billroper: (Default)
So it turns out that there is a known problem trying to use ClearCase from a Windows environment on the new physical servers. We are now trying to find me a VM on a different physical server.

Of course, sooner or later, they will want to retire that machine because it is not one of the shiny new servers.

I have to say, it would have been good if some of these issues had been discovered before I got to find them...
billroper: (Default)
Several months ago, I got an email letting me know that they were going to retire the server that my VM for work runs on and that I would be getting a new VM. This would have been fine if the new VM was actually equivalent to my old VM. However, it wasn't.

See, various development organizations had negotiated with IT years ago as to what type of VM developers needed. That included a big chunk of disk storage, because there are development tools and a metric ton of source code (in multiple versions) that take up a big chunk of disk storage. When the new machines were being allocated, they did not have the agreed upon amount of disk storage, because the new servers did not have as much disk storage per CPU as the old servers. In fact, they did not have as much storage as people were actually using on a per-user basis.

This seems to me to indicate that -- just maybe -- someone did a lousy job of specifying the new server configurations. But these are the servers that we have.

So I went to my boss and, instead of using the quota that had been allocated to me, he gave me a nice shiny new VM with everything that I needed. I configured it and was as happy as a clam.

For about two months, until they decided they were going to retire the physical server that hosted my new VM.

So I have a new VM now on a new machine. I have spent several days configuring it.

It will not successfully talk to the ClearCase server in the same data center.

I am not very happy about this.

OS Wars

Sep. 1st, 2017 11:55 pm
billroper: (Default)
I may have gotten Katie's computer working again with a bare metal reinstall of Windows 10. The number of little glitches in this version is dismaying. The Wi-Fi kept cutting out on this box -- not on the identical one that Gretchen and Julie use -- for reasons that appear to be subject to any number of voodoo solutions. One of them seems to have worked.

Of course, I spent some time before applying a voodoo solution to get Windows 10 to stop thrashing my hard disk on my computer in the last two days, so...

I understand that there are some difficulties in getting an OS to run on a variety of hardware choices. Even so, this is just being exceptional.

And not in a good way.
billroper: (Default)
After numerous failed efforts to fix Katie's computer without doing a bare metal reinstall of Windows 10, I finally gave up and did so. Tonight, I finally got around to configuring it, installing anti-virus software, and getting Katie set up to log back in.

Then Windows decided to install updates. Now, the computer is in the same Automatic Repair failure loop that it was before. There are two System Restore points, but neither of them will allow a restore to actually occur.

I am not happy.
billroper: (Default)
Progress has been made. More progress will be made in a few minutes when I go upstairs with Gretchen and install the curtains in Katie's room on the Command brackets that we mounted earlier today.

In the meantime, Gretchen, Katie, and Julie put together an excellent lemon icebox pie based on a recipe from the Trib. This proved to be a fine dessert when Sam and Bonnie came by for dinner, which consisted of grilled hamburgers, chips, and sweet corn. And conversation. Lots and lots of conversation.

Back in the basement, I spent part of the early afternoon reinstalling plugins. Once everything was installed, it was time to fire up Cubase.

Oh, look! The menu is no longer vanishing. Projects open, close, and open again without crashing the system.

Of course, there were a few glitches. I had to manually point to the directories where some of the plugins were installed, but that was fairly easy once I figured out which plugin libraries were missing.

And then there was the X-Touch Extender, which was eventually persuaded to talk to Cubase and pick up all of the information that was being sent down the wire. The scribble strips were being particularly challenging.

But it appears that everything is working now.

And the weekend is over.

Maybe I'll mix something next weekend. :)
billroper: (Default)
In the top of the news, the Cardinals have won eight games in a row and find themselves in a virtual tie for first place in the NL Central with the Cubs.

In other news, no one on the North Side of Chicagoland is speaking to me. :)

I have backed up the critical files on the studio computer preparatory to reloading the OS. After doing that, I discovered that the Windows 10 Creators Update has a new feature that will reload the entire OS, boot out all of the installed non-Windows applications, and leave your files intact.

I am, nevertheless, happy to have spent the time backing up the files.

But think about it! An OS that is so wonderfully stable that it now comes with its own built-in option to reload itself to clean up the trash that it's left lying around while leaving your files intact.

It's sort of the neutron bomb of operating system functions.

