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View Full Version : Ahhhh. . . iDrive is built on Microsoft software


milobloom242
01-15-2006, 04:26 PM
I finally crawled out of the cave by coming across a Forbes article that mentioned it, then subsequently searched the fest.

It really was a bad decision to build the iDrive app atop MSFT. MSFT really does do everything, just doesn't seem to do anything well. I wonder if Siemens has anything to offer here, or IBM. How cool would it be if Apple offered anything for this.

That is all.

Malibubimmer
01-15-2006, 04:49 PM
:soapbox:
We've been bashing BMW's decision to have the Quandts get into bed with the Gates for some time. The histories are similar, too.

Bill Gates was approached by IBM before the PC was invented to provide an operating system for it. Being an entrepreneur, not an inventor himself, he looked around and found a few. He decided to buy the cheapest one. Because it was the cheapest. It wasn't the best. In fact, it was (and remains) crap. And that is how he became the world's richest man. Paul Allen, who was in the room with him when he made his pitch to IBM (which didn't know they were buying junk), became the world's second richest man. :tsk: They did this by selling a second rate product and then marketing and protecting it (through litigation and other strategems which have been found to be anti-trust violations) very aggressively.

It's been known for years that Linux and Apple both have much better OS. Others do, too, including Sun Microsystems. But because of his ability to market his junk so effectively, Gates' OS became the world standard. And lead to sub industries such as those that protect against viruses (not very effective) and other invasions and misuses of PCs.

BMW then decides to integrate all of its electronic systems through a centralized computer interface. BMW needs an operating system for it. BMW has admitted that it chose Microsoft's OS because it was both the most prevalent ("everybody knows how to use and program it") and it was the cheapest. Sadly, BMW didn't do what it does in designing its engines - balance cost efficiency with quality.

On the 6er forum we have a lot of people with iDrive problems. I seem to be beset the most. (In part that may be beause I use everything on the iDrive -- but that is what BMW intended.) I urge people with iDrive issues to bring their cars in for work and to seek Lemon Law remedies (buy backs and replacement vehicles) if BMW can't fix their iDrives.

In the 6er we are given runflat tires and a (second rate) tire monitoring system that only works through the iDrive interface. With a runflat you can't tell what the problem is visually. You can't see a tire losing air. You only know about it when iDrive tells you about it or, if iDrive isn't working, when the tire is destroyed after running flat beyond its capabilities. Your wheel will also be destroyed, and your car's undercarriage may also be seriously damaged. And, worst of all for this picture, BMW has seen fit not to include a spare in the 6er. Of course, since you don't know the tire is flat, why bother, right?

So iDrive malfunctions implicate serious safety issues. In addition, with a paired Bluetooth phone, the phone will not work within 25-30 feet of the car when the iDrive has failed, and BMW Assist may not work. (Luckily I haven't had to test the runflat or BMW Assist issues, and hope I never do.)

Only when BMW gets tired of spending money to replace its cars with the substandard iDrive, will BMW look to a different OS for iDrive.

You can now remove the soapbox.

bmw325
01-15-2006, 04:51 PM
I could've sworn that I read something about BMW having switched to a Unix based OS for the second gen Idrive in the e60 and 90.

chuck92103
01-15-2006, 05:07 PM
I could've sworn that I read something about BMW having switched to a Unix based OS for the second gen Idrive in the e60 and 90.

I doubt it. The article below is from 2004, but way after the E60/90 were even concieved. I think Siemens was the one who pushed for Windows O/S, not BMW. Siemens also did the HUD system and a few other bits and pieces. I wonder if BMW even does software development or outsources the code development and sustaining efforts. I say this because in general they seem to be clueless for the most part. It is the trickle of CIP bulletins that gives us any clue as to what is going on.

http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/sep2004/tc20040914_2307_tc178.htm

hawk2100n
01-15-2006, 05:15 PM
On the 6er forum we have a lot of people with iDrive problems. I seem to be beset the most. (In part that may be beause I use everything on the iDrive -- but that is what BMW intended.) I urge people with iDrive issues to bring their cars in for work and to seek Lemon Law remedies (buy backs and replacement vehicles) if BMW can't fix their iDrives.

In the 6er we are given runflat tires and a (second rate) tire monitoring system that only works through the iDrive interface. With a runflat you can't tell what the problem is visually. You can't see a tire losing air. You only know about it when iDrive tells you about it or, if iDrive isn't working, when the tire is destroyed after running flat beyond its capabilities. Your wheel will also be destroyed, and your car's undercarriage may also be seriously damaged. And, worst of all for this picture, BMW has seen fit not to include a spare in the 6er. Of course, since you don't know the tire is flat, why bother, right?

So iDrive malfunctions implicate serious safety issues. In addition, with a paired Bluetooth phone, the phone will not work within 25-30 feet of the car when the iDrive has failed, and BMW Assist may not work. (Luckily I haven't had to test the runflat or BMW Assist issues, and hope I never do.)
Only when BMW gets tired of spending money to replace its cars with the substandard iDrive, will BMW look to a different OS for iDrive.

You can now remove the soapbox.
Honestly, If not having the cellphone working all of the time is a serious safety issue, you have some priority realignments overdue. God forbid you might actually have to check the tires for proper inflation, and in the event that the car breaks down, you might have to walk 30 feet from you car to contact help. I don't dont know why, but I really dont think that some of Microsofts security issues really matter, although, there might be some huge underground resistance to BMW who is secretly distrobuting an IDrive virus. Mabey its the government. :dunno:

chuck92103
01-15-2006, 05:36 PM
I think Malibu makes very good points. Although they may come off as no big deal to some folks they are to me.

1. If I pay $240 to BMW Assist so the car will automatically call for help, or help is just a push button away, I would like to be able to rely on the technology. If you read the BMW Assist disclaimer, this system is based on best efforts, which is why I will not renew when the time comes. I have heard from numerous people on this board who found out the hard way that BMW Assist was either broken for months and was inoperative when they needed it, or would not consistently work when needed.

2. With Run flat tires, it is imperative that the driver be notified of tire issues. I for one do not check inflation pressures each time before I get in the vehicle. Again, if we cannot rely on the system to monitor the tires, and you do in fact have a flat, the reality is you could drive your tires right off the rim causing a vital safety issue.

3.Blue tooth - imagine you wrecked in a ditch, trapped in the car, BMW Assist is broken, and you can use your cell because Blue tooth is whacked, this is quite a probability giventhe idrive issues we have seen.

When BMW decided to make various safety aspects of the car part of iDrive, they opened up a can of worms. I can see the litigation occuring in the future on numerous fronts due to very, very, very, poor idrive quality control and dealer training.

a. No oil dipsticks - rely on idrive - possible engine failure
b. RF tire pressure monitor
c. Inability to call in emergency - best efforts my ass, if the system does not work when I need it, and I am in cell range, you can bet your ass my attorney will be on them.

They can write all the disclaimers they want, however, they are marketing this crap, along with RF tires as safety enhancements and piece of mind. This will surely bite them in the ass.

I hope someone from BMW who has a clue is reading this board. People who buy BMWs are very affluent and will not stand for such incompentence.

Ok, I am done ranting.

Malibu, I am with you. $90k for car, is it too much to ask that it frickin works? :dunno:

milobloom242
01-15-2006, 06:01 PM
Bill Gates was approached by IBM before the PC was invented to provide an operating system for it. Being an entrepreneur, not an inventor himself, he looked around and found a few. He decided to buy the cheapest one. Because it was the cheapest. It wasn't the best. In fact, it was (and remains) crap. And that is how he became the world's richest man. Paul Allen, who was in the room with him when he made his pitch to IBM (which didn't know they were buying junk), became the world's second richest man. :tsk: They did this by selling a second rate product and then marketing and protecting it (through litigation and other strategems which have been found to be anti-trust violations) very aggressively.

Amazing, isn't it. Gates & crew created an empire by bamboozling IBM, and they're still getting away w/ it based on ubiquity. Because iDrive problems translate to safety issues, I would certainly hate for Boeing to make a similar move as BMW, and of course I hope BMW does their homework and gets off MSFT.

