The origin of beta testing
“The term beta test comes from an IBM hardware product test convention, dating back to punched card tabulating and sorting machines. Hardware first went through an alpha test for preliminary functionality and small scale manufacturing feasibility. Then came a beta test, by people or groups other than the developers, to verify that the hardware correctly performed the functions it was supposed to, and could be manufactured at scales necessary for the market. With the advent of programmable computers and the first shareable software programs, IBM used the same terminology for testing software. As other companies began developing software for their own use, and for distribution to others, the terminology stuck—and now is part of our common vocabulary.”
(Source: Wikipedia, the image shows an IBM548 punch card interpreter).
NemaStudio Beta 5
This week Beta 5 of NemaStudio was released. This will be the last beta, the next will be the RTM (release to market) version.
Here is a list of the updates:
- According to a setting in the general settings the objects (instruments, targets) will either be saved always, never or on request
- The control center reflects the settings for either kilometres or miles now
- Sentences can now optionally be logged in an external log file
- A licensing mechanism has been included
- A splash screen has been added giving the option of entering license data
- An ‘about’ form has been added, showing licensing terms
- Better ‘Single Shot’ functionality in GPS
- Position update interval can now be set in GPS (was fixed at 1 second)
- Trace panel renamed to “I/O monitor”
- Help functionality with help file introduced (help file still to be completed)
- Installer shows license terms you have to agree with
- Heading instrument includes functionality to copy the course from a selected GPS
- Custom Instrument now saves the control center settings
- Velocity instrument gives now the possibility to set each data validator
- Heading instrument now copies ROT from rudder setting also
- Many more minor improvements
- Most issues that you reported are solved in this version
From a user perspective the most visible change is probably the nag screen reminding to purchase a license. Unregistered use will output a maximum of about 500 sentences. Note that this is considerable more than the unregistered version of NemaTalker (100 sentences). Since NemaStudio is capable of spitting out data of a much larger number of instruments and targets simultaneously, trial users should get a better impression of the usability of the program when a larger number of sentences is output before the trial limit is reached.
Of course current beta testers will receive free license codes for NemaStudio.