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VMP Alive or Dead?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Decal_Designs, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. Decal_Designs

    Decal_Designs Member

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    I think Future Corp is dead, or might as well be.

    (long rant warning)

    Nothing about the VMP parent company Future Corp seems to be working. None of their websites work. Phone numbers do not work, no one responds to emails. It's such a shame. For what is a really good program, I feel that the company has really seriously dropped the ball as far as communication goes. It has been 2 years since they said 3.0 is coming out. Even longer since they said they were going to update their website to include user forums and support. I don't care how busy they are, or how much money they have or don't have, or what other problems they have.

    Personally, I seem to need more. I need a great program, I need some effort to show that an upgrade is being worked on, and I need communication from any of the companies I like to deal with.

    VMP is great, but with no contact, no website, apparently no upgrade coming, even if they have at one time been working on one at some point, I don't know if I will keep using VMP or not. It may seem silly, because it does what I need. Maybe I have a personal problem. It just bugs me that it has stopped in it's tracks, while all the other programs keep getting updated. I hope some other company buys Future Corp out and gets on the ball with VMP. It would be such a waste to let the program die out.

    To quote Shaun from another post dated August 2004, yes almost 2 years ago... (and nothing against Shaun personally)

    "No we're not asleep! tired yes, asleep no... This is a post I just did on another site about V3.0, so you know what's up...

    The best thing I can say is that V3.0 has practically nothing to do with V2.70 and below because we’re completely re-writing the software and several packages all at the same time and it’s a little like comparing Corel Draw 5.0 with Corel Draw 12.0 or Windows 3.11 with Windows XP they have some similarities, but are very different with the latter version far more capable across many more levels…

    V3.0 is more like a cross between MS Word 2003, Corel Draw 12.0 and Photoshop CS (V8.0) but specifically for sign makers… "


    Wow, this sounds great! But, where the F is it? I purchased 2.7 "knowing" that 3.0 is coming, or I might have chosen something else.

    (intermission... please feel free to go enjoy some snacks and a beverage from your fridge)

    Maybe I'm just a whiny little B? :help:

    I hope I'm not the only one that likes to get/buy little upgrades once in a while, or have an active user forum. Heck, I know we all like forums here.

    I managed to get a hold of an "authorized dealer" today. He said the same thing I kept hearing for over a year. "Oh yeah, 3.0 is coming" I don't think they believe it themselves. I don't know if I believe it will ever come out unless Future Corp sells VMP to a company that can handle it's development.

    I remember several months ago, I was able to get onto the future-1 website, and they were starting to sell vinyl sign supplies. For some reason, that sent a warning flag to me. I don't know why. Now they have vanished.

    Tell me, what would you do? Keep using VMP which actually does everything I need, but could be better in a few areas, or switch to something that at least has a presence in the marketplace, i.e. program development, marketing, user forums etc.

    In the back of my mind, I keep thinking I should learn Illustrator and a use a bridge program if necessary to cut with.

    If VMP is not dead in development, and if Future Corp is out there somewhere, I challenge them to let us all know WTF is going on.

    Come on, I'd love to give you some more of my money for 3.0

    (Rant over.)
     
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  2. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Save it and purchase Cocut pro. This program never needs a person to give you a key code. You will never need tech support either. ITs that good. And they will not disappear..
     
  3. datcat

    datcat Member

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    What he said....ditto...

    I just ran across this from Shaun last night on signforums....

    "Yes we're spending far too much time on the new version of VMP. We had a meeting a couple of months ago and decided it was time to get V3.0 out sooner rather than later! So hopefully (fingers crossed) we'll have it to market in the second quarter of 2006!"

    Another story???? or could it be true. I've been considering forking out for a basic Flexi and calling it a loss with VMP. Now I'm debating on waiting. Shaun rarely ever even posts comments anymore. I'd bet VMP is probably dead.
     
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    You may have noticed that I removed their banner from the page footer here. That was a link exchange. A few months back I noticed that they no longer had Signs 101 in their links and inquired about it. They put it back.

    Now they are not a live site either at vinylmasterpro.com or future-1.com. That should tell you something.

    It just shows to go ya that $400 is not enough for signmaking software to be able to support it and stay in business.
     
  5. justgraphics

    justgraphics Member

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  6. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The situation regarding VMP makes me wonder if there could be more than just financial trouble. Legal trouble may be a distinct possibility.

    Other companies have been busted for copyright and patent infringement on using pieces of code from other programs. For example, the company Sony/BMG hired to infect their CDs with rootkit spyware actually used a number of Open Source code modules in the spyware program. I wouldn't be too surprised if the guys behind VMP did some of the same stuff. I cannot help but wonder about those kinds of things when they won't answer or return phone calls and their website is non-responsive.

