Author Topic: Agilent scope options/licenses  (Read 14264 times)

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Offline shb7

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Agilent scope options/licenses
« on: May 31, 2012, 01:07:48 am »
Hi all,

I just purchased an Agilent MSO-X3054A (who hoo!) but there is something a bit strange about the configuration. This was a demo unit from TestEquity and I received it at a reduced price because it was technically "used". It lists a whole bunch of installed licenses with a "(d)" after each. I added the several licenses that I purchased and the little "(d)" next to each went away. What does "(d)" indicate? It seems like I already have access to all of the features, even the ones I did not purchase - is this some kind of temporary demo mode that will expire? The back of the scope says "Option: DST DEMO" - when I look that up it is listed as "distribution demo".

Thanks for your help,

Sean
 

Offline w2aew

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 01:12:57 am »
The (d) most likely stands for a "demo" license.  These licenses will typically expire after a fixed number of uses, or after a certain period of time.  Not sure how Agilent handles the "distribution demo" licenses.
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Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 01:22:56 am »
On the older scopes it shows the expiry dates on trial licenses- see if there is any additional info in the licensing menu.
I wouldn't think distributor demo licenses would expire, but maybe there is some reduced functionality or something - not sure why they would be labelled as different. Maybe the distributors are supposed to delete them if they sell demo units.
Sounds like you may have scored a load of freebies...

 
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Offline shb7

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 03:46:12 am »
Thanks for the replies. I think the mystery is solved - one of my installed licenses is called "DIS(2012-6-29)" I think that this is the license that is temporarily unlocking all the other features and will expire at the end of next month :)
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 09:31:25 am »
Remember when,if you bought an instrument,it would do exactly what it was supposed to do,no more,no less.
And if it didn't work properly you got upset.
Now it seems,you buy something & you have to buy a lot of other crap to make it do anything!
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 09:42:41 am »
Now it seems,you buy something & you have to buy a lot of other crap to make it do anything!

I voiced that opinion before and got accused of wanting to get everything for free. And yet still I hate this piecemeal selling.
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Offline tom66

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 10:35:19 am »
What I don't get is would it count as piracy/EULA violation to enable these features? given the scope already has them (they are just software switches.) I find it rotten of manufacturers to sell you a scope that can do everything but then you have to unlock it by paying through the nose. At least give me a bit of hardware (more than an eeprom) which plugs into it...
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 10:53:16 am »
Unless you signed an agreement not to, you are free to use it.
The dealer may have hassles for selling it with those licenses, but that's their problem, not yours.
 
 
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Offline tom66

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 11:04:30 am »
Thanks for the replies. I think the mystery is solved - one of my installed licenses is called "DIS(2012-6-29)" I think that this is the license that is temporarily unlocking all the other features and will expire at the end of next month :)

Take the clock battery out of the scope and change the time and date... Free license?
 

Offline T4P

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 04:43:39 pm »
Thanks for the replies. I think the mystery is solved - one of my installed licenses is called "DIS(2012-6-29)" I think that this is the license that is temporarily unlocking all the other features and will expire at the end of next month :)

Take the clock battery out of the scope and change the time and date... Free license?

 ;D
 

Offline StubbornGreek

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 06:20:11 pm »
Now it seems,you buy something & you have to buy a lot of other crap to make it do anything!

I voiced that opinion before and got accused of wanting to get everything for free. And yet still I hate this piecemeal selling.

You would think that the entire consumer market would agree with you (I certainly do). These scopes are sold with enough margin for profit that if no one purchased another option, Agilent would still profit. Gimping hardware through software should be abolished (IMHO) - if you don't want us to have it, don't put it in there.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 06:47:12 pm »
I agree, the features are there, but the key does not allow it. I have the same issues.
 

Online mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 07:06:19 pm »
Thanks for the replies. I think the mystery is solved - one of my installed licenses is called "DIS(2012-6-29)" I think that this is the license that is temporarily unlocking all the other features and will expire at the end of next month :)
..so remember to keep setting the clock back as far as it will go...

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Offline _Sin

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2012, 07:22:53 pm »
You would think that the entire consumer market would agree with you (I certainly do). These scopes are sold with enough margin for profit that if no one purchased another option, Agilent would still profit. Gimping hardware through software should be abolished (IMHO) - if you don't want us to have it, don't put it in there.

To put that another way, only hardware has value - software is worth nothing and should be free.

I'm not sure I agree with that.

