Jump to content

How Could It Be So Bulletproof....And Yet....


DunedinDragon
 Share

Recommended Posts

Once again a perfect, no problem update to my Helix without a flicker of a problem.  At one time I could understand people having updating issues back in the early days before we even had much of an HX Edit to work with.  But I just don't understand with the way things are setup and work nowadays how anyone can have problems.  I mean I still read through the update procedures and all before I start, but I'm pretty sure even if I didn't I can't imagine I'd get tripped up anywhere.  This has got to be one of the smoothest and most trouble free update procedures I've ever seen from a hardware vendor.

Does anyone have any clues how people can be screwing this up?  Is there any kind of common denominator?

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my experience, the moving variable here is the USB connection. For some reason the HX driver is very sensible to the USB port being used, and also the USB cable for the connection. Means at setup parity (same PC, same HX, same OS, same everything), you can go from success to fail, just because a "wrong" USB port and/or cable. I've been one of those guys, doing everything right, and still getting random crashes. Now I know that I have to use THAT specific USB port on my laptop, and the shortest USB cable I do have in house. Never had the issue again, since years.

 

These updates aren't being transported to device, and then auto installed locally. They works with PC/Laptop sending data, so even a small glitch during that process, will fail the update.

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually think that a lot of the failed updates are related to the Line 6 servers stalling. I never had any issues with updates on my Floor until 3.15 (needless to say, I was using the very same computer, USB port and USB cable ever since I first connected it). It always worked absolutely flawless before, but with 3.15 I've apparently been an early bird or so, in other words: trying to update when pretty much half the HX-verse was updating. So it just stopped somewhere in the process.

Fortunately, I have been aware of the alternative Line 6 Updater method, which then worked instantly. Fwiw, that very method should be officially posted by Line 6 somewhere (I just created a new topic describing all relevant steps), as it helped tons of people over the last years.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if some people are updating the firmware before or without updating HX Edit. Could see that as one potential point of failure.

 

Another is people not reading the release notes and therefore not hitting "Resume" when it pops up in the editor. Instead, they maybe reboot or restart the install process.

 

There are probably a few other ways to screw it up as well as going directly to using the Updater, instead of starting the process by updating the editor from within HX Edit and then the firmware.

 

Poor internet connectivity interrupting the process.

 

Then there's problems that show up later, after the fact. Like ignoring the instructions to do a factory reset and backup restore, and subsequently having presets or backups that hang or misbehave.

 

Problems with reauthorizing Marketplace downloads that can probably be caused by busy servers or poor internet connectivity.

 

Still not a bullet proof process but reading the release notes and following the directions closely will get most people through with no hassle. My install went exactly as the release notes directed. No issues.

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm one of those users that reads the notes, follows them to a T and never have any issues with the updates. That said, computers are finicky little buggers and there are thousands of variables at play... we don't all have the same experience. 

 

What tends to bother me most is seeing the same post titles over and over again. Nobody takes the time to search for a solution... even when it's lurking on the same "1st page" of the forums. 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 12:01 PM, HonestOpinion said:

 

Poor internet connectivity interrupting the process.

 

Install should start after package has been downloaded. If you look at the messages while it's updating, it does download the package, install (send data), and validate.

  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 12:21 PM, codamedia said:

What tends to bother me most is seeing the same post titles over and over again. Nobody takes the time to search for a solution... even when it's lurking on the same "1st page" of the forums. 

 

True, but let's also say the sloppy L6 forum support doesn't help. They didn't even start and pinned a proper official 3.5 thread, where you could post feedback and search for help.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 11:21 AM, codamedia said:

What tends to bother me most is seeing the same post titles over and over again. Nobody takes the time to search for a solution... even when it's lurking on the same "1st page" of the forums. 


This has to be, possibly, the most annoying thing with these updates - the forum is littered with “update bricked my Helix” threads, it’s complete madness. It must be some form of blindness caused by sheer panic, along with a Me, Me, Me attitude.

 

Considering the amount of time Line 6 has been suppling free updates to the Helix range, you might expect a little more from these folks, but that would appear to be totally futile.

 

This has gone on for so long now that I’m becoming reticent to assist any of these cry’s for help, but… well ya know!

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 12:26 PM, PierM said:

Install should start after package has been downloaded. If you look at the messages while it's updating, it does download the package, install (send data), and validate.

 

As said, that doesn't always seem to be foolproof. Maybe the download isn't checksumchecked (err, what?), no idea. But I never had a single issue but once - and it absolutely wasn't related to USB ports or cables (I used the same port/cable before and continued using it).

