Wednesday word cloud: Support snippets from the old SPM days


I came across my hoard of SPM-licensing-related snippets the other day. I used to use these back at Sofimage to answer the never-ending stream of licensing questions we used to get.
snippets

These snippets were all stuff like this:

//----------------------------------
// Uploading a file to FTP
//----------------------------------

Hi

You can upload the log to ftp.softimage.com/incoming 
Use Internet Explorer to go to ftp.softimage.com/incoming 

Then open a Windows Explorer window, and drag the log from Windows Explorer to IE.




//----------------------------------
// Troubleshooting template for this error:
//
// We could not read your hostId. We need this information to activate your software
//
//----------------------------------



Can you go through the following and let me know what happens?


If you are on Vista, you must run the License Manager as an Administrator:

   1. Click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products.
   2. Right-click License Manager and click Properties.
   3. Click the Compatibility tab.
   4. Under Privilege Level, select the Run the program as an administrator check box.
   5. Click OK.

Check that DONGLE_TYPE is set to SLP:

- Start the License Manager (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > License Manager).
- Click Edit Config File.
- Scroll down until you see the line that starts with "DONGLE_TYPE".
- Make sure that DONGLE_TYPE is set to SLP 
    DONGLE_TYPE=SLP
- Click Save.

Reinstall the license server service:

- In the License Manager menu bar, click Uninstall License Server Service.
- Click Install License Server Service.


Try to generate a request code:

- Click Manage Key Database.
- If the Rename Key Database button is enabled, click it.
- Click Generate Request Code. You should see something like this:

* 0.9b  Anybody 0
> computer_name -00D0D0D680--SLP   (2 PentiumPro)  Windows NT 6.0 [6000]  -SSPM-0 #0
023RA3JL WGZH30MD 8LYECAPU JH6F8NXM ZA2VP6L6 T27D7GYG 8SUZNZUM FZ0ULWVD
UNTD3LDV NYZ0J73C CUEZ0M50 ERWX8TVK F5MXS661 KHFGRY5E RXN2P88
 


If you are able to generate a request code, then try again to activate your license.
Otherwise, if you get an error when you click Generate Request Code, please send me the SPM server log (c:\spm\spm.log).



//----------------------------------
// Essential Trial Download problems (endless loop)
//----------------------------------


If you go to http://softimage.com/downloads/XSI_ess_trial/default.aspx and login, when you get to the page that says this:


	Thank you for registering for the XSI Essentials v.6.5 30-day trial Download. 
	You will receive a confirmation email shortly. Please follow the instructions in the confirmation email to complete your registration.

then refresh your browser. You should then see the download links.




//----------------------------------
// Install a .keys file
//----------------------------------

I generated a temporary license for you.
You will receive the license in a separate e-mail message.
The e-mail message will include a .keys attachement.

To install the license key:

- Save the attached .keys file in C:\spm.
- Start the License Manager (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > License Manager).
- Click Manage Key Database.
- If Rename Key Database is enabled, click it
- Click Install Keys, click the .keys file, and click Open.
- Close the Manage License Keys dialog box.
- Click Start Server.

 
If you cannot install the license key, do this:
- Click Generate Request Code
- Send me the request code (you can copy the request code by highlighting it with your mouse and then pressing CTRL+C).



To install the license key:
- Save the attached .keys file in C:\spm.
- Start the License Manager (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > License Manager).
- Click Manage Key Database.
- Click Install Keys, click the .keys file, and click Open.
- If you get an error, click Rename Key Database and try again.
- Close the Manage License Keys dialog box.
- Click Start Server.



//----------------------------------
// Deactivate a license
//-----------------------------o-----



To deactivate a license:

1. Start the License Manager (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > License Manager).
2. In the menu bar, click Server > Deactivate.
3. In the License Deactivation dialog box, enter your softimage.com login name and password, and your registration code.
4. Click Deactivate. 


//---------------------------------- 
// Move an SLP license to a new PC
//----------------------------------


If you get a new PC, then do this:

- Deactivate the license on your old PC
- Activate the license on your new PC

This requires an Internet connection.


To deactivate a license:
1. Start the License Manager (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > License Manager).
2. In the menu bar, click Server > Deactivate.
3. In the License Deactivation dialog box, enter your softimage.com login name and password, and your registration code.
4. Click Deactivate.


To activate a license:
1. Start the License Manager (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > License Manager).
2. Click Get License.
3. Under Registration Code Activation, enter your softimage.com logon information and your registration code.
4. Click Activate.


