OT: I wish all companies listened and responded like this!



#10

Sorry for the OT stuff, but I know some here might be interested in this:

I recently reviewed the new Microchip PICkit3 compared to the old PICkit2 and pretty much hammered the people responsible on behalf of those who have found the PICkit3 upgrade rather lacking:

http://www.eevblog.com/2009/10/21/eevblog-39-pickit-3-programmerdebugger-review/

At it turns out, not surprisingly the video made it's way all around the Microchip offices, even to the desk of their CEO.
As with any multi billion dollar corporation, I expected either deathly silence or a nasty letter from their lawyers.

But it turns out Microchip really do care about their products and customers, and really do listen, so they seriously took it as constructive criticism.

So not only was my blog well received at Microchip, I got a lengthy call from none other than the Microchip CEO Steve Sanghi, thanking me for the blog and raising the issues. He pointed out a few factual errors which was fair enough, but admitted they could have done the PICkit 3 better and most importantly are working to fix the issues and give customers what they expect.

They have even posted this hillarious video response in record time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YUvlrVlNao

I am absolutely blown away by their honesty and responsiveness, and it starts from their CEO down.
Two thumbs up to Steve Sanghi and the guys and gals at Microchip!

Goes to show the power of the video blog. I doubt the impact and response would have been the same from a simple text blog.

Dave.


#11

Hi, Dave;

thanks for sharing these 'good news' with us. You see, less than one week ago I bought a BeeProg+ from a Brazilian distributor. It cost me some bux, but the little thing seemed to be the best local choice, and it came with a 3 year warranty. Based on reviews and technical articles I assumed I made the best choice, though.

I am more a hardware guy and I like to know that many companies still take care of their hardware-addressed products. Thanks for pointing this out.

Cheers.

Luiz (Brazil)

#12

Hi, Dave;

I simply LOVED the d*** h*** reference (PicIt 3) for the project managers against the engineers brilliant design (PicIt 2) with no resources. Believe me, that´s exactly what I tell my students every single day. A few days ago I saw a documentary about Apollo 11 and Gene Krantz mentions that at that time things were done because they could be done. Somehow, managers cut funds to finance whatsoever (wars, mostly) and he (Gene) also mentions that we need more mathematicians, scientists and engineers to create what is needed to support financial management.

Brilliant.

Cheers and congrats.

Luiz (Brazil)


Edited: 29 Oct 2009, 10:30 p.m.

#13

I am still laughing out loud - thx for sharing. The follow-up video is almost better.

#14

So, awesome for Microchip, and it IS good that they are listening and trying to address customer concerns. I truly appreciate that.

That being said, what did they say the would DO about this? I was one of the folks who bought the Pickit-3, to work with the uWatch, and it has been nothing but problem after problem. I finally just gave up out of frustration a month or two ago. I had been thinking of buying a Pickit-2, but with the $50 already spent on the -3, I wasn't all that keen on paying more.

So, what was their remedy, if any?

thanks!
bruce


#15

I've used the PIC16's for quite a few products we've brought to market because of the nice set of I/O, on-chip support, low cost, and the fact that they're in stock in so many versions at so many distributors. The part I hate about the PIC microcontrollers is their decrepit microprocessor core which they apparently got from General Instrument eons ago.

I've used support.microchip.com at various times when there has been a deficiency in the documentation. The problem there is that they tend to glance through your description of your problem and, without making sure they know what they've read, they carelessly shoot out a generic answer that's hardly relevant, and then mark the web ticket "resolved," when it's not. Then when I try to follow it up and show them why it's not, they don't respond and you have to start another web ticket for the same thing and waste more time describing what went on earlier and where we need to pick up now.


#16

Quote:
I've used the PIC16's for quite a few products we've brought to market because of the nice set of I/O, on-chip support, low cost, and the fact that they're in stock in so many versions at so many distributors. The part I hate about the PIC microcontrollers is their decrepit microprocessor core which they apparently got from General Instrument eons ago.

Then why not use the better PIC18 series, or even the PIC24 or PIC32 series?

The processor architecture is really only an issue if you program in assembler where you have to worry about that stuff. If you program in C then you hardly ever see or have to worry about that stuff.

Dave.

#17

It's not "got from". Microchip *IS* GI's semiconductor division, spun off as an independent entity.

#18

Quote:
So, awesome for Microchip, and it IS good that they are listening and trying to address customer concerns. I truly appreciate that.

That being said, what did they say the would DO about this? I was one of the folks who bought the Pickit-3, to work with the uWatch, and it has been nothing but problem after problem. I finally just gave up out of frustration a month or two ago. I had been thinking of buying a Pickit-2, but with the $50 already spent on the -3, I wasn't all that keen on paying more.

So, what was their remedy, if any?


Their only stated claims are that they will re-release the external programmer software and make it and the firmware open source. Optimise the programming speed of the 16F parts, and look in to the LEDs (they took that very seriously!).

Plus improve the "out of box" experience for the user (i.e. better communication about changes from the PICkit2)

If you had or still have any other problem likes bugs and instability, then I don't know about that, they didn't mention it at all. I guess they'll they fix those things in time as the product matures. Of course you could argue it's been out for 6 months so should be fairly mature by now, or should have been from day 1 if they didn't change everything!

Dave.


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