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 12:01 PM, HonestOpinion said:

I'm wondering if some people are updating the firmware before or without updating HX Edit. Could see that as one potential point of failure.

 

Yeah, same here - but with this update, it should be sooo obvious because as soon s you do it via HX Edit, you'll instantly be guided through the entire process, which is clearly stating at some point in time that both firmware and HX Edit have to be updated.

And in case you do it via the flash file, you surely didn't went to the download section "just in case" but stumbled over the release notes on your way, those also clearly stating what to do.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I read these responses I begin to think that maybe my "luck" with upgrades may have more to do with how I configure/maintain my computers than what many others do.  In my case I have two Helix Floor units so I'm always upgrading them separately because they're connected to different computers, one desktop and one laptop.  In both cases my computers are over configured in both processing power and memory and from very reputable manufacturers.  I can't say I've been overly digilant in what USB port I'm connected to, but I would be pretty intolerant of any USB port that displayed any kind of anomalies such as one that is a hub rather than a true port.  The other factor is probably related to when I do my upgrades which is always early in the morning which is low usage time on the internet.  I do know that my attitude toward the health of my computers is most likely NOT the norm and probably accounts for a lot of my "luck" I suspect.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 9:32 AM, DunedinDragon said:

Once again a perfect, no problem update to my Helix without a flicker of a problem.  At one time I could understand people having updating issues back in the early days before we even had much of an HX Edit to work with.  But I just don't understand with the way things are setup and work nowadays how anyone can have problems.  I mean I still read through the update procedures and all before I start, but I'm pretty sure even if I didn't I can't imagine I'd get tripped up anywhere.  This has got to be one of the smoothest and most trouble free update procedures I've ever seen from a hardware vendor.

Does anyone have any clues how people can be screwing this up?  Is there any kind of common denominator?

 

Oh yeah. I know exactly why, but it's frowned upon to say what that reason is, these days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 1:32 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

Yeah, same here - but with this update, it should be sooo obvious because as soon s you do it via HX Edit, you'll instantly be guided through the entire process, which is clearly stating at some point in time that both firmware and HX Edit have to be updated.

And in case you do it via the flash file, you surely didn't went to the download section "just in case" but stumbled over the release notes on your way, those also clearly stating what to do.

 

For what I have seen yesterday, the HX firmware button was grayed out, forcing me to update HX Edit first. Was impossible to do otherwise.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 2:00 PM, PierM said:

For what I have seen yesterday, the HX firmware button was grayed out, forcing me to update HX Edit first. Was impossible to do otherwise.

 

Exactly. People might still do whatever weird things (such as using the Updater instead before updating HX Edit), you never know - but all too apparently, these things just happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 1:00 PM, PierM said:

 

For what I have seen yesterday, the HX firmware button was grayed out, forcing me to update HX Edit first. Was impossible to do otherwise.

 

Maybe it would be better if HXEdit didn't tell you about the new firmware until it had been updated itself?

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 2:26 PM, CraigGT said:

 

Maybe it would be better if HXEdit didn't tell you about the new firmware until it had been updated itself?

 

This was exactly my suggestion back in the days, when they started changing the firmware update process. Would probably reduce the problem a bit...

 

But honestly not sure we would solve all these problems once for all, because as I said earlier, I did get similar problems in the past, even following each step correctly. I still believe the bigger offender here is a glitch during data transmission from local storage to device, which happens while updating.

 

Not even sure this would be a viable solution, but best system would be 1) Download package 2) Upload package to device to reserved memory (NO INSTALL YET) 3) Local MD5 Checksum 4) If valid then INSTALL 5) Validation and reboot

 

I've the fear memory is so tight that there is no room to do a seamless upgrade, which means at least 1 level of redundancy with the previous firmware.

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO, it's a combo or all of: computer/individual OS system literacy, USB port connectivity, home/studio/work network connection, using HX Edit vs. Line 6 updater, being connected (signed-in) to your Line 6 account during update and understanding factory reset, backup options offered in the instructions. 

 

Anyone with a varying degree of attention span (myself included) and parsing details might trip up on any of the above, or all of them at the same time. 

 

Personally, all updates have been worry-free, thanks to great instructions provided and pacing myself during the process, steadying my hands/brain and all...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 1:00 PM, PierM said:

For what I have seen yesterday, the HX firmware button was grayed out, forcing me to update HX Edit first. Was impossible to do otherwise.

 

I have just updated my Helix to 3.50  - it was flawless and as you noted, you have to update HX Edit first, then when that is complete, it will re-open and ask if you want to update the firmware. It even states that it will appear to have failed about half way through, but to ignore the message and then hit the "Resume"button when it becomes active again. Not complex, not difficult.

