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Old March 9th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #1
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Activation is a pain

Yes, I used that kind of language.

I bought NeoScene a while ago to do inverse telecine for HG20 24p clips.

The problem is I got hit hard by the Seagate 7200.11 bug - long story short, hard drive completely crashed. (Don't worry, my important data is safe.)

So I'm downloading all the programs that I had installed previously, the Calibrated Codec, Badaboom, Cineform...

Oh wait. Cineform won't let me install because the code has already been "activated." Now they're telling me to deactivate it. Great...

This is going to be a PITA to resolve, I know it.

I don't want to have to go to your web site every time I need to reinstall the software I bought. What if you go out of business? Then what?

I sent in an e-mail to Cineform, I'm not optimistic about this being resolved anytime soon.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 10:49 PM   #2
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It takes only a few moments to sort out when we are open. In the meantime you have a fully functional verison for 7 days. If you heard nothing by then, I will OK the use of the language, but you haven't earned it yet, particular the bit about encouraging piracy. Go ahead try a pirated verison, they either don't work fully and/or they are full of trojans, I know as I once wanted to see if hacked version of our software worked, and I never been able to use that beautiful 8-core HP workstation again (OS really messed-up, and I have zero time to deal with it with code to write and supporting you here.) So cool it, we are a small company doing our best.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 11:54 PM   #3
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Brian, I have had problems like yours, Vista getting corrupted etc.

Cineform support is fast, and friendly. When I email them, I got my activation fixed in 1 day.

Your milage may vary. . .
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Old March 10th, 2009, 01:13 AM   #4
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Yup - same experience as Andy (except it was way less than a day....an hour, perhaps).
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Old March 10th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #5
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On a recent Sunday, I had just spent seven hours bringing a new Boxx up to speed, with installation of one necessary program after another, and then I came to Cineform, at 5 PM. I spent the next THREE hours repeatedly attempting to activate my Prospect 4K which had been de-activated on another Boxx. I believe one sage's definition of insanity was to engage in repeated behavior that doesn't work. Of that I was guilty! I made the incorrect determination that I was doing something wrong - that it couldn't have been Cineform! WRONG! Finally, at around 8 PM, after constant application to Cineform, and failure, I wrote a highly detailed (that's the only kind I ever write, which is another OCD fault!) Trouble Ticket to Cineform, enumerating the (*&*^$)(& )*^(*&^ nature of my problem, expecting to have to wait until sometime Monday morning for a response, indicating just what I was doing wrong.

Well, wonder of wonders, someone (Jake?) was at the Cineform desk on Sunday evening (around 6PM Pacific Time), and I received an e-mail within a few minutes, providing a proper link which solved my problem, and I was shortly up and at some productive editing - and my problem was only that I had continued to attempt to utilize the Cineform link which turned out to have been inoperative, instead of submitting a Trouble Ticket. Sooooo, when all else fails, I guess the Trouble Ticket is the way to go!

I do however find that I am reluctant to submit any Trouble Tickets relative to Registration and Activation, as when I was very new to Cineform some years ago, and experiencing trouble in some form of activation, I submitted a Trouble Ticket in which I expressed my frustration and dismay with the procedures - I received what I considered to be a rather obtuse (though not entirely unhelpful) response of which I was finally able to make sense, as well as a relatively condemning comment to the effect that there really was something wrong with me, in view of the experience of hundreds of other users who had just sailed through any activation procedure - WHAT! I have never had such an insulting response from ANY other customer dis-service staff from any company - though the Indians from India can sometimes be difficult, they are always unerringly polite (though of course sometimes they go too far to the point of obsequiousness), and of course the procedure they are quoting from their screen is not always germane or at all relevant.

In regard to Cineform in general, I find certain of its functions to be uniquely indispensable to the work I do, and awesome in its functioning and effects, when I am not dreading some aspect of registration/activation or fear that like the author of this thread that I will loose my program hard drive. And I well know that I am not alone in my complaint, along with the author of this thread! We have all seen such frustration expressed periodically on this wonderful forum, to which the key staff of Cineform so generously and promptly gives its attention and pertinent response and advice. But I do have one comment of wonderment, and a second of really legitimate complaint. I understand that Cineform MUST protect and confine the use of its products to those who are legitimate, paying customers - and of course it the products were not adequately protected, the Company would cease and we would not be the beneficiaries of their technologies - but good grief, is there not a simpler way? I have the editing programs of eight different companies, as well as innumerable other ancillary programs from other firms, and there is none that is of the complexity for safeguarding intellectual property that is the complexity of Cineform. Excuse me, I see from David's comments above that the safeguards really work (!), and I guess in the final analysis that if there were simpler and yet equally effective procedures, they would be extant?

Finally, and couldn't we start a new thread on my last issue, in regard to Activation, the instructions need to be appended and edited - there are pages there that just do not stand alone, and should, as I found again on my last go around. But it is not just this area - as many have commented upon with increasing frequency, and has been acknowledged by Cineform's staff, the instructions, the procedures, the Q&A, etc. for the Cineform site as a whole, need some serious attention in terms of updating and intelligibility. And I know that certain creative staff of Cineform have indicated the urgency of developing and implementing new applications and variances thereof have taken well worth while precedence over rehashing old write ups. But what appears on the web site IS part and parcel of the applications!
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Old March 10th, 2009, 08:15 AM   #6
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I appreciate that Cineform is a small company and that they undoubtedly feel a strong need to protect their property from piracy. It is plainly obvious that they also try very hard to give the best in customer support and keep their customers happy.

