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Helix Client 6.2.1: A Second Look This Friday

RADE4 September 2013 — Nearly three weeks ago, we conducted the first public test of our new, Intel-only Helix Client. To those of you who participated, our heartfelt thanks.

For the most part, it was a wonderful experience. We got to see some good work come to fruition, especially as concerns wide-area network performance. But as often happens in a situation like this, we also got a chance to see some not-quite-ready-for-prime-time behaviors up close and (perhaps a tad too) personal.

Of course that was our intention in doing the test in the first place. To smoke out whatever creatures were lurking in the code and crush them like the rats they are and to gauge whether our performance improvement efforts were having any real and measurable effects.

On that score, we were very encouraged. And since that time, we have broken through another performance barrier and feel that along with a number of fixes that have been put in place, the improvements taken together are significant enough to warrant another look.

HelixChat Resumes: Friday, September 6th at 12:00 PM Eastern US Time (-4:00 GMT)

The second public test of Helix Client/Server 6.2.1 begins on Friday, September 6, at 12:00 PM Eastern Time. (That corresponds 4:00 PM GMT on Friday for international users.)

If you plan on joining us this week, it is critically important that you have the latest 6.2.1 Client. You can get the current one by clicking here or, if you need a short tutorial on HelixChat, head over to the techdb page for detailed instructions. Please note that after Friday’s test, you will need this new Client anyway to do all the other things you need to do in our techdb. That will be the case until we post a newer one or actually get the thing done and released, whichever comes first.

Very important! If you have previously downloaded any 6.2 Client, get rid of it! We are looking for very specific things with this test and using any 6.2 Client other than the current one would be a sad waste of both your and everyone’s valuable time.

Here's how to join in…

Once you’ve downloaded the new Client, use the Connect To… menu (new in Helix Client 6.2) to open your previously saved connection document or to start a new connection (hostname: techdb.qsatoolworks.com).

If you already have a HelixChat name and password, you are “good to go.” Just open the HelixChat window (keyboard shortcut: F4) and join (or start) the conversation. If not, you’ll need to register first. Just follow the instructions found here to register. Once you’re in the Chat, the idea (again) is to see how Helix Client/Server 6.2 performs with a large group of people connected and as much data flowing as possible.

Be forewarned! As with our last test, there may be crashes of Client or Server. We do have some issues remaining to fix, but we need to see if the things we have already addressed are truly fixed. If the experience of a few weeks ago is any indicator, expect these disruptions to be few and brief.

Get future updates in a “sparkling” new way

When we introduced Helix Utility 6.2, we began using a ‘software update framework’ named Sparkle, which is used by hundreds of popular applications to deliver updates. As testers of our Helix RADE Interim Builds know, we recently incorporated this into the rest of the Helix products.

This new version of Helix Client includes that feature, which will greatly simplify the process of getting future updates into your hands. This is the last time we will need to provide a download link, as you will be automatically informed when subsequent updates are available. Please be diligent to read the release notes and to install the updates when they arrive, as this will familiarize you with the new “standard operating procedure” for updating Helix RADE along with the other Helix products.

Once again, we thank you for helping us refine Helix Client/Server 6.2, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible with us online this Friday.

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