Malibubimmer
01-15-2006, 09:21 PM
Honestly, If not having the cellphone working all of the time is a serious safety issue, you have some priority realignments overdue. God forbid you might actually have to check the tires for proper inflation, and in the event that the car breaks down, you might have to walk 30 feet from you car to contact help. I don't dont know why, but I really dont think that some of Microsofts security issues really matter, although, there might be some huge underground resistance to BMW who is secretly distrobuting an IDrive virus. Mabey its the government. :dunno:
Sadly, Hawk, you're talking out of your a$$ -- perhaps more accurately, you don't know what you are talking about. You obviously don't have a car that is heavily dependent on iDrive. Let me see if I can spell it out for even the most abysmally ignorant:

If an emergency arises and the iDrive isn't working, not only does that mean no BMW Assist -- for which we pay a pretty penny -- but it also means you have to leave your car to make a call for help. If you can leave your car (maybe not, if you've had an accident). If you're a woman, who's had a wreck in an unsafe neighborhood, the last thing you want to have to do is get out of your car to make a call, when you have relied on your cell phone to help you out in such an emergency. With a broken iDrive you can't use your cell phone. Last I recall, there were some pretty unsafe neighborhoods in South Carolina, just as there are everywhere. Do you want your wife stuck in such a situation? It may not be a safety issue for you, but I don't think a jury would have much difficulty in figuring it out if BMW ever claimed it wasn't safety-related and a lawsuit had to be filed challenging BMW's stupid position.

As for the runflats, you obviously don't understand that you can get a flat at any time. You can't rely on "road feel" or visually look at your tires to see if you've got a flat. The only way to tell is either to take the pressure on each tire or get an idea from iDrive that your tires on each axle are turning at about the same rotational speed. (This is the prehistoric tire monitoring system.) While it may be easy for you to check your pressures every morning - and I'm sure you wouldn't mind doing it after buying an $85,000 car -- you can't check them every mile you drive, can you? If you're on the freeway and get a flat, and your iDrive is on the fritz, you're screwed. The first you'll know about the flat is when your tire comes off the rim and you destroy the wheel, and maybe have an accident. It may not be a safety issue for you, but I don't think a jury would have much difficulty in figuring it out if BMW ever claimed it wasn't safety-related and a lawsuit had to be filed challenging BMW's stupid position.

I realize that you have a 1997 Bimmer, but that doesn't make you an expert on iDrive or its safety-related issues. At some point you should let discretion be the better part of valor and keep your wise ass comments to yourself. You simply don't know what you're talking about.

I suspect that we shouldn't take seriously anything a person writes who spells "maybe" the way you do -- "mabey."

___lk___
01-15-2006, 10:05 PM
STOP WHINING

is there a bigger group of whiners than you E63 guys??!? geezus, enough already.

chuck92103
01-15-2006, 10:13 PM
STOP WHINING


is there a bigger group of whiners than you E63 guys??!? geezus, enough already.

You must drive a volvo because you are clueless about bimmers.

I suppose you have no knowledge of the 7 series lawsuit and all the buybacks that ensued.

BMW will fix the cars with iDrive issues? The E63 came out at the end of 2003. Just how long do you expect people to wait for stability?

hawk2100n
01-15-2006, 10:51 PM
Sadly, Hawk, you're talking out of your a$$ -- perhaps more accurately, you don't know what you are talking about. You obviously don't have a car that is heavily dependent on iDrive. Let me see if I can spell it out for even the most abysmally ignorant:

If an emergency arises and the iDrive isn't working, not only does that mean no BMW Assist -- for which we pay a pretty penny -- but it also means you have to leave your car to make a call for help. If you can leave your car (maybe not, if you've had an accident). If you're a woman, who's had a wreck in an unsafe neighborhood, the last thing you want to have to do is get out of your car to make a call, when you have relied on your cell phone to help you out in such an emergency. With a broken iDrive you can't use your cell phone. Last I recall, there were some pretty unsafe neighborhoods in South Carolina, just as there are everywhere. Do you want your wife stuck in such a situation? It may not be a safety issue for you, but I don't think a jury would have much difficulty in figuring it out if BMW ever claimed it wasn't safety-related and a lawsuit had to be filed challenging BMW's stupid position.

As for the runflats, you obviously don't understand that you can get a flat at any time. You can't rely on "road feel" or visually look at your tires to see if you've got a flat. The only way to tell is either to take the pressure on each tire or get an idea from iDrive that your tires on each axle are turning at about the same rotational speed. (This is the prehistoric tire monitoring system.) While it may be easy for you to check your pressures every morning - and I'm sure you wouldn't mind doing it after buying an $85,000 car -- you can't check them every mile you drive, can you? If you're on the freeway and get a flat, and your iDrive is on the fritz, you're screwed. The first you'll know about the flat is when your tire comes off the rim and you destroy the wheel, and maybe have an accident. It may not be a safety issue for you, but I don't think a jury would have much difficulty in figuring it out if BMW ever claimed it wasn't safety-related and a lawsuit had to be filed challenging BMW's stupid position.

I realize that you have a 1997 Bimmer, but that doesn't make you an expert on iDrive or its safety-related issues. At some point you should let discretion be the better part of valor and keep your wise ass comments to yourself. You simply don't know what you're talking about.

I suspect that we shouldn't take seriously anything a person writes who spells "maybe" the way you do -- "mabey."

Well, MABEY, I dont give a rats ass if you can spell better than me. If the best that you can do at retorting to my dissagreement towards your point of view is to make a personal attack on my spelling and the car that I drive, well, I would have expected a lot more from a lawyer. Honestly, I think that your pompus attitude towards the other posters on this forum is disgusting and uncalled for, and making cheap shots at someone like the ones that you make and implying that you are somehow a better person than me is ridicolus.

Back to the subject at hand. My original statement implied, if not stated directly, is that people should not depend on this technology so much as that their own life could possibly be jeapordized by the possible failure of a non essential piece of equipment. Taking a look at the demographics that purchase this car, It is rather rare when the one who has purchased or leased a 6er to be unable to either have an alternate source of transportation, or afford to have the car taken to the dealer for repairs. The likelyhood of IDrive failing is rare, and the likelyhood of getting a flat or being involved in an accident while IDrive has failed is even rarer, the odds could be virtually negligible if one was to service the vehicle in the immediate failure of such a "critical system".

chuck92103
01-15-2006, 10:57 PM
The odds of the Pinto exploding was rare to. Should we have ignored that issue as well. :dunno:

At any rate, you can tell it is Sunday evening. Everyone is pissed they have to go to work tomorrow and are taking their frustrations out on this board. :wave:

daoushy
01-15-2006, 11:08 PM
If you need your cell phone and iDrive is frozen.. very simply un-pair your phone and you can use it... That is not rocket science, is it :dunno: (If you can't do this then you should not have a BT phone to start with)

I think ppl hate Microsoft just because Gates is the richest man alive.. Would you not like to be in his shoes if you can... I bet you would love to..

I am not trying to argue with the lawyers... I know there is no way they would give in to my point.. You are the reason I can't close my windows with my fob :mad:

chuck92103
01-15-2006, 11:12 PM
If you need your cell phone and iDrive is frozen.. very simply un-pair your phone and you can use it... That is not rocket science, is it :dunno: (If you can't do this then you should not have a BT phone to start with)

I think ppl hate Microsoft just because Gates is the richest man alive.. Would you not like to be in his shoes if you can... I bet you would love to..

I am not trying to argue with the lawyers... I know there is no way they would give in to my point.. You are the reason I can't close my windows with my fob :mad:

You need to read up guy. Some phones have been ruined by Bluetooth. Some will not unpair, and you can't unpair a damn thing if the iDrive screen is dead.

daoushy
01-15-2006, 11:15 PM
You need to read up guy. Some phones have been ruined by Bluetooth. Some will not unpair, and you can't unpair a damn thing if the iDrive screen is dead.

You unpair from the phone side not the iDrive side... every phone have a BT setup menu..

I don't understand what it means that the phone have been "ruined" by BT :confused: but if you know that this is the case with your phone before hand, then its your fault that you are still using it.. Same as driving knowing that you have a flat...

___lk___
01-15-2006, 11:21 PM
TEveryone is pissed they have to go to work tomorrow and are taking their frustrations out on this board. :wave:

tomorrow is MLK B'day...a lot of ppl probly have it off. :rolleyes:

Malibubimmer
01-15-2006, 11:24 PM
If you need your cell phone and iDrive is frozen.. very simply un-pair your phone and you can use it... That is not rocket science, is it :dunno: (If you can't do this then you should not have a BT phone to start with)

I think ppl hate Microsoft just because Gates is the richest man alive.. Would you not like to be in his shoes if you can... I bet you would love to..

I am not trying to argue with the lawyers... I know there is no way they would give in to my point.. You are the reason I can't close my windows with my fob :mad:
Another iDrive expert. Read my lips: You can't unpair the phone via the iDrive. Imagine this: Your wife is in the car. In a really bad neighborhood - in Saugus or Lebec, say (since you're from Santa Clarita). She's just had an accident and needs to make a call. She tries to unpair using the iDrive. She can't because it won't work. Does she think about going into the phone, and into all the little menus and submenus, and trying to do it there? No. I guess she can call you on the other phone you have thoughtfully provided to her which is not paired to the car. Also, some phones won't unpair, but that's another issue.

