Key req'd for firmware update on a BCD396T ?

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Oldglide

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Can anyone tell me why a KEY is required for the latest firmware update on a 396T, I've never seen this before. Usually you just get the latest update and download it. Can't find any info on the reason for this. Are all Uniden digital scanners like this?
 

kilowa22

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In the future major updates to Uniden Scanners will be available for a fee The use of a unique firmware ID and unit serial number will help Uniden collect a fee everytime a update is applied.
 

UPMan

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To quote myself:
Why Do We Need Your ESN?

As we create new firmware loads for your scanner, we sometimes use information licensed to us by third parties. For those updates, we need to keep careful track of which scanners do and don’t include the update. We might also need to charge for some of these updates in the future, but don’t worry, I’ll make sure that any for-pay update has features you’ll be glad to pay for. Oh, and this first major update is free!
To manage this process, we are setting up a system that will create a registration key for any major update we come out with (a major update changes the first digit of the firmware version…right now we are still in Version 1, but Version 2 is on the horizon and I can almost glimpse a Version 3).
Since the registration key will be generated from your scanner’s ESN, and will be unique for every scanner, getting your ESN right is critical for making your update work (if you use a key for another scanner or don’t enter a key, your scanner will not work until you successfully apply the update with the key).
 

jackj

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Yep, that's what the key is for. Uniden doesn't make enough money selling radios so they will now charge you to update/fix software. I bought a 996T a couple of years ago and I have updated the firmware three times now. Not to get new features but to try to get the radio to work with P25 systems. If I would have had to pay for the updates then I would have mailed the radio back and demanded my money back. All manufacturers have an obligation to supply products that work as advertised when purchased. Failing that, they should be legally responsible to fix the problem at no cost to the buyer. So far, Uniden has done that but if they start charging for software fixes then they will have lost me as a customer forever. I also will make sure that all of my friends and family know about how they treat their customers.
 

rdale

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but if they start charging for software fixes then they will have lost me as a customer forever. I also will make sure that all of my friends and family know about how they treat their customers.
Shouldn't you hold back on the whining until they actually DO something you disagree with? So far it's all stuff you are pulling out of thin air that is getting you upset, it has nothing to do with reality...
 

Oldglide

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Interesting concept, fees for product improvement & licensing

This little story really has two sides. 1) as jackj said paying for a product to work right is absurd, but as rdale said it hasn't happened yet and may never. 2) If you have to pay a license fee for items you use in your products, you don't charge the end users on a "pay as you use" format, even more absurd, you build those fees into the cost of the product and give the updates to the end users free. Where's the planning and PR dept., asleep at the switch? After over 30 years with the largest consumer electronics company on the planet, we paid LOTS of fees to LOTS of people. The cost of doing business, a cost which was built in to the price to the end user. I understand the concept of paying license fees. What I don't understand is where is the information showing how many times an update was downloaded, type of update, for what model and for what period of time. I assume this info can or is being retrieved from the website? This info would allow a more efficient way to determine these costs, or if you pay a fixed amount for production, the most common way, then "pay as you use" is triple absurd.
 
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jackj

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Not from the air

Shouldn't you hold back on the whining until they actually DO something you disagree with? So far it's all stuff you are pulling out of thin air that is getting you upset, it has nothing to do with reality...
The info I posted is from Uniden's web site. I'm not going to waste my time looking for it but I believe it was in a FAQ section regarding the ESN update. They said that they were going to start charging for firmware updates, their words not mine.
 

bassman21

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I just updated the firmware on the BCD396T I bought for my dad a few months back. Well I bought it for myself, but I decided to get the 369XT a few weeks later and gave the 396T to my dad. Anyway I had to register it and supply the ESN, checksum and got the key for free. It was a little confusing at first, but I figured it out. The way I understand it unless something has changed you leave the key blank if upgrading from V3.00.00 or 3.01.00. If upgrading from an earlier version you have to supply a key. It seems stupid to me, but I think they wanted to make sure all the updates come from their website. I personally don't see them charging for firmware updates. Like most manufactures I think they will just stop supporting the older products.

