We’ve said it before, and it’s worth saying again:
Developing software is like building a cathedral;
It costs far more than you expected,
It took much longer than you expected,
And when it is finally done, you pray.
You’d think that with over 30 years of experience designing and building driving simulators we’d be able to build something that works all the time, every time.
Even with more than three decades of experience under our belt, stuff happens. Now, we’re not here to pile blame on anyone (not even ourselves) because it’s complicated.
Our driving simulation systems are very sophisticated pieces of software with millions of potential permutations, which are sitting on top of an operating system that has millions of lines of code, and all that “stuff” is trying to play nicely with hardware that doesn’t always want to play nice.
Most of the time all that software and hardware work together just fine. But every so often there might be a hiccup, where you find yourself thinking, “Uh oh, it’s never done that before!” Should you find yourself in one of those moments, here are a few suggestions for what you can do:
Don’t panic! Take a couple of deep breaths.
Just because the system has done something unexpected doesn’t mean that it’s broken or needs to be replaced. It simply means that some component got up on the wrong side of the bed and is not playing nicely with the other components.
Make some detailed notes.
The more information that you can provide about what happened, what you were doing when it happened (scenario file you were running, configuration, etc.), what has changed, etc., will allow our technical support staff to promptly assist you. Please be as descriptive as possible; statements like “it did something weird” or “the screen looks funny” are good ice breakers but don’t convey enough information for us to actionably help.
Get your scenario files.
If the problem appears to be related to a specific scenario, get the scenario files together and send them to us so that we can take a look. Check out this blog post for a quick primer on how you can easily get all of the files required to run a scenario.
We’ve been doing this for a while and have seen a lot of stuff. It is not very often that we are completely taken by surprise when something unexpected happens. When you send us an email, make sure to include your notes and the STISIM Drive log file (C:\STISIM3\Temp\STISIMDrive.Log) as an attachment. This will give us a good starting point.
Correcting the Problem Remotely
If we can’t get you going based on the information you provide, and follow up questions, then we may need to bring out the big guns and try to remotely access your computer. This process allows us to run your computer from our offices so that we can see exactly what you are seeing – and hopefully correct the issue.
All you need is an internet connection and a piece of software named TeamViewer. Fortunately, a copy of TeamViewer was installed along with your STISIM Drive software. Here is what you need to do:
- Make sure that your computer is connected to the internet.
- Navigate to the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\TeamViewer\Version9 and double click on the TeamViewer.exe file. This should result in a window like the following:
- Send us Your ID and Password (shown in the red box).
- We can now access your computer and attempt to correct your problem.
- When we are done, simply close the TeamViewer window and we will no longer have access to the computer. You may also want to disconnect the computer from the internet, but that’s up to you.
The bottom line, when something goes wrong, don’t panic, let us know! We’re pretty good at this troubleshooting stuff. The sooner you contact us the sooner you’ll be back up and running.