Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

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Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:50 am

Many times I'm seeing customers and even experienced tuners stuck trying to find an ini file and quoting the internal serial format - why is this?
I see posts such as
a. "I'm using firmware 'MS2Extra comms342c2' " - nope, that's not the firmware version.
or
b. "I'm looking for 'Trans 000028.8' " - wrong string, you just made it difficult to find.

The customer needs to be shown the firmware VERSION because then it is relatively easy to go to the Downloads page and find it.

In the two cases above, the correct answer is:
a. "I'm using firmware 'MS2/Extra pre-3.4.3beta3' " - now we know what you are using.
b. "I'm looking for the ini file for 'Trans controller pre1.0.2beta2' " - now you can find it via Downloads.

e.g.
F. "MS3 Format 0566.05 " <---- internal serial format, should be hidden from customer
V. "MS3 1.5.1 release 20171006 16:30BST (c) JSM/KC ********" <--- firmware version - should be shown to customer

When I open TunerStudio, I see the firmware version in the screen title bar - is this hidden for some customers? Does it work on a Mac?
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Customers - please help me understand where you are seeing the serial format (F) instead of the firmware version (V) so we can get the software changed.

James
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby elaw » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:02 am

I don't know how much this helps but... when I either launch TS from the start menu with the "load last project at startup" option selected, or double-click an .msq file and select a project, I get this in the title bar:
CaptureA.PNG
CaptureA.PNG (28.93 KiB) Viewed 230 times


However when I open an .msq file and tell TS to use a temporary project, I get this:
CaptureB.PNG
CaptureB.PNG (17.1 KiB) Viewed 230 times


However my recollection is that in the past, the "go online for firmware version" appeared much more often, although my usage pattern for TS has not changed (I always use a project when opening my own tune files). So I think something may have changed across different versions of TS?
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:04 am

I think that's ok for the temporary project, you aren't connected to your ECU, so TunerStudio doesn't know what firmware you are running. The MSQ likely has the information on what version the customer was running. Does it matter for a temp project?

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby elaw » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:09 am

Well my opinion (which along with $1.00 will get you a cup of coffee :lol: ) is that when viewing a tune offline, the title bar should show the firmware version associated with the tune being worked on. When online, if the firmware in the ECU matches the tune being worked on, that version should be shown in the title bar. In the unusual case of being online with firmware in the ECU that doesn't match the loaded tune file, I'd have it say "firmware version mismatch" or something to that effect.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:55 am

There probably isn't reason TS can't display the firmware version from the msq (as long as it is there) for a temp project.

However, I don't think that is the root problem.

I have about 500 ini files stored on the server; if someone asks me for the ini for MS2 Extra 3.3 beta 19 I am either going to ask for the serial signature and type of MS or ask for an msq so I can see what the serial signature is. This is because there is no relationship between the ini and firmware version, only between the ini and the serial signature.
So unless I know what type of MS you have and happen to remember that MS2 Extra 3.3 beta 19 for a standard MS2 has a serial signature of "MS2Extra comms330H2", I won't be able to give you the ini they need.

Thankfully, I think in most cases TS automagically downloads the right ini based off the serial signature, but once it falls back to a manual effort you either need to have the firmware zip file that you can recognize as the firmware version, then take the ini out of that or someone needs to know the serial signature to get it.

I would imagine the best case from a user stand point is to cover the scenarios where TS can't get the ini for them, like when TS is not on the internet.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby Marek » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:07 am

Dear James,

In my experience, what is confusing is that every time firmware is upgraded - and we are encouraged to do this - it ends by loading up Tunerstudio which then tells us that there is a mismatch between the signature expected and that a new .ecu or .ini with a different format is needed.

What I'd expect at this point is to easily locate a file called something like "MS3format0556.05.ini" or "MS3format 0556.05.ecu" - because that is the defining string identifier that TS is asking for - without having to use a search facility, check multiple locations for a file which somehow demonstrates this is the file that I need to find. What would help would be for this ecu definition file to leap out and be labelled because it is the first thing that is needed when TS loads.

When the firmware upgrade does not preserve settings, it is doubly frustrating because you have no running car, new firmware but no loaded parameters in the ecu, the sword of Damacles hanging over you telling you it isn't advisble to continue with the current signature file, no clear idea of exactly what filename you are looking for and the only clue given is that TS wants a signature mismatch to be not mismatched.

Perhaps labelling things as "hardwareMS3- v3.0..." and "firmware-MS3 1.51- 0566.05...." and "tuningsoftware- TS3.0.20..." would help or providing a tree diagram of the three branches.

kind regads
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:10 am

Marek wrote:What I'd expect at this point is to easily locate a file

The file is included in the firmware zip file that you used to update the firmware. Maybe the wording needs changing? Asking for a serial format is probably where the confusion is coming from.

The TunerStudio firmware loader ought to handle this ini update step. I can't recall if it does or not.

James
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby racingmini_mtl » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:11 am

Yes, it should definitely show the firmware version for a temporary project if the msq has the information. If after looking at the settings I want to actually try running it on the bench, I need to know which firmware version to use for the project and for the MS. And seeing the serial format won't help me.