I can't say I really think Agilent (nor anyone else) are doing anything wrong by selling software licenses, rather than anything physical. The value to you as a consumer is the same - you're not buying a quantity of copper, silicon, etc. - it's the functionality you want. Agilent can, and will, sell stuff at whatever price the market will sustain.

I think hacking around on something you've bought, trying to make it do something new is entirely fair game, but demanding that you get handed something for nothing is a bit rich.
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Offline StubbornGreek

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 07:34:17 pm »
You would think that the entire consumer market would agree with you (I certainly do). These scopes are sold with enough margin for profit that if no one purchased another option, Agilent would still profit. Gimping hardware through software should be abolished (IMHO) - if you don't want us to have it, don't put it in there.

To put that another way, only hardware has value - software is worth nothing and should be free.

I'm not sure I agree with that.

I can't say I really think Agilent (nor anyone else) are doing anything wrong by selling software licenses, rather than anything physical. The value to you as a consumer is the same - you're not buying a quantity of copper, silicon, etc. - it's the functionality you want. Agilent can, and will, sell stuff at whatever price the market will sustain.

I think hacking around on something you've bought, trying to make it do something new is entirely fair game, but demanding that you get handed something for nothing is a bit rich.

I don't think that we're looking at this from the same perspective. I never said that software should be free; I fully support purchasing licenses for the software you use.

Let's put this another way: You purchase a vacuum cleaner, bring it home and start vacuuming. You get done with 90% of the vacuuming and realize that you can't do the hardwood in the dining room because the vacuum has auto-detected you are on a hard surface and requires you to purchase a separate license key to make the hardware you already own do something it can already do.  :o

A bit stupid, no?

Again, to be clear, I never stated that software should be free. However, it should not be used to limit hardware.
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Offline _Sin

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2012, 07:49:44 pm »
I don't think that we're looking at this from the same perspective. I never said that software should be free; I fully support purchasing licenses for the software you use.

Let's put this another way: You purchase a vacuum cleaner, bring it home and start vacuuming. You get done with 90% of the vacuuming and realize that you can't do the hardwood in the dining room because the vacuum has auto-detected you are on a hard surface and requires you to purchase a separate license key to make the hardware you already own do something it can already do.  :o

A bit stupid, no?

Again, to be clear, I never stated that software should be free. However, it should not be used to limit hardware.

But that's nothing like what Agilent are doing. You get exactly what you have paid for. It doesn't unexpectedly stop working and demand money. If you buy the scope without wave-gen, you wouldn't expect the wave-gen to work.

The prices reflect the features you want to use. What does it actually matter if you get hardware, software, or a license code?

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Offline StubbornGreek

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2012, 08:01:05 pm »
I don't think that we're looking at this from the same perspective. I never said that software should be free; I fully support purchasing licenses for the software you use.

Let's put this another way: You purchase a vacuum cleaner, bring it home and start vacuuming. You get done with 90% of the vacuuming and realize that you can't do the hardwood in the dining room because the vacuum has auto-detected you are on a hard surface and requires you to purchase a separate license key to make the hardware you already own do something it can already do.  :o

A bit stupid, no?

Again, to be clear, I never stated that software should be free. However, it should not be used to limit hardware.

But that's nothing like what Agilent are doing. You get exactly what you have paid for. It doesn't unexpectedly stop working and demand money. If you buy the scope without wave-gen, you wouldn't expect the wave-gen to work.

The prices reflect the features you want to use. What does it actually matter if you get hardware, software, or a license code?

Ok, taking my absurd vacuum example a step further then. Suppose you were told (when purchasing the vacuum) that you could use it on the carpet but if you wanted to use it on bare floors, you needed to pay extra and they would unlock that feature? Outrage comes to mind for me. You can say that its not the same thing because one is an oscilloscope and the other is for cleaning you home/office/etc. In the end, they're both tools.

I give kudos (honestly) to the marketeers that have convinced 'us' otherwise.
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Offline _Sin

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2012, 08:15:14 pm »
A shop sells a device which does "A" at a price of 1000 dubloons.
The also sell a device which does "A" and also "B" at a price of 1500 dubloons.

The choice you have to make is whether or not "B" is worth an extra 500 dubloons.

What you're saying, is that if "B" is software, it's outrageous, but if "B" is hardware, it's ok.
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Offline StubbornGreek

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2012, 08:19:47 pm »
A shop sells a device which does "A" at a price of 1000 dubloons.
The also sell a device which does "A" and also "B" at a price of 1500 dubloons.

The choice you have to make is whether or not "B" is worth an extra 500 dubloons.

