this site too, in view of the recording bugs that some users have experiencd following the release of the firmware, version 5.12.03

See the news item for more details.

Nigel.


Last edited by nwhitfield on Thu Sep 29, 2005 4:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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HydeTheDarkerSide
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 May 2005 Posts: 5956 Location: Hannington Transmitter : Sony KDL 40Z5800
As I've said in other posts, I had this with the .02 version originally, so Topfield are going to have to look at what they did before these last two fixes.

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Hyde.
[size=10:da1fd20a33][b:da1fd20a33]2x TF5800 All controlled with Harmony Ultimate [/b:da1fd20a33], TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -RSy+BmC0CbCfCtDsEgEmEvFsGIMPePsR0ScUUuWfXZ
TAPs: PcControl B1.3; EPG2MEI v0.96; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MyInfo B5.6; MyStuff 6.5 RC2;
[color=blue:da1fd20a33]MyStuff Links: http://www.toppy.org.uk/~mystuff/index.shtml[/color:da1fd20a33]
Sig generated by MyInfo on 11/10/13[/size:da1fd20a33]
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nwhitfield
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:38 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
Rest assured, they have all the information I can possibly get them.

Nigel.

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Nick
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 3:54 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 17 Aug 2005 Posts: 78 Location: Cambridge, UK
Nigel, thank you for the update.

Is there a recommended version that we go back to, all things being equal?

Nick
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wintersf
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:29 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 04 Aug 2005 Posts: 63 Location: Sauchie, Stirling
Hi,

I think it would be in Topfield and Turbosats interest to release all future beta releases to everyone on this site.
The last two issues with the firmware releases have been found very quickly once the versions were in general circulation (Widescreen switching and new record issue).
I think that most people on this site are aware of the risks of using beta versions of software and would be happy to test these versions to assist Topfield to improve the quality. I do not see the risk as being much greater than using a Tap which everyone is happy to do.

Just my input on this.

Fraser
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charley
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:30 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 13 Jul 2005 Posts: 1563 Location: Belfast
Hi Nigel, in another thread you referred to doing a factory reset before upgrading firmware. Was this a typo or is the recommendation now to factory reset before and after upgrade and what about powering off at the mains, before, after or both? Can you advise please.

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regards Charley
Toppy: TF5800PVR250GB &300GB;Firmware: ; Remote: Harmony 655; Tx:Divis; Autostart TAPs: MEISearch 1.35, MyStuff 6, AutoReboot V2.2, epg2mei, Power Manager v2.0, TAP Commander 1.2, TF5000 Display v1.50, MHEG_State; Other:
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rayd
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:50 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 03 Jun 2005 Posts: 377 Location: West London
charley wrote:
Hi Nigel, in another thread you referred to doing a factory reset before upgrading firmware. Was this a typo or is the recommendation now to factory reset before and after upgrade and what about powering off at the mains, before, after or both? Can you advise please.


Also, somewhere it was mentioned that the September update should have rebooted the box by itself. That didn't happen to me. The box stayed flashing END so, after a minute or so I went into standby manually, and then press standby again to reboot.

I did the upgrade twice - once from Aug and a second time after having problems. Both times I had to manually go to standby.

Could you please confirm what should have happened?

Cheers,

Ray D
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HydeTheDarkerSide
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:57 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 May 2005 Posts: 5956 Location: Hannington Transmitter : Sony KDL 40Z5800
I don't know what the official advice is, but I found by accident that if you leave the Toppy flashing "End" for around twenty seconds it'll re-boot itself into normal operational mode.

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Hyde.
[size=10:da1fd20a33][b:da1fd20a33]2x TF5800 All controlled with Harmony Ultimate [/b:da1fd20a33], TS On, F/W: MS6 Recommended F/W 12/9/2009 -RSy+BmC0CbCfCtDsEgEmEvFsGIMPePsR0ScUUuWfXZ
TAPs: PcControl B1.3; EPG2MEI v0.96; Font Manager 1.0d; Extend v1.7; SecCache (UK) v0.4; EIT Sub (Game) v0.6; MyInfo B5.6; MyStuff 6.5 RC2;
[color=blue:da1fd20a33]MyStuff Links: http://www.toppy.org.uk/~mystuff/index.shtml[/color:da1fd20a33]
Sig generated by MyInfo on 11/10/13[/size:da1fd20a33]
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charley
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:19 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 13 Jul 2005 Posts: 1563 Location: Belfast
wintersf wrote:

I think it would be in Topfield and Turbosats interest to release all future beta releases to everyone on this site. .....
I think that most people on this site are aware of the risks of using beta versions of software and would be happy to test these versions to assist Topfield to improve the quality.
Fraser,
Agree that there are experienced users who know what they are getting into but there are also many new users who come here for advice and users who only come if they have a problem. It would need to be very clear what beta means and the risks of crashes, lost recordings etc. That said I am in full agreement that a wider population of beta testers would be beneficial.

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regards Charley
Toppy: TF5800PVR250GB &300GB;Firmware: ; Remote: Harmony 655; Tx:Divis; Autostart TAPs: MEISearch 1.35, MyStuff 6, AutoReboot V2.2, epg2mei, Power Manager v2.0, TAP Commander 1.2, TF5000 Display v1.50, MHEG_State; Other:
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charley
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:21 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 13 Jul 2005 Posts: 1563 Location: Belfast
HydeTheDarkerSide wrote:
I don't know what the official advice is, but I found by accident that if you leave the Toppy flashing "End" for around twenty seconds it'll re-boot itself into normal operational mode.
Yes I found the same.