Windows 10 -- what an OS!

Ah, and we had the first serious softball practice for fall ball today. It went very well. Yay!

And Katie got her hair cut much shorter today.

That's the news. Time for bed!
billroper: (Default)
Maybe not as much as I might have hoped, but there is progress.

  • We had softball practice this morning.
  • We picked up the rest of the school supplies for the girls.
  • Gretchen took Katie for a haircut, while I went home to throw the ball for Ruby.
  • While doing this, I read Previews, rearranged my plans for Cubs games, and checked the Internet.
  • I have now moved the laundry.
  • And I am backing up all of the data on the studio computer before I try a bare metal reinstall of Windows 10 to fix my Cubase problems.

    See, no one else is reporting Cubase problems, so I conclude that something here is corrupted. And it is likely to take less time to completely rebuild the machine and reinstall everything than continue to troubleshoot it. But this requires the data to leave this box and go off to the NAS.

    So here we are...

    *sigh*
  • billroper: (Default)
    I got some help from tech support at Universal Audio, although eventually I just gave up, uninstalled the UA drivers, reinstalled the UA drivers, found that didn't help, repaired the UA drivers, found that didn't help, uninstalled the UA drivers, reinstalled the UA drivers, and finally I was able to load UA plugins inside of Cubase. Gack!

    Cubase, on the other hand, remains ill. Although I can now open a project, when I do the Windows menu vanishes from the menu bar, although you can see the individual entries as you mouse over them, so it is not so much vanished as turned invisible. When you close a project and reopen it, the Mix Console window opens up and shows nothing in the area where you would normally see the plugins, routing, and faders other than the outlines for each of those windows. Then when you try to operate on it or close it, Cubase crashes.

    Well, it worked for UA. Let's uninstall Cubase and reinstall it.

    And guess what?

    It didn't help.

    I am becoming increasingly annoyed at this supposedly stable and safe-for-business update.

    No, it appears that you can't revert to the earlier version of Windows 10 either...
    billroper: (Default)
    This seems an inherently unfair match up. There's only one of me and there are thousands of people working to make things not work when you get an OS upgrade.

    Ok, I am excessively cynical. But I am now starting to wonder if a vagrant Windows 10 update is the thing that is causing Cubase to misbehave so badly. The UA plugins simply won't load at all. The menu is MIA (although you can see individual entries by mousing over them). The program crashes every time you close it once you open a project.

    I've tried pulling the Mackie Control drivers out. That hasn't changed anything. So now I am on to checking out Windows 10 and discovering that there is a big fix to the update that they just pushed.

    Except when I try to load it, the download stops at two percent. Oh, joy.

    So I am now running a system scan to see if Windows is basically sane, in the hope that will allow me to download an update that may work better with Cubase.

    Assuming that it's Windows that is the problem.

    It could be something else, you know.
    billroper: (Default)
    The studio continues to be down, as Cubase and the UA plugins seem not to be wanting to talk to each other properly. I have dumped off a support request to UA tonight; we'll see what I hear tomorrow.
    billroper: (Default)
    After today's Capricon meeting, I had some free time that I used to take the Behringer X-Touch Extender down to the basement so I could try hooking it up. Naturally, I read the manual first. It was not of as much help as I might have hoped it would be, as it showed two setups. One connected the X-Touch Universal to the computer via USB and cascaded the X-Touch Extender through the first X-Touch; the other connected both units to a network hub.

    Of course, my X-Touch Universal is connected via a couple of MIDI cables that run through my Midisport 4x4, because I was never able to get the USB connection to work. Well, let's see what happens.

    I connected the Extender to the Universal via USB. Nothing recognized it.

    Well, let's try updating the firmware on the Universal. That took a while, but when I was done, it still didn't recognize the USB connection to the Extender.

    Ok, let's put them both on the network.

    Yeah, that took a while to configure. I couldn't get it to work either.

    Maybe I can get the USB connection to work if I connect the Universal to the computer directly. Of course, it still doesn't recognize it.

    Let's open Device Manager and see what's going on. Oh, look! There's the old Tranzport remote. I guess I should uninstall that. The computer still doesn't see the X-Touch.

    Oh, to heck with this. I'm running out of USB ports on the computer. I've got two of the Steinberg dongles, so I'll move all of the licenses to one of them and that'll free up a port. That didn't take long.