//----------------------------------
// Previous Versions
//----------------------------------


You can get 4.2 from our Previous Versions download page:

- Go to http://www.softimage.com/downloads/previousVersions/default.aspx
- In the list of products, click OLDER VERSIONS.
- Scroll down until you see the 4.2 download links


You can get 5.11 from our Previous Versions download page:

- Go to http://www.softimage.com/downloads/previousVersions/default.aspx
- In the list of products, click OLDER VERSIONS.
- Scroll down until you see the 5.11 download links



You can download XSI 6.02 from the Previous Versions section on softimage.com/downloads.

- Go to http://www.softimage.com/downloads/previousVersions/default.aspx
- In the list of products, click OLDER VERSIONS.
- Scroll down until you see the 6.02 download links


//----------------------------------
// Download Foundation License Key
//----------------------------------


If you need to re-download your license key:

- Go to http://www.softimage.com/getfoundation
- Logon
- Enter your registration code
- Select the Foundation Version (4.x or 5.x)
- Select Windows or Linux
- Select the usage (Personal or Work)
- Click Validate


//----------------------------------
// Download SPM
//----------------------------------

You can download the latest version of SPM from our Web site:

- Go to www.softimage.com/downloads
- Under SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6.5 Advanced, click Downloads
- Download SPM Server 1502 - Windows 32-bit & 64-bit
  This version of SPM works with all versions of XSI (6.5 and earlier)


//----------------------------------
// Switch from SLP to SI0
//----------------------------------


That is not a dongle request. Sorry, I should of anticipated this.

You need to do the following:


- Start the License Manager (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > License Manager).
- Click Edit Config File.
- Scroll down until you see the line that starts with "DONGLE_TYPE".
- Change DONGLE_TYPE to "SI0" (that is S-I-zero) 

    DONGLE_TYPE=SI0

- Click Save.

- Click Manage Key Database.
- Click Rename Key Database.
- Click Generate Request Code.

The request code should look like this:

0.9b  Anybody 0
> dongle_host -003C2FD520051108531248-SI0   SISPM-0 #0
6SNENX2W 2VZH2JYU FNXX30PV 7V131ZFH EW2RV9LM 30ER7TG3 NAWAGRZV 8CY1JWM7
ZFUATGEP XV6LT7DU DAXG7TSZ X3C989DC 82W15UZW ZC24L3WN RNN0S8VV MRLMP


digital_revolutions




//----------------------------------
// Face Robot download
//----------------------------------



I'm sorry, but we do not have a Trial version of Face Robot.
The Face Robot downloads are for customers who have already purchased Face Robot.

If you are interested in evaluating Face Robot, please see this Web page for information:
http://softimage.com/products/facerobot/interested/




//----------------------------------
// To generate request codes from dongles
//----------------------------------


We need a request codes from the dongle.
Here's how to do it:


1) If you have not done so already, plug in the dongle. 

When you plug the dongle in, the New Hardware Wizard should open.
In the New Hardware Wizard, do this:
   - Click No, not this time.
   - Click Install from a list or specific location (Advanced).
   - Click Don't search. I will choose the driver to install.
   - Click USB iButton holder for SPM.
   - Click Next.
   - Click Finish.

2) Generate a dongle request code:

- Start the License Manager (click Start > All Programs > Softimage Products > License Manager).
- Click Edit Config File.
- Scroll down until you see the line that starts with "DONGLE_TYPE".
- Change DONGLE_TYPE to "SI0" (that's a zero) 

    DONGLE_TYPE=SI0

- Click Save.
- Click Manage Key Database.
- Click Rename Key Database.
- Click Generate Request Code.

The request code should look like this:

0.9b  Anybody 0
> dongle_host -003C2FD520051108531248-SI0   SISPM-0 #0
6SNENX2W 2VZH2JYU FNXX30PV 7V131ZFH EW2RV9LM 30ER7TG3 NAWAGRZV 8CY1JWM7
ZFUATGEP XV6LT7DU DAXG7TSZ X3C989DC 82W15UZW ZC24L3WN RNN0S8VV MRLMP


3) Send the dongle request codes to License@softimage.com.

Starting the license server service from a batch file


It’s rare, but the occasional customer has a problem where the license server keeps stopping (for example, after the computer goes to sleep). Normally the license service should always be running, but if you were really stuck and needed a workaround, you could add something to XSI.bat to start the license server before starting xsi.exe.

For example, here’s something I got from stackoverflow. You probably could just call sc start; if the service is already running, sc will just report that and nothing bad will happen.

