Q. What's up with VTO's in October 2017

  • First off, as you may or may not know, the company is switching to a new Secondary Line system. One thing important to note, is they've decided there is no point in publishing a line range (e.g. 4001-4050), because VTOs will be awarded in seniority order. Therefore, they are just publishing the # of VTO lines (starting in October 2017). Second, since there is no need for line numbers, they will be instituting a new method of bidding for VTO lines; a VTO Bid Code formatted as S###, where ### is the highest VTO you wish to be awarded (e.g. S10 = VTO #10 is highest you wish to bid). I was told the VTO bid codes, while not required for any bid packs that have not adopted the new Secondary Line system, would be working for October 2017. So, with all that being said, here's the deal…
  • As of right now (10:07 MEM Time, on September 8th), the VTO Bid Codes (e.g. S10) are NOT being accepted by the Fedex Bid Input. I would avoid using them.
  • As of right now (10:08 MEM Time, on September 8th), you can still bid the normal VTO line number (e.g. 4001). BidX Pro and ME will create these lines for you…. see below.
  • BidX Mobile doesn't correctly read in the bid pack…. the next update will. However, if you go to Settings->User Profile, you can select "Alternate Bidpack Source". This will cause BidX ME to download a bid pack from MY server, which has been formatted so that BidX ME can read it. If you already started your bid (with a bid pack without VTOs), and now you need the VTOs, you can (1) Save your bid to the iCloud, (2) Download a fresh bid pack (using Alternate Bid Source), and (3) Restore your bid from the iCloud.
  • BidX Pro (2.4.7) will correctly read in the VTO lines. If you already have started your Bid with 2.4.6, save your bid only (File->Save Bid Only), get 2.4.7, redownload the bid pack, then load your bid (File->Import Bid Only).
  • Finally, bid using the normal VTO bid codes (e.g. 4001) or the any VTO (9952) bid code.
  • Stay tuned for an FCIF that might bring more clarity to this situation.

Q. I am getting an "Error" message when I try to (Download/Submit Bid/Get Open Time/Other Internet Function).

A. This means BidX Pro did not receive the data (be it good data, or error data) that it was expecting. Maybe it didn't receive any data. Here are possible reasons, and steps to try.
  1. Could be your Internet is REALLY SLOW, and it timed out. This sometimes happens in international locations, but not exclusively. Often trying again (and again) will eventually bring about success.
  2. Sometimes a built in Firewall will cause this (by blocking the traffic to/from BidX). Try turning off your firewall (at least when doing BidX Internet functions).
  3. Sometimes a VPN will cause this (by slowing down the data rate, thus causing the timeout mentioned in #1 above). Try turning off the VPN.
  4. Could be your VIPS password is wrong, you've tried too many times, and now you are locked out. Try logging in with your web browser and see if you are able to get into the pilot.fedex.com website. You might find the cause of the communication error with BidX.
  5. Could be you have an unacknowledged Crew Notification. Try logging in with your Web Browser as mentioned above.

Q. How can I upgrade by BidX Pro serial # to a Pro/Mobile combined subscription?

A. For now, it will have to be done manually. If your Pro subscription is expiring anytime in the next 2 months, I'll send you a new code for free. More than 3 months, and I'll have you paypal me $10 for the upgrades serial #. Please email me for the upgrade.

Q. I just bought both Pro and Mobile, can I get a refund?

A. Short answer, is No, but if you have purchased them both within the last 6 months, then I'll get you a new serial # to extend/sync your subscriptions. How much will I extend it… depends upon how nice you ask. If the subject of your email starts with "WTF" (yep, I get those), then don't expect me to extend it by much. This takes more than a little time/effort on my part.

Q. “BidX Pro can’t be opened because the identity of the Developer cannot be confirmed”. Now what?

A. Until I get my “Developer ID” code-signing fixed, follow these steps.
  1. System Preferences->Security & Privacy
  2. General Tab, Bottom half.
  3. Click on “Open Anyway”
Q. I have an older Mac. Why won’t BidX Pro work on it?

A. The development environment used has been upgraded (many times). For me to continue improving BidX Pro, I need to use it. It will only compile for OS 10.7 or greater.