Your comments also don't deal with the other significant safety issue - the runflats. Tell me how to deal with that one, Daoushy? Don't the 3ers have runflats? What happens when whatever system you have in your cars to warn about the runflats stops working? I guess you run alongside the car on the freeway and constantly check the tire pressures, like Hawk.

You guys who don't have iDrive just don't know how lucky you are. But don't give us crap because we have been victimized b BMW and Microsoft and we have the temerity to be unhappy about it.

I don't resent people who are wealthy. That's how I make my living. I do resent a company than turns out a less than mediocre product and has hoodwinked too many suckers and businesses into thinking what it sells is any good, simply because of its predatory market penetration practices. And I resent a company that has some of its victims defending it! (Though most of those who defend Microsoft are either employees or in some way beholden to the company or its products.)

Edit: I have just read a crossing post from you that demonstrates you have no idea what runflats are, and no experience in the real world ever having had a flat tire. The point I was making was that you can get a flat tire, and lose air, while driving. With a regular tire you can feel that you have a flat before your tire deteriorates. You can't do that with a runflat. That's why we have the FTC via iDrive. (We also have no spare tire.) How difficult a concept is that for you to understand? For you to write that it's the fault of the driver to be driving on a flat tire ignores the problem the runflats and BMW's FTC have created. You're just dead set in thinking it's the driver's fault. Unbelievable.

gearh0
01-15-2006, 11:41 PM
this is funny. i knew BMW owners had a reputation for being whiny bitches but this takes the cake. wether you have a BT or wired phone , it is VERY easy to unpair and use the phone (for those who don;t know after turning off the BT you place the headset to your ear, you will hear voices throuigh the speaker. speak normally)

my idrive works fine and i would be pissy if it didn't as well, but lets not pretend that having to use a phone the "old fashioned" way is really a safety issue

i feel like putting a sign on my 745Li that says "i am not a whiny bitch"

daoushy
01-15-2006, 11:45 PM
...

Edit: I have just read a crossing post from you that demonstrates you have no idea what runflats are, and no experience in the real world ever having had a flat tire. The point I was making was that you can get a flat tire, and lose air, while driving. With a regular tire you can feel that you have a flat before your tire deteriorates. You can't do that with a runflat. That's why we have the FTC via iDrive. (We also have no spare tire.) How difficult a concept is that for you to understand? For you to write that it's the fault of the driver to be driving on a flat tire ignores the problem the runflats and BMW's FTC have created. You're just dead set in thinking it's the driver's fault. Unbelievable.

Man, a lawyer in action :D .. First, you make an assumption out of thin air that I have no idea what are RFT :dunno: You make an assumption that I never had a flat before :dunno: You assume that I don't understand that you have no spare, while I also don't have on in my E90..

I'm not sure what post are you referring to, but even if I didn't know what are RFTs in the past, that doesn't mean that I don't know now... I did have a tier blown out at me once while driving at 80MPH, it was a rear tier and I managed to control the car...

You assume that my wife is either stupid, or lazy.. she is neither, thankfully.. And even if she wouldn't know how to unpair the phone, then it is my job to make sure she knows...

And then you finish by taking out of context what I said.. I stated that if you ALREADY know that you do have a flat and still drive THEN its your fault..

What a load of BS ... That is what I expected anyway...

I'm not even going to argue about Microsoft.. But, I don't work there, don't want to work there (though I am a programmer) and don't have any relation to the company

daoushy
01-15-2006, 11:47 PM
this is funny. i knew BMW owners had a reputation for being whiny bitches but this takes the cake. wether you have a BT or wired phone , it is VERY easy to unpair and use the phone (for those who don;t know after turning off the BT you place the headset to your ear, you will hear voices throuigh the speaker. speak normally)

my idrive works fine and i would be pissy if it didn't as well, but lets not pretend that having to use a phone the "old fashioned" way is really a safety issue

i feel like putting a sign on my 745Li that says "i am not a whiny bitch"

:stupid: (what s/he said)

chuck92103
01-15-2006, 11:51 PM
this is funny. i knew BMW owners had a reputation for being whiny bitches but this takes the cake. wether you have a BT or wired phone , it is VERY easy to unpair and use the phone (for those who don;t know after turning off the BT you place the headset to your ear, you will hear voices throuigh the speaker. speak normally)

my idrive works fine and i would be pissy if it didn't as well, but lets not pretend that having to use a phone the "old fashioned" way is really a safety issue

i feel like putting a sign on my 745Li that says "i am not a whiny bitch"

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: I love a heated debate. Some of you folks love having your chains pulled.

Malibubimmer
01-16-2006, 12:14 AM
[1] You assume that my wife is either stupid, or lazy.. she is neither, thankfully.. And even if she wouldn't know how to unpair the phone, then it is my job to make sure she knows.... . .

[2] I'm not even going to argue about Microsoft.. But, I don't work there, don't want to work there (though I am a programmer) and don't have any relation to the company
[1] :dunno: I had assumed she was a typical woman who will not be as mechanically inclined as you (a computer programmer, no less), especially in an emergency. I speak from years of experience in my profession with women who are involved in stressful situations.

[2] :rofl: An apologist for Microsoft. You may not have any "relation" to the company, but then lots of companies that sell anti-virals and patches and the like have no "relation" to Microsoft but are beholden to its totally incompetent OS for their livelihoods.

PS, Chuck: I am not a whiny b!tch. If anything, I am a whiny bastard.

MaxTimeOff
01-16-2006, 04:47 AM
... You are the reason I can't close my windows with my fob :mad:

Lots of fun stuff in this thread.......but this is the one thing that really speaks to me and pisses me off!!:)

Now back to regular programming!

BMW's suck
Pintos sucked
Attorneys suck, but rule the world
IBM was stupid
BT cell phones suck
Run flats suck
Microsoft sucks
Bill gates is rich, but offers nothing good
idrive sucks
Linux, unix, apple will save the world, if we just let them

phuksi
01-16-2006, 07:35 AM
You need to read up guy. Some phones have been ruined by Bluetooth. Some will not unpair, and you can't unpair a damn thing if the iDrive screen is dead.

Well well... You don't need a car to use a cell phone. It is a stand alone device. I normally never have to unpair a phone after it was connected to another BT device. If this would happen it is typically possible to reset a phone if it jams due to other device failing. I would consider upgragding the phone software if it for example cannot handle a lost connection.

I just wonder how a human survived this far wihtout all this technology?

Anyway, I agree with the fact that if there are features included (tire monitoring, BT, BMW Assist) it is reasonable to think they would work. But again just driving a car is a risk. Maybe it is safest to remove the engine?

Malibubimmer
01-16-2006, 08:29 AM
Well well... You don't need a car to use a cell phone. It is a stand alone device. I normally never have to unpair a phone after it was connected to another BT device. If this would happen it is typically possible to reset a phone if it jams due to other device failing. I would consider upgragding the phone software if it for example cannot handle a lost connection.

I just wonder how a human survived this far wihtout all this technology?

Anyway, I agree with the fact that if there are features included (tire monitoring, BT, BMW Assist) it is reasonable to think they would work. But again just driving a car is a risk. Maybe it is safest to remove the engine?
Technology is supposed to make things safer, faster, more convenient, etc. When the iDrive fails in a 6er, it can remain on after the ignition is turned off. If you are in the car, the Bluetooth continues to consider the car's paired iDrive to be your ear phones and continues to remain connected to the car. If you're able to turn the iDrive off (a problem when it fails), then you can use the phone. Until you have experienced the problem you may not understand. And, in an emergency (possibly caused by the iDrive's failure of another of the car's systems) it is unlikely that someone under stress will be as adept as the computer programmer thinks his wife will be in turning Bluetooth off in her phone.

There was a book published in 1979 by Christopher Evans called The Micro Millennium. In it the author talked about all the great things the computer was doing and would do in the future. Evans then asked, rhetorically, how we had gotten along so well for so many centuries without computers. He answered his question by observing that we hadn't really gotten by all that well, that there were enormous inefficiencies computers were helping to resolve, and that communications had been poor before computers, too. He also predicted that as we would rely more on computers we would be vulnerable if we did not have them.

He was right, of course, I do not think he realized that we were about to accept really poor computer technology as the norm (Microsoft OS), and that we would become as tolerant as we have of computer failures, hacking, viruses, hi-jacks and the like. (Of course, he also failed to predict the ubiquity of the Internet.)

But the point remains that BMW has decided to make its most expensive cars hghly dependent on computer technology, and that it then selected a second rate operating system for that technology that was unstable and more prone to failure than other available OS. If that is a whine, so be it. I think it is merely an observation and an appropriate criticism of the manufacturer of otherwise great cars.

tksung
01-16-2006, 11:35 AM
It really was a bad decision to build the iDrive app atop MSFT.

