Author Topic: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering  (Read 5023 times)

yvesmary

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With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« on: May 23, 2016, 08:01:03 PM »
I think he spends too much time answering emails and phones.

I talked to him last week about a problem I had with one of my PWR-56's. And there are many email quotes from Tim posted on this forum.

Jason Shron of Rapido Trains addressed this issue on the CanModelTrains forum when one of his customers complained about not receiving personal replies. He posted that his focus is on products and developments which leaves him little time to personally communicate with customers all the time.

I don't know how many people Tim has working for him but I think he should leave the day-to-day inquiries to others and concentrate more on the Sounds and Keep-Alives and Computer Interfaces and other things that people have been asking about lately.

I want this RailPro system to grow and it kind of concerns me that he figures he gets enough business through the Internet and not updating and expanding his ads.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the improvements that he's working on.

Yves in Alberta

KPack

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2016, 09:35:18 PM »
That echoes my thoughts.  While I do appreciate him being available to answer questions and problems, I would prefer that he spend his time in development and releases.  That or he can answer all questions while others work on releasing new hardware and software.  If one person is doing both then one or the other will suffer.

-Kevin

Alan

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016, 10:31:40 PM »
Such are the pains of any small business. Hiring people to manage public relations costs money. Money that likely isn't there. People are very expensive and maintenance intensive. Adding a single person to the payroll may very well break the bank. The very reason every business on the planet hires the absolute least number of employees needed to make the company run.

Additionally, any user of any new product has ideas about improvement. It is not wise for a company to blow them off as not mattering or give the impression the company isn't interested. Equally so, it is not practical to develop everything simultaneously. Tim Ring, like any other small business owner, walks a fine line.

A more pointed question may be why can't users just be happy they have what they have so far and accept the fact that enhancements will arrive when they arrive. To put an even finer point on it, if you know a better way then what is stopping you from building your own Ring-like business. Engineers to develop the hardware are available, software engineers to write the code are available, webmasters and marketing firms are available to promote the product. Invest a few dollars and you can build the whole company without knowing a drop about what makes it tick.

I for one am quite happy with my RP system as it stands. Sure there are things I would like to see it do but that doesn't hinder me from appreciating that as it is it is still better than the DCC system I would have otherwise bought. Refer back to your Economics 101 classes - your product/business will never best the competition by every measure nor will your product/business be everything to everybody. Economics will see to it that this is the case.

Now, if Ring were a publicly traded company and you are a stockholder then I retract all my statements. The gloves would come off. But Ring isn't so let's just be happy and play with our trains knowing the one day even cooler stuff is coming.
Alan

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When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

KPack

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 12:16:01 AM »
Good points Alan.  Indeed Tim has a lot to juggle with all aspects of Ring Engineering.  I believe when the company first came out it was him and his brother, but I'm not sure if that is still the case or not.  I'm also not sure if RE is Tim's full-time job or not.  Time is one commodity that always seems to be in short supply, and unfortunately not everything we want as users can be done in the time that Tim has.

I don't mean to sound ungrateful.  I'm not.  I'm more concerned than anything else.  When there is a long period of time between updates and/or new releases it is easy to be concerned.  I love my Railpro system as it stands, though I'm excited to see what the next steps are.  The CI-1 sounds cool, and new sound files are always welcome.

-Kevin

G8B4Life

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2016, 07:51:00 AM »
One very useful way to reduce workload answering queries, specifically for support is farming that out to your users. Many companies have forums for their users, usually hosted by the company if it's large enough but it's mostly run by the users and they answer a lot of questions that can tie employees up.

I really don't know why Tim Ring does not actively (or at all) promote this group, or any others if they exist, as a place where users can get some support. I know Bill invited Tim to join but that's as far as it got as far as I know. I guess Tim must be time poor and not have time for forums and such which is a shame; time on the phone or replying to an email services one user, a message post on a forum services many and could save much time from not having to get many phone calls or emails for the same thing.

