14 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2021 9:20 PM by colporteur

    Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?

    rscasny

      Over the years of managing the roadtest program, I have observed that roadtests and their associated reviews are truly a community collaboration. While product suppliers offer products that they would like roadtested (often times because they are introducing a new product), the products that actually turn into roadtests are not only based on suppliers requests. I make an attempt to ask members what they think about the product before it's on the roadtest docket, and whether they would be interested in roadtesting it. The collaboration does not stop there.

       

      I go to our  Top Members group when I have a question about a product or when I need help solving a challenging roadtest problem. And, once again, the collaboration doesn't stop there.

       

      When problems occur during a roadtest, I get the feeling that roadtesters (especially new roadtesters) come to me first. I always recommend that the roadtester should post a comment on the roadtest page. Often times, community members will offer help -- and sometimes this help is extensive!

       

      Finally, when a review is published, community members will respond with questions, or they will identify errors. They generally offer suggestions to make the review better.

       

      This year I'd like to recognize some of these roadtest heros.

       

      A roadtest hero is someone who has helped you in a small or big way during a roadtest. I have noticed over the years, roadtest heros have helped troubleshoot "bricked" products. They have also helped writing or correcting code. They have asked questions about ambiguous statements they found in reviews. They have offered comments or help in other ways too numerous to callout here. I'd like to think all the roadtest heros. I am sure if I nominated my roadtest heros of 2020, I would miss some of them. So, I'd like to encourage you to mention your roadtest heros of 2020.

       

      In the comments section, share with the community someone who has help you on a roadtest or someone you felt helped on a roadtest that you learned about while reading the roadtest reviews.

       

      I'd like to thank everyone for their participation in the element14 community and the RoadTest program.

       

      Have a Happy New Year.

       

      Sincerely,

       

      Randall Scasny

      RoadTest Program Manager

        • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
          ntewinkel

          I haven't done any RoadTests, but for the Internal Beta for the AVNET SmartEdge, Jan Cumps jancumps was and still is incredibly helpful.

          Thank you, I tip my hat to you, Jan!

          I am planning to resurrect my SmartEdge soon, using Jan's advice from just a few days ago

           

          Best,

          -Nico

          • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
            colporteur

            I second rscasny  comment on community collaboration. Weller Soldering Station WT Series - Review  contained an extensive list of E14 Community members who provided commentary and offered insight into shaping the RoadTest review.

             

            michaelkellett encouragement. I encourage my senior soccer girls to make positive comments to junior players when the junior make a good pass or have a good shot. Encouragement from senior players is a real confidence booster for junior players. When you compare MK's review on the same product I reviewed, it demonstrates he is a senior player. PicoScope 6424E Oscilloscope + Accessories - Review

             

            lui_gough for indicating that PoE does support Gigabyte network speeds. Raspberry Pi4B (4GB) plus POE Hat - Review

            • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
              dougw

              This is an excellent idea - highlighting the fact that members who contribute in the comments section can and do make reviews better - in addition to making the review more enjoyable for the author.

              My recent road test of the RPi HQ camera, generated over a dozen great comments and all of them helped the blog be better.

              It is really valuable when road testers share their solutions with other road testers of the same product, so sometimes it is another road tester who helps your road test.

              I am tempted to list about a dozen members, and all the different ways they enhance road tests, but I haven't been that active in road tests in 2020. I will just point out Adrian Christiansen (ajcc) poses interesting questions that demonstrate he has read the review, is interested in the subject matter, has put some thought into the questions and the answers would be useful to others.

              • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
                kmikemoo

                I'm going to nominate colporteur for his series on the ACCESS:Bit,  ACCESS:bit for micro:bit - Review .  I think coaching a high school student through a product review was bold.  To do it during COVID... heroic.  If for nothing else, for patience.  We can all appreciate the difficulty in talking someone through an electronic circuit or computer program over the phone (or even Zoom).

                • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
                  COMPACT

                  I'd like to thank my former self for helping me with my Road Tests. I really relied upon it.

                  I've lost my "knack" and am now afraid to touch anything new in fear of bricking it and not relying upon my former self to resolve it.

                  I just don't know how consumer's don't have troubles getting consumer IOT products working first time.