What you're saying, is that if "B" is software, it's outrageous, but if "B" is hardware, it's ok.

I'm saying that if devices A and B are the same with the only difference being that device A is limited through additional effort, then there is no justification for the additional 500 dubloons for device B.  :)
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Offline free_electron

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2012, 08:25:16 pm »
economy of scale at work.

agilent design are heavy on custom asics. asics that cost a lot of money. so they design only 1. and use everywhere.

Can't afford or do not need top notch ?  : we still will only make 1 board : the volume is larger so the overall cost goes down in production. so we 'limit' the capabilities and sell at lower price.
Do need higher performance ? you will pay a larger part of the devcosts ...
Can't afoord top notch now ? buy lower grade and upgrade as you go ... your scope has a longer lifetime ... and you don't need to shell out for a totally new box every few years. Teh scope grows

I think that is very clever.

The hardware cost is identical between machines. if you need more features you pay a larger fraction of the development cost. That's all.
It allows people to step into a scope series and 'grow' as they go. I think it's great.
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Offline _Sin

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2012, 08:28:02 pm »
I'm saying that if devices A and B are the same with the only difference being that device A is limited through additional effort, then there is no justification for the additional 500 dubloons for device B.  :)

The justification is that 'B' has *value*, and they'd like to make money from it, rather than giving you it for nothing.

The alternative here, is not that we get stuff for nothing. The alternative is that companies go back to stuff being plug-in hardware modules or something, and charge even *more*, at the same time as being less convenient. I think that would be a bad thing.

And only a subset of stuff Agilent sell licenses for are actually crippled hardware (memory, most notably) - the rest are software features. Some, indeed, require hardware anyway (new probes, in the case of the highest speeds and mixed signal option).
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Offline StubbornGreek

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2012, 09:00:18 pm »
Just to be clear, I wasn't singling out Agilent here, I could have just as easily said Apple (or many others). I understand your point of view but what I'm saying is that the cost of the device is covered by the baseline sale...don't be greedy.
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Offline _Sin

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 09:13:45 pm »
Just to be clear, I wasn't singling out Agilent here, I could have just as easily said Apple (or many others). I understand your point of view but what I'm saying is that the cost of the device is covered by the baseline sale...don't be greedy.

Basically, you'd like things to be cheaper. Wouldn't we all! :)

Out of interest, what have Apple sold in this way?

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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2012, 12:37:25 am »
It is justifiable with a computer,as it is a general purpose device,which you can "customise" as required.
An Oscilloscope,on the other hand,is a Test Instrument,which should be usable straight out of the box.

I'm not talking about wave gens & crap like that.
I'm referring to the fact that some devices cannot perform their most basic functions satisfactorily,so the fix is to download some kind of "bodge" in the form of a new generation of software.(And pay money for it!)
OK,that has been a satisfactory business model for Microsoft,but if I was a boss who found that the 'scope I bought at great expense didn't work,I would go elsewhere.

There are precedents in hardware stuff-- Tektronix 650 series,& Philips LDN xxx picture monitors
come to mind. ;D
But they were just stuffups---some of the software stuff seems intentional!

 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Agilent scope options/licenses
« Reply #24 on: June 01, 2012, 03:55:39 am »
the agilents are perfectly usable straight out of the box.
but , if you want deeper acquisition memory you are going to pay extra for that. it is an option. period. and yes it is built in the asic by default , just disabled , thats all.
if you want the machine to race faster : pay extra. period.
Want extra signal decoders ? pay.

it makes the machine cheaper for people that dont need it , and it can be upgraded.

Pick your option ?
-  buying an underperforming scope today because the one you need is out of budget becasue it has too many things you dont care about. sigh .. if only those were options...
- buying a new machine every year. because this year you canonly afford a machine with 1 meg ememory , and 3 years from now you are going to cough up full price to get more memory.

- buy the machine you need today, knowing that, in a few year when you will need performance you can just pay the difference and they will unlock the machines.

That last scenario is why agilent does it that way. it is brilliant because you can step in the platform and it will grow as your needs increase. you can write off the machine over many more years and in the end you save money and dot have to dick around with underperforming equipment because there i sno budget to buy full systems every few years.

And on agilents side it saves them costs as well since they only need to make 1 board without variants. everything is there. they can buy parts in larger volume which makes them cheaper. And those asic's arent chickenfeed in cost. the design cost alone is staggering. and the production cost.. a piece of silicon that holds 256 megaytes of static ram that can race at 8Ghz is NOT cheap ...
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