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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby Marek » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:32 am

jsmcortina wrote:Maybe the wording needs changing? Asking for a serial format is probably where the confusion is coming from.


It absolutely needs changing. TS does not tell you what the name of the file is that it is looking for and the firmware zipfile doesn't have a file with any of those magic numbers in the file name.

kind regards
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby BigBlockMopar » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:55 am

jsmcortina wrote:Customers - please help me understand where you are seeing the serial format (F) instead of the firmware version (V) so we can get the software changed.

James


Not sure if I misread the question, but it's shown right under File -> Verhicle Projects -> "Project Properties".

Also added screenpic (1) of what's shown in the titlebar on a Mac.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:21 pm

BigBlockMopar wrote:
jsmcortina wrote:Customers - please help me understand where you are seeing the serial format (F) instead of the firmware version (V) so we can get the software changed.

James

Not sure if I misread the question, but it's shown right under File -> Verhicle Projects -> "Project Properties".

Yep, that's the problem right there.

James
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:21 pm

If offline, it does say the serial signature there. It should be able to display the one from the msq if you have an msq loaded though..

However, I still don't think that is the problem. The only way that is going to be there is if you already have the needed ini file.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:16 pm

On the screen that BigBlockMopar posted, that box needs to not show the serial format. That text in there is causing confusion.

Just today a tech support guy sent me an email asking about a serial format instead of referring to the firmware version.

James
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:09 am

In the end to get people the right ini, we have to know the signature, not the firmware version. So the customer needs to be able to get it some where.
Otherwise we we have to ask for an msq or some other file that we can open in a text editor and get the signature ourselves.
This is a very common support point, getting people ini files. They often do not have the firmware zip because they bought the box and it has what firmware it has.

We can keep trying to hide the signature all we want but the core problem is that the serial signature should relate to the firmware version. This is Entity Relationship 101.
Yes there are instances where the firmware changes, but there was no ini change, but they are to rare to drive user confusion.

If I update external text files for a TS installer, I have to recompile TS just to update the version number. Seems wasteful, but it is well worth it to keep it simpler for the users.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:21 am

LT401Vette wrote:In the end to get people the right ini, we have to know the signature, not the firmware version. So the customer needs to be able to get it some where.

I disagree strongly.

Nowhere will the customer find a download for the signature string. However, they can find a download for the firmware version. They need to know the firmware version - ONLY.

Please change this and hide the signature string to stop confusing everyone. The firmware and TS need to know about it, nobody else.

James
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:54 am

jsmcortina wrote:Please change this and hide the signature string to stop confusing everyone. The firmware and TS need to know about it, nobody else.

James


That is simply not true. In support we need the signature several times a week.

I can continue trying to hide it. Perhaps build a database to correlate firmware version to signatures.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby elaw » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:00 am

But is that because that's what TS is displaying?

As a user, when I download the firmware for my MS3 the downloaded file is called "ms3-release-1.5.1.zip", and it contains a folder called "ms3-release-1.5.1" with all the files in it. No mention of the serial signature anywhere.

But I do notice the serial signature is shown in TS on the "configuration" tab of the "project properties" dialog.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:19 am

elaw wrote:But is that because that's what TS is displaying?


No, it is because that is what we need to find the proper ini. The only unique key for an ini file is the signature.
To get the ini we use the same web service as TS and SD, etc. That requires the unique signature to get the needed ini.

As I said above, I could create a database with a 1 to many (signature to firmwareInfo) relationship that is searchable on firmwareInfo to track back to the needed ini file.
It might take some time for that data to be comprehensive.

The above dialog can only display the firmware version if you are connect to the box or have loaded an msq that has the firmwareInfo in it. Otherwise the only thing TS has is the serial signature to put in there.
Also if the person needs an ini, they are not going to get it from that view as that would mean they already have the ini file in that project.

elaw wrote:As a user, when I download the firmware for my MS3 the downloaded file is called "ms3-release-1.5.1.zip", and it contains a folder called "ms3-release-1.5.1" with all the files in it. No mention of the serial signature anywhere.


As said above, these support interactions are generally with customers that acquired a box with firmware already loaded, they do not have the firmware zip file.
This is a far more common usage pattern. Most customers buy the box or vehicle and are not so quick to want to change firmware if all is working well.
Unfortunately, it is also common that they are on a beta or even alpha firmware so it is not easy to find the firmware zip file.
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby jsmcortina » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:27 am

LT401Vette wrote:As I said above, I could create a database with a 1 to many (signature to firmwareInfo) relationship that is searchable on firmwareInfo to track back to the needed ini file.
It might take some time for that data to be comprehensive.

Please don't do that.
Display the firmware version only and always. Then it is far easier for the customer (or me) to find the ini file.

I know we've talked about this for a long time, but I still very strongly believe that showing the customer the serial format is where all the problems start.

James
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Re: Helping customers see the version and find the ini file

Postby LT401Vette » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:31 am

We need that data base internally at least.

What would you suggest TS displays when it is not connected and an msq has not been loaded? Blank box?
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