BTW when I updated the firmware on the XT I left the key blank. I'm guessing the key idea is something they did for a short while. Again correct me if I'm wrong.
 

rdale

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As the installer notes, the key is only required for major updates (v1 to v2) and not minor ones (v1.1 to v1.2)
 

Oldglide

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More on the key requirement, Corporate IT departments

I left this out of my previous post. Uniden should consider the amount of money they're spending for IT services to run this key program. Case in point. I just bought a used 396T. Went to "My Uniden" to register the unit and get the key. The individual who sold it to me included their "My Uniden" page. It had already been registered and a key was generated. When I registered the unit, same S/N, same ESN etc. they gave me a new key. Waste of money! I wonder how many times this has been done? If Uniden's IT dept. is anything like most corporate ones they're probably charging each division $50 to $100 a keystroke. Ask them to write a new program for the system and it will be at least 5 figures. The only department that make any money.They charge each division for their services, their costs go up, the division costs go up. If you think these costs are small, guess again.
 

rdale

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How is it a waste of money for an automated system to generate you a key? Do you understand how computers operate?
 

KE4ZNR

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I left this out of my previous post. Uniden should consider the amount of money they're spending for IT services to run this key program. Case in point. I just bought a used 396T. Went to "My Uniden" to register the unit and get the key. The individual who sold it to me included their "My Uniden" page. It had already been registered and a key was generated. When I registered the unit, same S/N, same ESN etc. they gave me a new key. Waste of money! I wonder how many times this has been done? If Uniden's IT dept. is anything like most corporate ones they're probably charging each division $50 to $100 a keystroke. Ask them to write a new program for the system and it will be at least 5 figures. The only department that make any money.They charge each division for their services, their costs go up, the division costs go up. If you think these costs are small, guess again.


Oy vey. While I am sure Uniden is glad that you are concerned about the make up of their I.T. Department I can assure you they are doing just fine.
On a related note: I wish my company paid me "$50 to $100 a keystroke" for all of the work I do in my I.T. position. Having been in the I.T. world for awhile now I can safely assure you that no one is getting paid anywhere near that in any corporation in this economy.
Marshall KE4ZNR
 

jackj

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Marshall, I think he is referring to the cost the IT Department charges back other departments for software. No IT department I know of actually writes software, they act as a purchasing agent and supply commercially available programs. And I think his figure is a little high, they will typically take a markup on the software costs but all of that is just accounting, no actual money changes hands within the company.
 

Oldglide

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These costs are not unusual

The giant multi-national corp I worked for didn't farm out any IT work, they didn't trust anyone. The dept. had at least 100 employees at any given time, sometimes even more along with 5 or 6 locals to support 5 regional locations plus corp HQ. Not to mention 5 or 6 different systems for inventory, sales, supply chain etc. Huge salaries accounted for even more cost. Maybe that's why 300 of us lost our jobs and they closed all the regional locations, nah, the giant IT dept. is still there. "Yes Virgina $50 to $100 a keystroke is real"
 

scanchs

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Sorry about your job...

Maybe that's why 300 of us lost our jobs and they closed all the regional locations, nah, the giant IT dept. is still there.
Oldglide,

Sorry, but you just sound angry because you lost your job and now you need someone to blame, so who better than "the evil IT department". It's far more likely that you lost your job for economic reasons that were driven from outside of your company. I don't know if you've heard, but this has happened to a huge number of people in the past 3 years. I have also worked for a couple of "giant multi-national" corporations in my lifetime, and I can assure you that if IT departments were charging back $50 to $100 a keystroke, that would have been extremely unusual. In the corporations I worked for, the controlling departments and auditors would have had a hey-day if any department was charging back more than 1 or 2 percent over actual cost. Why? Because, that's the only way any company can possibly stay in business in the current world-based economic environment. I'm truly sorry that you lost your job, but you need to focus on a more realistic reason for your loss. It is highly doubtful that an out of control IT department cost you your job... :roll:

ScanCHS
 

Oldglide

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Quick to judge

Angry, I think not. I'm retired and loving every minute of it. The point of the post was to show how bloated IT depts operate and the absurd notion of charging for firmware updates. Are you still working? If so, too bad.
 
