MORE PROBLEMS WITH HONEYWELL UPGRADES
I'm not sure what exactly is going on with Honeywell, but if they don't get their act together, I can foresee the whole security division going belly up. There was an issue recently with the radios needing a firmware upgrade because of glitches in THEIR programming. I called and inquired about how to resolve the issue. I was sent a cable with an anything but clear instructions about how to upgrade the firmware. I have a radio in my home, so I figured for the first one, I'll be the guinea pig and try to resolve the issue. Now mind you, corporate Honeywell seems to think that sending out a cable and a document is going to absolve them of any liability. I think not. I've spoken to many dealers, and not just a few, but many are talking about a class action litigation. So if I understood them correctly, I will have to roll a truck to each account and spend (according to the document) ten minutes or so upgrading the firmware of each radio account, with no talk of any compensation. This is point one.
More recently, Honeywell has released the newest build of their programming software, Compass Downloader software. I have several Windows 7 computers, and all of them get hammered with messages from MicroSoft to upgrade to Windows 10. I went to the Honeywell site, and checked for conflicts. Except for a few glitches with Avast and I believe the Norton Anti-Virus, there were no problems reported. Anyone who uses Compass, knows that at least two to three times per year, Honeywell releases upgrades in their software to make it "BETTER." So I upgraded a couple of my computers to Windows 10, and immediately I started getting some error messages when using the Compass Downloader. It still worked, but you had to "click" through the error messages to accomplish the task at hand. So on my main office computer, I downloaded and attempted to install the latest release of the Compass software. Not only did the "new" build uninstall my working version of the software, but various conflicts won't let the new version install. I called their tech support and spent well over an hour on the telephone with the technician. His only solution was to tell me to uninstall my Anti-Virus software, or he also sent me a laundry list of exceptions that I would need to insert into my anti-virus software so there will be no conflict. I was a little incredulous about getting rid of my anti-virus software, and Honeywell offered no type of support for how to insert the exceptions that would be needed. I am never the first kid on the block to upgrade to any new releases of any software. Yet the technician would lead me to believe that my machine was the only one he had ever heard of with this type of problem. I didn't want to get nasty with the guy, as he had spent a considerable amount of time trying to assist me. But I did tell him, "please don't piss on my shoes and then tell me it! is raining." This is unacceptable.
So now my main computer which I use for more than just Compass, won't allow me to install Compass while there is an anti-virus program running. The tech did tell me that even if I disabled the antivirus, as soon as I rebooted and the antivirus came back online, it would uninstall the Compass dll files. So now my main computer is useless for keeping any Compass customer files on it. I have a laptop that was upgraded to Windows 10, but I have no confidence in how well it is working with Compass as the error messages continue to appear, and I know if I install the new build of Compass, I will lose all the ability to program any of my panels because Compass will evaporate into the ozone. I have several Windows 7 laptops that I am keeping that version of windows for obvious reasons. This is a hell of a way to run an airline (to paraphrase the old commercial.) Oh and by the way, the cable and document that Honeywell sent out to upgrade the radios says specifically, that Windows 10 cannot be used at this time.
This is like something from the Bizarro World (f you are a Seinfeld fan.) "Upgrade to our newest build of the software to make the software compatible with Windows 10, but you can't use it with any anti-virus." Are they kidding me?
So here is my solution (for now.) I went out and purchased a new laptop that uses Windows 10. I will install the Compass Downloader on it and no anti-virus software. I will instruct my techs to not use it to go online for any reason, under threat of termination if they do. I'll keep my older Windows 7 laptops in service until I can upgrade the firmware on all of my radio accounts. To be quite honest, if I was younger and had many less Honeywell systems out in the field, I would tear them all out and start installing some other company's equipment. I know Honeywell has put a lot of their assets to working towards a new platform where all programming will be done on the web, but they still should be supporting and resolving current issues. If anyone else is in the same boat and wants to start a class action suit, I'M IN.
And to say the least, I am very pissed off.
John from New Jersey
Honeywell should address these issues, and if the root of the problem is really Honeywell software then Honeywell should compensate its dealers for the cost of dealing with these issues.