I generally avoid beta software like the plague. In fact, I even avoid most official "dot.zero" software releases, especially if the previous version works well. I try not to get suckered into the oft overhyped promises of nirvana that software developers promise. Pioneers take the arrows, as they say...
Nevertheless, I decided to be brave and upgrade Ham Radio Deluxe & DM780 to the latest v5 Beta release (build 2293). Since the price is right I had little to lose; I could always switch back to v4.whatever if v5 turned my screen blue. So after making sure all important data and pref files were backed up and safe on another drive I went ahead with the v5 installation.
So far, so good. The new stand-alone Logbook is awesome, and maybe it's my imagination but I swear DM780 is doing a better job of decoding digital signals now. The HRD rig control seems to be pretty much unchanged except for a few tweaks and additional features.
Things I like:
- DM780: RSID is cool... just not sure if it's working for me on transmit; I have it enabled, but I don't hear the distinct RSID tones in my monitor when I begin transmission.
- Logbook: Awards tracking is much improved over the "analysis" function of v4! The ability to set up and switch between different layouts is a nice addition, too. I will eventually take advantage of v5's ability to use a remote database; my plan is to set up a myQSL-based log on the web.
- HRD: Not much difference from v4 as far as I can tell -- which is fine, I liked it just the way it was. Just wish the integration with logbook was a bit better; having an Add Logbook Entry window in HRD that doesn't require a switch to the Logbook app itself would be a big plus. It's certainly possible, DM780 does it.
- The filter buttons in the main HRD control screen don't work.
- I still can't save a "Favourite" (that's Eurospeak for "favorite") with DATA as the stored mode (it defaults to USB).
- The "NR" button doesn't change color when engaged (this issue is carried over from v4...).
- Clicking the Add To Log button (or pressing F7) in HRD doesn't switch to the Logbook, have to do that manually; also, the ALE function doesn't seem to carry the callsign from the DX Cluster window over to the ALE window.
- I can't seem to get Logbook to upload QSO data to the HRDlog.net web site.
Next Beta release is scheduled for tomorow (18-Aug).