RowPro online failure

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mitchel674
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RowPro online failure

Post by mitchel674 » December 16th, 2017, 2:57 pm

Today I made my first attempt at joining a scheduled online row. I found a 30 minute session I was interested in and when I selected the session and clicked on "row" I received the following error message:
Image

Can anyone decipher what I'm doing wrong here?
53yo male, 6ft, 162lbs

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Citroen
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by Citroen » December 16th, 2017, 5:16 pm

You're more likely to find the answer here: https://www.digitalrowing.com/Support/index.html

Or by emailing Digital Rowing on the address on that web page.

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Carl Watts
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by Carl Watts » December 17th, 2017, 2:10 am

Just try a quick row first as a test.

Then schedule a row yourself for like 5 minutes ahead of time and try that

Last look at the upcoming rows that have been scheduled by others and click to join.

Possibly your doing the sequence wrong, I have never seen that error and 4.3 has been working fine for years now.
Carl Watts.
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mitchel674
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by mitchel674 » December 17th, 2017, 11:32 am

Seems I just hit a temporary server issue.

I completed my first online row this morning without a hitch. Joined a scheduled 10k row at 0800. The host never showed up, but a third rower and I completed the piece. He was a good bit faster than me (300m in the end), but I really enjoyed being on the machine with another live rower ahead. Certainly a good motivator for me.
53yo male, 6ft, 162lbs

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Carl Watts
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by Carl Watts » December 17th, 2017, 3:41 pm

mitchel674 wrote:Seems I just hit a temporary server issue.

I completed my first online row this morning without a hitch. Joined a scheduled 10k row at 0800. The host never showed up, but a third rower and I completed the piece. He was a good bit faster than me (300m in the end), but I really enjoyed being on the machine with another live rower ahead. Certainly a good motivator for me.
Its unfortunate that the online rowing appeals to only a very small number of people. You need to have a certain personality type that finds it motivating. I really thought it would be huge and looked forward to the day you could go online at anytime of the day and find 30 or even 50 people rowing with a mix of everything from racing to age group related distance and times training so something to suit everyone but its yet to happen.
Carl Watts.
Age:51 Weight: 98kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

grahamf
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by grahamf » January 9th, 2018, 9:29 am

Carl Watts wrote:
Its unfortunate that the online rowing appeals to only a very small number of people. You need to have a certain personality type that finds it motivating. I really thought it would be huge and looked forward to the day you could go online at anytime of the day and find 30 or even 50 people rowing with a mix of everything from racing to age group related distance and times training so something to suit everyone but its yet to happen.
I'd hoped the same thing. I've had RowPro for a couple of years or so and, although I row "online", I rarely join in with other rowers because I have found it badly demotivating. It is utterly soul destroying to join a row labelled as "30min easy, open to all" and then have the rest of the field storm off at 1:50/500 for the whole half hour while I plod along at 2:15 literally miles behind. At least when I am rowing on my own, I'm not having my nose rubbed in it that I'm old and unfit.

(When I pointed out afterwards about "Easy", I was informed that this was easy because the others were rowing at less than 20 SPM. I'll stick with my own company, thanks).

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Carl Watts
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by Carl Watts » January 9th, 2018, 4:15 pm

How old is old ? I'm 51 in a weeks and still row online.

Yes "Easy" is a relative term, some people can still do 8000m in 30 minutes as a "Training Row" but you will not find that many doing it at sub 20spm.

When there were loads online for the "Gen Fit" years ago, the rows overflowed from 16 and a second heat was setup. What I noticed is about half the field can row at sub 2:00 pace so the obvious step forward is to set-up a "Sub 2" pace row and an over 2 pace row to join. Again its all about the numbers, get enough people and you could split it further to an over 2:15 pace row, get enough people at 2:30 pace and you can all simply be "competitive" by trying to finish the row it at exactly 6000m so the "Winners" finish at 6000m which is a form of motivation to not only hit the target but to try and keep hitting it for years to come.

It is however as I suspected a psychological problem for 95% of people that they simply are not happy to just do their own thing and be seen to come last, be it by only a handful of people in the world that they will probably never even meet so who really cares ? The 30 minute is still better than a distance, at least you all start and finish at the same time, its way worse when people start finishing over 5 minutes before you and don't stay in the chat afterwards and are gone when you finish.

