Simplify and the Next Unit of Computing
NUC is Intel's acronym for "Next Unit of Computing". I have three NUC PCs. Two that work and one fried by lightning. I should say I only have two NUCs.
On one NUC I decided to set up a dual boot with both a WIN10 and a LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) operating systems. Dual boot such as this is not a new experience for me. But this is my first try with an Intel NUC.
The Intel designated primary Operating System (OS) for the NUC is Microsoft WIN10. Linux has official Intel approval on a few designated NUC variations, but generally Linux can be run on most NUC hardware. I decided it was best to load a USB thumb drive and test-boot from the USB drive before committing a full install of Linux to the hard drive. WIN10 operation is not at all in question for use on the NUC.
My testing showed both Linux Ubuntu 20.x… and Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) run fine on my Celeron processor NUC. My favorite Linux OS is LMDE so a full install of LMDE was performed.
I now own and can operate an Intel NUC that can boot into either WIN10 or LMDE on start-up. If you are not familiar with dual boot, the operator (user) has to totally shut down and reboot to change from one OS to the other. The two OS do not operate at the same time.
That should explain a dual boot PC. It's not too common but is completely workable process.
With dual boot now working, what I do next is install my Simplify3D, 3D printing software. I have run it for years on both WIN10 and LMDE. But not both on the same machine running as a dual boot.
The Simplify Story
The remainder of his post is about what happened with the install of Simplify3D. I will shorten the name to S3D.
The maker of S3D provides three versions. One for each of the major PC operating systems which are MS Windows, Apple macOS, and Linux. I have run all three versions for years with no issues or problems installing and running.
I prefer to use Linux when I use a USB connection between the software and the printer. Linux OS has less internal systems running and control of the USB port is smoother with less interruptions than MS Windows. It works better.
I installed S3D into the LMDE OS partition on my NUC. It loaded and set up was normal. The first license registration was fine. I loaded and sliced a test file and all proved normal.
I rebooted the computer and went back to LMDE. I opened S3D and was expecting a normal start-up. But instead of starting, it repeated the license registration process again. Not expecting a problem, I filled in the name and password again. Same information I used the first time.
S3D then told me all my registrations were in use. I am permitted two. That was true but one of the registrations is one I just made for the machine I am using. I was provided a link by the S3D program and told to manually clear a registration in the manufacturer's website and repeat the present license registration attempt. I did as instructed and the next license registration appeared to be successful.
After doing a system reboot, I suddenly became weatherman Phil Conners (Bill Murray) in the movie "Groundhog Day" living the same scenario over and over again. Every new re-boot caused S3D to do another license registration after the previous registration was not recognized.
I was trying (like Phil in the movie) to learn something new each re-iteration, to solve this problem.
I used up my permitted manual "remove previous registration" attempts and became permanently locked out of the S3D registration website manual registration removal process. I am instructed to contact "support" to resolve the lock-out issue.
The programmers at Simplify3D have set an arbitrary limit on the number of times the manual license reset can be executed. I didn't count how many. There is a warning to not use this feature too often.
I good plan, but very frustrating limitation on solving ones own problems. As it turns out, I now see that it is a very good limitation. The issue causing the constant re-registration was something I could not "fix" with my own efforts. A dual boot PC may be the root cause, but it's out of my ability to correct the "groundhog" effect with S3D.
It took a couple of days, two email requests and one on-line request before "support" took or had time to contact me. Once we established contact and established a dialogue, the problem solving began. (It was over a week-end so some response slack was reasonably acceptable).
Support sent me some test files to run so they could have a look at my computer set-up. The next day they provided me a "special" Linux system Simplify3D install link. I ran the new S3D install package (obtained from the link)
The support team had cleared the registration lock from their server and my new install proceeded as normal for Linux. The application opened, I performed the license registration and all looked good.
I did a shut-down cold re-boot and opened the S3D application. Perfect! No request for another license registration. The support team has provided a fix for my problem.
I have no idea what they did but it certainly wasn't something of which I had control. I feel a bit like a beta tester. I also know S**T happens and that is why there is a support team.
Thank You! Simplify3D Support. Ya done good and I appreciate you working with me.
My enthusiasm and faith in dual booting PC's and running the Simplify3D application have been completely restored
Moving on to the next windmill...