But First These Announcements...
Item 1: Last week we held the first Helix Education Center training event in over 4 years. It went very well, and we've received requests for training in other locales. If you're interested in attending a future Helix Education Center field training event, please send an email with the subject "Training." We're particularly interested in whether you might be interested in seeing future educational events take place in a resort setting (and please suggest some good ones) or tied in with Macworld Expo in San Francisco and/or New York (or both!).
Item 2: In December we requested comments regarding our plan to phase out free telephone support and institute a paid technical support program. There have been exactly ZERO comments sent in so far. As such, we are preparing to ramp up paid technical support. As quickly as we can, we will post the details of our plan on this site. We'll then wait a week to analyze any criticisms before implementing the plan. In the meantime, get ready... you've been warned.
Confronting An Old Nemesis: Misinformation
3 March 2003--It never ceases to amaze us how much incorrect information regarding Macs in general and Helix in particular is just accepted as fact, regardless of the source. The release of new machines from Apple that "won't boot OS 9" has caused another round of needless anxiety in some segments of the Helix community. As one Helix user put it...
As you probably know, none of Apple's new line of computers will run OS 9. They are all OS X exclusive. I'm already seeing a lot of demand for the new machines and, really for the first time, the need for an OS X native Helix is being felt. Before, it would have been 'nice' but it wasn't really necessary or a problem for customers. Now it's pretty quickly becoming a priority out here. All of a sudden we've entered the 'sooner-the-better' zone and customers are beginning to look restless.
Reading messages like this give us an uneasy feeling, as it looks like we'll be spending a lot of time "correcting the record" in the months to come. The writer is absolutely certain that the new Macs can't run OS 9 applications like Helix. This is just plain wrong. Helix will run on these new Macs, so if you're a business or an individual using Helix who would like to buy a new machine from Apple, but worry about not being able to run Helix, get back in the car, on the phone, or online and buy the machine. If you're a Helix professional, upgrade your client's to Helix 5.1 and put your customer's minds at ease.
Here it is in black and white...
Helix 5.1 runs in Classic Mode under OS X, version 10.1 and higher. You can use Helix RADE, Engine, Client, Update Collection, and Helix Utility without fear. There are some people who claim you can even run Helix Server under OS X, but there's not much real point in doing so. (If you are upgrading Macs, you must have at least one older Machine that is powerful enough to designate as your 'new' Helix Server workstation.) The only issue we are aware of is that Helix RADE will occasionally tell you it is running out of disk space: ignore that message, click the "Continue" button, and keep working; no harm will come.
Helix 5.1 has been in the public's hands for well over two months now. Apart from the continuing problem of the occasional user who has toruble downloading the installers, Helix 5.1 is working well and making friends just about everywhere it goes. If you are having problems getting Helix to work on a new machine, perhaps you're using an older version of Helix. Only Helix 5.1 has been tested and certified to work with Mac OS 9.2.2, the "Classic Mode" OS that runs under OS X. If you are using an earlier version of Helix, update now. It's free for all owners of previous 5.x licenses - just download it and use your existing keys. If you are running Helix 4.5.5 or earlier, you can upgrade to Helix 5.1 via our web store or by phone.
Now, back to the other implication of that letter...
The writer seemed to think it was necessary to impress upon us the importance of having an OS X native version of Helix ASAP. We know. Believe us, if we didn't understand the pressing need for an OS X native Helix, we'd have all gone home long ago. We've been trying to communicate that to you via the web site, but now that there's been some fairly steady communication for about eight months, it seems like we've lulled some of you back to sleep and you've missed all the "here's what we are going to do to get to OS X" messages.
Of course we know how important this is. We've been working to that end for months already. We can also now state that we have a firm plan in place to get there and the only thing holding us back now is funding. We've done everything but get on our knees and beg for upgrades to get our user base stirred up to the same degree. Keep those orders coming, folks. If you've considered upgrading, but held back for some reason, we need you to upgrade now! A couple of users have pointed out that the new sale and upgrade pricing actually makes it less expensive (in certain instances) to add nodes to your Helix network.
Rest assured: we're hard at work on Helix 6, and progress is being made. We can't say when it will be ready to ship just yet, but keep an eye on this space for important developments.
Find Previous — Find Next