FAQ About The EE Circle Tools

Q1: What are the factors that determine your license prices?

A1: Our license pricing strategy follows the model of software distributed as a part of a technical book.

  • Our development costs are kept at a minimal - basic computer hardware/software and books. Most of the software libraries are free (of course with proper licensing rules followed).
  • We know from our own experiences that most commercial tools are very costly to purchase and maintain while a typical user only needs a very small subset of the functionaries. We want our tools be easily affordable for all EE professional.
  • Our tools were initially written to solve some recurring engineering problems we encountered. The GUI flows are designed from the end users' perspective.
  • With limited resources, there is no technical support promised. However, we will make our best effort. Users may experience occasional prolonged delays in responses when all of us are tied up with our primary jobs.

Q2: How often your tools are updated?

A2: Not often at all. The updating cycle is somewhere between 6 to 12 months. We have no fill-time developers. All of our serious development happen only during weekends and holidays.

Q3: If I purchase a regular license tied with one MAC address, can I have the license be transferred to another computer with different MAC?

A3: You get allowance of new license once per year per tool. Regenerated licenses retain the same user information (name, e-mail address and etc), tool versions, and the expiration date with only the MAC address changed.

  • Example: User purchased a two-year license for Trace Analyzer. Counting from the date the license was assigned, say, January 9, 2011, the user can get another license in the next year by January 8, 2012, and up to two regenerated licenses before the expiration date of January 8, 2013.

Q4: Do I get automatic license upgrade when a new version is released?

A4: It depends. This is tied into the versioning of tools. Each tool has assigned a major-version-number and a minor-version-number. For instance, Version 1.1 means major-version=1, minor-version=1. Or Version 2.0 means major-version=2, minor-version=0.

  • Advances in the major-version-number only happens when significant new features are added
    • A new license needs to be purchased separately. We make such declarations very carefully, warranted and justifiable by sufficient feature enhancement.
  • Advances in the minor-version-numbers are primarily associated with bug fixes
  • A regular license continues to be valid for a new release with the same major-version but higher minor-version-number. User can simply download and install the new release then copy over the purchased license to the $TOOL/conf directory of the new releas

Q5: What about academic licenses?

A5: It's our long-term commitment to be able to give students/staffs/faculties in educational institutions free access to fully functional tools. However, we are still experimenting to find a reliable scheme to do that. If each academic license incurs multiple questions after questions, we will get overwhelmed quickly. Please stay tuned.

Q6: How do I uninstall a tool, or move it around in my computer's file system?

A6: Each EE Circle tool is packed within one directory tree (denoted as $TOOL). It is totally self-contained: no dependency on any files beyond the $TOOL level, nor has anything been written into the system registry. Therefore, you can simply delete the $TOOL tree, or move it to a different directory.

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