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How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

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How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby bayswater » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:57 am

I find myself spending what seems like way too much time on this. Seems there is something that needs to be done every day.

Updating apps and plugins, trying out new plugins, keeping plugin categories current, updating sound libraries, dealing with incompatibilities, ensuring backups, keeping track of hundreds of IDs and passwords and dozens of Kafkaesque authorization schemes, dealing with support desks, resolving networking issues, etc etc etc.

Maybe its best to strip things down to a small set of VIs and plugins, and stop updating?
2009 iMac 27" i7 16G, DP 8.07/9.02/9.5 & OS 10.12.6, Logic 10.3.2, Scarlett 18i8
2011 MBP 16G DP 9.5 & OS 10.12.6, Lexicon Alpha
Dual 2.0G G5 PCI 2G, DP 7.24 & OS 10.5.8, 2408 MKII, UAD-1
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby HCMarkus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:14 pm

bayswater wrote:I find myself spending what seems like way too much time on this. Seems there is something that needs to be done every day.

Updating apps and plugins, trying out new plugins, keeping plugin categories current, updating sound libraries, dealing with incompatibilities, ensuring backups, keeping track of hundreds of IDs and passwords and dozens of Kafkaesque authorization schemes, dealing with support desks, resolving networking issues, etc etc etc.

Maybe its best to strip things down to a small set of VIs and plugins, and stop updating?

Maybe!

Although it is always tempting to try the newest greatest.

I strive to keep my DAW as static as possible, updating and adding new stuff only when I really need it. I will generally install OS point updates, but only after testing on my backup Macs. Forced to updated from Mountain Lion to Sierra a while back, I now plan to move to High Sierra when it hits .2 or .3 as it will likely be the last version of macOS that will run on my Mac Pro. Then it will be time to sit it out until I cannot avoid getting a new Mac or PC.

The way to avoid getting waylaid by updates is to start a new project or dive back into a an old one instead.
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby Gravity Jim » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:45 pm

I run a cleanup program called Cocktail once a week, and I download but set aside upgrades until, say, one day a month. My rig is squeaky clean, so I spend very little time on maintenance.
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby bayswater » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:15 pm

Gravity Jim wrote:I run a cleanup program called Cocktail once a week, and I download but set aside upgrades until, say, one day a month. My rig is squeaky clean, so I spend very little time on maintenance.

Yes, maintaining the computer itself is not much of an issue. I don't do anything like Cocktail, permissions cache cleanups, or any of the stuff we used to have to do. It's more to do with making sure backups are done properly and doing updates. Keeping updates to once a month would be a good start.
2009 iMac 27" i7 16G, DP 8.07/9.02/9.5 & OS 10.12.6, Logic 10.3.2, Scarlett 18i8
2011 MBP 16G DP 9.5 & OS 10.12.6, Lexicon Alpha
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby mikehalloran » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:10 pm

If there's no problem, I leave it alone. I don't run maintenance Utilities. Great time wasters finding non-problems to be solved. DiskWarrior, Cocktail, Onyx... absolutely useless. Even TechTool Pro cannot fix anything although it is useful for for diagnosing problems on the rare occasions when they occur.

The last thing that TTP helped me with was to diagnose memory leaks that were freezing DP. The cause? Browsers and web sites. The fix? Max out my RAM and reboot every day.

I had a recent issue with my email not working properly. The culprit is almost certainly AT&T and thanks to Apple Support, I found a workaround (setup the SMTP server in iCloud), not a fix — I'm ok with the workaround. None of those nonsense time wasting apps could have helped.

I still take care of over 30 Macs in schools and small businesses. I make little from it because I spend little time fixing issues that people aren't having. HHDs failing after too many years are the biggest issue and SSDs are making that go away except for Apple Time Capsules. I find a bad stick of RAM around once a year or so — again, TTP is good for finding it but I know most of the symptoms. I never go looking for bad RAM as life is too short.

I do tell them not to do a major OS upgrade till after I've checked it out first — in the case of High Sierra, I need to make sure that certain Microsoft and Adobe products work first. If not, I'll tell them not to upgrade till the other apps are compatible and they're willing to spend for the other updates.
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby Shooshie » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:59 am

That number has changed radically over the years. Back in the MacOS days, I spent probably 1 hour a day doing what I would call "administrative," rather than pure maintenance. It includes making backups, filing, naming, archiving, and such. I used to figure about 10% of my time was non-billable hours, but I incorporated that into my billing, because it was essential to any project.

Back then, Macs were an order of magnitude slower, hard drives were miniscule. I just checked my last project, finished a little over a week ago. The whole thing, including a CD project in DSP - Quattro, is a little over 80 GB. My first album in DP probably topped out at about a gigabyte, and since my hard drives of the time were less than a GB, it involved a lot of disk swapping, writing to stems, etc.

