IMHO Eli's post was way out of line & contained nothing of value to
us or ENERCALC. Mike's response was defensive but factual.|
If Eli has a problem with a specific module he ought to share it with
Mike & us. His post was snarky at best & bordered on libel.
An apology or explanation seems in order
I use ENERCALC a lot & want to see them continue to grow &
refine their product. It would be nice if they would keep their user
base better informed of their activities.
Chuck Utzman, P.E.
Jordan Truesdell, PE wrote:
You comment was also defensive and personal ("The last question from your firm regarding a calculation was
three years ago.") If you are doing so well, you might be
served to hire some additional tech support. My experience (though
others in a former office, not directly) is that tech support is
generally slower than that in larger analysis software firms, often
extending beyond a week turn-around. I don't know how much
in-the-trenches engineering work you do, but when I come across a
"problem" with the output from a program, it's often less than 24 hours
from when I need the answer. I estimate my schedule and time based on
the tools I have working properly, not on getting stuck and wasting
several days for a solution.
It is also true that there has been very little updated information on
your website concerning the upcoming release. I considered purchasing
your product two years ago and, for the price, I decided to wait and
see about the next release. In my previous position I used mostly the
retaining wall module, so I opted to pick up Hugh Brook's (your father,
right?) retaining wall program instead. It too has it's issues, but
I'm somewhat comfortable with them.
Eli's comment sounds exactly like one I would make after finding bugs
in a program which I expected to be fairly stable. Thank goodness you
don't own Honda, as the comments I've made to friends and family about
the lack of engineering forethought on several of their "features"
would make your ears burn brightly.
There is nothing more frustrating that not being able to get a tech rep
on the phone _right_now_ to solve a problem. To their credit, the last
time I had a problem with RAM Advanse (a security key issue - short
fuse stuff for me), an email to tech support got me a phone call - and
a solution - in under 30 minutes. Remember also - just because you
don't get an email or a call doesn't mean that a user has not
encountered a problem. I never sent you an email complaining about how
annoying it is to enter data in your program interface, but that
doesn't mean I didn't have a problem with it. I haven't informed Hugh
that his retaining wall program gives an OK result when the ratio of
actual to allowable stress is over 2.0 (yes you read that right), so if
you're waaaay underdesigned, the program will give the wrong "answer".
I always check my ratios manually, so its not a big issue for me, and I
haven't reported it. Nonetheless, it means that the program requires a
bit more handholding, and that reduces its value to me.
All people vent to others about their frustrations, engineers included,
and you should feel lucky that some of us discuss these thing where you
can read about them and address them in your product. It sure beats
having everybody bad-mouth you behind your back, where you have no
opportunity to fix the issues.
Michael Brooks wrote:
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Dear Mr. Grassley:
I take exception to your comment….
wouldn't surprise me if these guys were folding up shop and fleeing the
country or something. Several of
Enercalc's design modules are questionable
at best, despite being on v5.8. And
their service is non-existent."
We are flourishing with a very large
user base. We are quite busy between intense product development and
assisting so many new users.
The last question from your firm
regarding a calculation was three years ago. If you seriously have
questions on any of our calculation module please contact us directly
rather than saying such things in a public forum.
I will acknowledge that we are
responding to requests that require detailed investigations
because of development of the next major release.
I would appreciate it if you can
contact me directly with the issues that foster your prior comments.
Michael D. Brooks, S.E., P.E.