Windows 8 for "non production" use...

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Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:37 am

Hello:

As detailed in other threads, I have temporarily decided to hold off on transitioning to Windows 8 for my "production" systems.

I think the UI changes are very drastic, particularly the removal of the old start button and its associated start menu. Metro is a step back for my day-to-day use. It takes longer to find and use legacy applications on the Metro screens than it did on the old start menu. I also don't like the way Metro's pseudo-search works when you just start typing your application name. The old start menu's search worked much better, and gave more relevant results for me.

So I'm going to hold off on 8 for day-to-day use. But, I am still planning to include a Windows 8 partition on my main system, and I will use it on a semi-regular basis. In my unofficial position as personal tech support to some of my family and friends, I feel it's necessary that I have it and learn it, warts and all.

I'm thinking that I might use Windows 8 as my so called "service system", which would mean that this OS would be available for Antivirus scans, backups/imaging of my other OS's on that hard drive. It would also be the system I use for partitioning, debugging, and even defragging of selected partitions of the other Windows systems, such as my DAW or my Office OS and data partitions. It could eventually become an application development environment for me, but that's a low priority at this point.

What do you think of my plans?

And I'm curious: What, if anything, do you plan to do about Windows 8 when it's available in October?
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:11 pm

I put it on a production machine last night, but it's a spare work machine specifically for testing. I kinda dig the UI changes after screwing around with it for an hour (max).

I don't know what your DAW is but if it's Pro Tools, Avid has traditionally been very slow to get ready for new Windows OSes and the existing version at the time rarely if ever works on the new OS at all. So in that respect, it's a good idea to wait.

My preferred DAW is Sonar X1, though I also own PT9. I doubt Avid will ever update 9 to work with Win8 so I'll have to either pony up for an update or keep a Win7 install somewhere. Or just use Sonar full time, which I do like. I just hate to own a pile of software I can't use (PT9 + instrument expansion pack). Cakewalk has made a big deal about Sonar X1 runs better on Win8 than it does on Win7 even, so I would like to upgrade.
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:35 pm

BIF wrote:*snip*
And I'm curious: What, if anything, do you plan to do about Windows 8 when it's available in October?


I can't really answer the first part as it really comes down to personal prefernce. I Love Metro (or Modern Interface) on my Windows 7 phone, but on a beta Windows 8 (RC I think it was...what ever one came out in February) I HATED it on the desktop (although I did like the ribbon interface on the folders....which I know many others have hated). So because you're asking people personal opinion of Windows 8, expect to get a WIDE variety of answers.

That being said, I have no intention of upgrading to Windows 8 in October. I'll wait for Windows 9 when they add the start button back.
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:17 am

derFunkenstein wrote:I put it on a production machine last night, but it's a spare work machine specifically for testing. I kinda dig the UI changes after screwing around with it for an hour (max).


I actually run hot and cold with the UI changes. One minute I like it and the next I hate it. It's a bit of a schizophrenic relationship. :lol:

I don't know what your DAW is ...


Mostly Cubase but I have Sonar X1 and use it infrequently.

One of the big benefits of VST to me is that I can use them in either Cubase or Sonar. And Sonar had some pretty good plugins included with past producer versions, etc. So I would keep Sonar upgraded just for the plugs, and use them in Cubase. I also use KORE and Maschine and both of those are VST compatible for instruments and effects...really ANY VST compliant plugins.

Hey, whatever works, right? :P But about a year ago Cakewalk started coming out with non-VST type plugins that were proprietary only to Sonar, so I began to lose interest. I recently started getting X2 spam now and sooner or later I'll have a look, but proprietary is not where it is for me. VST is a must.

My preferred DAW is Sonar X1... Cakewalk has made a big deal about Sonar X1 runs better on Win8 than it does on Win7 even, so I would like to upgrade.


I have done some light testing with Cubase on Windows 8, though it's with the RP and not the RTM (yet) and not fully loaded projects. So far Windows 8 seems to be a pretty good performer.

Sargent Duck wrote: ...because you're asking people personal opinion of Windows 8, expect to get a WIDE variety of answers.


Yes, I do!

That being said, I have no intention of upgrading to Windows 8 in October. I'll wait for Windows 9 when they add the start button back.


Thank you for this and for your other comments. Appreciated!
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:13 pm

Yeah, the Pro Channel modules are really cool, but they're definitely not VSTs. The fact that almost-nobody other than Cakewalk makes any (Softube the lone exception) should hopefully be a good sign, though. It seems that plugin development is regressing rather than progressing - Avid made Yet Another Non-standard Plugin format, and Cakewalk is doing the same now. Why don't we all just go VST3 and call it a day?

Anyway, X2 appears to be adding only more Pro Channel modules and not including anything useful in the way of VSTs, unless they decide to bundle Z3TA+ 2.0 with it.

