Sound of dial tone, number being dialed. Recorded voice: Welcome to StudioWorks technical support. Please enter your serial number. Numbers being entered on phone. Thank you. Now please enter your key code. Oh, fer chrissake. Thank you, one moment please.
This is Dirk at tech support. Am I speaking with Mr., uh, Grampmother?
That’s P. T. Grumpmeier, you twit! I’ve been in your database since it was on index cards.
I’m sorry Mr., uh, Mumpgrinder. What seems to be the trouble?
What isn’t? For starters, ever since you stopped using key disk copy-protection, you seem to think I have an infinite number of USB ports on my computer.
No sir, we assume you have two: One is dedicated to your Superstudio DingleDong and another one is for general use. If you need more, just add a hub. Of course, you can’t plug our DingleDong into a hub since the computer won’t see it.
No kidding. But I also have a damn DingleDong for my software sampler and one for my mastering plug-ins and one for my MIDI sequencer. And my controller surface, which is supposed to be compatible with your software, can’t go through a hub either, and my MIDI interface’s timing gets all screwy. So where the heck am I supposed to plug all these things, not to mention my mouse?
Sir, you only need a DingleDong when a program is launching. So unplug all the DingleDongs except the one for the application you’re starting. Then swap out the DingleDong for each program. It only takes a moment.
Yeah, right. Jump up and down whenever I get my studio going. Guess I better not shut anything off. Okay, next question: I bought a plug-in from you that’s supposed to emulate a 1960s vintage QRZ-4711 equalizer, but every time I try to instantiate it, it tells me to enter a serial number for my original QRZ-4711.
And do you have a QRZ-4711, Mr. Grimpmuffin?
Of course not! If I had one, I wouldn’t need the plug-in.
We do apologize and we are aware of this problem. You see, the Malaysian startup that recently bought the old QRZ trademarks has threatened to sue us if we allow anyone to use that plug-in who doesn’t own an original unit. So our legal staff required this feature.
That’s nuts! Those things cost thousands of dollars! Why should you care what some third-world company thinks?
Well, sir, we’re working out a licensing deal with them, but in the meantime, we have to be very careful.
So you’re being blackmailed?
Blackmail is such an ugly word, sir. We prefer to think of it as “free trade.”
Okay, here’s the last thing and it’s the worst. I’ve been trying to install your upgrade to Version 10.5 and my computer keeps rejecting it. Something about not having the proper Swedish-language resources.
Are you in Sweden, Mr. Griffelhomper?
In that case, sir, what operating system are you using?
Uh, Windux 2100 EZ Pro, with HolePatcher 12.1a.
There’s your problem, sir. We have not authorized our product to be used with anything later than HolePatcher 11.6. You’ll have to erase your internal hard disk and re-install your system.
Erase my hard disk? Are you insane?
Or you can stay with Version 10.4, but none of our other products are compatible with that version’s file format. It’s entirely up to you, sir.
Okay, that does it. I’ve had it with these damn computers. To hell with all of you!
Sounds of phone slamming, dial tone, number being dialed.
AnalogAudio Army, Sgt. Hertz here.
Hertz, it’s P.T.
You were right, I should have never gotten rid of my analog gear. So how about that Ampex 8-track you’ve been trying to sell me. Is it ready?
Pretty soon, man. Just missing a capstan bearing. But I’ve got a line on a ’54 Chevy V8 engine. I’ll pull the crankshaft out of that sucker and shave the rear bearing down by a couple mils and we’ll be good.
Think I can have it by next week?
No problemo. And we got tape, too.
Hey, that’s great. Where’d you find it?
We found a whole bunch of 2-inch reels in a dumpster behind Channel 69. They finally converted to U-matic. We cleaned the guacamole and pigeon poop off and they’re almost good as new. But you gotta trim it.
It’s easy. Just lay it out on the floor with a two-by-four, a tri-square and a protractor. Then get the sharpest razor blade you can find. With your left hand, run the blade along the yardstick, holding the tri-square with your elbow and the protractor with your teeth, and with your right hand…
Sounds of telephone being thrown through window.
Grumpmeier has all sorts of stories, and loves to recall them in the pages of Mix. Click on the links below for a few “Grumpmeier Highlights.”