July 7, 2007

Just Shoot Me, pt. 33054

by Chris Randall

Sometimes, I swear to god. Yesterday, I'm merrily working away on Dr. Device presets, and I hear a small "thunk" sound and my computer freezes up. I think to myself "whee, this is gonna be fun," and reboot. Long story short, it turns out my brand new C: drive, a 320GB Western Digital with a build date of 26-Oct-2006, has mechanically failed. Go, Western Digital!

No big deal, it happens. I keep all my data on my RAID drives, so it's really just the OS and a couple apps that shouldn't share drives with audio. I figure I'll go get a new drive on Monday, re-install Vista and Cubase, and there you go...

In the mean-time, I figured I'd just run off my XP drive. Booted in to XP, that old warhorse, and everything is fine, except I never installed Cubase 4 on that drive, so I decide to do that. My first sign of trouble came when the Syncrosoft installer crashed during installation. "Okay, I'll go get the latest version from the Syncrosoft site. No problem." It installed, but crashes when it starts. Cubase, of course, doesn't operate at all without the Syncrosoft license manager running. Never mind that, but the 4.0.2 updater and the 4.0.3 hotfix won't run at all on my machine.

This is, of course, a sign that something is ill Under The Hood. It's just incredibly frustrating. Just for fun, I ran a couple other MSI installers, which worked fine. Other dongle programs I have (Hello, Logic 5!) also work fine. It's just some Syncrosoft stupidity that I can't figure out. But I'm trying to imagine a scenario where this would be fun for someone that didn't know as much about computers as I do.

In any case, rant over. My Shit List for the day is as follows, in order:

1. Western Digital. WTF, cocksuckers?

2. Syncrosoft. We haaaaates them, Precious.

3. Steinberg. Come on, guys. Do you really think that Syncrosoft stops any pirating whatsoever? It's like punishing people that actually pay for your software for the actions of those that don't.



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Jul.07.2007 @ 6:48 PM
i hear that. i lost one of my favorite songs to a western digital drive years ago. i never went back. all that remains is an mp3 reference mix. lost the vocals, everything.

i know, i know, all drives fail. not a question of if, rather a question of when. but every time i hear this story i cringe. that brand gives me pause.


Jul.07.2007 @ 10:02 PM
Yes. Syncrosoft is the devils, it is.

Being both an EE and a musician I sometimes have to install stuff like scientific software on my studio system for work in a pinch - I found that Syncrosoft does not play well with other dongle systems outside of music software. I've got FlexLM running on this and most of my EE apps either crash when trying to talk to the dongle (and it's synsoacc.dll that's crashing), or it takes down my entire system and I have to power down to bring the system back from oblivion.

I finally resorted to just installing a second drive and switching the SATA cable around for those rare times when I need to go EE.

And it's almost gotten to the point that I'm going to avoid any product with syncrosoft copy protection on it, because that's just not right. Bad software is bad software, regardless of its intent or market.


Jul.07.2007 @ 10:08 PM
I think the syncrosoft stuff does actually hinder piracy. i havent seen a cracked cubase since v2 : Still sucks though. Those Eosis plugins use syncrosoft. Good stuff, but it sucks cuz i hate bringing dongles to use with my laptop.

Jul.07.2007 @ 11:36 PM
Darren S.
computers really just suck!!

they're just a singular device that matter to know one else but the user.

if u are having issues with your comp. ---- i really don't care unless it somehow effects me, which it wont at all.

holy fuck!!! i wish someone could do something to turn me on with a computer in the way that a sloppy (circa "87) Homestead band use to.

bring it on!!!????!!!!


Jul.07.2007 @ 11:47 PM
Chris Randall
Easy, dude. While picture perfect grammar isn't strictly necessary, if you're trying to get your point across you might want to consider typing in English. For better or worse, it is the lingua franca of Analog Industries.

On the bright side, you didn't type in all caps, so there's that.



Jul.08.2007 @ 12:03 AM
I wrote a letter to TapeOp to the same effect: I feel inclined to buy the software, so the license is legit, and then use the pirated version to I don't have to bother with the dongle business.

Jul.08.2007 @ 1:13 AM
Every drive I ever had that failed before it was rendered obsolete by the Onrush of Size Increase was a WD. Maybe it's just chance, but I've been avoiding them like the plague for years because of it and never had a seagate go bad.
(fingers crossed, wood knocked, rituals observed, chicken sacrificed...)

Jul.08.2007 @ 2:41 AM
Praveen, there is no crack that cannot be circumvented if there is the need and will. It just requires enough popularity for the program, so that there's someone with knowledge will take notice and bother. However, I don't know exactly what you mean about not seen cracked cubase? All you need to do is to type cubase in to any torrent search engine and you get loads of seeds for Cubase sx3. Maybe you meant that the actual cubase itself isn't cracked, but the dongle service (which is the usual way to go at it)?

Jul.08.2007 @ 10:22 AM
Adam Schabtach
It look quite awhile for SX3 to be cracked, and I don't think that C4 has been cracked yet, so one could argue that Syncrosoft is somewhat effective. It may be more so than PACE, which doesn't seem to pose much of a challenge these days (no pun intended).

I guess I'm lucky in that I really haven't had any trouble with Synchronous, despite using it for several years with two different products. I did have one update go a little wonks, but it was easily rectified and my own fault in the first place.



Jul.08.2007 @ 11:13 AM
Indeed, it took long (compared to the usual they, your plugin is on the torrent sites" "what? i haven't even released it yet" -speed) to crack the Syncrosoft protection in SX3 ... something like several months or half a year and more than one person working on it based from what I've read. Apparently in the end the crackers ended up writing a driver that emulates some part of the dongle or responds to requests in a similar way. So it no, isn't invincible like nothing is, but yes, it's apparently a real pain-in-the-ass to circumvent.

I still don't like their protection scheme though, seems like lots of people are having troubles with it. I'm kind of biased of course: I generally dislike dongles anyway, being a laptop user and having got one Logic dongle stolen from me already.

PS. CR, at least you aren't stupid like me - last tuesday I just lost about 8 months' worth of songs, mail and all sorts of other crap, never mind having to hunt down all the software licenses and whatnot. A 8 month old Seagate broke down and I'd forgotten to set up a proper backup system for my main HD after I upgraded to a new computer last fall. And on top of that I apparently have to wait more than 2 weeks to get a new HD from warranty repair / exchange... poetic justice I guess.


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