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Omnicycles software, now free
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zoidsoft



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
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Location: Pulaski, NY

Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, no Paul, not everyone can do software well. If you're doing all encompassing work from scratch to finish that is difficult. Working in a corporate setting is very different and tasks are broken up to something more manageable. You get to work 8 hours and sleep at night. But during the Terran Atlas development cycle because of the situation with Astrolabe, I was pulling 16 hour days for nearly 3 months straight.

It's not about saying I'm "better than everyone else", just want some slack in the attitudes I get when people just don't realize the hell I go through to pull this stuff off.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other thing I wanted to point out through all of this Arvind was being abusive against the rules stated on this forum, but what did you do as moderator Paul? David Bolton was very professional through all of this and only questioned intentions after several abusive attacks at the end, but who do you go after? That's very telling IMO. I probably wouldn't have been as patient. I'm not disputing Arvind's claim of the problem that he had, but the way he brought it forward in such an abusive fashion is what I object to. I don't think that's putting myself in a superior position. But the attitude is typical of many users of astrology software.

I'm not ever going to work for corporate power again. I won't be lectured by someone who wasn't even alive when I was first introduced to programming. The whole point of my doing this was to break free of that slave environment. If you're happy doing it, that is fine. But I don't live by your rules and it doesn't sound to me like you've ever been under the kind of fire to where your survival in business was put at stake. I've sweated under the hot Nevada sun with only a solar panel connected to my truck (with laptop and cell phone) out in the desert to stay alive in business (essentially homeless) when this whole fisasco with Astrolabe began. It got to the point that when I was camping up on Mt. Charleston, that I would put my truck in neutral down Kyle Canyon Rd until I got to Rte 95 (to save gas) when I had to get back into town. I was eating barrel cactus seeds, prickly pear cactus, and even bark scorpions to survive. Don't believe me? Ask Chris Brennan (he witnessed this last part under different circumstances). Until your life is on the line I don't think you can possibly understand what it's like to be in my position. So if it sounds like I think Arvind's gripes are petty, try to put it into perspective.
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Last edited by zoidsoft on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Paul
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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David

Quote:
Juanma would NEVER even consider putting any sort of malware into a program. Naturally, Arvind could not know this.


I believe you. But we may need to broaden how we see malware to how a consumer sees malware. A program which cannot install correctly could easily fall into that category especially when it irritates by opening by default. It remains to be seen whether whatever problems Arvind had prevented him from stopping the automatic start as well, it was unclear. Either way a program which is designed to be unavoidable by default and which doesn't uninstall correctly can be seen as malware by a general public who don't restrict this definition to an intentional effort to trick, scam, advertise or corrupt like other definitions of malware may imply.

Quote:
The fact that within just a few days, I had found another setup program, and corrected both of these flaws should have shown him that my intentions were honest.


Again we should broaden from implications that all malware is intentionally malicious rather than disruptive and difficult to remove or avoid.

He also was probably quite right to inform people of his issues which I feel we should accept are real and for which a faulty uninstall is at least partially responsible.

Quote:
Paul: You seem to assume that Arvind was correct in saying that Omnicycles "messed up his system".


I don't actually. I do believe Arvind however that he installed the software in good faith and either only meant to experiment with it and always remove it, or was irritated by the automatic start up and tried to remove it entirely and subsequently realised there was a problem with uninstall. I also believe that either the install, the uninstall or the attempts made to uninstall has affected his computer in some way. It may have highlighted an existing problem, not played well with something on his machine or it may be that in attempting to uninstall this he damaged or uninstalled something else.

But I do believe him, without needing to insinuate he has malicious intent himself, that his problems as he knows them started with installing omnicycles.

As for your numbered points:
1: it's not clear to me if he also had trouble doing this or even if this was his major issue and was reported more to explain why, when he subsequently couldn't uninstall, he felt it was malware (defining it here as an irritant difficult or impossible to remove or avoid)

2: we shouldn't expect people to know how malware actually works or even limit it to one common approach, it can be used generally as I described it. A university professor once made a case to us as a class that internet explorer being impossible to remove as well as having known security issues could well be imagined as malware-lite - this was within the context of discussing an EU ruling regarding IE being automatically included with Windows and ethics within software development. The point I'm making here is that we should broaden our understanding of malware from a malicious attempt to advertise or steal information to software which is irritating or a nuisance to the user which is difficult or impossible to avoid or remove for a person with basic or average computer expertise.