Gasp, that explains ctl-alt-del! Maybe BMW wants to offer Words and Excel on iDrive in the future?

chuck92103
01-16-2006, 12:20 PM
Gasp, that explains ctl-alt-del! Maybe BMW wants to offer Words and Excel on iDrive in the future?

Actually Solitaire would be good as you are waiting for Roadside Assistance.

mwette
01-16-2006, 02:27 PM
I recall reading a few years ago that the iDrive software was indeed written on top
of Windows CE (Microsoft's embedded OS).

Years ago I went to the Embedded Systems Conference (must have been 1998
or 1999). At this conference there was scheduled a talk by someone from MS
on Windows CE. There must have been 300 people in the room. The guy gets
up to start giving his talk and his machine goes for Blue-Screen-Of-Death. The
entire room busted up laughing. It was a great moment.

And while we are on the subject, there is a book "The Inmates are Running
the Asylm" which discusses the reasons why software is often flaky and hard
to use. The author gives a great case of one Porsche which apparently had a safety
feature that if the fuel system got starved for fuel the car would shut off and
could only be re-enabled at the dealer. There were cases of people going through
turns so fast that the fuel system got momentarily starved and the car would
shut off. Poor owners would have to get car towed back to the dealer.

crash8168
01-16-2006, 05:01 PM
tomorrow is MLK B'day...a lot of ppl probly have it off. :rolleyes:
the one day i am going to work even if sick.....

richyz
01-16-2006, 06:03 PM
But the point remains that BMW has decided to make its most expensive cars hghly dependent on computer technology, and that it then selected a second rate operating system for that technology that was unstable and more prone to failure than other available OS. If that is a whine, so be it. I think it is merely an observation and an appropriate criticism of the manufacturer of otherwise great cars.

On my new 3 I had to forgo NAV, which I badly wanted since my work requires me to always be driving around to places I haven't been before, since it only comes with iDrive and I wasn't willing to deal with that. I'm sure I was one of many. At least on the 3 I had an option to do so.

Speaking as a Mac person, I'm sure if BMW had partnered with Apple they could've come up with something better than what they have now.

Malibubimmer
01-16-2006, 06:30 PM
On my new 3 I had to forgo NAV, which I badly wanted since my work requires me to always be driving around to places I haven't been before, since it only comes with iDrive and I wasn't willing to deal with that. I'm sure I was one of many. At least on the 3 I had an option to do so.

Speaking as a Mac person, I'm sure if BMW had partnered with Apple they could've come up with something better than what they have now.
I agree, but apparently BMW first had a Unix OS and then changed to Windows OS.

As I mentioned earlier, we***8217;ve been discussing the Windows OS for iDrive on the 6er board for a long time. Some of you may say we***8217;ve been whining about iDrive. Back at the end of last month, Cobradav posted an SIB from December 2004. His Post on the Subject Was Here (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1478957&postcount=3)

Here***8217;s the relevant part of what the SIB Cobradav posted which discussed Windows as the new OS:

SI B 09 01 04
Programming January 2005
Technical Service

This Service Information bulletin supersedes S.I. B09 01 04 dated December 2004.

designates changes to this revision

SUBJECT
Programming Manager - Progman

MODEL
All

INFORMATION
Progman is new software that enables the coding and programming of up to 5 vehicles from one Software Service Station (SSS). A special Starter Kit with a SSS Base DVD is included with CIP 15, which upgrades the SSS to handle this advanced function and changes the operating system from Unix to Windows XP embedded. The decision to change to a Windows embedded program was based upon the worldwide influx of Windows and a lower development cost. Do not for any reason attempt to load any other Windows programs on the SSS. The embedded process will prevent this. Repairs due to damage to the SSS caused by attempts to load unauthorized Windows programs will be the responsibility of the center. The GT1 and DIS plus remain Unix operating systems. Only the SSS is to be loaded with the SSS base DVD and the CIP 15 DVD, GT1(s) are to be "updated" with the CIP 15 DVD only. It is recommended at this time to load all SSS with CIP15 Progman but only one GT1 with CIP 15 Progman. The GT1 with Progman is used to update the firmware in the diagnostic heads, OPS and OPPS. Refer to the loading instructions attached to this SI or the pictograph instructions included with the starter kit.
Note that the decision to go with Windows was based, in part, on cost. And, if BMW could change from Unix to Windows OS, it can change again to something more reliable -- perhaps an Apple OS. I don't know how good or bad the Unix system was (was it involved in all those 2002 745 buybacks?), but Windows is absolutely the worst OS it could choose, because of its obvious instability and fragility.

I just re-read the SIB. I think I may be wrong. The Progman -- the device that programs the iDrive - converted from Unix to Windows. Thus, it is possible the iDrive OS has always been Windows. BMW may not be able to change the OS in its iDrives. What a disappointment. I do agree with Chuck92103's comments, below.

chuck92103
01-16-2006, 06:40 PM
I think iDrive is facing both software code issues and memory limitations. From the MP3 CIP bulletin recently posted, it appears they were working franticaly to fix software issues and get patches out and optimization of code and memory utilization was secondary. The CIP languauge implies they did not have room for all the code and had to leave something out. Now they have most issues resolved, they can go back and optimize code and put MP3 functionality back in.

With memory (RAM) so cheap, I can't imagine why they put barely enough in the computer.

----------

SUBJECT


CCC: MP3 CD Playback Not Available


MODEL


E60, E61 (5 Series) with SA 609 CCC-Navigation from 3/05 to 9/29/05 vehicle production
E63, E64 (6 Series) from 3/05 to 9/29/05 vehicle production
E90, E91 (3 series)) with SA 609 CCC-Navigation vehicles produced up to 9/29/05



SITUATION


The MP3 option is not available in the audio menu. When an MP3 CD is used, it is not recognized as a valid
CD.



CAUSE


The stability of earlier CCC (Car Communication Computer) software did not allow for proper MP3
functionality.

johnf
01-17-2006, 01:23 AM
My reading of the bulletin is that it claims the CCC software was too buggy (one unfortunate bug being enough) to support MP3 playback. Perhaps someone made a change with unforeseen side effects that made it so.

Anyway, it is not at all unusual to constantly run short of resources when developing embedded systems, particularly the strongly cost constrained systems that go into cars.

phantom701
01-17-2006, 02:00 AM
It's funny you have some arrogant rambling people who don't know anything about software and programming making such huge ego statements. :tsk:

Has it ever occurred to you that the software written by the BMW engineers are poorly tested or written? It might have nothing to do with UNIX or Microsoft or Apple or Linux or VMWare. If you have engineers who are not good, you will constantly need to update the vehicle with software and patches. Have you proven that the problem you are having in your vehicle is OS related??? :dunno: :confused: :mad:

Associating BMW Assist and iDrive and Bluetooth is non sensicle. They are completely different systems. It's like associated your power seats to your steering wheel. Stop comparing apples and oranges. :tsk: :rolleyes:

Once and for all, some of you who make such bold blanket false statements about the vehicle's computer system should probably take some high school programming classes. The high school kids can tell you exactly what's going on.

johnf
01-17-2006, 02:35 AM
I agree, but apparently BMW first had a Unix OS and then changed to Windows OS....I have gotten a little lost in this discussion. Wasn't that in the diagnostic workshop systems at the dealerships rather than the controllers and subsystems that go into the cars?

milobloom242
01-17-2006, 07:57 AM
Yes, that was a big assumption wasn't it - that the MSFT OS is the only problem when in fact you're right it could be the iDrive application itself. There seem to be quite a few bugs so maybe they both aren't ready for prime time, and maybe the service folks executing software updates aren't quite ready for prime time either.

The point tho was that given Windows' stellar track record there are clearly more stable and reliable OS's available. Anyone who's been exposed to z/OS, the various UNIX flavors, Linux and Windows knows this. So no matter how fine and cool a Windows app you develop, you're always going to be saddled with CTL+ALT+DEL and blue screen of death kinds of issues.

It's funny you have some arrogant rambling people who don't know anything about software and programming making such huge ego statements. :tsk:

Has it ever occurred to you that the software written by the BMW engineers are poorly tested or written? It might have nothing to do with UNIX or Microsoft or Apple or Linux or VMWare. If you have engineers who are not good, you will constantly need to update the vehicle with software and patches. Have you proven that the problem you are having in your vehicle is OS related??? :dunno: :confused: :mad:

Associating BMW Assist and iDrive and Bluetooth is non sensicle. They are completely different systems. It's like associated your power seats to your steering wheel. Stop comparing apples and oranges. :tsk: :rolleyes:

Once and for all, some of you who make such bold blanket false statements about the vehicle's computer system should probably take some high school programming classes. The high school kids can tell you exactly what's going on.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 07:58 AM
Has it ever occurred to you that the software written by the BMW engineers are poorly tested or written? It might have nothing to do with UNIX or Microsoft or Apple or Linux or VMWare.

