Saturday, January 13, 2007

A new definition of pain, part II

A short while ago I posted a slightly incoherent post about moving ancient audio "files" (what we used to call "recordings") from slightly mouldy media like cassette and Minidisc, onto the spiffy, shiny, Sleek And Intelligent™ new computer. The resulting procedure was, as you may recall if you actually bothered to read the whole thing, rather long and irritating, and involved an excessive amount of plugging and unplugging of wires, hauling around of Zip disks, and generally waiting for things to happen.

In an effort to improve this process and reduce the chance of me smashing various computers into their component parts, I've just bought a pretty little audio interface box, the M-Audio Transit. Equipped with a couple of optical digital connectors and stereo analogue audio jacks, it seems to be just the ticket. Digital connectors for the Minidisc, analogue for the old cassettes. Perfect. And it's small and USB-powered. Should work nicely, and be easy to swap between the S&I machine and the laptop, no?


Not only does it require driver installation, which puzzles me slightly since I thought that USB devices are supposed to be plug and play, but the installer completely fails to do its job. It runs through its routine, then fails to re-start the computer (as it's supposed to). Although the driver appears to be happily installed, the machine completely fails to recognize the Transit, complaining that no such animal exists, even if it's plugged in and happily taunting me with its pretty little blue LED.

Every combination of the following procedures improved the situation not in the slightest:

- installing on a different computer, or in Administrator (="God") mode
- downloading the most recent driver
- de-installing and re-installing the driver, in hopes that it just failed the first time and all would be wonderful afterwards
- manually re-starting the computer, since it refused to do it by itself
- attempting to install the Transit using the Windows control panel - now there's an excercise in futility
- reading the manual (and by "manual", what I really mean is "uselessly simplistic document that tells you nothing")
- exploring the technical support FAQs and other documents
- screaming, shouting and generally dancing about waving various things in a lightly threatening manner
- crouching in the corner, keening and whimpering gently.

Now, M-Audio is a rather good company, and I have high hopes that they will help me out, especially after I invested half an hour or so filling out their tech support form. This necessitated me providing painfully exquisite detail about chipsets, processors, soundcards, the colour of the laptop, the ambient temperature and humidity near each computer, and the colour of the pajamas I was wearing while attempting the entire process. Tech support sent an automated email acknowledging they'd received my submission (Hooray!), and then stating something to the effect of "sorry, we're closed for the weekend" (Boo!).

So, a few hours invested in all this nonsense, and I get to wait until at least Monday before hearing back from them. Which is ok, I suppose... I wouldn't wish weekend work on anybody (least of all me), but it is frustrating, especially since I've exhausted all avenues I can think of, and I'm convinced it's neither me nor my computers (unless there's something identically screwy with both machines).

So there you go. Ricardipus beaten by technology again, at least for the time being. After five months, I think I've finally found a theme for this blog.



Rik said...

Try uninstalling, then reinstalling but specifying the driver instead of letting windows search for it. Also, make sure you do all of this whilst the M-audio is unplugged. USB is very much plug and pray, but it's even more of a pain when you install the driver from plugging it in.

Ricardipus said...

Thanks, Rik. It was full of dire warnings about not plugging the thing in until the driver was installed. Not sure if I can force Windows to search for the driver because the driver seems to only exist in the context of the installer program (i.e. it's not a separate file on its own).


You realize, of course, that if I'm successful it will result in me asking for more of your disk space for the resulting noise...

Why can't life just be easy? I ask again.

'gnafr' - the sound of my teeth grinding together just thinking about this.

Anna said...

Holy cow. Every last word of that was Greek to me, lol.

So is: raerris

The Wrath of Dawn said...

You were wearing pyjamas whilst doing this? Well, there's your problem.

qnnobqqi - Middle Earth for "no pyjamas"

Ricardipus said...

Pajamas... yes.*

*certain aspects of this story may have been slightly exaggerated.

The Wrath of Dawn said...


*tries to peek*

Ricardipus said...

There you go, jumping to the *wrong conclusion*, AGAIN.

And torpedo-ing the blog's PG-13 rating. AGAIN.

And, for the record, I was wearing a perfectly modest trenchcoat.

Rik said...

...and the bottom half of trouser legs held up by string to look normal whereas in fact he was actually a flasher.

Re: USB installation. After much research I have discovered that you can specify a location of the disc, and click on "don't search, I will choose a driver to install" after you've installed the software. It should specify it.

Good luck.

p.s. just email me about the files. We can sort something from there.

The Wrath of Dawn said...

I'm just holding down the "lowering the tone" fort in the absence of Mr. Duck.

P.S. Nice strings.

vw - zzhxperl - the required computer language for installations of drivers.

Ricardipus said...

Dawn - thank you, somebody needs to do it.

Mr. Duck has never commented on the Ricardiblog, as far as I know. Shame really, but he's a busy duck you know, with all his websites and plans for world domination an' all.

'vezfa' - a strange tasting Italian soft drink.