Quote:

Now Paul: I can understand you sympathizing with Arvind, yet as I read over his posts, and mine as well, I cannot escape the impression that mine have been more complete, more respectful, more honest, and perhaps most importantly, I have shown a much greater willingness to collaborate to solve any problem that might exist.


I appreciate your being courteous and I don't disagree you have been respectful and willing to help solve the problem. I don't think I implied otherwise though and, as I'm sure you understand, you're not the one who had computer problems after installing software. Personally I understand such irritation and I don't see anywhere where you personally have been abused. Notice he never said "David Bolton sucks" but that his experience with omnicycles leads him to feel that the software sucks - let's not forget there was indeed an issue with it. I don't think it's insulting to anyone to offer that critique, it's his opinion and whilst not as articulate or polite as most of your messages is not abusive or insulting.

I also don't think Arvind "hurled obscenities" at you. He quoted what a tech person told him about not you but the software and he even self edited himself. I can't imagine you are so sensitive as to find wtf or f**k obscene let alone hurled at you.

You were not attacked here even if software you are affiliated with and love was criticised. That can feel personal of course, but it usually isn't.

Either way after admitting there was a problem it's generally not a good idea to take a sour grapes route of insinuating they're maliciously out to take down competitors anyway.

I wish you a good day too.
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zoidsoft



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I also don't think Arvind "hurled obscenities" at you. He quoted what a tech person told him about not you but the software and he even self edited himself. I can't imagine you are so sensitive as to find wtf or f**k obscene let alone hurled at you.

You were not attacked here even if software you are affiliated with and love was criticised. That can feel personal of course, but it usually isn't.


Regardless of who it comes from if "f**k" isn't obscene on Skyscript, then I guess anything goes.
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Paul
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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curtis

I don't know any developers who don't pull all nighters from time to time both on private projects as well as in corporate settings. In any event I don't think I implied that you personally are not hard working nor software developers in general not hard working.

The reality here is someone had a legitimate problem with software and it comes across, whether you mean to or not, as condescending when you juxtapose the facts of this situation which both sides agree on with statements about how unreasonable people can be. If it's not related to this specific case it may be necessary to clarify that. People naturally assume there's context to what people say.

We've disagreed in the past about software development but as I said in my own post software development is a skill. Like all skills practice is necessary to hone those skills and some natural altitude likely sorts the wheat from the chaff. Like all skills, not everyone can do it well. I'm not disagreeing with that, I'm disagreeing with the connotation that this is somehow special or unique to development. I would find it much easier to sit with you and work for 16 hours on the Terran atlas than be handed a piano and asked to play a piece by Bach or Chopin or handed water pencils and paper and asked to do a sketch. There's lots of things not everyone can do. But in this instance what was asked for is not unreasonable. To paraphrase an old boss, if you enjoy solving difficult problems, are patient and have a knack for ordered logical thinking, go be a developer. If you want appreciation or praise go be a surgeon.

Quote:

Arvind was being abusive against the rules stated on this forum, but what did you do as moderator Paul?


Which rule and how was it breached? I don't see Arvind insulting or abusing anyone. Whilst I also would prefer the problem was communicated better I understand why Arvind gives his critique of the product as he did based on his experience with it. He even emphasises that this just his experience and so wants people to know so as to be cautious.
In addition, whilst I can moderate any forum my focus and remit is really the horary board. I seldom ever remove posts or need to put on the moderator hat at all and usually only will lock a thread if it gets too heated or abusive.

Quote:
I won't be lectured by someone who wasn't even alive when I was first introduced to programming.


See it as you want and take it as you want.

I sympathise with your personal situation and I understand never wanting to work for corporate interest ever again. I really do. My point was more that software developers give them selves a bad reputation as much as something like hacking does but at least this is changing where larger businesses can afford to invest in a more rigorous hiring process that promotes emotional intelligence and good teamwork and personality as much as altitude or skill.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
I don't know any developers who don't pull all nighters from time to time both on private projects as well as in corporate settings.


