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)
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...

  • 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)
    Something is seriously wrong down on the studio computer. I'm not sure what, but I'm getting errors when opening projects in Cubase 9.0.20 complaining that some of the UA plugins are disabled. There are plugins in some of the projects that I've disabled, because I have dropped them out of the mix, but wanted the option of dropping them back in. That's never been a problem before.

    Of course, I'm not sure that I've actually tried doing anything with Cubase 9.0.20 since I loaded the upgrade. I do know that the menus vanish when I open a project, although you can see each entry as you mouse across it. And some of the things seem to work, but whenever you try to close a project, Cubase hangs up in interesting ways and crashes.

    I tried loading the latest UA software, but that didn't help. I also tried loading the latest video drivers -- same result.

    It's possible that the second Mackie Control unit representing the X-Touch Extender is causing Cubase to lose its little mind. I can try disabling that later and see what happens.

    Or it could be a Windows Update that's taken the whole thing over the edge.

    But there's a whole lot that's not right at the moment.

    In other news, one of the screws broke off in the wall for the banister leading upstairs, so I have had to remove it from the wall before someone kills themselves on it.

    And I almost got four loads of laundry done today, except it looks like the last load somehow contained a load of polyester fiber fill that completely clogged the lint trap on the dryer and is going to require a lot of vacuuming and the rewashing of the entire load. I'm not sure exactly what was in there, but it clearly didn't belong there.

    I would like to know who has been feeding the mogwai after midnight.

    And who got them wet.
    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)
    They just started shipping extenders for the Behringer X-Touch. Mine arrived in the mail today. I now need time to go downstairs and set it up, but that may be in short supply for the moment.

    We'll see.

    But I am looking forward to having more faders. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    Julie's tablet is misbehaving again. This is really annoying.

    I've cleared the cache partition. Let's see if that helps...
    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.


    May. 10th, 2017 11:27 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    There is nothing like preparing to go to a con and realizing that none of the electronics for the dealer table have been charged recently. Nor have I actually tried pairing the Square readers with the new phone.

    I could set up the pairing, of course, but that would require that the readers be charged.

    billroper: (Default)
    Julie wanted a drone for her birthday present. A bit of searching found a not-too-expensive and reportedly rugged quad-copter on Amazon. With Prime shipping, it arrived today, a day early for her birthday, but not too early to be opened. :)

    After I assembled the parts, we spent some time flying it -- carefully! -- around the living room. Then it was time to run Katie over for her softball clinic.

    When I got back, Julie begged me to take the drone outside for a flight, despite the misty, drizzly, windy weather. I finally agreed.

    We put the drone down on the driveway and I launched it into the air.

    Where it caught the wind and soared off beyond the range of the remote control. Ack!

    Happily, it crash landed safely in front of the fire station some distance away and we recovered it without damage. Because losing Julie's birthday present to the wind had not been on my list of things to do. It gives you a really bad feeling when you see the drone trying to vanish into the bottom of the very low cloud deck...

    Further flights for the day were back in the living room. :)


    Apr. 28th, 2017 11:55 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    It has been a complex day.

    The insurance adjuster was our early this morning to look at the wind damage from the storm last month. The result of this is that we'll be replacing the roof, which is, overall, a good thing. By the time we were done sorting all of that out, it was nearly noon.

    A bit later, Gretchen and I went out for lunch. Shortly thereafter, it was time to pick up the girls from school. Gretchen had to take Ruby to the vet for a checkup, Julie having decided to join her. I figured I would go down into the basement and try recording a vocal track. I wasn't entirely happy with the first try, so I did it again. And as I sat down to listen to it, the power went off.

    Oh, good.

    Gretchen had just come home to take the girls out for ice cream and I decided the better part of valor was to join them. While driving around, I called ComEd and discovered that they thought the power would be out for a couple of hours, so I suggested dinner. (Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first. Or something like that.)

    We eventually arrived home after dinner to discover that the power was back on. This was followed by a game of Apples to Apples by candlelight, because Katie and Julie had wanted to use the candles while the power was out. After this, I spent some time following the Cardinals game on MLB Tonight.

    And finally, I went back down to the studio. I started up Cubase, loaded up the project, and discovered that the reverbs wouldn't load due to an iLok problem. A reboot didn't fix it, so I had to reinstall the iLok software. Once that was done, I started up Cubase and found that the last recording had vanished into the ether. *sigh*

    I also discovered that Cubase had dropped a maintenance upgrade yesterday. When you install an upgrade like that, all of the plugins get verified the next time the software is loaded, a process that takes far too long. So I downloaded the upgrade, installed it, and launched Cubase so that the plugins verification would be done the next time I was ready to use it.

    It has been that sort of day, I suppose.
    billroper: (Default)
    Amazing what technology will let you do while someone else is driving. :)


    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...

    Mic Test

    Apr. 16th, 2017 06:31 pm
    billroper: (Default)
    Well, the new mic sounds good. The vocal still needs some work. :)
    billroper: (Default)
    The new microphones arrived this afternoon. I hope to get time to work with them this weekend. :)


    billroper: (Default)

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