Associating BMW Assist and iDrive and Bluetooth is non sensicle. They are completely different systems.

phantom, I am not a software developer,, however, you comments make absolutely no sense to me. :dunno:

The point folks were trying to make about using the Windows is BMW/Siemens picked the worst O/S to use in terms of stability, in an already unstable system. I agree the developers are not the sharpest tools in the shed, but they went from UNIX to Windows, and their code development still sucks.

We don't have Good O/S and Good Programming
We have bad O/S - and bad programming

A double whammy

Also, BMW Assist, BlueTooth, and iDrive have different uses, but they all rely on the same iDrive code. Completely different systems would mean we have three separate and independent computers on board which we don't. :dunno:

mrbelk
01-17-2006, 09:33 AM
Not to confuse matters any further, but I read an article somewhere on an embedded systems site that would indicate that the actual iDrive application is written using a Java-based architecture that allows for new modules of functionality to be "plugged in" to the core system with little or no impact on existing modules.

Here are some links to the articles:

http://java.sun.com/developer/technicalArticles/J2ME/TLA.html
http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/archives/2004/09/java_powered_bm.html
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/sep2004/tc20040914_2307_tc178.htm
http://www.techs-end.com/content/view/65/

It's hardly ever the underlying OS that causes the problems; it's almost always the developer misusing the OS.

-MrB

milobloom242
01-17-2006, 09:42 AM
So by your logic all Windows developers are misusing Windows since their systems are inherently less stable and reliable than apps on z/OS, UNIX or Linux.

It's hardly ever the underlying OS that causes the problems; it's almost always the developer misusing the OS.

-MrB

johnf
01-17-2006, 09:57 AM
It's hardly ever the underlying OS that causes the problems; it's almost always the developer misusing the OS.Like those who write computer viruses and worms? :)

I am not sure I buy this argument. Programming under Windows is so needlessly complex it invites misunderstanding and misuse.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 10:54 AM
All I know is Corporate America runs their mission critical apps/servers on UNIX, not Windows.

No company, especially a manufacturer with tight timetables can afford to apply patches to critical servers as often as Microsoft requires, and I won't even get into the numerous virus issues that affect the windows world.

I don't want to get into an O/S debate. I use Windows at work on my computer. However, it is a question of the right tool for the job.

I just don't think Windows is the right tool for automobile applications. The fact that Windows is so pervasive, it has become a hackers target, virus target, and system driver nightmare.

I can't believe for a second that Windows was a cheaper route for BMW. Yeah, maybe development was cheaper, but now we get to take our cars to the dealers for software upgrades 2-3 times per year. So essentially, they deferred the cost of iDrive development to the service side of the business instead of the development side.

If the average consumer gets their iDrive updated one time per year over the course of 4 years, and the shop time to do it costs roughly $300, that is $1200 just in upgrades to fix bugs. This does not include iDrive issues that some folks are having.

My car was built in April 2005, and I bought it from a dealer in November. The iDrive has been updated three times. Once by me, and twice by the dealer (manager's car).

The system was designed to simpify things, less knobs/buttons, etc. However, BMW traded simplification for increased service costs that they have to pay, and iDrive gremlins that require some folks to go to the dealer monthly to work out issues.

BMW opened a can of worms with iDrive. Now owners are comparing notes/software versions, etc. and going to the dealer armed with information. Just like a home computer, people want to have not only the latest software, but any enhanced features, and more stability in some cases. Or perhaps a new cell phone supported.

In order for BMW to get their arms around this issue, they need to start thinking like a software company and not an automobile manufacturer, at least from an iDrive perspective.

Bart001
01-17-2006, 11:57 AM
It's funny you have some arrogant rambling people who don't know anything about software and programming making such huge ego statements. :tsk:



Hey they can afford BMW's and so that makes them experts on EVERYTHING. Arrogant ramblings on a BMW board? Why I never woulda thunk it!

Malibubimmer
01-17-2006, 01:34 PM
I'm always amused at the people who spring to Microsoft's defense. Most of them are beholden in some way to Microsoft, or its lousy products. The rest are just Microsoft Moonies, afraid if they don't defend Microsoft, Big Brother Bill will send some computer virus hurtling down on them. The Cult of Microsoft.

richyz
01-17-2006, 01:50 PM
I'm always amused at the people who spring to Microsoft's defense. Most of them are beholden in some way to Microsoft, or its lousy products. The rest are just Microsoft Moonies, afraid if they don't defend Microsoft, Big Brother Bill will send some computer virus hurtling down on them. The Cult of Microsoft.

I wonder what percentage of BMW owners also are Mac users. We own/drive BMW's because we appreciate a well engineered product that is a joy to use. It stands to reason that BMW owners should then also be Mac users all out of proportion to the percentage of the country at large with Macs.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 02:06 PM
Where I work, we have 20,000-30,000 computers. Of which approx. 200 are macs.

Suffice it to say, I love Windows over the Mac. It is job security.

Windows is so buggy, full of worms, driver issues, etc. it keeps me and several hundred IT professionals employed. :D

Not to mention free golf from

AntiVirus vendors
Backup software vendors
Firewall Vendors
Patch management vendors
Security vendors
etc

oh what a tangled web we weave :eek:

oh and buy the way, anything we care about (mission critical) runs on UNIX. :wave:

daoushy
01-17-2006, 02:10 PM
I'm always amused at the people who spring to Microsoft's defense. Most of them are beholden in some way to Microsoft, or its lousy products. The rest are just Microsoft Moonies, afraid if they don't defend Microsoft, Big Brother Bill will send some computer virus hurtling down on them. The Cult of Microsoft.

This must be, by far, the stupidest thing I ever read on the 'Fest

johnf
01-17-2006, 02:15 PM
I'm always amused at the people who spring to Microsoft's defense. Most of them are beholden in some way to Microsoft, or its lousy products. The rest are just Microsoft Moonies, afraid if they don't defend Microsoft, Big Brother Bill will send some computer virus hurtling down on them. The Cult of Microsoft.I think a lot of people only know Windows PCs and are not aware that there are happier alternatives. I demonstrated my five year old Apple Powerbook running OSX to a friend working at a (German) computer store after which he remarked that he has been living in the stone age.

I wonder what iDrive might have been like had BMW asked Apple to develop its GUI.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 02:26 PM
We have two companies to blame for the computer predicament we find ourselves Apple (Steve Jobs) and IBM.

A long time ago Apple had the front end (GUI) and IBM had the backend (Servers). No one could touch their product lines. They were both the standard. However, they were both greedy and arrogant with excessively expensive computer equipment.

So Microsoft and Intel swooped in and took market share.

To gain market share, one must not necessarily be the best, just the smartest. :thumbup:

Bill Gates (Microsoft) advanced when Apple and IBM were asleep at the switch. I used to use a Mac a long time ago. I remember watching their market share dwindle from 15%, to 10%, to now around 3%.

Now they are basically college student novelty toys. You can get some software for them, but offerings are no where near as extensive as the Windows systems have available.

The thing about market share, once you lose it, you have to work 10 times harder to get it back.

I bet more folks are familiar with iPOD than Apple computers. Shows you the direction they are heading. Computers are a niche market for them. You will have to look long and hard to find them used in business.

daoushy
01-17-2006, 03:15 PM
I agree with all what Chuck just stated...

Another not.. iPod's great success has to do in part that iTune runs on windows.. Also Apple just announced a working relation with Intel.. and they extended their partnership with Microsoft to continue to provide the Office suite to Apple... So Apple is finally taking the hint..

richyz
01-17-2006, 03:28 PM
Now they are basically college student novelty toys. You can get some software for them, but offerings are no where near as extensive as the Windows systems have available.


My Mac allows me to do anything I need to do computerwise in a much more satisfying way than a PC would. My analogy is my commute to work: I could just as easily do it in a Chevy as in a BMW - but I wouldn't want to.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Apple market share now that they will be Intel based and could easily come out with a computer running both the Apple OS and Windows for those who think they have to have that. My guess is their marketshare could about double. And before you scoff at that as still under 10% marketshare - what's BMW's marketshare?

milobloom242
01-17-2006, 03:33 PM
Maybe I'm not clear on what you're saying, but Apple has always been fighting to get out of a niche market or at least positioning itself to thrive in it by focusing on graphic design kinds of markets for example.

And IBM handed the OS market for PCs to MSFT. Based on this stronghold, MSFT launched itself into the corporate server market starting at the low end and seemingly still relegated to the low end despite tremendous efforts to move into mission critical roles. Note the most recent top 10 list of supercomputers excluded Windows again - six or so spots included Linux. MSFT has been trying desparately to make this list.

