Monday, January 17, 2011

Easy things that are not

Warning, this post is very long and boring. We file it under, how I spent a lot of my weekend.

A while back I bought some recording software from Guitar Center.
The guys behind the counter advised me to buy the software on CD rather than download it online. So I did.

To borrow a phrase from Lyle Lovett, that is when I should have known that I had made my first mistake.

I took the box home and placed it in my living room with the intention of getting around to it. I respond to the things that I buy in one of two ways. I either tear the box open and muck about or I set the box to the side and get accustomed to its smell and presence before doing a thing with it.

With the second response, there is danger that I will set it aside forever, either because I get distracted by other things or because I never get over the newness and strangeness.

I waited my way into the new year and this long weekend, I decided that it was time to install the program. I could play with it and hole up for the rest of the winter.

I generally anticipate that a thing will either be impossibly hard, too difficult to even try, or easy peasy - a quicky jiffy,

When it comes to technology I always and incorrectly assume that it will be the latter.

First there was the long overdue maintenance that was needed for the laptop, the upgrades and scans and shuffling about of things.

After getting all of that out of the way, I got to the part where I put in the disk. The drive whirled and the start up menu displayed. All good signs.

Except that I had misplaced the piece of plastic on which they had printed my registration serial number. Which they would need to confirm that I had a legitimate copy of the program. I didn't put it in the box where I had found it. I had put it somewhere else. Somewhere visible to remind me that this installation was one of the things that I wanted to do. Only, it was no longer visible.

I turned the house upside down looking for it. For many months it lived on the coffee table, amidst a mass of papers and folders and books sometimes under, sometimes on top of or beside. But then my desire to see a clear surface in the house overwhelmed my desire for a visual reminder and prompted me to put it somewhere very safe. So safe that it took me three hours to relocate the card with the registration number.

Note to Self, cleaning, clearing and organizing are three different but related processes. None of which I am apparently that skilled at.

Now I was set. Except that the disk wouldn't install the program. I kept getting an error message. First I thought that this was because I was trying to install without having an active internet connection.

I couldn't get on the internet to save my life for a day and a half from the laptop that I wanted to use for this purpose. And then somehow while clicking around, messing with this or that utility flipping settings on and off, I found a wireless connection. YAY!

But it still didn't work. With a bit of Googling, I found a forum at the company website with a thread directly dealing with this problem. But could not read it without becoming a forum user. I registered and found out that there was an error in the box installer. I was going to have to download the demo and upgrade it.

Now, I don't know about you but if I were this company, Image Line, I would have put in a recall on those CD's. If I were Guitar Center, I would have pulled them from my shelves. MINUS POINTS. So after all that talk about getting the thing in the box, I had to download it online.

And then I lost internet access so I couldn't do a thing.

Now on the last day of my long weekend, I am sitting at the foot of the stairs in my building where I appear to have some internet signal, trying to download and install the program. I saw a note in one of the forums that of the four mirror sites where I can download the demo, two or three of them don't work. I tried to download from one of them to no avail. The second mirror site seems to be working. At least the download has worked. Now the demo is installed. I am trying to figure out how to use the registration key to convince the demo that I should be allowed to use the full version. I am downloading the files that should come up automatically in the hopes that if I install them individually they will figure out how to shake hands with each other. Having never used this software before, I can only hope that I will be able to figure out at what point I have downloaded and installed the product that I paid for.

And then I maybe I will get to play around with it for the remaining part of winter, that is, if I don't get distracted again.

Perhaps I should have gotten an analog 4 track with knobs and sliders.


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