The numbers joining RowPro will increase, it needs to move to a mobile application and all the gyms need to eventually catchup with the PM5 monitors for it to happen. The numbers will increase at least five times what they are now but its going to take years because the technology in the hardware/software for the rower is 10 years behind where it should be.
Carl Watts.
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Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by grahamf » January 10th, 2018, 1:16 pm

Carl Watts wrote:How old is old ? I'm 51 in a weeks and still row online.
Ah! Still a teenager then :lol: (64 a couple of weeks ago)
Carl Watts wrote: It is however as I suspected a psychological problem for 95% of people that they simply are not happy to just do their own thing and be seen to come last, be it by only a handful of people in the world that they will probably never even meet so who really cares ?
Well that's very much the point, really. If I'm at the back of the row, doing my own thing and only in competition with myself, why bother having to go online at a set time to join a row? Why not just row by myself at my own speed? Don't get me wrong, occasionally I do get to join a row with someone of the same standard and it is much more fun.
Carl Watts wrote: The 30 minute is still better than a distance, at least you all start and finish at the same time, its way worse when people start finishing over 5 minutes before you and don't stay in the chat afterwards and are gone when you finish.
I only joined one of those once. Never again. It was left to me to turn the lights off and lock the door when I left the room.... :roll:
Carl Watts wrote:The numbers joining RowPro will increase, it needs to move to a mobile application and all the gyms need to eventually catchup with the PM5 monitors for it to happen. The numbers will increase at least five times what they are now but its going to take years because the technology in the hardware/software for the rower is 10 years behind where it should be.
Not sure the gyms will ever bother. I've used the C2 in hotel gyms all over the world and also spent a few months working in Britain last year so joined a local gym to use their bank of C2's (they had 6). My experience is that the gyms don't even know how to oil a chain, let alone change the batteries in the PM. As for me plugging a laptop in, they all but freaked and threw me out.

I have to agree with some of the other threads on here comparing RowPro with Zwift (I have a turbo trainer too): RowPro looks like something from the MS DOS days in comparison. It seems to me that RowPro wasted years on producing a Mac software version for a splinter market rather than looking at the way that things like Zwift were heading (runs on my tablet and isn't wired anywhere). Even worse, V5 seems to be a step back from V4.3 - why no courses/lakes to row? It really is the most boring of screens.

I keep hoping things will improve, which I why I still stick with it, but I really don't see the current setup and graphics as being at all appealing to folks of my son's age, let alone those of my grandson's age. RowPro feels a bit like being stuck with software on a Playstation 1 at the moment. And whatever happens, the future will have to be wireless - there is no way that gym's are ever going to let the punter plug wires into their (rusting and lumpy) C2's.

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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by RoidbotPR » January 10th, 2018, 3:19 pm

I keep hoping things will improve, which I why I still stick with it, but I really don't see the current setup and graphics as being at all appealing to folks of my son's age, let alone those of my grandson's age. RowPro feels a bit like being stuck with software on a Playstation 1 at the moment. And whatever happens, the future will have to be wireless - there is no way that gym's are ever going to let the punter plug wires into their (rusting and lumpy) C2's.
The only way this will really happen is if someone passionate about making better software comes along and writes a better app.

I am considering jumping back into the fray again (Graham, if you haven't downloaded deltarower, feel free to do so for a change in scenery...at least the graphics are PS2 level vs PS1!).

What I will say is that if I do go back into making something, it is not going to be racing. Racing is already done by rowpro and liverowing. And I think Liverowing has the leg up because they made "racing" easier by just uploading your row, and posting it, and letting your friends row against it. That turns the aspect of racing into actual training because you can (hopefully) sort through a database of other people's rows, and compete. I think rowpro also has this feature, but it doesn't look like they are using it very well. If you logon, you "should" see all lanes filled, either with other rowers, or with past rows. It "should" also match make it so that you are in a class of like rowers to make the race competitive. This part is not rocket science.

What I envision is not blockbuster graphics like Zwift because that costs $$$, and people want everything free these days. It's just the way it is, and I resign myself to that fact.

But instead of racing, I envision a simple game, where how fast you go isn't the biggest factor of the game. When a football (soccer) match is played, the players are not full out sprinting every second of the game. I would like to test the waters on interest in something like this...soccer, but with the rower. The problem is turning...but I think that can be resolved by using "canoe" style strokes...if you rest, the oar goes in the water, and you turn...you stroke again and you go straight. Each rest will put the oar on the opposite side of the boat.

I would have to play around with it, but I would only want to do it because I am bored out of my mind rowing each morning.

It's great exercise, but my God, it is such a tedious slog, and nothing like running or biking outdoors for exercise. And it looks like stationary bike software has really matured. But even there...unless the scenery packs have a 100 different maps to ride through, repetition and boredom will eventually set in. With an actual game, you don't need fancy graphics, all you need is a compelling game.

