Archive for December, 2010
I’ve been thinking about doing some home recording, so decided it was time to start and install some software. I’ve a copy of Cakewalk Sonar 8.5.1 LE which came with my Boss ME-25. So, I decided to install that on my Windows 7 64bit Dell notebook. The idea was to install some DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software and learn how to use it. The learning process will undoubtable form the content for some blog posts in the future.
The install went smoothly, but when I fired up the software I got a message box with “Cannot Open Master.Ins No Instrument Definitions Will be Available.“.
A quick browse on the Cakewalk forums gave the “Run as Administrator” hint, which did not solve the problem.
The problem in a nut shell is the software cannot find the file (sure it’s obvious). A quick search of my notebook’s hard drive found a “master.ins” file. The question which the problem, and having a copy of the file raises is “Where does Sonar, want to read the file from?”.
How To Find Out Where Sonar Wants the File
Years ago, I’ve used a thing called filemon to find out what files and executable was touching. A quick Bing search found this page in Microsoft Tech Net – FileMon for Windows v7.04. This page pointed me at the Process Monitor – Process Monitor v2.93. So, download that, and start to explore what Sonar is up to. NB : This is no cost software from Microsoft.
Filtering In Process Monitor
Process Monitor watches all events which are happening in windows. This generates a lot of entries, luckily process monitor comes with a filtering option. The filters I used to watch what Sonar was up to when loading where a “Process Name Filter”, and a “Result Filter”. Both of the filters I used are shown in the images to the left.
With the filters in place, Process Monitor allows you to search for a string in the filtered results. With the search option, look for the “master.ins”. In the case of my install of Sonar 8.5.1 LE, it was looking for the “master.ins” file in the “C:\Users\Craig\AppData\Roaming\Cakewalk\SONAR 8.5 LE” directory.
A Windows Explorer Tip
The “AppData” directory is a hidden directory. That’s not a problem for Windows Explorer. Just click into the file path of the Windows Explorer window and type “\AppData”, this will cause Explorer to navigate into that hidden directory.
From there you can see the subdirectories, or folders if you prefer, and then navigate to the directory which process monitor was reporting as where Sonar was looking for the “master.ins” file.
With a Windows Explorer now open in the directory which Sonar was looking in for the “master.ins” file. You can see that there is no ”master.ins” file present.
To make the error go away, I then copied all of the “.ins” files from “C:\Users\Craig\Documents\Cakewalk\SONAR 8.5 LE\Sample Content”, which was created during the Sonar install. I think you need them all, but I could be wrong. If you end up with things that do not make sense in the instrument selection dialogs in Sonar, then remove the files which are creating the “noise” (just shut down Sonar first – ripping the files out while Sonar is running could cause some problems).
The method described should work for any Sonar product which is experiencing the “master.ins not found” error. The names of the directories are probably specific to “Sonar LE 8.5.1”, but should be mirrored in some way for the other products.
Now to learn what DAW software can do for me, and how to “drive” Sonar.
This taxonomy is very much a work in progress. I can guarantee that this taxonomy will evolve and change. The taxonomy will grow as the classes of tools classified expands to meet all of the “niches” which the development software environment contains.
Why Produce a Taxonomy of Software Development Tools
This represents one of the starting steps in the development of Software Architecture for area I’m working in. My view on a Software Architecture is that encompasses the tools, as well as the architecture of the solutions within the architecture.
What does the Tools Taxonomy lead towards, in the development of an architecture? There are number of elements of software architecture which flow from having a Tools Taxonomy. These elements of a software architecture which include:
- Some degree of control over the tools used in the group.
- The taxonomy allows for the identification of the toolset which is preferred for development. A degree of control over the toolset used can be important in any the software development group. There are number of direct benefits which can flow from having a good understanding of the tools portfolio of a development group which include:
- minimising of the costs of team members moving between project teams, by using the same set of tools is projects is an important goal.
- Rationalising the number of tools used in the group, and hence the licence costs for tools. This can only be realised when you have the luxury of being able to rationalise the toolset being used.
- The Tools Taxonomy is needed if you wish to map systems which the teams develops, or maintains, to the tools which are used in the construction of those systems. This is import if you ever need to do an impact analysis of removing, or upgrading, a tool.
The following is an image of the taxonomy (a Visio Organisation Chart – produced using the Organisation Chart Wizard – see the previous posts: Display Hierarchical Data With Visio and Excel). The taxonomy is heavily focused on the Software Development process and tools.
The Excel source for this can be found here (Software Development Tools Taxonomy).
This is very much a work in progress.
This taxonomy could provide a starting point for the development of a tools taxonomy which is specific to your requirements.
This is a post on how to display any hierarchal data in Visio. It is one of those post which shows the benefit of using the Microsoft Office suite, when you know how to make them “dance to your tune”.
This shows how to “bend” the “Organization Chart Wizard” (the US spelling on the screen) to display an arbitrary set of hierarchical data. In this case I have been using it go generate a presentation of a “Taxonomy of Software”, or a “Software Portfolio Taxonomy” (if you prefer – I’m not exactly what title to give it yet). I’ll blog about the taxonomy, and some of the design decisions, I’ve built in a subsequent blog post.
The data which is “presented” by Visio, is a Excel Table in an Excel Work Book. The columns I am using are shown beside. This is the top of the taxonomy, “Software Portfolio” is the one top element, which has a couple of children shown. You can probably go to any depth (number of levels down from the top), or width (I’ve only tried one top element, but I’ve only tried one top thus far), I’ve not found where the limits are in this approach.
One Tip For Creating the Data
The hierarchical relation “hangs together” on the basis of the strings in the “Parent” and “Name” columns. To make sure that these are going to link together correctly, use Excel’s copy and paste functions to duplicate the strings between the columns. Being a lazy typist, I always do this.
You do need to have you wits about you when you are setting up the data. Visio is doing all the hard work drawing the hierarchical tree, any mistakes (things not linking up the way you wanted) and you just go back fix the data, and run the wizard again.
I’ll show the individual steps here, so that you should be able to follow.
This is under the Business Templates in the “Create New” part of Visio. This is the starting point for the process.
Here select the “Information that’s already stored in a file or database”.
Tip: Make sure you have saved and closed the Excel workbook which has the data you about to use. If you don’t you’ll get an error from one of the following wizard screens.
This is where we start down the data from Excel path.
I have not tried any other data source, but I’m certain that those should also work.
Just select the Excel Workbook which you have set up with the data to be presented in the hierarchical structure.
This is the point where using an Excel Table in the Workbook brings a benefit. The system knows how to get the names form the columns of the table.
Step 6 – Selecting The Field which is Displayed
This is where we are setting the field which is “put in the boxes” which Visio is going to draw is defined.
If you other data columns you would like to have attached into each of the object created by this process, this where you specify them.
I’ve not used this option, but it should work. If you are using people, then phone numbers and locations could be extra data which you would attach.
I have found that what I’ve wanted is all of the hierarchy on the one Visio page. I do some shuffling around to get it to “fit”, but that’s simple stuff to do.
This is the end wizard screens. Visio will next “whir it’s cogs”, and present you with a hierarchal display of the data you have fed into it.
The opposite is a screen grab from Visio. All of the text and lines are generated by the wizard. A bit of quick shuffling and I get it all onto one page.
Applying a Theme and Effects takes the simple monochrome present into something which the “boss” or “client” will like.
I hope this saves you some time when next confronted with lots of data which you need to build a presentation from.
This approach saves a lot of work in Visio, and the sort of work which I dislike doing. I really hate drawing boxes, adding text to them and drawing lines between them, especially when there is a smarter way to achieve the result.