Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And now for something completely different !

Current Mood : Weary, but ready for the next challenge ! 

I fully believe that today, I did in the pooch, for once and for all. Not a real dog, just a dog that's been bothering me for years. I finally wrecked Doll Shop Deluxe beyond any possible repair, so the $100. I spent on it in 2003 is gone completely. (sigh) I knew better, but decided to take just one more chance, like an idiot...

Y'see, Doll Shop Deluxe (DSD) and I have a long, painful history. My side of the story is long and painful, DSD's distributor's is a shrug. I bought it way back when for the promise of having patterns for any and all of my dolls, forever and ever, in a time where just one pattern for one size doll, not even vintage, could cost $40. So having something to generate any size was surely a bargain, even for a hundred bucks.

LivingSoft, now LivingSoft NorthWest, truly had an amazing promise. Too bad DSD never performed as advertised. Within a year, we'd posted bunches of problems from patterns not working to geometrically impossible pattern generation, to just plain and simple 'why is it doing that ?' to LivingSoft. LivingSoft knew of all these issues, and knew even more, but since it wasn't their flagship program, they just didn't care. They weren't gonna fix jack unless they had time, and seeing as how this wasn't their bread-and-butter, it'd hafta wait, so there. Meanwhile, we bought it, it was up to us to figger out how to use it, how to get over the issues, and whether or not we were even gonna use it. As stated, they honestly didn't care what we did.

I was thoroughly schooled in their brand of customer service when an 'upgrade' ate my version, and LivingSoft again shrugged. I also noted that the 'upgrade' actually took away several features and a buncha patterns, so I swore I'd never upgrade again.

I really should listen to m'self more often. Years pass. I'm running DSD 5, they release DSD 9- with all the bugs removed, all the wonderful new features restored, and just so much more WOW ! programmed in ! It's only $129. ! But since I'm a valued and loyal customer (hacksnortsneeze), they'll let me upgrade for $99. ! Aren't they just the best people on the planet...?

Nope. Business as usual. My DSD is on its last legs, and it's too frustrating now to use. It barely works with Windows 7, and LivingSoft no longer supports anything older than DSD 8. So I have a choice - upgrade to version 8, which is free, or pay for DSD 9, which is now only $70. I backed up what I could, and downloaded the free upgrade.

Which is even more confusing and worse than what I had ! Every last 'included' pattern warned me that I'd need to pay to use that, and the resulting printout patterns I got were beyond nuts. Armholes six inches above neckholes. Sleeveless shirts twisted in on themselves like a Spirograph drawing. And these were the same measurements that worked in DSD 5 ! I couldn't find anything, and all the super extra wonder features were there, but had to be bought separately. I could use them, but anything I made with them wouldn't print. I tried nearly 20 of the 'included' patterns, everything from bathrobes to swimsuits to everyday three-pattern-piece pants, and it was all garbage. That I'd have to buy separately. I could (and have) drafted better patterns using a pencil and a roll of paper towels.

I dumped out of DSD 9 and tried to go back to 5. So sorry. There's no way out now. Yes, it ran right over DSD 5, and even removing 9 didn't help. Since they no longer support DSD 5, I'm out a program. And I have no way to use DSD 9. In short, I'd best hope I enjoyed having that program for as long as I did, and convince m'self it was a good investment - 'cause it's gone now, and so's the hundred bucks. With not one single thing to show for it but years of frustration and semi-fitting doll pants.

Maybe it's better so. Maybe now I *can* draft my own stuff and share it. It can't be any worse than the crap I made with DSD ! And it'll be mine. Which may be my final 'eff you' to LivingSoft NW.

It's about time I pushed off the rotting dock that was Doll Shop Deluxe and sail my own ocean !


  1. What a shame that DSD doesn't work and the company doesn't seem to want to take care of their customers! It looked like a really neat program...if it would have worked!

    1. It's a darn shame. If it'd have worked, it would have been so wonderful. Ah, well.

      I'm about down to the home-stretch on my polymer-clay goodie shopping - it's hard, 'cause I love it all ! I meant to ask one thing...are cookies separate ? I'd love a plate of any cookies you find easy to make (especially the chocolate peanut butter swirlies !) especially if the dolls can snag one or two for their own plates.

      Gosh, I feel like such a greedy ghoul !

  2. Hello from Spain: it is a shame that the company did not want to take over. Keep in touch.

    1. Hey, Marta ! Great to hear from you ! Yeah, LivingSoft NW ranks, but I can't stop them from selling a crappy product. I can try to keep as many people from buying it as possible, though ! Maybe they'll get a hint. I keep hoping, anyway.

  3. Wow, that's just absolutely awful. It's terrible that there seemed to be virtually no tech support either.
    However, I will be excited to see what you draft on your own :)

    1. Thanks. Beloved Hubby promised me an endless supply of paper towels - name-brand, even ! It's so sweet how he supports my tangents... I hope I come up with something good this weekend, I'd hate for all this fuss to come to nothing but, well, fuss.

  4. Question, can you just use a restore point to go back before you upgraded? Wouldn't that give you version 5 back? Just curious. Sorry it messed up on you. I remember trying to trial after reading your review on it. It never impressed me enough to want to buy it, but I loved the concept of it. I hope something can be worked out. Maybe try emailing the company for help in the matter?

    1. No, that's a good question. And that's what I'd hoped, too, but evidently DSD 8 obliterates everything older when it installs. I kinda got 7 to work, but it doesn't recognize my 'paid-for-it' code either, so it won't save or use the measurements I input it with. Without that, I just have something that won't print super-simple Barbie and American Girl patterns, and I already got tons of those.

      I used the 'restore' point, but it still gave me DSD 8, even after installing. So, for all intents and purposes (and intensive purposes !), DSD is dead to me. Which is fine, I just hate wasting the money ten years ago for something that's given me far more migraines than pleasure. I coulda done that for far less than $100. ! (grin)

      And as much bad stuff as I've said about 'em, I don't feel right about going to them for help. If I hate it sooooo much, why am I trying to save it so hard ? Nope, time for me to use what I've learned and stolen from other, smarter people and create my own crap.

      I just don't want anyone else to fall into this trap.