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TrainController Ver 10 - RR & Co - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sat Nov 12th, 2022 07:56 am
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DaveH_Murcia
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Hi all,

Recently had a message from John in Vancouver highlighting the fact that version 10 is now available and upgrade prices are "reasonable" at the moment. So off I went to take a look.

The prices are what I would expect and there is an argument for staying with the latest version in case of problems and general assistance on here. Then there is a but - the new version has internet only licensing.

I would be intesterested in other peoples views on this. Happy to validate an upgrade/new version via the web but, according to the site, each time you start the program it has to have an internet connection to authenticate the licence. I personally have a few issues with this, although I do see the benefit of easily transferring the "licence" between PC's. My concerns are:

1. My internet is via line of site dish and can be down for hours at a time so I can't use my layout at that time?
2. Taking a layout to a show - you would have to somehow link the PC to your mobile phone (sure we can all do that - err no) to get at the internet - that should be fun at Warley or similar.
3. Lets say Freiwald software goes bust or stops trading - does that mean the next time you try to use TrainController it doesn't work and your investment is scrap. I know the site says the final "upgrade" would disable licence checking but that relies on you downloading that upgrade whilst it is available - in the case of ceasing trading that might not be available for long.

I would be interested in other peoples thoughts.



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 Posted: Sat Nov 12th, 2022 02:49 pm
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BCDR
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Those is who use Templot are used to this approach. Big positive for me is it does ensure you get the latest version with any improvements/debugs in real time.

Nigel



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 Posted: Sat Nov 12th, 2022 08:57 pm
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Sol
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I have an objection to many services that requires one to have
 A: Internet &/or
B: a mobile phone


yes I know that is the way the world is progressing but sometimes "progress" is not "progress" IMHO

Like I have heard that a couple of big businesses here in Australia will not supply a paper receipt for a purchase but only a digital one which makes it a tad hard to pin on the notice board !



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Ron
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 Posted: Sat Nov 12th, 2022 10:20 pm
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Petermac
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I'm a total dinosaur - I like paper !!

Yes, the internet is fantastic, amazing and wonderful but, as you've highlighted Dave, it does have its drawbacks.  A few years ago, here in rural France, we had a severe storm which brought down several main power lines.  We were without power, and therefore internet, for almost a week.  The small generator we have for such occasions could have supplied enough power to do so if I had wanted.  SWMBO insisted that we use it to run the freezers instead - in spite of the fact that the local mayor had organised a large tractor driven generator for the village hall and offered to transport freezers to there.  Anyone without a generator made excellent use of this free service.

Similarly, whilst very much improved now, we regularly used to have telephone lines brought down in storms.  Not sure if the lines are now better protected, the trees have been better lopped or, more noticable, we just don't appear to get those violent storms nowadays.

Whatever, relying on the internet for survival is, IMHO, not a good idea..............   



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 Posted: Sat Nov 12th, 2022 11:15 pm
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RFS
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I have upgraded to V10 and I've not had any problems with having internet verification. But then I do have a full fibre gigabit internet connection to the house, the layout is not moveable, and the railway PC has a wired connection to the fibre router.

I do appreciate the risks but I consider them remote. Freiwald has said that if the business failed he would unlock the code but I suspect this is unlikely given how many licences there now are.
 
One point to bear in mind is that upgrade prices are reasonable now, but only till December 31st. From January 1st upgrading to V10 from V9 will cost the equivalent of 50% of the full licence fee. Freiwald is desperate to rid himself of the management of USB sticks, and this is why he's doing it. 



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Robert
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 Posted: Sun Nov 13th, 2022 05:17 pm
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John Dew
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RFS wrote: I have upgraded to V10 and I've not had any problems with having internet verification. But then I do have a full fibre gigabit internet connection to the house, the layout is not moveable, and the railway PC has a wired connection to the fibre router.

I do appreciate the risks but I consider them remote. Freiwald has said that if the business failed he would unlock the code but I suspect this is unlikely given how many licences there now are.
 
One point to bear in mind is that upgrade prices are reasonable now, but only till December 31st. From January 1st upgrading to V10 from V9 will cost the equivalent of 50% of the full licence fee. Freiwald is desperate to rid himself of the management of USB sticks, and this is why he's doing it. 