Anyhoo, BMW choosing Windows OS as the substructure of iDrive was a bad idea. As others have pointed out, maybe low initial cost but tremendous total cost of ownership and headache over the life of the vehicles and the app.

We have two companies to blame for the computer predicament we find ourselves Apple (Steve Jobs) and IBM.

A long time ago Apple had the front end (GUI) and IBM had the backend (Servers). No one could touch their product lines. They were both the standard. However, they were both greedy and arrogant with excessively expensive computer equipment.

So Microsoft and Intel swooped in and took market share.

To gain market share, one must not necessarily be the best, just the smartest. :thumbup:

Bill Gates (Microsoft) advanced when Apple and IBM were asleep at the switch. I used to use a Mac a long time ago. I remember watching their market share dwindle from 15%, to 10%, to now around 3%.

Now they are basically college student novelty toys. You can get some software for them, but offerings are no where near as extensive as the Windows systems have available.

The thing about market share, once you lose it, if have to work 10 times harder to get it back.

I bet more folks are familiar with iPOD than Apple computers. Shows you the direction they are heading. Computer are a niche market for them. You will have to look long and hard to find them used in business.

Malibubimmer
01-17-2006, 03:42 PM
This must be, by far, the stupidest thing I ever read on the 'Fest
So, apparently, after you write them, you don't read your own posts. Too bad. You'd have a good laugh.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 03:42 PM
My Mac allows me to do anything I need to do computerwise in a much more satisfying way than a PC would. My analogy is my commute to work: I could just as easily do it in a Chevy as in a BMW - but I wouldn't want to.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Apple market share now that they will be Intel based and could easily come out with a computer running both the Apple OS and Windows for those who think they have to have that. My guess is their marketshare could about double. And before you scoff at that as still under 10% marketshare - what's BMW's marketshare?

I doubt Apples market share will change. Currently at 2.2% worldwide. It was 3% one year ago, and was predicted to go to 5% because of iPOD converts. Never happened. Simply because when you go into your favorite computer store, take a look at all the applications available for PCs, and then go look at what is available for Macs. Night and day difference.

You can run a Mac at home just fine, basic web surfing, word processing, photoshop, etc. However very few enterprise business apps are available which is why they are not used extensively in business.

Apple has a nice interface. Always has. But that interface is a very, very small part of the equation as evidenced by Windows market share.

It is difficult for any software developer to justify building apps for a <3% marketshare product.

Bart001
01-17-2006, 04:12 PM
We have two companies to blame for the computer predicament we find ourselves Apple (Steve Jobs) and IBM.

A long time ago Apple had the front end (GUI) and IBM had the backend (Servers). No one could touch their product lines. They were both the standard. However, they were both greedy and arrogant with excessively expensive computer equipment.

So Microsoft and Intel swooped in and took market share.

To gain market share, one must not necessarily be the best, just the smartest. :thumbup:

Bill Gates (Microsoft) advanced when Apple and IBM were asleep at the switch. I used to use a Mac a long time ago. I remember watching their market share dwindle from 15%, to 10%, to now around 3%.

Now they are basically college student novelty toys. You can get some software for them, but offerings are no where near as extensive as the Windows systems have available.

The thing about market share, once you lose it, you have to work 10 times harder to get it back.

I bet more folks are familiar with iPOD than Apple computers. Shows you the direction they are heading. Computers are a niche market for them. You will have to look long and hard to find them used in business.

This thread cracks me up with respect to the large degree of outright misinformation and wholly made-up "facts" being presented.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 04:20 PM
This thread cracks me up with respect to the large degree of outright misinformation and wholly made-up "facts" being presented.

Oh please tell us your version oh mighty one.. :bow:

milobloom242
01-17-2006, 04:42 PM
Oh please tell us your version oh mighty one.. :bow:

can see my response at least, about 5 posts above.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 05:30 PM
can see my response at least, about 5 posts above.

Yep :thumbup:

richyz
01-17-2006, 05:41 PM
It is difficult for any software developer to justify building apps for a <3% marketshare product.

For the large part of the computer buying public all the apps you need are there. If you think you need Word or Office they're there. Or accounting software, or iTunes or managing your digital photos or whatever. And then there's all the people who mostly use their computer just for web surfing and email.

Granted - there are specialized apps that are only available on Windows - but the large majority of people aren't using those apps.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 05:45 PM
For the large part of the computer buying public all the apps you need are there. If you think you need Word or Office they're there. Or accounting software, or iTunes or managing your digital photos or whatever. And then there's all the people who mostly use their computer just for web surfing and email.

Granted - there are specialized apps that are only available on Windows - but the large majority of people aren't using those apps.

From an enterprise standpoint, you will find software to manage thousands of Apples extremely lacking by Apples own admission.

It is not just about the apps on the box, it is about managing a large numbers of hosts in a corporate environment. Patch management, Anti-Virus, Firewalls, Software updates, databases, ERP systems, manufacturing, etc. Requires a lot of management infrastructure to effectively manage the computers.

This is one of the reasons Windows sells well. People have at home for the most part what they use at work. Corporate America will dictate what the company will use and employees generally follow suit.

One of the keys to any large scale computer system deployment is manageability. You will find Macs are often standlaone boxes that IT does not touch in corporations. This is a very key reason why they are not widely adopted. Cool machines, but very inefficient to manage from an enterprises standpoint since exisiting management systems do not support Mac and Windows together so you need mutiple systems.

richyz
01-17-2006, 07:14 PM
From an enterprise standpoint, you will find software to manage thousands of Apples extremely lacking by Apples own admission.

One of the keys to any large scale computer system deployment is manageability. You will find Macs are often standlaone boxes that IT does not touch in corporations. This is a very key reason why they are not widely adopted. Cool machines, but very inefficient to manage from an enterprises standpoint since exisiting management systems do not support Mac and Windows together so you need mutiple systems.

Agreed - Apple is not the way to go for a corporate environment with large networks. Macs are better meant for the single home user, small architectural firm/design house, etc.

___lk___
01-17-2006, 07:14 PM
chuck, please, if you're really posting this stuff w/ a straight face, then you gotta stop.... it's really pretty hilarious, but the technically saavy among us are really getting quite a laugh at your expense. :rofl:

if you're just trying to tweak mac geeks, etc.. then feel free to continue. but i get the feeling you really believe what you're posting, and it's getting quite bizarre.

you're starting to remind me of that "baghdad bob" guy... :rolleyes:

From an enterprise standpoint, you will find software to manage thousands of Apples extremely lacking by Apples own admission.

It is not just about the apps on the box, it is about managing a large numbers of hosts in a corporate environment. Patch management, Anti-Virus, Firewalls, Software updates, databases, ERP systems, manufacturing, etc. Requires a lot of management infrastructure to effectively manage the computers.

This is one of the reasons Windows sells well. People have at home for the most part what
they use at work. Corporate America will dictate what the company will use and employees generally follow suit.

One of the keys to any large scale computer system deployment is manageability. You will find Macs are often standlaone boxes that IT does not touch in corporations. This is a very key reason why they are not widely adopted. Cool machines, but very inefficient to manage from an enterprises standpoint since exisiting management systems do not support Mac and Windows together so you need mutiple systems.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 07:19 PM
chuck, please, if you're really posting this stuff w/ a straight face, then you gotta stop.... it's really pretty hilarious, but the technically saavy among us are really getting quite a laugh at your expense. :rofl:

:dunno: Is there a valid argument in there somewhere? :wave:

___lk___
01-17-2006, 07:48 PM
:dunno: Is there a valid argument in there somewhere? :wave:

hey, just tryin to help u out... i'm still cleaning the cheerios off my monitor from your "A long time ago Apple had the front end" comment.. i might need a new keyboard too. :rolleyes:

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 07:53 PM
hey, just tryin to help u out... i'm still cleaning the cheerios off my monitor from your "A long time ago Apple had the front end" comment.. i might need a new keyboard too. :rolleyes:

I have nothing else to bitch about? :dunno: Car is fine, job, is fine, Tequila in the cupboard, Montecristos in the humidor...life is good. :thumbup:

Bart001
01-17-2006, 08:11 PM
Oh please tell us your version oh mighty one.. :bow:

My version stops with the clear realization that you have no idea what you're talking about. You know that you're just makin' this chit up; I guess it's fun internet entertainment for you.

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 08:13 PM
My version stops with the clear realization that you have no idea what you're talking about. You know that you're just makin' this chit up; I guess it's fun internet entertainment for you.

Hum another Mac user. Hold on, let me copy and paste....

:dunno: Is there a valid argument in there somewhere? :wave:

DaveChapin
01-17-2006, 08:59 PM
Getting back to the iDrive topic...