    Now, let's unplug everything and start plugging it back in. You there! Midisport! You are the weakest link. I only needed you to talk to the ADATs anyway.

    Look at that! Suddenly the computer sees the X-Touch.

    And when I go into Cubase, it sees both the X-Touch and the cascaded extender.

    I think I'm going to declare victory.

    I hate hardware/software conflicts...
    billroper: (Default)
    Yes, apparently once I start upgrading bits of hardware, it's hard to get me to stop. This is a well-known phenomenon, at least to Gretchen.

    In today's upgrade, the wireless access point that we have upstairs and which most of our computers, tablets, and the like connect to has become increasingly crochety with old age. I frequently have to reboot the beast to get it to deign to provide Internet service. This, of course, is unacceptable under our Household Service-level Agreement -- which pretty much consists of "Daddy! Make it work!"

    The obvious solution was to replace the wireless access point. I had noticed while browsing the Micro Center website that they had a suitable WAP device. Of course, I had driven down there enough times by now. Oh, look! The same device is available on Amazon with Prime delivery and for the same price.

    And then I stopped to think about it. The WAP was actually an older generation of equipment. If I ever do get fiber-level service here, it doesn't even have a fast wired network connection to run over the network wire to the router in the basement. It would be a shame to buy this beast and then have to replace it.

    More browsing followed. Oh, look! Here is a router from the same manufacturer as my current fancy router. It is just as fast as my current router. It just lacks the fancy touchscreen interface. And it is not actually very expensive, as it is only twice the price of the WAP that I am looking at. It can be configured as a WAP and provide redundancy in case the router in the basement decides to fail, because I can pull it out of service, carry it downstairs, and reconfigure it as a router.

    And I can have it delivered the next day at no additional charge.

    So I bought a router. It arrived today. Configuration was a bit more annoying than it had to be, mostly because I didn't want to fiddle with plugging my desktop computer into it directly, so the initial configuration was done via my cellphone and a wireless connection, at least until I could get the router functions neutered and the new router onto the network as a WAP. But a few hiccups later, we ended up with a nice new WAP.

    I think I will stop buying hardware for a while now. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    So it was like this:

    During yesterday's round of "Get 'Er Done!", I wandered into the studio and discovered that the main monitor was severely static-ridden. Several rounds of reboots, cable tightening, and card reseating later, I decided that the monitor was probably shot and needed to be replaced. The question then became: With what?

    Well, there are some lovely 27 inch UHD monitors out there now for not too much money. But the video card in the studio computer is old enough that it doesn't support UHD resolutions. Of course, I could replace the video card too. And I realized that this was not only turning into a project, but into a relatively expensive project. Better to buy a cheaper, decent monitor as a stop gap.

    I had pulled up the Micro Center webpage and saw a Dell monitor there on substantial sale. Heck! That was the 16 x 10 monitor that I had been wanting to replace the monitors in my office with. And that sale price was much lower than I had ever seen for this particular monitor. If I bought two matching monitors for the office, I could swap the old 4 x 3 monitor out as a spare, send the widescreen monitor down to the studio for the rest of its life, and declare victory for not too much money.

    I discussed this quickly with Gretchen who allowed that I could go ahead and do this. I then dove into the car and started driving, because it was 5:20 PM, Micro Center closes at 6 PM on Sunday, and it is a good half-hour drive to get there -- more if traffic is uncooperative.

    Traffic was only moderately uncooperative -- I made it to the store just before 5:55 PM. I had already reserved the monitors on line, so I just had to pick them up at the front desk, pay for them, and head out. I made it back home by 6:30 PM, which allowed us to bundle the girls into the van and head over to the softball league season-ending pool party.

    When we got home, Gretchen started making dinner and I started setting up monitors. And once I had the two monitors set up, I looked at them and realized that this was not a matched pair of monitors. One of the monitors had a distinct yellow tinge that I couldn't eliminate with any amount of calibration. Looking at things on line, I discovered that this is endemic with these monitors.

    So I packed up the offending monitor. This morning, I drove back to Micro Center, returned the yellow-tinged monitor, got a replacement, and brought it home and hooked it up.

    It had a very light yellow tinge. After reading a lot of webpages and a lot of tweaking, the yellow has now been tamed and the monitors are a reasonable match.