    This situation also reminds me of exactly why I started reproducing sign designs in both the professional sign making application and mainstream graphics software like CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator. You have to cover your bases to keep from having to rebuild artwork.

    Sign making packages are highly prone to make drastic changes or even disappear completely. When the company goes out of business or just discontinues one application that makes a lot of your legacy files instantly obsolescent. Subsequent updates to operating systems and computer hardware can make that legacy application non-functional. Once that happens your legacy files in that format are trash.

    Sometimes you have a way to salvage archived files. CASmate is a dead sign making program. I used it from version 2.0 up to version 6.52. CASmate would work reliably only up to Windows95. Windows98 and the service packs for NT 4.0 did something to break it. Luckily for us, the Scanvec-Amiable merger put CASmate file>open support into Flexi. So we have thousands of art files dating back to 1992 that are still good.

    Prior to that we used a couple proprietary systems, including one from ABC Sign Products which also make use of a huge $20,000 digitizing table. Today the average Wacom tablet has 1,000 times more functionality than that old hulking thing. When MS-DOS and Windows were updated for Win 3.0 and 3.1 it broke that software.

    Your backup media is another hazard. Backup to something that is going to stand the test of time. We had lots of files from that ABC system stored on data tapes. Luckily we exported, transferred and did other stuff to get certain assets away from that. The move to Win95 killed support of those tape drives. Today, support for Iomega Zip discs is starting to disappear. Luckily CD-R and DVD-R is so affordable now that it is pretty easy to transfer all that data.
     
  7. Decal_Designs

    Decal_Designs Member

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    Thank you Jerry!

    A "sign" of life. The vast array of other sister sites they own are up and running too.

    Well, ...
     
  8. PGSigns

    PGSigns Active Member

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    I got a demo CD from them in November and once I ran it had a couple of questions. I tried several emails and phone calls and never got a responce. I gave up and started getting my funds together to get a copy of flexi. Tried for four or five weeks and never got anywhere. That to me was a bad sign.
    Jimmy
     
  9. shaunmorrell

    shaunmorrell Member

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    Future Corp is Still Here!

    Hi Guys

    I've been reading your posts and am amazed at the speculation here! really is quite incredible - copied code and the like, please! we had tools in features for Windows 3.11 before Cadlink and Scanvec did for Windows 98! It’s funny how we now see our old icons in many other programs these days.

    Anyway, we're still here and reply to around 100 emails per day and many phone calls. Our websites have been up for years on end and I am unsure why you can't get to future-1.com or vinylmasterpro.com ?? check it from another ISP.

    Yes the new version is taking a lot longer than we had hoped but we have several programmers working on it who put in over 60 hours a week! By the time, we complete this project, the development will have cost us several million dollars, but when it’s finished you will be very, very impressed.

    Thanks,
     
  10. PGSigns

    PGSigns Active Member

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    Shaun
    I was ready to buy it but had a question on using it with USB plotters and could not get any responce from anyone from Future1. Several emails and phone calls with no luck getting an answer. So what about USB?
    Jimmy
     
  11. Decal_Designs

    Decal_Designs Member

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    2.7 does not work with USB, but 3.0 is supposed to if I remember right.
    My Summa D60 has USB, but I couldn't use it. That being said, it works fine with the serial port.
     
  12. shaunmorrell

    shaunmorrell Member

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    Hi Jimmy

    No problems with USB! send me your email address and I'll reply with a help file that explains how to do it - it's very simple.

    Thanks,
     
  13. shaunmorrell

    shaunmorrell Member

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    V2.70 will work with USB... all you have to do is select PRN from the Port in the Configure Plotter window that you get to from the Vinyl Spooler (Configure Plotter button in the bottom left corner) and select the printer driver that is set to the USB port connected to your plotter...
     
  14. Decal_Designs

    Decal_Designs Member

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    Is that true? How come I couldn't hook it up to USB before? Was I thinking of 2.5 maybe? It's been a long time. (Sorry about the mis-information Jimmy)

    Thanks for the responses here Shaun. I'm so glad that VMP is not dropping off the face of the earth, even though I'm not going ot hold my breath for 3.0:smile:

    I'd like to get that help file for USB also Shaun.

    I'll send you a PM with my email address.

    Plus, if you don't mind...
    I am still curious why none of the various VMP websites were not working for a while. It seems strange that all of them would stop at the same time unless you use the same host for all of them and they were having a problem.
    We do not all have the same ISP, and yet many of us could not access the sites. And, when most of us could not get a response via email either, it starts to make one wonder. And how about those user forums on vinylmasterpro.com?

