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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    54

    Default PinPoint Expired (???)

    First -- I can't find the right place for this question.

    I look under the premium Support for licensed users, and there is nothing there; no threads, no questions, no replies, no nuthin. WHA?!?. I haven't been here in a year or more, so maybe I just don't remember how to navigate. Sure isn't easy to find things here.

    We've been using PinPoint for 8 years -- ACP Expert 8 license, current, I believe (???) though we are no longer using ACP for telescope control. A few years ago I loaded the entire UCAC4 onto our hard drive (upgrade from GSC 1.1 we used to use), but now I'm unable to plate solve against either one of them.

    However, PinPoint, as an add-on to MaxIm DL is essential to my work. About 4 months ago (?) is suddenly stopped working, and began throwing error messages that our license had expired. No warnings, no urgent e-mails, just POOF!and it was gone.

    I'm without a clue how to get back up and running. Any help will be appreciated.

    Thank you kindly,

    Brad Vietje
    Newbury, VT
    Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation
    Peacham, VT
    www.nkaf.org

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    28,248

    Default

    Hi Brad -- I Remember answering your email on this a week ago and found it. I replied on Oct 7th but recommended you file a tech ticket here, so thanks for doing that. There are two reasons the forum looks "slimmed down". Northeast Kingdom's ACP Expert license is under the name of Dave Magnus, and here on the Comm Center your account exists as the former tech contact for that license before it was upgraded from ACP to ACP Expert in April 2016. The Northeast Kingdom license under Dave expired for tech support and upgrades in April 2017, the old one under your name in 2016. For those two reasons, both of your accounts are not eligible for the premium support sections.

    Mainly PinPoint should work forever even with an expired ACP License. And since ynu have lost use of the software I'll help you out on that regardless!! I'm sorry you stopped using ACP, I hope it wasn't for lack of support from us. I looked through your traffic here, along with Andy Mosedale's. I can't find any from Dave Magnus strangely. Since you no longer use ACP, I can issue a separate PinPoint Only license and you can uninstall ACP Expert. Should it go to you at b***@****.org?

    I saw that you were struggling with ACP Expert and the photometric work you were doing. If you want we could work something out for reverting back to ACP so you can run your time series live like you would in other sequencing programs. I just thought I'd offer but you're probably OK with what you're using now. Call Stephanie at +1 480 396 9700 if you're interested. Or if you found ACP Live insufficient, I'd be interested in what the barriers were to your needs.
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Hi Bob,

    I am finally back to pick up this conversation, along with my apologies for not responding sooner. It has everything to do with being overwhelmed at a new job, and the fallout from losing everything I thought was backed up after a hard drive failure.

    We'd be delighted with a PinPoint only license, if that can be arranged. The best contact for me is Brad@nkaf.org.

    The other questions: We have been 100% delighted with your customer support and service! I have always been very impressed with your organization, and ability to drill down and help all comers with their very particular issues.

    We stopped using ACP for essentially 2 reasons: 1) we joined forces with Skynet based at UNC, and they use their own proprietary control software. This decision was made to be able to dovetail our student research projects with other robotic research groups with whom we're working. 2) we're a tiny organization operating on a tiny budget, and our Board wanted to be able to offer telescope time to other research partners around the world for a fee structure that would be based, at least in part, on how many hours of telescope time they needed to complete their projects, which would require us to upgrade to a commercial ACP license. Since we operate on approximately $12,000 per year, we just couldn't afford to do that. We give up some operational control, but the currency is telescope time, not American currency.

    The Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation was founded by David Magnus and Sidney Wanzer, but while Dave's name was on the software, he was not an active telescope user. David was the NKAF president and at one point the Treasurer, so most of the earlier correspondence went through him. All the software was initially set up by Andy Mosedale. When I joined the Board, I took over the technical aspects of our operation, excepting the computer network, run by Andy. Sadly, we never got to even try using ACP Live, as Andy was fearful of what he perceived as potential security issues. Since he was in charge of the network, we never even got to see what it looks like.

    We may decide to part company with Skynet at some point, whereupon we'll have to raise additional funding and pay for a commercial ACP license. Only time will tell.

    Thank you for all your help,

    Brad

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    28,248

    Default

    OK Brad -- No problem. I issued you (actually NKAF) a fresh PinPoint license with a year's support & upgrades. Don't use the Comm Center password that is in the license if it is different from the one you are using now. Keep logging in as you did for this ticket. Best wishes going forward!!!
    -- Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Hi Bob,

    Finally got to try registering PinPoint last evening (I somehow missed your email back in January), and got an error:

    PinPoint Error.JPG

    Not sure what to try next.

    Thank you,

    Brad

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    28,248

    Default

    Way too little info. What were you doing? Using what program?

    Guess: Re-run the PinPoint installer for repair. Maybe something got unregistered with Windows.
    -- Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Hi Bob,

    Last night, while working on other MaxIm DL photometry issues, I was able to follow the steps you sent via email way back in January, and for some reason, this time it worked! I did exactly the same things I did last month as instructed in your email, but this time, instead of an error message, an update window did open, and I was able to update the PinPoint license, and plate solving is working again -- hoorah!

    I then attempted to download the newest version, and after 55 minutes it was only 2/3 done, and appeared to have stalled (no apparent progress for over 30 minutes), so I baled out of the updater. May try that again, but the good news is that we can now acquire an image in MDL, and plate solve it right then and there on the hard drive in just a few seconds, so I'm a happy camper.

    Thank you for your patience and expert technical support!

    Brad

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Northern Vermont
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Tried updater again today -- took less than 15 seconds (?) The magic of rural internet.

    Many thanks,

    Brad

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    28,248

    Default

    OK good news on all of that. Thanks.
    -- Bob

 

 

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