Reflective Computing Website

Technical Bulletins



November 29, 2010

NEW HARDWARE AND OPERATING SYSTEM SUPPORT

For user who would have questions requiring the phasing out of diskettes and other hardware and operating system related issues, here is a general schedule of improvements and enhancements and the order we expect them to be released:

  1. We are actively working to eliminate the diskette requirement. We are currently beta testing the next release of the TEMPO software which will continue to work with diskettes (for the benefit of existing users) but will also be able to be configured to work without diskettes. Diskettes will no longer be required for TEMPO server, COBALT server and VideoSYNC computer.
  2. After the diskette requirement is eliminated, we will work to eliminate the parallel port requirement (for the hardware key) on the TEMPO and COBALT servers.
  3. We will modify the the software to work on Windows 7/32 bit. We simply haven't tested this yet, it may work fine without any alterations required.
  4. After we confirm that the software works on Windows 7/32 bit, we will focus on extending it to work on Windows XP/64 bit and Windows 7/64 bit operating systems.
Determining release dates is difficult given the nature of software development so we don't attempt to do that. However, are goals are as follows:
We are hoping to release #1 and possibly #2 in the first quarter of 2011.

Depending on when #1 and #2 are released, #3 and #4 are scheduled to be released in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2011.

SYMPHONY

November 2010. For users interested in Symphony and its applications:

We are beta testing the new Symphony Spike Sorter and Symphony Triggered Averaging software. Once this software has been beta tested, we plan to release it at no additional charge to all Symphony users.
Determining release dates is difficult given the nature of software development so we don't attempt to do that. However, are goals are as follows:
We are hoping that beta testing will be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2011

November 16, 2009

Analysis of Microsoft time bug with Workaround Recommendations

We have analyzed the Microsoft localtime() bug which caused the TEMPOW.EXE client program to reject an otherwise valid password during the period 01Nov09 and 07Nov09, inclusively.

This bulletin reports the results of our analysis and our recommendations for working around the problem.

The analysis below is based on checking the behavior of the localtime() function for every date from 01Jan2009 through 31Dec2020.  We did not analyze dates before 01Jan09 or beyond 31Dec2020.

The analysis below was performed on a Windows XP (SP 3) system.  If you would like for us to perform this analysis on a different version of Windows, please let us know.

For users who have active Program Update subscriptions:
We recommend that you download the lasted Program Update from our web site.  As of the November 2009 Program Update, the TEMPOW client program no longer requires a password, obviating the problem.

If for any reason you don't wish to update your TEMPO software, you can follow the prescription described below for users who do not have active Program Updates.


For users who do not have active Program Updates subscriptions:
We have found that setting or clearing the "TZ" environment variable can change the behavior of the bug and allow you to work around the problem.

To set or clear the TZ environment variable, refer to the 02Nov09 Bulletin.

When you set TZ, it doesn't appear to matter what you set it to. We tried EDT, EST, PDT, PST and XXX and got the same behavior in all cases. What mattered is that it is set to something.  So we re commend you set it to your correct time zone.  For users outside the US, set it to XXX.

On Windows XP (SP 3), we have found that the TZ environment variable must be set during the following periods (including on the end dates of each period):

Set TZ during:
[ 8-Mar-2009 .. 14-Mar-2009]
[ 1-Nov-2009 .. 7-Nov-2009]

[ 8-Mar-2015 .. 14-Mar-2015]
[ 1-Nov-2015 .. 7-Nov-2015]

[ 8-Mar-2020 .. 14-Mar-2020]
[ 1-Nov-2020 .. 7-Nov-2020]
The TZ environment variable _MUST BE_ clear all other periods.


If you accidently leave TZ set, it will cause thebug to occur during the following periods:
[ 8-Mar-2009 .. 31-Oct-2009]
[14-Mar-2010 .. 6-Nov-2010]
[13-Mar-2011 .. 5-Nov-2011]
[11-Mar-2012 .. 3-Nov-2012]
[10-Mar-2013 .. 2-Nov-2013]
[ 9-Mar-2014 .. 1-Nov-2014]
[ 8-Mar-2015 .. 31-Oct-2015]
[13-Mar-2016 .. 5-Nov-2016]
[12-Mar-2017 .. 4-Nov-2017]
[11-Mar-2018 .. 3-Nov-2018]
[10-Mar-2019 .. 2-Nov-2019]
[ 8-Mar-2020 .. 31-Oct-2020]
The following period has to be treated as a special case:
[ 8-Mar-2015 .. 14-Mar-2015]
because the bug appears both when TZ is clear and when TZ is set.

During this one week period, we recommend that you clear TZ and set the year to 2016.  This will allow you to run the TEMPOW.EXE software.  After 14Mar2015, return the year back to 2015 and reset the date on all the files you created with dates in the year 2016.


November 2, 2009

A number of labs have reported that the procedure below is a workaround to the Microsoft Bug, which causes the TEMPOW.EXE program to reject an otherwise valid password.

After applying this procedure, your TEMPOW.EXE client should accept the previously valid password.


TENTATIVE RESOLUTION:

The procedure below allows TEMPOW client that were previously correctly licensed to get past the password check.

Please only apply this procedure if your TEMPOW.EXE client begin rejecting an otherwise valid password after 01Nov09.

For XP Users:
1. Click Start/Settings/ControlPanel
2. Double click System
3. Click Advanced
4. Click EnvironmentVariables button
5. Under User Variables for (username), click the New button
6. Set variable Name: TZ
7. Set Variable Value as follows:
Your time zone:
---------------
Eastern time: EST
Central time: CST
Mountain time: MST
Pacific time: PST
All other zones: XXX

8. Click OK a number of times to close all windows
9. Reboot client computer.
10. Run your TEMPOW client as usual.

If you use this procedure, please check carefully that the dates and times of the files you save with TEMPOW are what you expect. If you see anything unusual, we would appreciate if you reported it to us. Thank you.

Please check back with our website periodically for the latest information on this issue.