Segments: Slices From the Macintosh Life
Authorizing Opcode on USB Macs
I have used Opcode products for many years now. I find their software selection to be the most versatile on the market (Mac or PC), and their MIDI hardware is unequaled. Though it has taken them several months to complete the shift to USB-based iMacs, G3s, and G4s, they have done a commendable job'with one exception. A personal tale of frustration follows:
A few months ago, I came across an offer on the Internet I couldn't pass up. Opcode was selling MAX 3.5.9 to students, for one week only, for $149! It normally lists for $495, so I ran home, logged on, and bought it that day. All I needed to do was give them the name of the school I attend and my social security number. I paid two bucks extra for second day air'I couldn't wait. Well, imagine my shock when I open the package and there, along with the CD and manuals, is a floppy disk. HmmmÉfloppy drive, floppy drive, where's the floppy driveÉoh right, I own a G3. I don't have a floppy drive!
I'll spare you the details of my calls to tech support. Instead, let me start out by stating that the directions given on the Opcode FAQ page do not work. Here is what you do if you find yourself in a similar dilemma, or, like me, have gone to the Web page, called tech support, and are stuck:
- If you have an Imation SuperDisk drive, do not download the drivers from the Opcode site. I tried this, and my computer couldn't see the drive at all. Instead, go to Imation's software download page and download the Mac USB drivers there. You will need the latest SuperDisk driver (v 2.0) along with USB Floppy Enabler by PACE Anti-Piracy. After you download these, install and restart. The extensions will be enabled and your software will authorize on launch.
- If you have a Newer Technology uDrive, the USB Floppy Enabler should work as advertised. Make sure you have the latest version of USB Floppy Enabler from PACE Anti-Piracy.
- If you don't have a floppy drive, I recommend that you borrow one like I did. (Remember, only the two drives listed above will see the authorization disk correctly.) The alternatives are murkier. The tech support guy recommended downloading MAX from the Opcode Web site. Good luck finding this download (If you can, let me know, as I couldn't). The FAQ recommends using the "Challenge Response" form, which now includes a MAX option. The only problem is that you need to be able to launch the program in order to get the Challenge number. I was able to do this with my downloaded version of Vision DSP, but all MAX gave me was an error message. Without the drive, I'd be stuck.
So if you're in the position I once was with a G3, G4, or iMac, but no music software, some titles are available online. The downloadable version of Vision DSP 4.5 is only $59, and if you can live without a few extras (Bias Peak LE and MasterDisk) and tech support, it's a great deal. The "Challenge Response" form is a nuisance, in my opinion, but at least it works in this case. As for other Opcode software, StudioVision, the full version of Vision DSP, and Musicshop are downloadable as demos. I haven't tried this, but I hope that when you register the software at the end of the thirty days, you will get online authorization.
I will contact Opcode (by e-mail; my phone bill is high enough) and inform them of what I've found. I will also suggest that they supply full downloads of all their software, with "Challenge Response" authorization until they think of something better. In the meantime, I keep considering just giving in and buying a floppy drive. But should I really have to spend $100 (or $170 for the SuperDisk) just to authorize software I already own?
Copyright © 1999 David Ozab, . Send your Segments submissions to email@example.com.
Also in This Series
- About My Particular Macintoshes · May 2012
- From the Darkest Hour · May 2012
- Shrinking Into an Expanding World · May 2012
- Growing Up With Apple · May 2012
- Recollections of ATPM by the Plucky Comic Relief · May 2012
- Making the Leap · March 2012
- Digital > Analog > Digital · February 2012
- An Achievable Dream · February 2012
- Smart Move? · February 2012
- Complete Archive