I think Microsoft would like to discuss that idea with you. From 1986 to 1999, Microsoft made us all "Beta Testers" with the horrid piece of crap they called "Windows". (Thank God they released XP!) Electronic arts is really bad for this and people suck it up, where else are they going to go? This is pretty much the norm in the computing world. When a big product has to ship on time, sometimes spending the necessary time to do the QA just can't be afforded, so they cover 99 percent of the possibilities and hope that the other 1 percent don't raise their head until they have had more time to test and fix. I'm not saying that is a good thing, that's just a business reality.
Heck, even my BMW has had a few firmware updates done to it by the dealer to address issues which they didn't catch when they initially wrote the software, but the results of these bugs were minor.. Like backfiring when cold or the clattering wastegate... all fixed with software. Heck, even Toyota had to release a firmware update because certain cars would stall during certain kinds of conditions. If BMW and Toyota can't even get it right with cars, how can we expect any better from a machine which is a fraction of the price? In all honesty, we can't. We can only hope that the software isn't as sophisticated so there won't be as many bugs.
Software can be an extremely difficult beast to tame, but like anything.. as time goes on, imperfections are ironed out, bugs are found and fixed.. Windows 7 is over 50 million lines of code.. That's 50 million chances for something to be wrong. Microsoft is always constantly patching it.. To put that in perspective... 19 years ago, Windows NT 3.51 was only 1 million lines of code... It needed to be patched too and it did have its bugs, but the need to patch it wasn't as frequent.
I'm sure that La Spaziale won't be shipping a machine with beta-quality buggy firmware, there's too much at risk if they do it. (Unless they are planning on pre-shipping a few of them to very willing beta testers! <AHEM!>) I'm sure that their QA department covered all the very important bases. Especially considering that they routinely ship commercial machines out which have firmware which is just as sophisticated.
I think the only reason why they would consider allowing the user to do firmware upgrades is to add additional functionality to the machine as time goes on and they can invest money for developers to write it. Or, fix glaring bugs which may not be show stoppers, but could be annoyances. (Like the machine refusing to power up via the timer on February 29th for example. I've seen it happen with servers!)
I will say that if La Spaz came to me and said, "Well, we'll give you a machine on permanent loan if you can give us your feedback, find bugs, etc.." ... and if it was flaky, unreliable, acted funny, etc.. I wouldn't mind... as long as I knew that they were listening to me and were addressing my issues.. Now, paying $3000 for it and finding out that it doesn't power up by itself on February 29th, I can probably live with it and suck it up. Waking up in the morning and getting an "Error 059F" after hitting the double cup button would ruin my day, especially if it persisted through a "reboot" and actually wasn't caused by anything mechanical, electrical or otherwise.
There would be carnage if I was told, "Yeah, an Error 059F only happens if you press the double cup button at 7:03 AM on even days of the month.. Our engineers do not consider it to be a priority bug at this time...."
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
Posted Fri Oct 19, 2012, 9:31pm Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
The thing is that you have got someplace else to go, and La Spaziale is neither EA nor M$ - when you're selling to a niche part of something that's already a niche market, you can't afford to ship it with buggy firmware. Bad word of mouth in these internet days can kill a product pretty quickly - word gets around FAST.
Plus, if it's not making a difference in the cup (and so far, there's no evidence that it does), the only reason to buy it is to have the "latest and greatest" even if it's all eye candy, smoke and mirrors. You may be willing to spend your dollars on blinky lights for the sake of blinky lights, but I've already got enough of those around the house.
diggi Senior Member Joined: 28 Nov 2011 Posts: 383 Location: Halifax, NS Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2 Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,... Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Sat Oct 20, 2012, 12:12am Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
Why all the negative thoughts about a Port for firmware upgrades? My audio receiver has one. I havn't used it. Will I need to in the future? Who knows. I see this as an important part of QA when purchasing a high priced piece of electrical equipment. This is a positive; not a negative. This machine looks impressive. There has been no feedback on it here from anyone who has used it. Why all the doom and gloom. This is a product from a company with a good reputation. They are pushing the envelope here; something we appreciate. Let time and experience dictate if it is a flop, not a hesitancy to accept something different, with the potential to advance technology here. Looks like a great upgrade. Time will tell if this statement holds true.
germantownrob Senior Member Joined: 2 Dec 2007 Posts: 2,151 Location: Philadelphia Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,... Drip: Brazen Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sat Oct 20, 2012, 5:46am Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
Chris' FB page mentions downloadable software updates as well as downloadable brew profiles.