Not too many have done it for 3 months straight with no days off because they were so afraid of not having enough money to stay alive and eat. I was already homeless.
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DavidBolton



Joined: 11 Mar 2017
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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your insights, Paul. Perhaps I did overreact a bit - accusing me of having malicious intentions (i.e., of having created malware) may have caused me to question Arvind's objectives.

Your example of Internet Explorer was interesting indeed: I wonder if Microsoft changed their policy as soon as someone complained about it?

But hey, now that a new version of Omnicycles was put up at my site many days ago (one that uninstalls with ease, and that does not start up automatically) , perhaps this thread could move more towards the experiences of other users with it. And of course: if other weaknesses are found, I'm all ears!
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Paul
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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for being so reasonable David. Personally I don't think anyone involved here has any malicious intent at all. Hopefully this is a conclusion everyone will move toward.

Circling back to Curtis' point, creating software can be difficult and bug free code simply doesn't exist - human error assures it. Well done for responding so quickly and rectifying the problem.

As for the IE issue - this was raised within a larger study within a module focusing on issues like ethics, law and professional standards within information systems as a field. Asking questions like whether software development ought to be "reserved" in some way like how to practice law you must pass the bar or how the term "architect" requires you to be part of a regulated architects guild and making the point that software errors in a world of computer driven missiles, computer managed cars with autopilot and cruise control as well as all modern medical equipment and so on really does have the potential to endanger lives or cause large financial problems. I can't go into it all here but one of our case studies was the massive IT waste and mis-management of the NHS IT schemes here in the U.K. and also legal and ethical issues with Microsoft and IE. The backdrop was a case made focusing on anti competitive practices and the inclusion of windows media player branching out to IE in a subsequent case and how it's ingrained in the OS.
The outcome was a legal battle resulting in Microsoft being forced to show a prompt informing users of other options but not necessarily being removed from the OS raising questions about what constitutes ownership (I can buy a car and replace the wheels, I can't buy the OS and replace IE) as well as what we understand malware to be vs public perception as well as data and privacy issues that go along with all of this.

You can read more about the specific issue and subsequent outcome here:
http://ec.europa.eu/competition/publications/cpn/2010_1_12.pdf
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DavidBolton



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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting case, to be sure, Paul! Thanks for the link.

As an afterthought to your previous post: I do think that "malware" should be defined in rather precise terms, and not just refer to any software that a particular user may have issues with, for any piece of software could have its critics (due possibly to bugs), and if those critics cry "malware!" prematurely, it could well scare off other potential users, who would thus lose out on the opportunity of exploring some new program which could have had real value for them.

In the case of Microsoft, I don't know whether or not any malicious intent (such as the intention of somehow cornering the browser market) was concerned, though I know that we - a mere molecule on the software landscape when compared to Microsoft - have never had any malicious intent of any sort, as should be clear by now.

Yes, you are right. There is no software without a bug or two somewhere, or so it would seem. Yet we proceed undaunted, "killing" each bug as it appears as quickly as we can. Thus, I am glad on the one hand that Arvind pointed out those two flaws - though of course, his jumping to the conclusion of "malware" was out of line in my view: no doubt an expression of his frustration.

On an astrological note: there being 5 planets in Aries now - the sign opposite my MC, Mars and Neptune - and also, with Mars approaching the opposition to my Sun, I suppose it's no wonder that I encounter "opposition" somewhere or another - and better in a forum than getting hit by a car, or something of that variety!

Enjoy your day....

David
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Paul
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Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi David

Sometimes people define malware as intending to do something negative or harmful or malicious and badware for basically malware without intent to cause harm etc but nevertheless doing so. To the average user however malware seems to be more an umbrella or catch all term. Then of course there's adware and spyware and god knows what else. Most people just put it all under the umbrella of "unwanted, not easy to remove therefore malware". All these terms seem to overlap but are probably of little consequence to the average user. Sadly most of us have experienced malware of some sort that is difficult to remove and so "difficult to remove" can easily be seen as a synonym for malware rightly or wrongly.

The concept of intent featured a lot in this module I mentioned whose purpose was more to ask questions and get us thinking about these issues more broadly. In this case, from memory, an argument can be made that IE not being removable and not being clear for many regarding competition coupled with sending often private browsing habits with an identifiable licensed machine etc could be imagined as malware. This was used to segue into discussing spyware, data tracking, and profitability of our data for marketing etc. with speculation about software being profitable by way of automatic data mining and what constitutes "free" in this worldview. A few years on and we see debates like this more generally with "free" Windows 10 which tracks and sends so much user data even when you try to opt out of so much of it.