    Anyway, I'm sure glad that you have posted something here.

    Thanks Shaun!
     
  15. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Shaun Van Winkle has arisen..
    No its not an ISP problem on our end. It is a site managment problem on Future's end. I pinged a few of your sites that came back with no response myself because several people I know were concerned about their updates and other needs.

    A lot of people have reported that they cannot / could not contact anyone from your company. Phones are disconnected (I called all I could find several months ago). Too many unanswered Emails sent by more than a few people who all seperatly needed support. Google future 1 and all the links were / are dead. All but one site does (at least did not) not work. So the speculation was fueled by a complete lack of response or concern from any one at future 1 for months. IT wasn't speculation it was becomming fact. Yes and yoru sites never seemed to change either. IE: No news updates or new activity seemed to happen on the one site that did manage to come up...

    A lot of momentum was lost by all this inactivity and non response.
     
  16. Decal_Designs

    Decal_Designs Member

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    I think I would agree with that. VMP, and it's websites, and Future Corp need to stay active and updated. I'm still not sure why there are so many VMP related sites when none of them are active or updated. All of the old URLs should point to one main VMP website, and that site should stay active and updated. Who is working on these sites for Future Corp? They need someone new to handle them. VMP is a great program so far, but I think there are a lot of people that will never find out because VMP seems, or at least seemed like it was put on the unlit, back burner.

    As an example of how good communication works, I was about ready to switch programs. But, now that we've heard from Shaun, I'll hang on and keep learning VMP.
     
  17. datcat

    datcat Member

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    As an example of how good communication works, I was about ready to switch programs. But, now that we've heard from Shaun, I'll hang on and keep learning VMP.[/quote]

    2nd close call here as well. I was a hair away from purchasing 2nd level Flexi for the same reasons. I bought VMP 1.5 years ago and it was insinuated (by your sales guy in colorado I think) that 3.0 would be out within the quarter.... I guess european quarters are longer. I basically gave up cutting via VMP because even the simple little gimmy program you get with a Summa cutter will communicate via usb and let you know when your graphics are larger than your media. Got the USB instruction and attempted the conversion (if I remember correctly you are emulating a printer driver or something) never got it to work even working with the Summa tech supports help following the steps supplied by Future. Summa claimed that they communicate at a higher level than a printer port or something to that effect. If you are certain that this can be done on a Summa, I'd like to give it ago again since when I bought, I was assured that it was USB configurable. Please send instructions and would like to know if this is proven with Summa products specifically. I still do allot of my design work with vmp but it sure would clean things up if I stayed in the same program from start to finish. Give me a reason to want to stick it out til 3.0 arrives.
     
  18. shaunmorrell

    shaunmorrell Member

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    I am unsure why you couldn’t reach our servers which are on 24/7/365. There are times of course when our DSL modems, servers, OS etc. fails and we go off line, but this is usually fixed within a couple of hours.

    Anyway, we certainly are up at this time. Our main website has been future-1.com for many years now but we have registered vinylmasterpro.com and the like for obvious reasons. All these websites have already been completely re-written and will changed when all our new software is released.

    In regards to setting up over a USB.

    All you need to do is have a printer driver set to USB that is plugged into the plotter. If you don’t have one, follow the Generic Text/Only instructions below. If you do, open the Configure Plotter window from the button in the bottom left corner of VinylMaster Pro’s Vinyl Spooler and select ‘PRN’ under ‘Port’ and a window will pop up from where you select the Printer Driver that is set to USB and click on ‘OK’, next click on ‘Advanced’ and click on ‘Update’ – Note: you will see a little printer in the bottom left corner where it should say ‘Generic Text/only on USB’… next click on ‘OK’ and from now on VMP will send you cut files to Windows who will in turn send it to the Printer Driver set to USB and it should plot over your USB cable…

    Generic Text/Only

    You have a help file for this very task on your HDD see: C:\Vmpro\Genprint.hlp

    Basically you set up a Windows ‘Generic/Text Only’ printer driver by clicking on ‘Add Printer’ in your printer’s folder (in control panel) and follow through the wizard making sure to select a USB Port but uncheck ‘automatically detect a printer’, do not set it as a default printer, do not share the printer, and do not print a test page. When you get to the window where you select the manufacturer, scroll down to Generic in the left column and in the right column select Text/Only… At the end you just click ‘finish’. But as mentioned see the help file in C:\Vmpro\Genprint.hlp which is for Win9x but is very similar to Win2000 and XP.
     

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