                   

                  It's taken me close to 2 years to get gcc and SDL working properly on a Windows 10 based PC.  My former self would have worked it out in a jiffy but in my ill state I used the Internet to see if it could solve it.

                  Apparently it doesn't.  There are many videos and articles out there but all that I have come across contain flaws of some kind.

                  This observation has shown that the persons that make and write these videos and articles don't fully comprehend the subject.

                  This even includes teaching college professors.  Also, being open source, the accompanying documentation is dismal at best.

                  I mean, why on Earth would an "Undefined reference to WinMain@16" error occur if you've followed their instructions to a 'T'?

                   

                  The answer was to rewind back to the early 1980's when if things didn't work find out for yourself.

                  It's very hard and next to impossible to do with no "knack" and no short term memory thus the eternity for me to make it work.

                  The relevant information is out there but requires sifting the treasure from the chaff - and boy, there's a lot of chaff!!

                   

                  One gem was that there was a -mwindows parameter for gcc. It is presented on a rather benign web page i386 and x86-64 Windows Options - Using the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC)

                  This alone doesn't work because then it relies upon the prerequisite libraries and their correct order to be linked in which the web page doesn't mention!

                   

                  gcc isn't well suited to windows because one needs to stuff about with path statements.

                  With all that done, some dude decided to rename the make command as mingw32-make!!

                  Lastly the Makefile format is stupid where whitespace indentation using both spaces and tabs won't work.  It only accepts hard Tabs.

                   

                  In summary, it is easy to see that newbies can have a very hard time evaluating new products given minefields similar to the abovementioned.

                  On the flipside, some of these products are fantastically powerful but are geared up for then consumer to use simpleton script languages like python.

                   

                  On another note, I wish that high value RoadTest products could be shared or lent between members.  It would give the sponsors more bang for their buck whilst educating more persons about their products.

                  I approached another member and got a resounding NO! which I found to be quite rude considering the huge amount of kit they've been gifted by E14 and their sponsors.

                  A lot of this kit is used spasmodically so it lends itself to be shared.

                   

                  Hopefully others will become wiser, have had a problem solved or share in the Road Test spirit with this Very Compact rant.

                   

                   

                  Cheers

                   

                  Very Compact

                  (And may the Road Test Gods be kind.)

                  • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
                    Gordon Margulieux

                    Michal Zurek’s Cypress PSoC 62S2 Wi-Fi & BT5.0 Pioneer Dev Kit review was very thorough, although I would have like to see a conclusion in his summary which included his thoughts to improve the kit.

                     

                    Stay Safe & Stay Well,

                     

                    Gordon

                    • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
                      balearicdynamics

                      My two roadtesters (and not only) big heros are jancumps & shabaz always help me reviewing, spending long nights to test together and remotely the issues and more. Not last reviewing the previews of my books.

                      There is also another hero I should mention, also important. It is just out Roadtest manager rscasny I have not done many roadtests, but I should say that especially the last I have done, the Pi 4B for which I developed a four-units cloud, has been delivered veeeery late as it was also part of a chapter of the book. I really appreciated his very big helpful, including a contribution to the same book and his patience.

                       

                      Enrico

                      • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
                        Fred27

                        I have to give a shout out to 14rhb who has helped me track down Problems with sample Zmod SDK project for USB104 A7 despite not having the Zmod hardware himself. I can now continue with that part of my road test.

                          • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
                            14rhb

                            Very kind of you to say. All part of what roadtests are about.: we're in a pool together and anyone who needs help just need ask. We're not competing against each other IMO nor wishing anyone to fail. We want to see a 100% completion as that keeps Randall and the sponsors happy....and that leads to sponsors offering up more goods in the future, hopefully

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                              • Re: Who Are Your RoadTest Heros of 2020?
                                colporteur

                                I like the sentiment. We are all in this together to achieve the goal of 100% completion. That is program value Randall can use to sell the program to the sponsors.

                                 

                                I think that your sentiment 14rhb  is echoed in Randall comment "I always recommend that the roadtester should post a comment on the roadtest page. Often times, community members will offer help -- and sometimes this help is extensive!"

                                 

                                That first step to problem resolution, has a low and high side. For those that fail to do their due-diligence before posting a question you may get less than a favourable responses. For those that have done due-diligence and still don't have a resolution you will get support responses. If you just don't know, I'm confident you will get responses that will provide a starting point at least.