An interesting module and many of the points I made to Curtis actually came out of those conversations. This link of "can't remove therefore malware" idea just reminded me of it.

Being astrological for a moment it made me wonder about Pluto in Aquarius or an astrological age of Aquarius if we believe in it, where we see cryptocurrency like bitcoin and "free" meaning "not costing you directly but profitable to others to cost you indirectly" and how computing may change notions of currency and cost etc in the future - though this is wildly off topic now.

I look forward to downloading Omnicycles myself over the next couple of weeks and playing with it.

Maybe the astrologers who are software developers should come together to create more open source astrological software?
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The usual windows Add/Remove program was unable to un-install the pogram. I used the Geek uninstaller and then I had to use the - forced removal function to uninstall completely.The computer is working fine.


https://www.geekuninstaller.com/


It could be the three registry entries that are causing trouble.

PD
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Paul
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Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pankajdubey wrote:
The usual windows Add/Remove program was unable to un-install the pogram. I used the Geek uninstaller and then I had to use the - forced removal function to uninstall completely.The computer is working fine.


https://www.geekuninstaller.com/


It could be the three registry entries that are causing trouble.

PD


Thanks for letting us know PD.

Was this the older version or the latest version that you used?
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
pankajdubey wrote:
The usual windows Add/Remove program was unable to un-install the pogram. I used the Geek uninstaller and then I had to use the - forced removal function to uninstall completely.The computer is working fine.


https://www.geekuninstaller.com/


It could be the three registry entries that are causing trouble.

PD


Thanks for letting us know PD.


Was this the older version or the latest version that you used?



Hi Paul,

It is the latest version available on the website 16 Mar 2017 7.57PM msi file .

PD
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mwastrology



Joined: 25 Jul 2015
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Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can I just say how awful these types of threads are to read?

Arguments between programmers or managers of programmers really aren't nice. They're almost as bad as arguments between astrologers.

Reading each post I felt like I could sympathise with something in every single one of them without exception.

I feel awful for the original poster, whose computer was so messed up. I hope all is right again now. How many hours of our lives have we lost trying to fix these machines, these machines which are so liberating but so infuriating? So good at making us productive and so good at robbing us of productivity? They drive us to delight and despair.

I'm not a programmer but I try hard to sympathise with what it's like to be criticised from every direction no matter what you do. I know what it's like to put in countless hours over weeks and months to something which anyone can casually rubbish or dismiss in less than a minute.

I am a computer user and like everyone else I've almost thrown computers and printers and scanners and DVD drives and god knows what else out of the window in sheer frustration. Few things in life can drive you to despair like computers and software. We've all been there.

Like most of you I suspect, I'm a customer of all sorts of software creators, from lone programmers to large corporates and everything in between.

I bought Omnicycles when it was brand new over a decade ago. I never uninstalled it so can't comment on that (my computer came to the end of its life 2-3 years later and I didn't install Omnicycles on my replacement). I can comment on the two businessmen's conduct at the time though. They seemed to me to be very genuine in their intent and their customer service was very human, and absolutely top notch.

I own a lot of paid-for astrology software and the customer service from one company to the next can vary from basic to superb, from robotic to warmly human, from ignorant to understanding.

In creating something - software, music, a painting, an article, anything at all - we can easily lose perspective because of working our fingers to the bone, or becoming enthused with an idea which we think is great but others might think is blah, and other reasons besides. It's easily done. We're only human.

On a practical level I agree with the suggestions that uninstalling should be as easy as possible and automatic start-ups should be optional not pre-set at installation. Computers should let us be in the driving seat IMO. I'm glad that DavidBolton and his business colleague have made those alterations, but not surprised because they were always responsive to me.

In closing I'd like to extend my fullest empathy as a fellow computer user to the original poster, Arvind.

MW
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carriere.francois



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Posted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Mr Bolton,

Thank you for Omnicycles. I have just downloaded andinstalled it. There is a registration Menu which tells us it will be fully functional once registered. Did you offered the group only a demo or a fully functiunal software? And do we need the regstration number?

Thank you and best regards,
François Carrière
Montréal (Québec)
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