I've even considered making a U-boat style game, where you are "rowing" a torpedo towards random boats, and you would have to adjust pace according to the path of the boat to hit it.

What I am saying, C2 forum, is you have a software developer that is interested in making something again...possibly. It is just such a time sink doing it, and there is no financial incentive, because again...people want it free. Is this falling on deaf ears?

ETA: If I were to get back into it, I would be using Unity, so it is automatically cross platform (iOS, Android) and using their restful API so it's just a matter of having an internet connection a mobile phone, PC, tablet, whatever, and a PM3,4 or 5.

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Carl Watts
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by Carl Watts » January 10th, 2018, 3:44 pm

Basically its not taken off because you do need that wireless connection and an App running on your mobile device so its easy to just "Pair" your device at the gym to the rower and your away. Of course they don't like you connecting a cable to the monitor and this is never going to work as a reliable long term connection anyway. Cables fail, the get bent around, stood on, get sweat in them so they corrode and end up pushing the USB connector off the board of the monitor.

Personally I don't think a "Game" is the solution. There are "Games" already on the PM4 and I hate them. I wished they had spent the time developing these on fixing the historic faults in the firmware like the wrong average SPM in the results or put in a total stroke counter, run a fitness test or a graphical heart rate decay curve with timer at 1 and 2 minutes at the end of the row, something I could actually use.

If I was to develop anything it sounds like your forced to go down the decent graphics route with different course from rowing locations around the world as scenery and just make it direct online rowing only.

You go straight online, if there is not a pre existing row you want to join or have previously signed up for then you have to create your own and row it. Ideally none of this set your own row up and exclude anyone else. The only way a software package is going to get any good is through thousands of "Visible" users funding it, not through people hiding in their basements afraid to be seen to be "Too Slow". Kill all the background stuff like training programs, training studios, analysis everything just focus on a core product that is very easy and intuitive to use.

Unfortunately if there are several software packages competing for what appears to be a tiny market then they are all going to be useless. RowPro is still the best, it has some dedicated users setting up regular rows which is what you need. If you suddenly find your on your own then any software is a waste of time as far as I can see.
Carl Watts.
Age:51 Weight: 98kg Height:183cm
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by RoidbotPR » January 10th, 2018, 9:50 pm

Carl, IDK what the market is of Rowpro for people who buy it solely to use in a gym without having a rower at home. Any software I write will be for home use. (That is if I do...it makes no sense to write anything that nobody will use, not even myself!)

Here is the problem with scenery: It is not easy to make. The company's that have scenery (like Zwift) charge their users $15 a month for that scenery. It costs too much, we are talking $1000s in development hours. At the bare minimum, you get the scenery I made with Delta Rower, and I have no interest in going back to make more scenery because it's time consuming...and $$$. On top of that, it looks sub-par compared to scenery that costs $$$. That is why Rowpro graphics are so dated.

However, if you make one venue, even if it's for racing, it becomes cost effective. Then you have to worry about scheduling races, and then the distances. There are too many variables and not enough people. Liverowing solved this by making it easy (I'm assuming) by selecting races your friends already did.

I agree with you on making a solid, easy to connect to app, bare bones, it connects easy and has a user base*.

*That last one is the biggest hurdle. It appears people would rather put up with dated graphics and poor connections, and events that cater to only one time zone...and then be limited to "I don't want to look slow, so I don't go online".

It would be refreshing if there were people that would be into rowing in a "e-sport" or a "game" that can't be played anywhere else but an erg. Games are pretty damned popular. And there is a new generation of kids that only know how to go online. It just sucks that, at least on this forum, the discussion goes in the same loop of:

Rowpro is the only thing out there.
Rowpro has crappy graphics/poor connectivity/too many bells and whistles/not enough bells and whistles/wrong OS/right OS, but I don't want the hassle of losing data (that happens a lot).
It costs too much $$$. Or worse, the people that say they will pay anything to have a similar product as X, but when it comes time to asking for money, crickets.

I'll try reddit and see if there can be any interest gained there.

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Carl Watts
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by Carl Watts » January 12th, 2018, 2:33 am

RowPro 4.3 doesn't have poor connectivity its rock solid.

The problem is the user not only has to deal with the Firmware in the monitor talking to the PC and changes in that OS, you have to manage your own hardware. So when you add it all together there are so many links in the chain that the average person has no end of issues and probably gives up in the trial stage of RowPro.

You have to remember that its not tech savvy kids that are using this software, its older people.

RowPro desperately need a "Lite" Android version, told them that like 3 years ago but they then wasted time making a Mac version which is dead in terms of potential numbers.

