The Pro/E "out-of-the-box" experience has got me in a bad mood.
I had never installed Pro/E before. I had been warned that it "takes forever" which had already made me a tad anxious. But a customer sent me a PRT file and I had no choice. I pulled the Wildfire 3.0 box off the shelf and in 5 minutes, came to a screeching halt.
A brief chronology that should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone intent on creating a good out-of-the-box experience:
- I put in the first CD, but it doesn't do anything. Oh, there's several disks here. I had put in disk 2. What's wrong with a DVD, I wonder?
- I put in disk 1. Oh oh. The seal is broken. I may have tried this unsuccessfully before.
- I click past the long winded EULA. I'm jaded and no longer read that, so still only mildly annoyed.
- I am told there is no FLEXnet license. What the hell is that? I look for a code on the box. Nothing. On the CD envelope. No luck. Maybe it was silly to expect Pro/E install to act like every other installation.
- I continue but the next screen wants a license serve and host name. Now I'm flipping through the (too thick) installation guide which tells me I should have received or can recieve (I'm not clear on this) a License Pack by email. If I ever did get one, it was hundreds of thousands of emails ago. I have hope of finding that.
- I go to the URL as recommended by the installation guide, www.ptc.com/olm which initially gives me an error message but after playing with variations of the URL, I get it to say I am not authorized. Maybe, because on this computer, I am not recognized as being part of PTC's club.
- - I log into PTC.com. It takes me a couple of tries to get it right, because I think it was years ago I had registered. But I must have registered for a press event or for a download (I can't remember), apparently not the right credentials for help with the license so IT STILL WON"T GIVE ME A LICENSE!
- I look for a phone number. Like most big companies, the phone support is hidden under several layers of web pages. No, I don't want FAQs, or a damn knowledge search, I don't want to send an email inot a black hole, just a human who I can plead with to let me start using the application.
- I find a toll free number for tech support in the US and call. I get a voice menu even though the literature gives a firect number for licensing. A recorded message tells me the offices are closed. No time opening time is given (it's Friday night at PTC headquarters). Would I care to leave a message.
- stare at the screen entitled "World Wide Support." Ironic, for PTC now seems neither world wide or supportive.