Hi Dave

Robert’s reply covers both my reasons for upgrading and my experience having done so. You only need an internet connection each time you boot up Train Controller. It is totally seamless - no passwords or even a keystroke. Once started it doesnt matter if the internet connection is lost - which happens from time to time in my basement Train room

Best wishes



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 Posted: Mon Nov 14th, 2022 06:31 pm
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John Dew
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Hi Dave

My apologies - I was misinformed and may have mislead you.

TC has to remain connected to the internet throughout the operating session.

Here is a recent response from Juergen Freiwald :


TrainController requires access to the Internet the whole time during operation with a connected model railroad. This does not necessarily mean that it will be constantly accessing the Internet during this period, but it must be able to do it.

If you cannot or do not want to meet this requirement, I recommend not to purchase an upgrade.

Since you're paying cash for the upgrade, I wouldn't rely on testing or observing actual traffic. We will not publish details for obvious reasons. However, access during the session can vary from session to session and can be completely changed at any time by server-side settings.

Again: The only important thing is that TrainController has access to the Internet the whole time during operation with a connected model railroad.

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Best regards / Mit freundlichem Gruss
Freiwald Software
Railroad & Co.






Once again my apologies! :oops:



John



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 Posted: Mon Nov 14th, 2022 10:01 pm
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Sol
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Well that would stop me from using V10 as my PC in the train room is a completely stand alone beast & so far only used for the fast clock
http://www.dotric.com.au/automation/fastclock.htm



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Ron
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 Posted: Tue Nov 15th, 2022 01:46 pm
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RFS
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What Freiwald said in that post somewhat contradicts his own FAQ: 

“What happens if the Internet connection is lost during operation?

 This has no effect on the current session. Even if the Internet connection is lost for hours, the program and operations on the model railway continue to run undisturbed.”


I understand that when you start TC, it "signs on" to the Freiwald server which locks that licence to that PC. When you close TC it "signs off" so that you are now free to use that licence on another PC. If you have a failure during operation that prevents the sign-off process (eg internet loss, PC crash, power failure) then your licence remains locked to that PC. You can restart TC on that PC with no problem, but not on another until you have properly signed out on the first one. 



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 Posted: Tue Nov 15th, 2022 06:36 pm
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John Dew
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RFS wrote: What Freiwald said in that post somewhat contradicts his own FAQ: 

“What happens if the Internet connection is lost during operation?

 This has no effect on the current session. Even if the Internet connection is lost for hours, the program and operations on the model railway continue to run undisturbed.”


I understand that when you start TC, it "signs on" to the Freiwald server which locks that licence to that PC. When you close TC it "signs off" so that you are now free to use that licence on another PC. If you have a failure during operation that prevents the sign-off process (eg internet loss, PC crash, power failure) then your licence remains locked to that PC. You can restart TC on that PC with no problem, but not on another until you have properly signed out on the first one. 


Thanks Robert. That makes me feel somewhat better - I knew I had read something along those lines



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 Posted: Tue Nov 15th, 2022 10:57 pm
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gdaysydney
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Sol wrote: Well that would stop me from using V10 as my PC in the train room is a completely stand alone beast & so far only used for the fast clock
http://www.dotric.com.au/automation/fastclock.htm

Interesting piece of software - thanks for posting the link -  out of interest do you run it in conjunction with the TC clock?

Re TC version 10 - the jury is still out - I'm not too keen on being in a situation where I can only "play" trains when there is an internet connection available  - especially as I use TC as a control panel. 

John , is it possible that you could do an experiment by logging into TC and then turning the internet off on your PC and see how long TC will run before you get a message saying you are no longer licensed or something similar?
 



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Dave
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 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2022 01:42 am
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John Dew
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I will try and do that tomorrow Dave



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 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2022 07:35 pm
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Martin Wynne
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BCDR wrote: Those is who use Templot are used to this approach. Big positive for me is it does ensure you get the latest version with any improvements/debugs in real time.Hi Nigel


Hi Nigel,

Templot is not quite the same. It is free to use so there is no licence to check.

But it does connect to the internet at each start-up, and it will complain if it can't connect (but continue running).

The reason for the internet check is to make sure you are running the latest version.