Now, am I ungrateful (I suspect that my comments in another thread might have driven part of Alan's post)? No certainly not, I'm quite happy with RailPro as well but that doesn't mean that I can't drive it to be better. This is what product improvement is all about, being driven by yourself, your competition and by your users to be/stay number 1 in the marketplace. If this did not happen improvements would not happen; well not nearly as fast anyway. I don't and wouldn't expect RE to be able to provide improvement's "overnight" so to speak but if I can help improve it by driving it along I will. This is what a lot of my study with Loksound and RailPro has been about.

- Tim

nodcc4me

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2016, 02:58:06 PM »
I am mostly happy with RP, aside from wanting a keep-alive feature. Yes, we could use some more sound files, and I believe they will come in time. Last year, I mentioned to Tim that the Heavy Steam file was taking up a huge amount of space in the LM-1 modules. He recently put up a new steam file that takes up less room. I'm sure he has many projects in the works and many more ideas that he hasn't even started working on.


I doubt that he has a second job because I can almost always reach him by phone, even on Saturdays.  He has always handled my concerns, and usually very quickly. The customer service has been second to none. I would rather have it stay that way than to have him (them) working on so many new features that the CS falls flat.


In summary, and in line with what Alan said, I too am so happy not to have to deal with DCC that I am really not that concerned about the speed of development.
Al

Run your train, not your brain. Get RailPro. It's a no-brainer.

brickmodder

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2016, 09:56:17 AM »
I wish he'd start farming some sound and photo things out to some key users, probably someone (or more) from this forum could help out with that tremendously.

KPack

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 10:10:00 AM »
Really the only sounds that require RE at this point are the prime mover files.  All other sounds can be made by us users and shared.  We have a "files" section here on the forum that unfortunately is underutilized.  There are a few sounds files on there (mostly from Bill) but there could be many, many more.  Anyone with the ability to record can get useable sound files.  A dedicated audio recorder like a Tascam is best, but even phones now are capable of recording decent audio.  I'd really like to see many more user-recorded sound files made available for general use.  I hope to contribute as much as I can once I replace my recording equipment.

Pictures are a non-issue now with the Railpro Assistant software.  Everyone can make their own pictures and load them onto the controllers themselves.  I'm sure the release of RPA freed up quite a bit of time for Tim.

-Kevin

brickmodder

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2016, 10:25:54 AM »
I'm hearing repetitive artifacts in some of my sound files (for instance, the EMD 645 Turbo sound and one of the steam files - don't remember which). Is that a known issue, or should I try to redownload and install?

KPack

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2016, 10:36:39 AM »
Some of the older prime mover files have those artifacts.  The 645 turbo and roots both have some noticeable ones.  Newer sound files like the EMD 567, Alco 539T, and the unreleased GEVO are all much better and for the most part do not contain obvious repetitive artifacts.  The newer sound files are from much better recordings.

The older files are slowly but surely going to be replaced with updated ones.  Word on the street is that RE has new source recordings for all the 645's, so when those are released they should sound much better than the originals.

-Kevin

brickmodder

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2016, 10:51:31 AM »
Would be nice if there was a way to download ALL files to the PC without needing to put them into the HC immediately.

Alan

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2016, 11:05:46 AM »
Quote
Would be nice if there was a way to download ALL files to the PC without needing to put them into the HC immediately.

Opens the door wide for commercial plagiarism.
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro

KPack

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2016, 11:52:00 AM »
Quote
Would be nice if there was a way to download ALL files to the PC without needing to put them into the HC immediately.

Opens the door wide for commercial plagiarism.

Correct, and the RPA method of downloading protects RE's property.  It is cumbersome, yes, but necessary. 

Just to clarify, the first time you download something from RE to the HC it first saves to the computer and then loads to the HC.  From then on you no longer need to download that file from RE as it is saved on the computer.  Subsequent loading onto HC's goes much faster.

-Kevin

brickmodder

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2016, 12:21:19 PM »
Right, I gathered that much.  But the ability to batch download would be mighty fine. ;)  IT's not like I know where the pc files are stored or what to do with them outside of using in the HC.

Alan

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Re: With all due respect to Tim at Ring Engineering
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2016, 12:44:42 PM »
Search *.wav in Windows Explorer
Alan

LK&O Railroad website

When I was a kid... no wait, I still do that. HO, 28x32, double deck, 1969, RailPro