There will never be the numbers online until Gym users can simply run it as an App on their phone and use the rower at the Gym, there is simply not enough home users who own an Erg.

All in all its very frustrating for those who like to use software like RowPro. I'm stuck on the 4.3 version because it never crashed on me for a whole year, reliability beats great graphics any day.
Carl Watts.
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Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log

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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by RoidbotPR » January 12th, 2018, 3:46 pm

I forget what version of Rowpro I was using. This was back in 2012. I got it all set up, started rowing online, after 4 or so minutes I lost connectivity...and this was after trying the demo, and...it just wasn't a pleasant experience.

For me, as both a user of an erg at home, and a software guy, I approached it like this: I want to sit on the rower, start pulling, and get online. That's it.

So that's what I created, a Windows "service". Once it's installed (I made a one click installer) it would sit and wait for the rower to communicate. Then one guy on a different forum (I think it's the defunct UK forum) gave me grief about having a service take up valuable CPU cycles (it was a tiny service, not even 1% of the CPU being used by it). I tried to argue, "If you don't have a dedicated PC then you're not a dedicated rower!"...that didn't fly.

So anyway, Carl. I asked reddit what they thought, and right away got feedback that anything that resembles the "fish game" on the PM will never be used, because people like to row in sets, with a given pace, and a given time. The "E-sport" I envisioned would have a lot of stopping and starting, because that is the only way to get the output to PC/phone/whatever.

IDK how to handle issues with being disconnected with any rowing app online, but if it's my approach, first and foremost the data would be saved locally first before being sent out. That way, at the very least, you might get disconnected, but you don't have to stop what you are doing. Nothing in the world says waste of time to me than having to get up, sweaty, and fiddle with a keyboard with tired, shaking hands, then cool down, only to get back and try again. I want the experience to be sit down and go. Let the software look at the time of day that you are rowing, learn your schedule (Machine learning is much better these days), and recommend a workout based on your past performance.

Really, if it's just racing and training, AI can do this, and you would be none the wiser. All it needs to learn is past rows. Then you don't have to worry about connecting, and empty lanes, and online failures.

The takeaway from reddit was they want to train, and they want to "unlock achievements". For me, someone bored with training (I'll do it, but I'll be bored doing it) I want to interact. Racing, or even rowing with someone, is not interactive enough for me. Unlocking a ribbon after 1 million meters isn't enough, either.

All that said, I am considering making software...again. Only because I cannot stand the idea of sitting for an hour a day going back and forth. Yes, I get healthy, but it is so boring.

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Carl Watts
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by Carl Watts » January 12th, 2018, 6:10 pm

I requested that RowPro add their own "Annual Meters Board" to their Website years ago but thats yet to happen.

Digital rowing could easily add various challenges for people that are rowing ONLINE ONLY but so far nothing.

Its not that its even hard to implement, they have all the totals for everything you do already so its just putting up a table or two.

The secret is simplicity, you basically just want to get on the Erg and row, not spend 5 minutes setting up the row before you start. Most people at the gym only spend 5 minutes in TOTAL on the rower. Boom you want to be straight online on your mobile phone, make sure your paired with the PM5, choose something to join and ROW.
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Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
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mitchel674
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Re: RowPro online failure

Post by mitchel674 » January 15th, 2018, 9:51 am

grahamf wrote:
Carl Watts wrote:
Its unfortunate that the online rowing appeals to only a very small number of people. You need to have a certain personality type that finds it motivating. I really thought it would be huge and looked forward to the day you could go online at anytime of the day and find 30 or even 50 people rowing with a mix of everything from racing to age group related distance and times training so something to suit everyone but its yet to happen.
I'd hoped the same thing. I've had RowPro for a couple of years or so and, although I row "online", I rarely join in with other rowers because I have found it badly demotivating. It is utterly soul destroying to join a row labelled as "30min easy, open to all" and then have the rest of the field storm off at 1:50/500 for the whole half hour while I plod along at 2:15 literally miles behind. At least when I am rowing on my own, I'm not having my nose rubbed in it that I'm old and unfit.

(When I pointed out afterwards about "Easy", I was informed that this was easy because the others were rowing at less than 20 SPM. I'll stick with my own company, thanks).
I can't really understand this sentiment. You were all rowing for 30 minutes. Sure, some were faster and some were slower. Why is it "demotivating"? Everyone still finishes at the same time and can have a bit of a chat after. I rather enjoy that type of interaction.

I can certainly understand the issues with a distance race. Nobody would wait for me to finish either (2:15)
53yo male, 6ft, 162lbs

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