@echo off
for /F "tokens=3 delims=: " %%H in ('sc query "Softimage License Server" ^| findstr "STATE"') do (
  if /I "%%H" NEQ "RUNNING" (
   sc start "Softimage License Server"
   echo "Starting Softimage License Server"
  )
)

The service name (on lines 2 and 4) is the same name you specified in LMTOOLS:
LMTOOLS-Service_Name

Arnold licensing explained visually


As requested in the comments, here’s a visual explanation of Arnold licensing, to go along with the Softimage version I posted last week.

Suppose you had five Arnold licenses. With those five licenses, you can have five machines using Arnold to render. For example, you might have two artist workstations and three render nodes (but you can have any combination of workstations and render nodes that adds up to five).
Arnold-Licenses1

Arnold licenses are checked out when you actually render, not when you start Softimage or load a scene. If a workstation isn’t doing a render region, or a render preview, or rendering frames, then there’s no Arnold license being used. So maybe it is more accurate to think of it like this:
Arnold-Licenses2

Arnold licenses are per machine, so all processes on the same machine share the same license. Note that you can limit the number of threads per render if you want to run multiple renders on one machine.
Arnold-Licenses3

Softimage network licenses explained…visually with ICE


A couple of weeks ago on si-community, there was a discussion of Softimage licensing and someone wished there was a graphic that explained Softimage licensing…

A network license includes one Softimage license, and five Batch licenses.

  • The Softimage license is the “interactive” license: it allows you to run xsi.exe on one computer.
  • The Batch licenses run xsibatch, and are used for command-line rendering on render nodes. One Batch license = one render node.

Each instance of xsi.exe and xsibatch.exe can use up to four satellite computers for satellite rendering.
network-licenses-satellite

You can run multiple copies of xsi.exe or xsibatch.exe on the same computer. A license is shared as long as processes are running under the same user account and on the same host (aka computer).

You can run an unlimited number of xsibatch -processing jobs. With xsibatch -processing, you can do anything except render. Typically you use it to run script jobs on scene files.

And finally, you can also use the Softimage license to run xsibatch.

Update: As requested in the comments, here’s six render nodes, each using four satellite computers:
network-license-rendernodes-w-satellite

The case of the fatal missing registry key


Otherwise known as the case where composite.exe cannot determine a product license to use:

The last time I saw this error, it turned out to be a problem with the ProductInformation.pit file. However, this time it turned out to literally what the error message says: Composite couldn’t figure out what license to use. The tricky part was figuring out why.

First we tried a couple of configuration “tricks”, but those didn’t help in this case.

  • Set the ADSK_COMPOSITE_LICENSE environment variable to SOFTIMAGE (or MAYA if you have Maya, or 3DSMAX if you have Max).
  • Add these lines to toxik.ini (which doesn’t exist by default, so you may have to create the file
    %USERPROFILE%\Documents\toxik\2013\toxik.ini with your favorite text editor).

    toxik::deployment::licenseType                Standalone
    toxik::deployment::softimagelocation          C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Softimage 2013
    

    Note that alternatively, instead of setting toxik::deployment::softimagelocation in the INI file, you could set the environment variable SI_HOME.

And unfortunately, Composite wasn’t logging any license-related information or errors.

Fortunately I’m the curious type, so I’d been using Process Monitor to see what composite.exe was doing at startup, and I had a pretty good hunch what was wrong. And when I got a Process Monitor log from the customer, it only took a minute to spot the problem: a missing registry key.

When ADSK_COMPOSITE_LICENSE is set to SOFTIMAGE, composite.exe uses the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Autodesk\Softimage\InstallPaths\2013 to find Softimage. The customer’s machine was missing that registry key, so composite.exe couldn’t find Softimage and therefore couldn’t figure out what license to use.

Why was the registry key missing? I don’t know.

Have license, will travel?


Umm…not quite. The Autodesk end-user license agreement (hereafter referred to as the “EULA”) restricts license usage to the country or territory of purchase.

Section 2.1.3 of the EULA says:

2.1.3 Territory. Except as otherwise authorized in writing by Autodesk, the licenses granted in this Agreement are granted only for the Territory. Nothing in this Agreement permits Licensee (including, without limitation, Licensee’s Personnel, if any) to Install or Access the Licensed Materials outside of the Territory.

Extra-territory usage is a subscription benefit:

Extra Territory Rights – Allows usage of a license outside of the country of purchase for up to 90 days per a year. This benefit can be used by End Users. No companion license would be needed, however if installing outside the country of purchase and requiring a manual install, explanation of benefit may be needed.