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scanchs

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I wasn't judging...

Angry, I think not. I'm retired and loving every minute of it. The point of the post was to show how bloated IT depts operate and the absurd notion of charging for firmware updates. Are you still working? If so, too bad.
Oldglide,

Sorry, I wasn't being judgmental. Your comments really did sound angry to me. I was actually trying to be helpful. If the situation you described wasn't an exaggeration, then it was extremely uncommon in my experience. I'm actually quite happy that you're retired and loving it. As for me, I'm one of those lucky people who actually enjoys their job, so there's no need to feel sorry for me. I'll retire some day when I stop having fun. Oh, you may want to consider moving South for your retirement. I'm originally from the mid-West (many years ago), and it's my biased opinion that it's much nicer down here in the sunny South. I hope you have a great day! :D

ScanCHS
 

MetalCarnage

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Oldglide,

I'm actually quite happy that you're retired and loving it. As for me, I'm one of those lucky people who actually enjoys their job, so there's no need to feel sorry for me. I'll retire some day when I stop having fun.
ScanCHS
This thread seems to have gone completely off topic, but i guess i will put in my two cents to on the off topic portion

I agree ScanCHS, i feel sorry for Oldglide, his posts paint a very negative working life.

I also have no desire to retire, my company grew by about 30% during the recession, has one of the best benefits/investment packages in canada, and lets me do a job i love waking up to everyday (plus i got paid damn well for what i do). I dont think i would want to pull any freedom 55 even if i could, if you can go to work, be apart of something really cool, and get paid for it, why would you want to?

I know you stated your postings werent angry Oldglide, but i am pretty sure if you took a poll of 100 people, 99 would say you suffer from "disgruntled ex-employee"

...and as far as the whole key thing goes, as long as Uniden isnt charging you to fix something that should work from the get go (if the box says it scans P25, and it doesnt, and they charge you for a fix that makes it work, yes, that is wrong)....but if they came out with an upgrade that had a feature that WASNT advertised as part of the original product (they come out with an update that scans ProVoice :) ) then they are free to charge you, because even if its using the radio you already had, its no a feature you bought.

If you buy a car with the cheapest options, you cant go back to the dealership later and say you want the more expensive options just because they are available at free of charge :)
 

scanchs

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Back on topic...

...and as far as the whole key thing goes, as long as Uniden isnt charging you to fix something that should work from the get go (if the box says it scans P25, and it doesnt, and they charge you for a fix that makes it work, yes, that is wrong)....but if they came out with an upgrade that had a feature that WASNT advertised as part of the original product (they come out with an update that scans ProVoice :) ) then they are free to charge you, because even if its using the radio you already had, its no a feature you bought.

If you buy a car with the cheapest options, you cant go back to the dealership later and say you want the more expensive options just because they are available at free of charge :)
+1

MetalCarnage,

Thanks for getting us back on topic. Your comments regarding the key thing are right on target. UPMan never said Uniden would charge for updates that were released to correct bugs. In fact, I recall him saying something about making sure that firmware upgrades that were of the charge type would have one or more new features that people would want to pay for. I, for one, would still like to see those kinds of updates offered for a reasonable charge. :)

Also, thanks for your off topic comments as well. It's good to hear that I'm not the only person who enjoys his work. As you no doubt know, it generally boils down to keeping a positive attitude... :D

ScanCHS
 

ausscan

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Guess its something we won't have to worry about in Australia as we have only had a couple of updates of the firmware, ever.
 
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