People like me are one of the reasons BMW is slow to fix the iDrive. I knew of the issues going in, and ordered a new one anyway. Still it was one of those things that really gave me pause. I had the dealer give me a demo of everything thoroughly before I ordered my car and then I put myself in the driver's seat and did what he showed me.

I would still kill for some track and radio preset buttons on the 650 dash panel that is currently empty (under the AC controls). At least the 7s have the am/fm button.

My dealer told me that the OS on the iDrive is still Windows CE (the MSFT embedded OS) but BMW did take the step to contract higher-level software (the iDrive apps) to a different 3rd party than used for the original iDrive. The dealer claimed the original 3rd party for the apps was MSFT itself. Although I find that hard to believe. The important point was that he claims the apps were basically rewritten from scratch for the iDrive used in the new 5s and now 6s (and presumably 7s by now). Even though I have much distaste for Windows as a desktop OS, MSFT's embedded OSes are really completely different code bases, and I actually think they are fairly solid.

My impression of the system after the demos was that it looked pretty slick. I'm sure some things could have been done better. And it would be neat to see what Apple would come up with.

I had heard stories of it being slow. That you could turn the knob and it would take a moment for the iDrive to catch up to you. For a car UI, I think that would be unacceptable. Maybe that was true in the past, but it seems the latest versions of the hardware/software are good enough in this regard. I didn't play with the Nav stuff much though, so don't know about that area.

There is still the issue of safety regarding iDrive hang, crash, or failure:

- the Run Flat tire warning. That's a real problem. Still not resolved. It would be nice if BMW actually had real pressure guages on the tires instead of only this heuristic that depends on rotational speed differences between the tires. I've worked in labs in my past and have experience with sensors of all kinds. While pressure is harder to do than, say, temp, it's certainly not a big deal, and so it would have been a nice feature to have (in addition) to the current warning system.

- the phone pairing thing. Maybe not a huge problem, but an issue in a panicky situation. This has a workaround at least.

- BMW Assist issues... here's my understanding of the problem as explained by my dealer. If iDrive is hung, BMW Assist will still work in that you can call out to BMW and you can even talk to them w/ or w/o a cell phone. Apparently Assist uses some feature of the cell phone network reserved for emergency communication. (Is all of this BS? I hope my dealer is not blowing smoke up my a**.) Anyway, the issue with a hung iDrive is that it means BMW can't read anything about your car. Not your position, vital signs of the car, nothing. That really reduces the usefulness of the feature. The Dealer added that OnStar was much superior and though GM will license the service and tech to other car makers, BMW elected not to use it.

The dealer said he didn't know how to reboot the system but would get back to me. It is depressing that we have to think in these terms now: car OS crashes. Before it was joke: "What if cars worked like my computer."

d

chuck92103
01-17-2006, 09:03 PM
DaveChapin,

There are radio preset buttons. You use the same ones as one on the in dash CD player. Granted they are not individual presets, but the left and right arrow can be used to advance cd tracks, radio presets, and sat radio presets.

Malibubimmer
01-17-2006, 09:21 PM
Getting back to the iDrive topic...

People like me are one of the reasons BMW is slow to fix the iDrive. I knew of the issues going in, and ordered a new one anyway. Still it was one of those things that really gave me pause. I had the dealer give me a demo of everything thoroughly before I ordered my car and then I put myself in the driver's seat and did what he showed me.

I would still kill for some track and radio preset buttons on the 650 dash panel that is currently empty (under the AC controls). At least the 7s have the am/fm button.

My dealer told me that the OS on the iDrive is still Windows CE (the MSFT embedded OS) but BMW did take the step to contract higher-level software (the iDrive apps) to a different 3rd party than used for the original iDrive. The dealer claimed the original 3rd party for the apps was MSFT itself. Although I find that hard to believe. The important point was that he claims the apps were basically rewritten from scratch for the iDrive used in the new 5s and now 6s (and presumably 7s by now). Even though I have much distaste for Windows as a desktop OS, MSFT's embedded OSes are really completely different code bases, and I actually think they are fairly solid.

My impression of the system after the demos was that it looked pretty slick. I'm sure some things could have been done better. And it would be neat to see what Apple would come up with.

I had heard stories of it being slow. That you could turn the knob and it would take a moment for the iDrive to catch up to you. For a car UI, I think that would be unacceptable. Maybe that was true in the past, but it seems the latest versions of the hardware/software are good enough in this regard. I didn't play with the Nav stuff much though, so don't know about that area.

There is still the issue of safety regarding iDrive hang, crash, or failure:

- the Run Flat tire warning. That's a real problem. Still not resolved. It would be nice if BMW actually had real pressure guages on the tires instead of only this heuristic that depends on rotational speed differences between the tires. I've worked in labs in my past and have experience with sensors of all kinds. While pressure is harder to do than, say, temp, it's certainly not a big deal, and so it would have been a nice feature to have (in addition) to the current warning system.

- the phone pairing thing. Maybe not a huge problem, but an issue in a panicky situation. This has a workaround at least.

- BMW Assist issues... here's my understanding of the problem as explained by my dealer. If iDrive is hung, BMW Assist will still work in that you can call out to BMW and you can even talk to them w/ or w/o a cell phone. Apparently Assist uses some feature of the cell phone network reserved for emergency communication. (Is all of this BS? I hope my dealer is not blowing smoke up my a**.) Anyway, the issue with a hung iDrive is that it means BMW can't read anything about your car. Not your position, vital signs of the car, nothing. That really reduces the usefulness of the feature. The Dealer added that OnStar was much superior and though GM will license the service and tech to other car makers, BMW elected not to use it.

The dealer said he didn't know how to reboot the system but would get back to me. It is depressing that we have to think in these terms now: car OS crashes. Before it was joke: "What if cars worked like my computer."

d
I seem to have the most iDrive problems with my new 650i. I've owned it for 90 days today, and it's in the shop for the 3rd time, going on 5 days total. So let me answer some of your questions.

First, I love the car. If the car were everything except the iDrive, it would be perfect. Sadly, the car is built around the iDrive.

Second, the iDrive is not slow. When it works, it works imperceptibly quickly. But it is still built on Microsoft software and is highly unstable Everybody who has a 6er is going to get at least one software upgrade every year. For the first 4 years, that's under warranty. After that, who knows what it will cost. (If we bring a class action against BMW, the way Acura NSX owners brought a class action against Honda for tire wear issues in the early 1990s, we may be able to get free upgrades for life.)

Third, a real tire pressure measuring system is supposedly on the way - next year maybe.

Fourth, when my iDrive first started acting up, one of the initial failures was that when I called BMW Assist for my "welcoming call" the entire iDrive hung up and froze ON THE BMW ASSIST CALL. So, your dealer was not being truthful :liar: Why am I not surprised? When the iDrive doesn't work, BMW Assist will not, from my experience. And when BMW Assist freezes up, it takes the iDrive down with it.

Fifth, when the iDrive is working, and not "forgetting" your pre-sets (one of my problems from the start and still a problem), the radio interface works easily and intuitively. It is well designed. Unfortunately, it has a Microsoft OS.

Other than that it's been a great car. But I am losing my patience, even though I have 3 other vehicles to drive.

rwfisher
01-18-2006, 07:03 AM
With regard to iDrive...a unix-based OS would be a great idea. I would imagine you'd see tools to interface with /dev/radio in short order. I'd also like to see a Firewire (or USB 2.0) interface...I guess it's becoming necessary to perform backups of car systems now....

With regard to Windows...one reason it has become so widespread in the corporate environment is that given a choice between relatively problem-free OSes, and labor-intensive OSes, which do you think an ambitious IT manager will prefer? The one that will let him increase his budget, manpower, etc. Then there's the issue of "certification"....

Bart001
01-18-2006, 08:15 AM
With regard to iDrive...a unix-based OS would be a great idea. I would imagine you'd see tools to interface with /dev/radio in short order. I'd also like to see a Firewire (or USB 2.0) interface...I guess it's becoming necessary to perform backups of car systems now....



The problem with providing a mainstream interface to the car's computerized systems is that owners will 'mess around' with it and BMW will be left having to pay for the repairs (for cars under warranty). It's easy to forsee -- people write software akin to what is available to 'hack up' your mobile phone (the "tools to interface" that you mentioned), owners screw around with it, something goes horribly wrong and BMW ends up having to pay for the tow to the dealership and for the repair.

There just isn't much incentive to allow the customer to have easy access to the software that runs the car.

KrisL
01-18-2006, 08:17 AM
My hat is made out of Microsoft Intellifoil.NET.

Bart001
01-18-2006, 08:20 AM
Hum another Mac user. Hold on, let me copy and paste....