Now, all that stuff is pretty mindless. OS X just keeps on working. Really, did you ever stop to compare what you used to do in MacOS to what you do now in OS X? Sure, now it takes exponentially more disk space and RAM, but in return you get an OS that never stops working. Do you remember all our diagnostic tools? I still have a few, but most of the time they just sit there. And when it comes to hard drive space, what's 80 GB? It's just a loogie in the ol' spittoon.

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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby mikehalloran » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:35 am

I couldn't agree more.

Oh, I'll do a Safe Boot (hold the Shift key on startup) if I notice an alias icon turn generic — besides fixing those and rebuilding the desktop, it resets the caches to default. Otherwise, when was the last time that caused a problem?

A Safe Boot takes about 10 minutes on an SSD and feels like forever on an HHD. I try to do it once a year but sometimes I forget. Doesn't seem to hurt anything.

Before OS X, I rebuilt the desktop once a week and, if it failed, went looking for the bad stick of RAM. I don't miss those days at all. No Sir!
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.13.1
828mkII FW; MOTU MTP/AV USB with Firmware 2.0.1; DP 9.5.1; IK-NI-Izotope-PSP-Garritan Antares, 32Lives, MachFive 3.2.1
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby bayswater » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:08 am

Shooshie wrote:Now, all that stuff is pretty mindless. OS X just keeps on working. Really, did you ever stop to compare what you used to do in MacOS to what you do now in OS X? Sure, now it takes exponentially more disk space and RAM, but in return you get an OS that never stops working. Do you remember all our diagnostic tools? I still have a few, but most of the time they just sit there. And when it comes to hard drive space, what's 80 GB? It's just a loogie in the ol' spittoon.

Shooshie

Right. I don't spend much time keeping the OS going once it's in place. Probably nothing at all other than semi annual updates that take about an hour. For me, probably most of it is related to plugins and sound libraries. Time on that has increased more than the decrease in time on OS related matters. Even so, a major OS update can eat up a lot of time dealing with compatibility issues (like the transition to 64 bit), and new quirks introduced to ensure our safety.

And I guess I'm really taking about unbillable time, as you say, rather than maintenance.
2009 iMac 27" i7 16G, DP 8.07/9.02/9.5 & OS 10.12.6, Logic 10.3.2, Scarlett 18i8
2011 MBP 16G DP 9.5 & OS 10.12.6, Lexicon Alpha
Dual 2.0G G5 PCI 2G, DP 7.24 & OS 10.5.8, 2408 MKII, UAD-1
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby Gravity Jim » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:21 am

Funny... so far, I'm the only one to admit that I use a routine cleaner like Cocktail, which of course is obsolete, unnecessary, and a waste of time.

And yet, I'm also the only one who is constantly reporting in various "bug" threads that I'm not seeing the problem here.

Can't be a causation at work, there.
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MacPro 5,1 (3.33Ghz 12-core), 32g RAM, OS X 10.13.4 Beta • MOTU 896mk3 • MOTU DP 9.5.1 • Logic Pro X 10.2.5 • Waves Diamond, UAD-2, Slate Digital, Komplete, Omnisphere 2, LASS, CineSamples, Chipsounds, V Collection 5, Korg Legacy • Roland & Yamaha hardware • Fender, Gibson, Godin, Danelectro, Line 6, Warmoth, Hofner and Cedar Creek guitars, Fuchs ODS amp
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby mikehalloran » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:30 am

Gravity Jim wrote:Funny... so far, I'm the only one to admit that I use a routine cleaner like Cocktail, which of course is obsolete, unnecessary, and a waste of time.

And yet, I'm also the only one who is constantly reporting in various "bug" threads that I'm not seeing the problem here.

Can't be a causation at work, there.


OK, I'll bite. What actual problems have you seen and fixed using Cocktail? Let's say, the last two years?
July 2010 iMac 2.93G i7 Quad, OWC eSATA mod, 32G RAM, OS 10.13.1
828mkII FW; MOTU MTP/AV USB with Firmware 2.0.1; DP 9.5.1; IK-NI-Izotope-PSP-Garritan Antares, 32Lives, MachFive 3.2.1
LogicPro X 10.3.2, Finale 25.5, 2014.5, Encore 5.0.7, Notion 6, Overture 5, TwistedWave 1.18, DSP-Q 4.4, QuickTime Pro 7.6.6, SmartScore Pro X2 10.5.5, Toast 16
Test machine: G4-1K Dual Processor: OS 10.4.11 / OS 9.2.2; DP 5.13; Encore 5.05 & 4.5.5; Toast 9.07b, legacy apps
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Re: How Much Time Do You Spend on Maintenance?

Postby Everett_Rob » Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:49 am

the previous comment is a bit itchy
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