    Meanwhile, down in the studio, my old office monitor is plugged in and operating nicely with no static. Thus, it appears that the problem was that the studio monitor was getting ready to completely give up the ghost, so I actually replaced the right part.

    Overall, this was more of an adventure than it should have been. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    In any case, I have managed to log into Gretchen's email and extract, print, and fill out (the last by hand) the forms that we need to have for Katie and Julie's dance camp that starts tomorrow morning. There are still a couple of items that need to be added, because for one reason or another, I don't have things like the phone number for the girls' pediatrician.

    Because that is not a computer thing. That is apparently a Mom thing. :)

    In other news, I think that I have figured out how to solve my computation problem at work. Now, I just need to spend a day or so coding it and testing it out to see if the algorithm that I have in my head actually produces the right results when reduced to electronic impulses.

    But I think I have an impulse to wait until later -- like tomorrow -- to sort this out...
    billroper: (Default)
    One of the problems of having a program that is complex enough to have what I refer to as "behaviors" is when you're trying to figure out why a particular behavior has changed from one version to the next. This problem is worse when you've had major changes between the two releases.

    You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.
    billroper: (Default)
    Well, actually, upgrading Gretchen's laptop.

    Nearly two years ago, I bought Gretchen an HP Stream. Never again. It is now in the process of failing in all sorts of interesting ways. I may open it up and see if a cable is badly seated or something like that, but since the stupid machine will reboot itself when you have booted into the BIOS settings, I'm fairly sure that this is not a Windows problem.

    And being an HP Stream, unless the problem is a badly seated cable, the machine is nigh unto unrepairable. For example, if this is a RAM error, you are out of luck, because the RAM is soldered to the motherboard.

    But I will take a look at it. Eventually. (I have a litany of complaints about the machine, not the least of which is having to plug in an external hard drive in order to update Windows 10, because the Microsoft-size-mandated built-in flash drive is too small to allow for it.)

    In the meantime, I have bought a nice little lightweight Acer laptop for Gretchen on heavy sale. It's only a dual core, but I've now upgraded the not-soldered-in RAM to 8 GB, which should give Windows 10 plenty of room to operate. I have also purged Firefox and McAfee and installed Chrome, Avira, and Alpine.

    All of this only took about two hours, the largest single item being installing Avira.

    I am sure that the machine will shortly busy itself downloading Windows 10 updates. But it can do that without me.
    billroper: (Default)
    I have spent the last three days working through the calculations in both C++ and Java with one of our large test files. As nearly as I can tell, everything now matches.

    I am very tired.

    Fixed!

    Apr. 18th, 2017 11:56 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    Well, it only took three of us to sort this particular bug out.

    I had a glitch when I was converting files. This caused reports to send out bad data. The bad data then caused the Excel plugin to fall down and crash.

    So first, we got the Excel plugin fixed so that it didn't fall down and crash.

    Then we fixed one of the methods in the reports to be a bit more bulletproof than it had been before.

    Then I fixed the conversion.

    Because you have to be able to see what's broken before you can fix it...
    billroper: (Default)
    I figured out the source of yesterday's problem.

    I had put in a forward definition for a class in a header file so that I could declare a pointer to an object of that type inside the class that was defined in the header file. Like this:

    class AnotherClass;
    
    class ThisClass
    {
    ...
      AnotherClass*   anotherClassInstance;
    };
    


    When I destroy ThisClass, I want to destroy the instance of AnotherClass that it contains. No problem. I'll just call delete on the pointer like this:

    delete anotherClassInstance;
    


    That should work just fine.

    Except it didn't. Because I hadn't actually included the header file for AnotherClass in the .cpp file for ThisClass. What I would have expected was that this should have produced a compile error telling me that I was operating on a class that hadn't been completely defined.

    But there was no compile error. Instead, the Visual Studio compiler just called delete on anotherClassInstance like it was a pointer to a random chunk of memory with no destructor.

    Hilarity ensued.

    Well, at least I should remember what caused me to waste so much time the next time I run into this problem...

    *grumble*
    billroper: (Default)
    When I execute the destructor on this particular class -- a class that we have destroyed before, I am quite sure -- I am getting a big fat error. I have been starting at the destructor for half an hour and the solution to the mystery of why it is failing continues to elude me.

    This is pretty much a sure sign that I should go to bed.

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