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Famatech CEO answers to Radmin users

 

Famatech CEO answers to Radmin users

First, I want to say that I appreciate the loyalty of Radmin users very much. Especially, thank you to all those who sent us questions. I’ll answer the most common questions first. Some of these questions were asked in a lot of the letters I read.

Why hasn't there been a beta version of Radmin 3.0 released yet?

After we released Radmin 2.1, I decided that we weren’t going to just add a couple of features here and there and call it a new version. I wanted us to really research how to push the limits of the technology and create a totally new version far above what we’d already achieved. Radmin 2.1 is widely acknowledged as very high quality and reliable software. Basically it satisfies what most of our customers told us they need. So it gave us a window of time for serious research and development.

Of course, Window XP's release has influenced our plans, so we needed to implement a lot of new features and also redo many things to keep up with the latest technologies. One important aspect was XP Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance functionality that required us to suggest some new features not supported by XP. Another significan factor was building in a full interaction with XP and its complete support. The thing is that almost every other remote control software manufacturers although claiming that they support XP, does not provide the complete XP compatibility. For example, some of them just disable the Fast User Switching feature instead of supporting it. Generally, in order to provide complete compatibility for all Windows systems including new features support we had to write a lot of platform specific code. To implement the blank screen feature, for instance, we had to develop very different modules for Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 and XP. Well we could have some intermediate version, but the software wouldn’t meet some of our customers expectations and the market requirements. We had to decide whether we wanted to go with an enhanced version 2.1 that would fall short of what or to rework Radmin’s basic structure so it would be sleek and efficient.

In reworking Radmin we developed a new connection protocol and a new security system. Moreover during our research we found new opportunities to further increase Radmin’s speed of work, which is already pretty good. We intend to make Radmin 3.0 the most progressive, efficient and useful remote control software on the market.

When will 3.0 be released?

OK, this is the most common question at this moment. Radmin 3.0 consists of two independent packages that can be installed separately, Radmin Viewer and Radmin Server. The beta version of Radmin Viewer 3.0 is already available to download from our web site. So all our users are very welcome to try this new beta. Radmin Viewer 3.0 is fully compatible with Radmin 2.1 Server. It allows our users to benefit from many of the new features of Radmin 3.0 such as its new phonebook, connection folders, new options, new settings in the RScreen menu, the Scan for Servers feature and so on. Simultaneously we are performing in-house testing and updating of Radmin 3.0’s Server modules. Radmin 3.0 significantly interacts with Windows, so we frequently find serious issues not related to our software but caused by some Windows problems. We work out corrections for these as well, of course, but many times it’s difficult and requires some extra work and research to come up with goodwork-arounds to avoid using some documented Windows functions because they don't work correctly under, for example, Windows XP without SPs or Windows 95 that we still support or other. Any one of these issues can cause a serious time delay. That’s why long-term testing has to be done. It ensures us (and the users as well) that the program will be reliable and bug free without us having to scramble to invent a patch for things down the road.

Why not just release a 2.2 version with a video hook driver for windows 2000/XP/2003?

It’s important to know that the definition of “Windows XP support” doesn’t just relate to XP’s new video hook driver. As I’ve already said, we needed also to support such features as Fast User Switching among others. Besides, we also added a lot of new features many of our users said they needed. The most significant enhancements are an expanded and improved wide corporate usage support, stronger communication opportunities within a LAN, complete Windows XP/2003 support, enhanced security system including new security algorithms based on 256 bit encryption and a key exchange based on 2048 bit DH. We also added Active Directory support to Radmin 3.0.

Are you accepting beta testers?

Absolutely! Radmin beta testers are welcome and very much appreciated. Radmin Viewer’s beta is already available from our web site. The only things you need to do to become a beta tester are to fill out the registration form and download the program. If you find a bug just send in a bug report so we can correct the error.

Will version 3 permit users to do network deployment of the program?

After Radmin 3.0’s release we’ll work out a special deployment tool to accomplish "push" network installations of Radmin Server with predefined settings.

Are you planning to release a Radmin version for Linux?

Cross-platform networks are becoming more popular, but we won’t be shifting over to the development of a special Linux version of Radmin as a priority. However, we are thinking of making a Linux compatible version for Viewer based on Radmin 3.0. Presently, Radmin is compatible with the Linux environment if you run Radmin Viewer with the Wine emulator.

Please explain your price policy regarding version 3.0?

Radmin 3.0 is a brand new product with a considerably higher performance level, so we are definitely reconsidering our licensing and price policies. The new price scale will be based on cost per node. There won’t be any Site licenses. We stopped selling those in 2003. Whatever we decide you’ll be happy to know that all our commitments regarding an upgrade for registered users of 2.1 to 3.0 version are valid and will definitely remain in force.

You should add support for Microsoft pocket PC so I can access my desktop from my PDA.

We do plan to work on a version of Radmin for PDA’s and are close to starting research on it. We have some doubts about the functional capacity of PDA processors and memory to correctly transmit the images from a remote PC. I hope it will be technically feasible. Anyway if we develop it, the PDA version will be based on Radmin 3.0.

Will there be an option to send a "Quick Message" to a desktop or to all selected desktops similar to a DOS NET SEND command?

Yes, the "Send Message" feature has been already implemented in version 3. This lets you type a quick message to another desktop with just a couple of mouse clicks.

Do you plan to develop other products?

Definitely. We already started something big, but it’s too early to discuss it in detail. We’re also going to develop other network management tools.

Sincerely yours,
Dmitri Znosko
Famatech CEO

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