:dunno: Is there a valid argument in there somewhere? :wave:

By the way I've not owned a Mac since the LC II (I'm thinking early 1990's). All of my home computers and office computers run XP Home or Pro. The only Apple product I own is an iPod with which I use WinAmp rather than iTunes for everything other than installing iPod system updates.

chuck92103
01-18-2006, 08:24 AM
By the way I've not owned a Mac since the LC II (I'm thinking early 1990's). All of my home computers and office computers run XP Home or Pro. The only Apple product I own is an iPod with which I use WinAmp rather than iTunes for everything other than installing iPod system updates.

:thumbup: Macs are cool. Perhaps the best thing going right now for the home user. I have had several over the years. I think some poster just misunderstood what I was saying.

daoushy
01-18-2006, 09:54 AM
My Mac allows me to do anything I need to do computerwise in a much more satisfying way than a PC would. My analogy is my commute to work: I could just as easily do it in a Chevy as in a BMW - but I wouldn't want to.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Apple market share now that they will be Intel based and could easily come out with a computer running both the Apple OS and Windows for those who think they have to have that. My guess is their marketshare could about double. And before you scoff at that as still under 10% marketshare - what's BMW's marketshare?

You can't compare Apple's market share to BMW's since the number of players in each market is vastly different.. That is comparing apples to oranges...

Keep in mind that to get Apple's so called reliability you have to pay a premium vs. PCs... And same goes for any thing that runs on Apple.. More expensive and way less variety...

daoushy
01-18-2006, 10:25 AM
..... (If we bring a class action against BMW, the way Acura NSX owners brought a class action against Honda for tire wear issues in the early 1990s, we may be able to get free upgrades for life.)....


as I expected :tsk:

johnf
01-19-2006, 02:24 AM
Keep in mind that to get Apple's so called reliability you have to pay a premium vs. PCs... And same goes for any thing that runs on Apple.. More expensive and way less variety...Some could make similar arguments about BMWs but we love them just the same. :)

Rowag
01-19-2006, 07:57 PM
Wow... who would've thought that Bimmerfest would turn into a MS-bashing thread? You'd think I was reading Slashdot... :tsk:

I'm a CTO and software engineer, and I can tell you that the blame here lies solely at the feet of BMW.

You can build a crappy UNIX machine, and you can build a great Windows machine. Heck, my workstation at my office (Windows 2000 Pro) has been up for over a year with no reboots - day in, day out, cranking up various apps and other programs with zero hitches. :thumbup: The same thing is seen with our Windows servers (though those have only been going for about 4 months on Windows Server 2003 - we had to obviously power cycle them when we upgraded from Win 2K).

We've got various Linux machines too that have the same type of uptime, i.e. ROCK SOLID. :thumbup:

If iDrive sucks, it's because the app sucks. Now don't get me wrong, Microsoft isn't without their faults (and they usually don't get a program right until the 3rd version), but if you want cheap software, that's what you'll get - cheap software. If BMW is looking to cut costs then they're obviously not going for the creme-de-la-creme software engineers... they're going for the low-budget "code monkeys". And we get to play with the fruits of their labor.

Also, for a little history lesson - old-school DOS won over IBM partially because of cost and slick marketing, but also because for the CPU IBM was building it extracted every ounce of power possible out of the chip at the time. Yes it had horrible bottlenecks that would rear their heads down the road, but it worked.

And if it WASN'T so cheap at the time, and Bill DIDN'T put a computer in hundreds of millions of households, then we wouldn't have Bimmerfest or ANY of these discussions, and that would suck.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not a Microsoft zealot (in fact 95% of my software development is done with IBM tools) - but give credit where it's due.

The bottom line is: BMW might build great cars they don't know SQUAT about software development. I mean, even if you overlook iDrive, why did it take nearly THREE YEARS for them to fix the E46 ZHP engine stalling issue? :rolleyes:

bmw325
01-19-2006, 08:02 PM
The bottom line is: BMW might build great cars they don't know SQUAT about software development. I mean, even if you overlook iDrive, why did it take nearly THREE YEARS for them to fix the E46 ZHP engine stalling issue? :rolleyes:

Didn't that turn out to be DISA valves that were out of spec and not software? I know they tried fixing it w/ software for a whie, but in the end I think it turned out ot be hardware.

chuck92103
01-19-2006, 08:03 PM
Wow... who would've thought that Bimmerfest would turn into a MS-bashing thread? You'd think I was reading Slashdot... :tsk:

I'm a CTO and software engineer, and I can tell you that the blame here lies solely at the feet of BMW.

Heck, my workstation at my office (Windows 2000 Pro) has been up for over a year with no reboots - day in, day out, cranking up various apps and other programs with zero hitches. :thumbup:

I am not sure you are helping your case. If your personal Windows workstation has been up for over a year, that means you are sorely behind in all the Microsoft updates and security patches since they would require a reboot in most cases. You must be one of the companies developing insecure code and hackers have a handful of known expoits. :tsk:

Computer "uptime" is not a sign of reliability, but rather neglect.

Rowag
01-19-2006, 11:56 PM
Didn't that turn out to be DISA valves that were out of spec and not software? I know they tried fixing it w/ software for a whie, but in the end I think it turned out ot be hardware.
Sort of - the stalling was a software fix. The 4k rpm power dip was addressed by software, then more software, then DISA valve and software, and the latest update is a complete firmware/software update but no DISA valve change.

Rowag
01-20-2006, 12:26 AM
I am not sure you are helping your case. If your personal Windows workstation has been up for over a year, that means you are sorely behind in all the Microsoft updates and security patches since they would require a reboot in most cases. You must be one of the companies developing insecure code and hackers have a handful of known expoits. :tsk:

Computer "uptime" is not a sign of reliability, but rather neglect.

:tsk: Uptime is ALL about reliability. Security exposure and risk is a completely separate topic. I can how see my "zero reboot" comment might be confusing to most, though, so I'll elaborate.

The vast amount of holes in MS OSs are avoided just by having (and enforcing) smart practices and security policies. This isn't a generic workstation running Outlook, no virus scanner, and hitting FunWebProducts' homepage with Internet Explorer every day. It *is* about to be upgraded to WinXP - especially since MS canned Windows 2000 SP5 - but generally the machine does not get bounced except in the case of a critical update that could actually affect it, which is simply not a frequent concern based on the work that it performs and its exposure to would-be attackers.

Another example - I've got a server that's running an even older OS (Windows NT, believe it or not) with 2+ years of uptime, but its risk is 0% since it's on its own *isolated* physical network with one other machine and that's it. Now if it was on the Internet it'd probably be compromised within a week, but it ain't - and it stays up and unexploited. :D

Don't get me wrong - security is a HUGE concern for my company. My point was that Microsoft operating systems can definitely be reliable and crash-free.

Ajax
01-20-2006, 09:52 AM
Computer "uptime" is not a sign of reliability, but rather neglect.

:confused: But isnt it the whole basis for this thread? Poor iDrive "uptime" because of crappy MS code on an isolated network? Maybe I missed something...

chuck92103
01-20-2006, 10:01 AM
:confused: But isnt it the whole basis for this thread? Poor iDrive "uptime" because of crappy MS code on an isolated network? Maybe I missed something...

Correct, we sort of got diverted. :wave:

Rowag
01-21-2006, 08:32 AM
Correct, we sort of got diverted. :wave:
:stupid:

But is the switch to an MS operating system really the reason why iDrive breaks all the time? Was the Unix-based iDrive that much better? And who designed the E46 bluetooth system? That was *complete* garbage.

I still think that, bottom line, this is BMW's problem. They just have zero experience writing software, and yet they're trying to push the envelope and integrate every system in a car to a level never before seen.

Do they have an inhouse team of any sort, or do they just outsource the bulk of this? I'm guessing with the latter based on that letter they sent out citing "lower development costs".

chuck92103
01-21-2006, 08:47 AM
:stupid:

But is the switch to an MS operating system really the reason why iDrive breaks all the time? Was the Unix-based iDrive that much better? And who designed the E46 bluetooth system? That was *complete* garbage.

I still think that, bottom line, this is BMW's problem. They just have zero experience writing software, and yet they're trying to push the envelope and integrate every system in a car to a level never before seen.

Do they have an inhouse team of any sort, or do they just outsource the bulk of this? I'm guessing with the latter based on that letter they sent out citing "lower development costs".

I think when they are not making license plates, prisoners are developing code. :wave:

JSpira
01-21-2006, 10:38 AM
And who designed the E46 bluetooth system? That was *complete* garbage.


The answer is Visteon but how was it complete garbage? :dunno: BMW was the first mfr. to provide Bluetooth in its cars.

My car was the first car in the U.S. to get the factory (retrofit) Bluetooth. Same unit as the E46. It worked fine. Nothing fancy but it worked very well.