So, what’s a territory? Again, from the EULA:

From the EULA:

33. “Territory” (a) means the country, countries or jurisdiction(s) specified in the License Identification, or (b) if there is no such License Identification, or no country or jurisdiction is specified in the License Identification, means the country in which Licensee acquires a license to the Autodesk Materials. If the License Identification specifies, or Licensee acquires the Autodesk Materials in, a member country of the European Union or the European Free Trade Association, Territory means all the countries of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association.

But what if you’re not in Europe? What’s your territory? The EULA says you can find your territory in the License Identification:

14. “License Identification” means one or more designations by Autodesk that set forth the License Type (among other things) for Licensee’s license of the Licensed Materials. The License Identification may be (a) located (i) in the Licensed Materials (e.g., in an “About” box, license information dialog box, or text file of Software), (ii) on or with Autodesk packaging, or (iii) in a written confirmation or other notice issued to Licensee by Autodesk and transmitted via email, facsimile, physical delivery, or otherwise, or (b) obtained from Autodesk on request. For clarification, License Identification does not include a designation, confirmation, packaging or other document provided by a Reseller or other third party.

I couldn’t find the license identification for my Maya ECSP license, which was purchased in Canada from the North American store. However, I did find this on the store help page:

If I purchase a product from one country’s store, can I use it in another country?
No. Software products purchased on this Store must be used in accordance with the terms of the Autodesk License agreement accompanying them; such terms include a restriction that the products may not be used outside of the country of purchase. For this site, the Territory for sale of software products is the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and Guam. Please see the Digital River Terms and Conditions.

Finally, via google, I found this “Ancillary Service Description for Use Outside Territory” document.

Understanding the new Licensing check interval


As of the 2013 release, you can now set up your license server and Softimage workstations so that idle licenses are reclaimed by the license server and distributed to other machines.

An instance of Softimage (xsi.exe) is considered idle when there is no mouse or keyboard interaction, no command or script running, and no active progress bar. Softimage is never idle in batch mode.

2013 includes a new Licensing check interval preference (Preferences > General). Basically, this “check interval” is how long Softimage can be idle before it will give up its license. By default, the Licensing check interval is 1 minute. That means that if Softimage is idle for a minute, then the license server could reclaim the license and give it to some other user. To disable the license time-out feature, set the check interval preference to 0.

By default, the license server does not reclaim licenses when Softimage is idle. To configure the license server to reclaim idle licenses, you need to set the TIMEOUT option. To do that, create a plain text file named adskflex.opt in the same folder where your license file is located.

To set the TIMEOUT to 60 minutes for an Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate license:

TIMEOUT 85926ENCSU_2013_0F 36000

To set the TIMEOUT for a 2012 Softimage license:

TIMEOUT 85705SFTIM_2012_0F 36000

You will need to restart the server to read the changes to the options file.

With the TIMEOUT option set on the license server, the next time your Softimage is idle for longer than the check interval, the license server may reclaim the license to give to another user. When you start working actively with Softimage again, it will try to check out another license from the server. If it gets a license, you’ll keep working and you’ll never know your license had been “lost” while idle.

However, if no licenses are available, you’ll see this:

and then you’ll have a chance to save your work:

The case of the missing Previous Version licenses


In this case, a customer received his new 2013 license for four seats of Softimage. He was able to start Softimage 2013 on four machines, but he could run Softimage 2012 on two machines only. What could be the problem?!?

Now, to diagnose this problem, you could do any one of a number of things:

  • Check the license file to make sure it has the right licenses.
  • Check the Perform Status Enquiry output from LMTOOLS, to make sure the license is actually installed.
  • Check the LMTOOLS debug log file, to see why the workstations are being refused Softimage 2012 licenses.
  • Check the workstations, to make sure they are configured properly for licensing.
  • Verify that when the customer tries to start 2012, they don’t have copies of Softimage 2013 still running.
  • Check the customer’s assets in our database (make sure they really have four licenses).

In this particular case, I could identify the issue by either checking the customers assets OR checking the actual license file. Because the problem was this:

The customer had two seats of 2013 on Subscription, and two seats of 2013 not on Subscription. Previous version usage (aka running 2012) is a Subscription benefit, so he had two 2012 licenses only.

Here’s a video walkthrough of a license file, where I point out what to look for when you’re trying to understand a license file.

In this video, I show you to tell what you’ve got in a license file.