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regards Charley
Toppy: TF5800PVR250GB &300GB;Firmware: ; Remote: Harmony 655; Tx:Divis; Autostart TAPs: MEISearch 1.35, MyStuff 6, AutoReboot V2.2, epg2mei, Power Manager v2.0, TAP Commander 1.2, TF5000 Display v1.50, MHEG_State; Other:
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nwhitfield
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:48 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 20 Mar 2005 Posts: 9579
This firmware will be getting an extended beta, since it's unlikely people can end up worse off.

Previously, eg for the August firmware, tests were restricted to forum admins. That's usually been sufficient to spot some of the show-stoppers; with the August firmware, it didn't highlight WSS issues, since it turned out none of us had an affected set. So for the bugfix firmware we created a slightly larger group of testers.

That was indeed sufficient to ensure that we were certain of a resolution to the problems regarding MHEG and widescreen switching.

The latest bug is not so much a problem of the number of testers, as of the time that we had available to test - we were quite aware of the number of people grumbling about issues like crashing and widescreen switching, and there was a certain amount of pressure to get a fix out as soon as possible - and three test firmwares in under a week. Since the main issues weren't to do with recording, it's perhaps understandable that most effort went on checking those, and not on a thorough check of all the system functionality.

We are working with Turbosat to address this sort of issue, in particular in making sure that for major firmware updates, there's a much longer period allowed for testing. I don't think, though, that it would be a good idea to make all beta firmwares available to absolutely everyone; there aren't usually as many as three in a week, but even so, the number of possible combinations of firmware, TAPs and so forth would quickly become unmanageable. New users, as someone else has said, may become confused, or end up installing software that simply isn't suitable.

It's also desireable to avoid the situation where people routinely download the latest firmware, just because it's there, without clearly understanding the nature of the firmware. Installing beta firmware is usually to give feedback; unless people are able to give that - or unless there are particular mitigating circumstances, such as the current bug - then there's not much point in them having it.

We will be working out a way of broadening the firmware testing, in conjunction with Turbosat. But I think it will still be a closed beta test, though broader in scope than at present. For a major update, we need people who are able to test, and ideally to follow a test script as well as their usual use, and report exactly what happens if things go wrong, without having to be prompted for all the extra information.

A completely open beta, in my view, runs the risk of creating a huge number of posts, saying "X doesn't work," needing more posts to try and get the right information to feed back.

If we have - which I hope we won't - a similar situation to this one in future, then there might be another public beta release. But I do think that a broader, but formally managed, beta system will be the best solution for testing future updates more fully, and that's what I shall be working towards organising with Turbosat.

Nigel.

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MarkySparky
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:22 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 19 Jun 2005 Posts: 30
Thanks Nigel. All your work on our behalf is much appreciated Very Happy
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Cammy
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:22 pm Reply with quote
Regular contributor Joined: 30 Mar 2005 Posts: 63 Location: Blackhill Transmitter
nwhitfield wrote:
...we need people who are able to test, and ideally to follow a test script as well as their usual use, and report exactly what happens if things go wrong, without having to be prompted for all the extra information.


I develop software for a living. Test scripts are useful where there are a small number of use-cases which must perform exactly as specified. An appliance like this has many more use cases and it would be impossible to script all the possibilities. As you say, people's everyday usage will be absolutely critical to getting the bugs out.

As for reporting bugs accurately, can I suggest you implement a defect template which must be used to report all beta test problems. It should contain fields for all the fixed info (ie board revision, firmware version, TAPS installed etc) and then ask them to document every keypress from power on to recreate the problem. It avoids the defects being ping-ponged between the developer and the tester because the development team can't reproduce it.
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Darkmatter
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:37 pm Reply with quote
Forum moderator Joined: 21 Mar 2005 Posts: 1237
charley wrote:
Hi Nigel, in another thread you referred to doing a factory reset before upgrading firmware. Was this a typo.....

Yep, that was a typo. There?s no advantage to performing a factory reset before installing new firmware. Do the upgrade, and then perform the factory reset, together with a hard boot.

Occasionally, we find the Toppy goes in to a funny state following a firmware upgrade. A classic symptom is the clock remaining on the front panel, when it should show the channel number. Unfortunately, there are other weird symptoms that are less easy to diagnose.

It?s not something Topfield recommend themselves. We adopted it as part of our recommended procedure following advice from the Oz forums. At a base level, it ensures the Toppy isn?t in this weird state. Although we understand some users find it a bit of a pain to re-enter their favourites list.

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jonc
Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 8:58 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 09 May 2005 Posts: 162
Quote:
Test scripts are useful where there are a small number of use-cases which must perform exactly as specified. An appliance like this has many more use cases and it would be impossible to script all the possibilities.


I only partly agree with this - there are many permutations of operation with a Toppy (especially as it's an open platform open to influence from TAPs) but that doesn't mean that the core functionality doesn't boil down to a relatively small number of use cases that should be exercised each time. Afterall, some of the core functionality was broken in the last firmware and, it would seem, on Toppy's in a vanilla state.

There's also the case for saying that every critical/high defect should have a use case created in an ever-growing fashion - not only to confirm the fix, but also to highlight any regression at a later date.

I do agree about the defect template though...although I'm not convinced that a forum of this kind really allows the sort of defect reporting that's actually now needed (http://www.bugzilla.org, anyone?).
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