My plan is to go Windows 8 on my personal machine as soon as possible and call it a day, based on Cakewalk's testing and depending on the availability of Windows 8 drivers for my Focusrite Scarlett 8i6. Sonar X2 is only going to be a $99 upgrade for me as an X1 Producer Expanded owner, and Windows 8 is rumored to be (or maybe officially will be) only $40. Pro Tools can hang out on a secondary rig as I don't do any new projects in it anymore, and once this Christmas CD business is done and the final WAVs are archived I'll uninstall it entirely - my attitude towards Avid has changed quite a bit in the last couple of days, as they finally responded to an email support ticket I submitted in MARCH of this year (which, honestly, I had kind of forgotten about, and their response was incredibly unhelpful). Screw it, if I wanted that kind of support I'd gladly pay less for the privilege.

That said, I think your plan to test it out ahead of time is sound, and I'd definitely recommend installing Cubase on Win8 and see how it performs.
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:27 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:...Why don't we all just go VST3 and call it a day?

...X2 appears to be adding only more Pro Channel modules and not including anything useful in the way of VSTs, unless they decide to bundle Z3TA+ 2.0 with it.


I agree, VST3 allows for additional expression and I would like to see the major orchestra packages migrate to it.

And yep, it was Pro Channel I was thinking about in my comments. Yeah, not enthusiastic about a feature that I cannot use in Cubase, Kore, or Maschine. So even if it is $99 or some similarly cheap upgrade price, it's not that useful to me. Cakewalk doesn't seem to understand that yet. They probably want to get away from paying licensing fees to Steinberg for using the VST protocol/standard.

The only problem with my testing on Windows 8 is that I don't want to use up another license slot for any of my instruments that do their licensing through the NI "Service Center". The ones that use iLok or the so-called "Steinberg Key", or even the UAD-2 are fine, because the licenses are in/tied to the hardware key or the UAD-2 as the case may be, and can easily be carried back and forth between more than one system. But the Service Center licenses are another matter and I don't think they can be easily transferred to a new system or OS or used on multiple systems (i.e., testing on Win8 and regular use on Win7). Spectrasonics' software is similarly tied to a system and not an easily transferrable USB key.

In one of the other threads (or articles), I just saw a link to Stardock's replacement START button for Windows 8. This tool/gadget/widget/applet (can we just settle on one common name already?) alone would allow me to reconsider Windows 8 for production use, as long as I don't end up getting steamrolled beneath a Microsoft vs. Stardock lawsuit or something. I will be watching to see if Microsoft is going to try to stop Stardock on this one; I'm very much interested!
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:59 pm

There are slots for NI Service Center? I can't begin to think how many hardware configs my NI software has been through (Guitar Rig 4 Pro and Komplete Elements 7) and it's never complained about an activation. What's my limit? Can I tell on the NI website?

But yeah, hardware dongles are handy tools. I know my iLok made getting Pro Tools going easy. That's another bit of driver that's definitely worth waiting for - iLoks don't even work with USB 3.0 ports yet (found that out the hard way), so who knows when PACE will get working drivers for Win8.

Sorry to get off topic. lol

Stardock's little tool looks cool but I'd strongly encourage you to at least give it a go without it, even just for an hour or so, to see if you don't like the new. If not, no harm done. Everyone went bonkers over the Unsanity haxies on OS X and I didn't get it then, either. But hey, if they help you be more productive, go for it.
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:14 am

My understanding (or maybe I'm just making an assumption?) is that you're allowed up to two permanent licenses for each product, for example a desktop and a laptop (and I have both). I could be mistaken but doesn't the Service Center "phone home" to the NI mothership...like every time you add a product or get patches?

It would stand to reason that somebody somewhere is tracking the number of current installs that a given serial number has. SC knows the license code for each of my products, I had to type it in to make it authorize.

So if I install to a couple of test Win 8 systems, and then again to a permanent Win 8 system in October, is it possible that I get hit with a message saying that I've installed it to too many computers in too-short of a time period?

That's how I would do it if I were NI trying to keep people from copying their software. ;) Otherwise, why would NI even bother with the Service Center and making us type in our license codes for newly purchased instruments?

---

I have three dongles plugged into a hybrid USB hub by Siig. The hub supports both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 devices and seems to work fine for a 3.0 external hard drive dock plus my 2.0 dongles.
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:48 am

You're right in that it does phone home to activate, but AFAIK it doesn't stop you from installing anything.

Is your hub plugged into a USB 3.0 port? I could never get my iLok to work with USB 3.0 ports controlled by an ASMedia chip. Maybe it's just that specific chip, but there were complaints on the DUC about it, too. But maybe it's just that specific chip. If it works, sweet. :D
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Re: Windows 8 for "non production" use...

Postposted on Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:47 pm

Yep, hub is plugged into a USB 3.0 port from a PCIe card that has two 3.0 ports on the back of the computer.

That whole thing worked with remarkably zero trouble...except that under Windows 7 I had to do some poking and prodding to get the driver to install from the little disk that came with it.

Windows 8 RP already had the drivers in the build, so I didn't have to do anything to get that PCIe card to work. It recognized the Cubase dongle right away...although, I must admit that i have not yet tested the USB 3.0 drive dock connection with Windows 8.

There are an awful lot of permutations, I swear if I spent a full week I still wouldn't get it all done!
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