IMO I don't think Chris' would just redesign the shell with some fancier controls and some LED lights and call it a dream machine but the lack of real info on the machine only leaves us speculating on what it will really have.
I used to hate technology in cars and stayed with pre 70s cars for a very long time, now I love that I can plug in a computer and re tune a car in moments and I have not had any issues in years except for the same mechanical weak links that fail when pushing so much horsepower through the drive chain. On the other hand I have thrown out multiple digital scales yet still have a triple beam 30 years later working perfectly.
To me, it appears to be a machine aimed at the person who wants an espresso machine in their home that friends will "ooh" and "aah" over, with just enough "DIY" (you are, after all, going to still have to grind, dose, distribute and tamp) factor so that they can consider themselves a barista. It is, possibly, intended to be just one step short of a super-auto. It's for people who want, on a certain level, somebody else to make the decisions about how their espresso is extracted because they lack the knowledge or confidence to do it 100% for themselves. They're not interested in developing their own profiles, based on their own tastes. The deep end of the pool is not where they're comfortable. I realize that this is all just my opinion based on a few pictures and some internet rumors, but I've seen artisanship diluted, devalued, and destroyed in enough other areas by the advent of technologies that make something that's "good enough" for mass consumption (AutoTune, anyone?) to welcome it into yet another area of my life.
But I'm the kind of guy who likes to be in control of the whole operation. So it's not for me. If I were spending that kind of money on a machine, I'd be buying a Londinium or a Strega, or one of Doug's restored vintage levers.
Couldn't have guessed that from the dozens of other responses you gave. That's fine. Seems weird why you're so interested in this thread if you're not interested in the machine; I just hope you're not out to bash this machine no matter what the result. Don't take this the wrong way, but try not to make this a negative experience for those who are truely interested in learning more about this new machine. We get that you don't like technology (Edit: when it comes to espresso machines). That's fine and a personal preference, so nobody would expect you to like this machine if that is the case. I could care less what level of technology is used, if it means an improvement in how the shot tastes. Of course feel free to ignore my statements (I'm certainly no authority here), I just see this going as a back and fourth where no exchange of information is actually taking place.
lowellw2 Senior Member Joined: 4 Apr 2010 Posts: 42 Location: Austin TX Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Breville BES900XL Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:10am Subject: Re: New La Spaziale 'Dream Machine' from CCS???
I do not profess to know anything other than the sketchy information we have gotten on the this revision of the Vivaldi, but it appears to me from my review of the available posts and CCS's facebook page that the discussion and concerns about "beta" software is itself premature. The machine shown is a prototype apparently sent to CCS for them to do the "beta testing - not for the users to do the "beta" testing much as a lot of software companies seem to find acceptable. I doubt CCS will release the machine until they are quite happy with the software setup. I also believe (hope may be the better word) that the "port" is there not only so possible needed changes can be made, but more importantly so that the user will be able to develop their own profiles to suit their tastes. I do not see the Vivaldi ever developing into a pseudo-automatic machine. I partly come to this opinion as it appears the brew pressure will be displayed on the LCD. Possibly the controls next to the display will allow pressure adjustment during the pull (much like a lever aficionado with the expertise can control the extraction pressure). Just my thoughts to advance the discussion. I'm clearly starting to get my pile of cash together to buy one of these. I sold my Mini v1 a few months ago and while I get great espresso from my "software" controlled BDB, I'll be happy to pass it down to my daughter if this thing has any profiling capability at or near $2500. I think you would need to go another $5k to even think of that except for the paddle GS-3.
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