Q. I’m not seeing updates, or they aren’t working right. Why?

A. Starting with version 2.3.0, updates should now be fully functional on both Mac and Windows machines.

Q. What is VTO Builder, and how does it work?

A. It is an incomplete tool (work on it stopped, since it is impossible to come up with a valid list of choices from preferences). Basic instructions below.
  1. First of all, this should/can only be used to “visualize” your preferences. You still have to manually submit your VTO bid online.
  2. In the Open Time tab, anytime you double-click the calendar bar, the currently displayed line is added to the VTO Builder list of lines
  3. Drag trips from the list of open time to the calendar bar to add them to the calendar bar
  4. Right-click (ctrl-click) on trips in the calendar bar to delete them.
  5. Using 3 & 4 above, build a “preferred line”, double-click it. Then go back to step 3 to create a new line, or if you are done continue to step 6.
  6. Using the list of lines you have created with the VTO builder, use the VTO request form online to submit a VTO bid.
  7. Warning... the VTO process in my opinion is badly broken. I’ve heard that asking for too much can lead to getting nothing. This tool is for visualizing only, and can’t guarantee any success.

Q. My preferences keep reverting back to an older version, why?

A. I’m not sure WHY this is happening, but below are steps to fix it.
  1. Mac users : In the Finder : Go->Go To Folder. Type : ~/Library/Preferences. Find the file called com.jeshsoftllc.bidxpro.plist and delete it.
  2. Win users : Open the “regedit” program, find the “BidXPro” registry under the “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” item. Delete the BidXPro registry item.
  3. After this you’ll have to re-enter your preferences when you launch BidX Pro. After re-entering the preferences, I would recommend quitting and restarting BidX Pro to make sure they are written out completely.

Q. I keep getting an “Out of Bounds Exception”. Help!

A. This was related to a failed login due to a wrong password entry. In version 1.7.5 I’ve fixed the feedback for bad password, and put code in to prevent the crash.

Q. iCal export doesn’t work now that I’ve upgraded to the “iCloud”. What now?

A. I’m not sure why this has stopped working, but I suspect it might have something to do with OS 10.8.2. Here are some steps to hopefully fix this.
  1. In BidX 1.5.3, go to Preferences, Util Tab, and hit the “Delete BidX iCal Calendar” button. Keep hitting this button until it says “No BidX Calendar Found.”
  2. In iCal, do a File->New Calendar->iCloud and name it “BidX” OR on your iOS device, create a calendar named “BidX”.
  3. Be SURE the calendar doesn’t get renamed to something else (like untitled). This is the OS 10.8.2 bug that I think exists. You MUST have a Calendar in your iCloud named “BidX” for the export to work. If it does get renamed, delete it and try again.

Q. I started my bid in BidX Pro, but I want to finish it in BidX Mobile. Can I do this?

A. Yes. For now, you can do this via Dropbox (so you must have a dropbox account). In the future, Mac users will be able to sync with the iCloud as well.

  1. Be sure you have a Drop box folder named “Apps”. Inside that folder, you must have a folder named “BidX Mobile”.
  2. Select File->Save Bid Only. You Must use the filename that is suggested in the Save Dialog and you must save it to the Dropbox/Apps/BidX Mobile/ folder.
  3. From BidX Mobile, select “Options” and then “Load From Dropbox”. Warning, it WILL destroy any bid choices you’ve selected in Mobile. Your entire bid will be replaced. If BidX Mobile finds no file, it will not kill your current bid choices.
  4. You can resume a BidX Mobile bid in Pro using the opposite procedure. “Options”, “Save to Dropbox”. Then in BidX Pro, File->Import Bid Only and select the appropriate file in your Dropbox/Apps/BidX Mobile directory.
  5. The file naming convention that must be followed is YYYYMonthnameBaseAircraft_Bid.txt. For instance, 2013MarchMEMB757_Bid.txt.
  6. Make sure you add the .txt to the filename.

Q. “Nil Object Exception Trapped”. Now What???

A. This is due to 1 of 3 things. Here they are and how to fix them.

  1. It is time to change your pilot.fedex.com password. Log on via your web browser, change your password as requested and then put the new password into BidX Pro Preferences.
  2. Your E-Grid has changed. Enter the new E-Grid into BidX Pro Preferences.
  3. Your VIPS Password has changed (sort of the same as #1). Just enter the new password into BidX Pro Preferences.

Q. What is the BidX password, and how is it different from my VIPS password?

A. Here's the deal on the BidX password.  It is meant to offer security for your E-Grid and VIPS password.  With the latest version, it will only ask for it if you want to edit your E-Grid. Your BidX password is WHATEVER you make it.  So, the first time it asks, just put whatever you want in the "New Password" and "Confirm Password" boxes.  If you want to leave both blank, then do that.  If you want to make it match your VIPS password, you can do that too. Make sure you have version 2.1.4 when working with the E-Grid!!!!