 

For the life of me I cannot comprehend how so many people manage to screw things up so badly. Although, as others have said in a similar way, my computer is optimised for the task. I don't ever have other stuff running in the background during the installation process, music player, screen saver, web browser, email, notifications etc. Just let it do the job.

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 3:55 PM, datacommando said:

For the life of me I cannot comprehend how so many people manage to screw things up so badly.

 

Not sure how many they are in reality. I mean, you only hear of those with issues.

And as said, it happened to me as well with the 3.15 update - and I consider myself as being quite computer savy. I really think there's some options for something "fishy" to happen within the actual update process, be it server problems or any kind of data transmission issues (see what PierM wrote). I mean, the update process in itself by now is pretty much as foolproof as it gets. Open HX Edit "Hello, there's an update available, want to install?" - and when you confirm, you're guided all the way through.

But then, as said, it was almost exactly like that for 3.15 already, and yet my Floor got stuck in the middle of the process. That was the very moment when I knew it wasn't always user error, it just happened out of the blue.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are simply so many possibilities between the Mac and Windows OSs , that there will inevitably be some who encounter a bumpy road process!

 

Even though the installation instructions advise to exit other programs, it remains possible that seemingly inert programs may interfere with the download or installation process. For instance, during Beta Testing, I intentionally kept other programs running to determine whether certain events triggered an interruption of the install or download. Factoring that in with the sheer server overload following the release of 3.5 -- as well as server overloads during certain Beta releases -- these can result in disrupted downloads or installations. 

 

Overall, users will get it right. It is quite rare now that the software at version 3.5 is responsible for bricking anyone's Helix device. Absent a significant power spike during download or installation, my impression is that the common denominator is Pilot error. This of course, does not rule out a computer triggering into sleep or suspend mode during 3.5's lengthy install, or another program triggering an audible or other notification disrupting the installation. 

 

The process of manually downloading the Firmware and using Line 6 Updater to access your locally downloaded firmware for the installation works wonderfully, but does require recognizing that after the firmware is installed, the user is left on their own to do the advised Factory Reset, as well as a protective backup before they begin using whatever version of HX Edit they may have. And, subsequently doing a Restore of any desired portions of the backup, then followed by another Power On Rebuild Presets routine. 

 

There are some steps of the entire process which arguably rely on common sense! For example, Line 6 should not need to explicitly tell a user that before the perform a Power On Factory Reset or a Power On Presets Rebuild that, in either, case they need to Turn off their Helix device. YMMV.

 

3.5 is phenomenal!  Line 6 has done a great job improving the Helix Family products. Keep up the great work!!

 

[~~Rant Over~~] ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most people know not use a USB hub, but I've been told by people who know a lot more than me that using USB ports close to the computer's power supply (e.g., rear panel) are better than the front panel ones. True? I have no idea. But I don't have update problems, so maybe it is. 

 

I also use short cables that are spec'ed for USB Gen 3 data streams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 8:03 PM, craiganderton said:

but I've been told by people who know a lot more than me that using USB ports close to the computer's power supply (e.g., rear panel) are better than the front panel ones. True?

 

All I know is that the front USB ports on many computers are no dedicated ports but in fact slapped onto a sort of internal HUB.

You could possibly find that out by counting the numbers of physical USB ports on your machine and comparing that number to whatever system information available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 8:03 PM, craiganderton said:

Most people know not use a USB hub, but I've been told by people who know a lot more than me that using USB ports close to the computer's power supply (e.g., rear panel) are better than the front panel ones. True? I have no idea. But I don't have update problems, so maybe it is. 

 

I also use short cables that are spec'ed for USB Gen 3 data streams.

 

Front ports have limited available power, which is also shared (so current draw isnt stable). Also, they use crappy cables that arent shielded for EMIs. Front ports are fine for composite devices, low current stuff, low level driver devices (so mouse, keyboards, wireless dongles etc etc).

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only way to get a truly bulletproof update process is for it to require no update release instructions whatsoever. If something fails, the process stops, without hanging, and the device rolls back to a stable state before the update was started. Bad example I know but think about how a Windows update proceeds.  Can you imagine how many calls Microsoft support would get if every update actually required people to follow ANY instructions other than pushing the update button, or horrors, their computer was in an unusable state after a failed update (yeah, I know, that never happens - heavy sarcasm). Microsoft probably has a team of people who work on nothing but the update process. Line 6 does not have that level of development resources and even if they did, we would not want their time spent solely on the editor/firmware update process.