The terms of use for my Templot program require you to use only the latest version. As soon as I release a new version you are not permitted to continue using an older one.

The reason for that is that I got fed up with some users going on using an out-of-date version for years. Then when someone asked a question about the program on a forum such as this, they would pop up with the wrong answer. Or they would do demos at exhibitions, or write articles about Templot, all based on long out-of-date information. Templot has been available for 23 years now, and has changed a lot in that time.

For a beginner at anything, the wrong answer is worse than no answer at all.

cheers,
Martin.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2022 08:47 pm
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John Dew
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gdaysydney wrote:
Re TC version 10 - the jury is still out - I'm not too keen on being in a situation where I can only "play" trains when there is an internet connection available  - especially as I use TC as a control panel. 

John , is it possible that you could do an experiment by logging into TC and then turning the internet off on your PC and see how long TC will run before you get a message saying you are no longer licensed or something similar?
 

Hi Dave

As promised - I started TC at 10.30 am, I then disconnected the internet and continued working or playing with TC for the next two hours - I programmed and tested a series of schedules without any interruption or messages.

I connected back to the internet at 12.30 and then turned TC off . After a few minutes I turned it back on and all was as I would have expected.

In short, having turned it on with an internet connection it then appears to work normally without a connection.

I havent tried to turn on or off TC without a connection.

Hope this helps



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 Posted: Wed Nov 16th, 2022 10:11 pm
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gdaysydney
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Thanks John,
It would appear that despite his statements Friewald is taking a pragmatic approach and I suspect that the way the system works is that a login will only be checked  if another computer attempts to login with the same code.
So for "honest" users TC will run very happily once logged in as there is no chance of the authentication code being used by another computer. 
 



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 Posted: Thu Nov 17th, 2022 05:33 pm
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RFS
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I initially installed the 64bit version and ran happily for about an hour. I then started moving some windows around as they were not well aligned, and got an Appcrash where TC failed and was terminated by Windows. All trains kept on running until I pressed emergency stop and all train positions were not updated. Took a while to sort that out! 

Seems the problem is with the 64bit version. I re-installed using the 32bit version which does not have this problem and have been running with no issue for 2-3 weeks now. Freiwald is investigating the 64bit problem.

However, what this means is that if you don't close down, then TC manages that. I restarted TC after the crash with no problem. So it would seem you only need to be connected to the internet at signon. Of course, if you next want to sign on to a different PC you need to have signed off the previous one first. 



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 Posted: Thu Nov 17th, 2022 11:57 pm
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gdaysydney
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RFS wrote: I initially installed the 64bit version and ran happily for about an hour. I then started moving some windows around as they were not well aligned, and got an Appcrash where TC failed and was terminated by Windows. All trains kept on running until I pressed emergency stop and all train positions were not updated. Took a while to sort that out! 

Seems the problem is with the 64bit version. I re-installed using the 32bit version which does not have this problem and have been running with no issue for 2-3 weeks now. Freiwald is investigating the 64bit problem.


Hi Robert,
Thanks for your post -
two questions if you don't mind
  • is the 64 bit version faster than the 32bit version?
  • Are you using any of the new features?  - I have an established layout so it is unlikely that I would use any of the improvements, such as the block setup. The facilities feature looks interesting but I am not sure whether I would change/delete  all my current "coding"  just  to facilitate the new features.
As you can see I am still wavering ....




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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2022 01:28 pm
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RFS
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I don't believe there's any speed difference between 32bit and 64bit. As I'm running Windows11 which is 64bit only, I thought 64bit TC would be fine, but it seems not. You can install both 32bit and 64bit together but I'm sticking with 32bit for now which is what Freiwald is currently recommending. 
Not using any of the new features yet - I mainly updated to keep current and needed to do so before year end when the upgrade prices rise sharply. 



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 Posted: Fri Nov 18th, 2022 11:33 pm
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Thanks Robert



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 Posted: Mon Nov 21st, 2022 09:27 am
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gdaysydney
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Finally took the plunge into V10.

I felt guilty cutting what was a permanent fixture in my train room PC since 2008!   It had never given me any trouble!
RIP my old friend - sorry for the somewhat savage way to end your days and glad you put up a fight - took me a good five minutes to cut through with my Dremel !



At least I now have a spare USB port ......



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