Turn Project Archives Into Real Money – BRU Producer Edition

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In my continuing effort to find a solid, reliable and affordable solution for long term archival of our editing projects, I have spent the last 12 months testing and creating a workflow for yet another product solution. Unlike when I reviewed the Cache~a a few years back (the positive review since removed from the site), I decided to spend a lot more time really running it through the paces. I learned my lesson the hard way with the Prime Cache and made changes to my review process.

The product that I’m reviewing this time is the “Edit Bay Production Desktop” software and hardware package from the Tolis Group. It has turned out to be quite the winner, and I’m excited to share our experience with it. While they do offer several different solutions of hardware/software or software only solutions (you provide the hardware), I’m going to focus on this one all in one package. It’s my feeling that this is the best fit for the small to medium sized post house with 1-5 workstations. To see some of their offerings, check out their website.

http://www.tolisgroup.com

What’s Included – Installation

What I liked about the “Edit Bay Production Desktop” package right from the onset was that it was a complete solution for your Mac. You provide a G5 tower, Xserve or MacPro computer with a open PCIe slot (must be a 8x slot), and they provide you with everything else.

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In your open PCIe slot you will install a SAS host bus adaptor. The card they provide is the ATTO ExpressSAS H680, and it was as easy to install as a video card. It’s as simple as removing the side panel of your tower and adding the card to your open slot.

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(Above is the Expansion Slot Utility that is on most, but not all Power Macs. Because the system we have the card installed on (a quad G5) does not support this utility, I took this snap from a different computer in the office just to show the utility. So don’t be surprised that in this shot the ATTO card is not listed. This utility allows you to configure the speed of your slots by dividing up the bandwidth in whichever way best suits your setup)

Once booted up, you install a driver for the ATTO card from the included CD, reboot again and the card is ready for use.

After that, turn the machine off and attach the LTO drive. Depending on the package that you choose, you will receive either a LTO-4 or LTO-5 drive. Both are HP drives in a external case. We have the LTO-5 drive.

With the LTO drive attached and the machine booted up, install the BRU Producer Edition software (from here on referred to as BRU PE) . This is really the heart of the product and is written for OSX specifically. Installation is as easy as mounting the included CD ROM or downloaded .dmg disk image and running the installer. Now you’re ready to start.

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Permission to take Permission?

I’m not sure exactly when it all started, but over the last several months I’ve been having permission issues while using OSX. Every so often I’ll go to save a file in a folder I should have access to – and I’m told that I don’t have permission to do so. Normally it’s a local drive, but it happens with network drives as well. I thought maybe it was something specific to Tiger, but recently we updated to OSX Leopard and the problem actually got worse. And when I say “upgrade”, what I mean to say is we rebuilt each system from scratch, formatting a drive and reinstalling all apps from scratch. Our last few upgrades have been OS upgrades using the “Archive and Install” option, but we wanted to really start clean this time.

To make matters worse, I got tot he point last week where I had locked myself out of making any further changes somehow. We have a common folder on a local network server that we use for web approvals. It’s been there for years without having any problems at all. Then all the sudden, I couldn’t copy over my QT movie so that it could be processed with the rest of the files. I did the usual “get info” command, unlocked the pane with an administrator account, but when I tried to change the permissions it would not allow me to. I could click on any of the users or groups and set “Read & Write”, but as soon as I clicked off it it went back to either “Read Only”, or even worse “No Access”.

You might be thinking that I should just run Apple’s “Disk Utility” and choose to “Repair Permissions”. That would be great except that it’s not a boot drive. Disk Utility needs to have an installed version of OSX on whatever drive it’s to repair permissions on. Without a OS it has nothing to use to determine what the correct permissions are.

So an hour has passed now and I’m getting very frustrated, because nothing about this should be hard. So I did what every good editor does when backed into a corner. I did a google search on the problem.

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