 

The update process does not force a one button, no instructions, update. It is close, but not quite there. There is still sometimes no recovery back to steady state when something goes wrong. Thankfully there is the Updater using the flash/firmware file locally that recovers proper operation for 99.9 percent of users. If Line 6 could find a way to integrate it into the automated update process, under the covers, after returning to the device's pre-update state with no user intervention, that would probably reduce the failed update threads substantially. Can the factory reset and restore be integrated into the automatic update? Skipping this step probably increases the number of failures both during subsequent operation, and updates, for users who fail to execute these two operations.  Is the LOA required to incorporate all this into an automatic update worth the return? Perhaps in the long run it is.

 

Line 6 has put a lot of time and energy into the update process. I have reservations about how much more development time I want to see them spend on it. What percentage of users even experience a failed update? How much time would be required to streamline and bulletproof the update process for large core changes like the 3.50 update, such that for example they don't require a simple "Resume"? I would hate to see fundamental changes to the Core delayed substantially just to make sure they can be handled seamlessly by the update process when following a couple of simple directions generally works just as well.

 

Anyway, the map to getting to a smoother update process seems fairly clear if not easily implemented. Have to assume that they have made some decisions regarding resource allotment, or we would be there. If that is not the reason, time to find an update coding guru.

 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the industry itself is still sorting out how to manage and perform updates.  Things are getting clearer and better, but it's been long road.  Even Windows, which has a very seamless and self-contained updating process, has taken many years and a lot of development time to get to the point it's at.  I think the writing is on the wall as far as where this is going.

 

The first type is the automatic updates that depend on internal scheduling and releases all independent of the user such as the Windows update procedures.  Those work well for smaller updates and upgrades but clearly a major release is going to be performed by a specialized program.  The trend I think is most exciting are manufacturers providing a separate update and management facility that keeps track of all of the updates, installations, reconfigurations and manages overall licensing.  These type of facilities are mostly seen in plug in vendors such as the Toontrack Product Manager or Native Instruments Native Access manager or even HP's Printer Manager software.  Aside from just installing they provide management, reconfiguration, diagnostic and direct interfaces with vendor support facilities for more advanced troubleshooting.  I think things could be much easier with this kind of architecture than to have a combined facility that provides day to day facilities for configuring snapshots or presets as well as management of firmware and updates.  Hopefully Line 6 will consider this in future versions of their products.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think also that people don't appreciate how difficult it is to work with embedded systems and DSP programming like the Helix. The fact that it doesn't have some super pretty update process doesn't bother me at all-- in fact, this two-step upgrade process makes me think they had to do some pretty cool acrobatics to shoe-horn in the substantial update. I was impressed!

 

People's expectations are just totally out of whack these days about everything. As soon as it ain't pretty or perfect, and there's a commercial operation behind it, people grab the pitchforks and torches at the slightest thing.

 

Maybe it's because I've been deal with computers my whole life... I always breathe a little prayer of thanks when any kind of update actually works. The chances for something to go wrong are infinite.

 

-Stooxie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2022 at 9:40 PM, stooxie said:

I think also that people don't appreciate how difficult it is to work with embedded systems and DSP programming like the Helix. The fact that it doesn't have some super pretty update process doesn't bother me at all-- in fact, this two-step upgrade process makes me think they had to do some pretty cool acrobatics to shoe-horn in the substantial update. I was impressed!

 

People's expectations are just totally out of whack these days about everything. As soon as it ain't pretty or perfect, and there's a commercial operation behind it, people grab the pitchforks and torches at the slightest thing.

 

Maybe it's because I've been deal with computers my whole life... I always breathe a little prayer of thanks when any kind of update actually works. The chances for something to go wrong are infinite.

 

-Stooxie

 

I'm in the same boat, after a career in IT, the Line 6 install seems incredibly simple and laudably straightforward to me. That is not the case though if you are not particularly computer savvy, have connectivity issues, have a language barrier, or have problems with the outcomes on things like science experiments and recipes :-)

 

Can't take the time to read the release notes for an update. Be prepared to potentially spend hours unraveling things after it fails. Much easier to take five minutes on the instructions. And yeah, if you embark on an update without a backup, on a device you have spent countless hours programming presets on, well welcome to the wild, wild, west. You are definitely tempting fate. Just don't do it!

 

All I can say is that the forum community has been incredibly good at assisting users in making it through the updates unharmed if perhaps a little traumatized on occasion. Users can take comfort in the fact that the odds of bricking a Line 6 device during an update are incredibly low. Low as in, I think it almost never happens. Also, if tussling with an update is the price for getting a device that has just steadily improved by leaps and bounds for years now, I think most of us should gladly take the hit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...