Nevertheless, I especially revile the activation system. I have also had repeated difficulties with it. It is at best cumbersome and has been more than once a show-stoppper. I've had the activation go bad from simply upgrading a non-OS HDD, been at a dead stop waiting for activation for days because they didn't have a backup plan to execute when their ISP made some internal architecture changes, and every time I need to deact/activate, I have to write down codes and numbers that the activation system necessitates my keeping track of.

IMO, Adobe seemed to have the best activation system with CS3. Just had to click "Activate" or "Deactivate" within the software, and everything was squared away within seconds. No emails, no hardware fingerprints to write down. The only backwards step Adobe took with CS4 was that it activated upon installation without asking me. Since I was tinkering with a new OS on a new partition, I wasn't intending on activating but fortunately figured it out before wiping and trying another config. Bad on Adobe for activating without asking. But as long as you know about it up front, not difficult.

I'd guess that the ultra-convenient, ultra-slick Activation that Adobe uses is more expensive, but I would make a plea to Cineform to use a similar system. It'll save a lot in customer service time and good will. In the meantime, I've learned to choose my activation/deactivation times carefully so there'll be customer support in case of problems, and I deactivate before doing the SLIGHTEST change to my system hardware.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 08:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
Yes, I used that kind of language.
On this site you don't. Nor do you advocate piracy here.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #8
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If you are unhappy with Cineform's customer service, then for your next documentary I suggest setting your camera up and roll (make sure you have a fresh reel with a small stack ready and waiting) as you make a call to Adobe's "customer support".

And I'm presuming Seagate was just a mouse-click away with solutions for you as well?

And if SHORT documentaries are what you do, maybe a piece on all the people here who are relieved that your important data was saved.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #9
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WOW! Boy, would I second all three of the last three posts! You bet - couldn't have said any of it better.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 10:43 AM   #10
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I have to say that Cineform has been great as far as dealing with me when I've had probalems related to re-authorization. Fast response and without making me feel quilty.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman View Post
It takes only a few moments to sort out when we are open. In the meantime you have a fully functional verison for 7 days. If you heard nothing by then, I will OK the use of the language, but you haven't earned it yet, particular the bit about encouraging piracy. Go ahead try a pirated verison, they either don't work fully and/or they are full of trojans, I know as I once wanted to see if hacked version of our software worked, and I never been able to use that beautiful 8-core HP workstation again (OS really messed-up, and I have zero time to deal with it with code to write and supporting you here.) So cool it, we are a small company doing our best.
You're right - and I was way overheated. You didn't deserve the rant. I'm sorry. It was a tough day.

Yesterday, after dealing with a hard drive crash, having to reinstall all my apps, etc. To have to worry about whether or not I'd be able to reinstall expensive(-ish) software that I paid for was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

I just think that there's a lot of hoops to jump through with the Cineform products:

1) Install the demo
2) Check the e-mail that has your SN
3) Fill out the auth form.
4) Check your e-mail that has the auth code
5) Authorize.

When you have to reinstall, the process is:

1) Launch the auth app
2) Get the deauthorization code
3) Fill out the deauthorization form
4) Check your e-mail to confirm the deauthorization
5) Reinstall the demo
6) Check the e-mail that has your SN
7) Fill out the auth form.
8) Check your e-mail that has the auth code
9) Authorize.

If you have to reinstall after a crash, the process is:

1) Submit a trouble ticket, requiring details like OS and processor, even though it's not relevant to the issue,
2) Wait for the ticket to clear.
3) Check your e-mail to confirm the deauthorization
4) Reinstall the demo
5) Check the e-mail that has your SN
6) Fill out the auth form.
7) Check your e-mail that has the auth code
8) Authorize.


I'm just saying, there's GOT to be a better way to do this. Especially since, as I mentioned, if Cineform goes under, we might lose the ability to use our tools. Since you're currently a monopoly supplier of Canon 24p Inverse Telecine, this puts us in a precarious position.

I compare this to when I bought QuickTime Pro - Apple e-mailed me the code, when I needed to reinstall, I just searched through GMail, found my code, and entered it. Same with my XDCam Codec from Calibrated Software.

You know, I'm a hell of a lot calmer when I have a working NLE installed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Baggen View Post
And I'm presuming Seagate was just a mouse-click away with solutions for you as well?
Actually, Seagate offered data recovery services for free. I didn't have anything on the OS drive I really needed recovered, so I'm just RMAing it for a new drive.

I just got a deactivation code from Cineform.

And... the deactivation code doesn't work...

Okay, tried reactivating the software, and it sent me an e-mail back with an activation key.

The activation key does not work.

David, I'm just really frustrated with this process.

EDIT: Nevermind on that last one. Didn't spell my name exactly right (typed it as Brian R. Boyko instead of Brian Boyko.)
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Old March 11th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #12
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Brian... it sounds like your bumpy ride is over, good news.

We've all been there and feel your pain.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #13
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Guess who stupidly forgot to deactivate his copy of NeoScene when upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7?

That's right.

Honestly, if it was offered, I'd ask for a refund from NeoScene and just get Voltaic HD. Yes, Neoscene is faster, but waiting for reactivation... *sigh*.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 07:26 AM   #14
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But ... you don't really have to "wait", since the software is fully functional in trial mode.

(That said, it is ridiculously easy to forget to deauthorize - my strike rate is probably less than 50%)
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Old August 14th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Hickling View Post
But ... you don't really have to "wait", since the software is fully functional in trial mode.

(That said, it is ridiculously easy to forget to deauthorize - my strike rate is probably less than 50%)
Yeah, but I reinstall it when I load up system software, not when I need 24p support that day, so by the time I actually need it, the 7 day trial period is usually up.

My copy of Neoscene is my personal one - if we do get some use out of my GH1 at work, I'm planning on purchasing Voltaic for work. I'd rather do that than go through the hassle of Neoscene on the desktop, on the laptop, and on the work computer...
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