In this week’s podcast we had a question from Craig Shimmon about recommendations for how to make iLoks secure in a computer lab environment. I had two suggestions, a diecast box which Neil Hester suggested trashing the lid screws once fitted and screwed to the desk, or a product called a Roklocker. We have had an excellent solution which takes my diecast box idea and moves it on many stages to an excellent solution and so with Neil and Fred’s permission we bring you the Fredbox Mk 2. They also offer an improvement to my our ideas for a Mac Pro. Neil Martin takes up the story….
It is a solution which secures an iMac, its keyboard and mouse and any other USB cables connected to it, as well as a USB dongle, including aniLok 2 (for an iLok 1, just buy a slightly bigger box!). If you’re comfortable with drilling big holes into desks and aluminum boxes, read on.
Here’s what you’ll need: (links to suggested suppliers but it will be easy to find your own local suppliers)
- 1 x Die Cast Box 111mm x 60mm x 31mm
- 1 x M24 Washer (commonly available)
- 1 x RM One Desk Bolt Security Kit
- 1 x 0.5m USB extension cable
You can see the finished version at the top and here is a close-up of the Fredbox itself.
Here is how you can make one…
1. Drill a 17mm hole in the centre of the die cast box’s lid.
2. Drill another 17mm hole in the centre of one side of the die cast box (you may need to make it a little larger depending on the size of the USB connectors you want to pass through it).
3. Drill another 17mm hole through the iMac’s base (I find placing the iMac face down on a cloth-lined workbench with something in front of the base - a piece of wood clamped to the bench - to stop it moving forward, works well).
4. Drill another 17mm hole through the desk, where you want the iMac to be sited.
5. Put down the drill.
6. Place the washer inside the box and pass all USB cables through the hole in the side, then through the washer and back out of the side hole. That’s the 0.5m extension, keyboard and mouse and as many other cables as you can fit.
It should look something like this, with the iLok connected.
7. Take the pin from the RM desk bolt kit and pass it through the washer and then the lid of the box, and screw the lid in place. With the pin in place, you can no longer pull USB cables through the washer. Your
Fredbox should now be complete!
8. Finally, pass the pin through the holes in the iMac base and desk, then secure it with the padlock under
You are now left with a situation where you cannot pull the Fredbox up high enough to release the lid with a screwdriver and the iMac is locked to the desk, along with its USB peripherals. Not bad for roughly £10 - £15 per box and a bit of time in the workshop! Touch wood, we’ve never lost an iMac or an iLok yet (36 machines in 2 labs, since 2007!).
Mac Pro solution
For our Mac Pro machines, we simply cut a slot in a spare PCIe slot cover and pass a USB extension through it, allowing us to house the iLok inside the Mac Pro itself. Where the side cover release lever is, you can flick down a locking point that you may attach a padlock/cable lock to in order to stop folks releasing the side cover.
We have a number of iLok related help articles including a tutorial on Tutorial on how to use the iLok License Manager software, Setting Up Your iLok Account, The iLok License Manager And Activating Protected Software, and What Do I Do If My iLok Is Broken, Lost Or Stolen? In this article, we are going to cover some of the other iLok related problems that can crop up.
In this article, we are going to take a look at what you should do if an iLok is broken, lost or stolen. iLoks are incredibly valuable especially when you have a lot of software and plug-in licenses on them and so it is best to look after them carefully but when the unthinkable happens then this is what you should do....
Since 2013, the iLok License Manager software has been at the core of how we manage the iLok licenses, that protect a lot of the software we buy. This article and the video from Avid cover how to use the iLok License Manager software to manage for iLok licenses.
If you have never used an iLok before you will need to buy an iLok, create a free iLok account and transfer the iLok license onto your iLok or computer. Existing Pro Tools owners with Pro Tools 9 and above will have had to set up an iLok account and own an iLok as the Pro Tools Software is protected by an iLok license that is required to be on an iLok license.
New Pro Tools owners and anyone that hasn't got an iLok are advised to follow the instructions in this guide. This guide will also help if you have received an activation code from a software publisher.
PACE, the makers of iLok, are announcing the new 3rd generation iLok. Its half the size of an iLok2, its twice as fast as the iLok2 and can hold 3 times as many licenses as the second generation iLok.
Got Pro Tools installed on more than one computer? Find yourself swapping iLok and Waves USB hubs between your systems? Got an Arm / Linux based NAS server? Want to be able to use your Pro Tools anywhere in the world, even if you've left you iLok behind? Alan Sallabank takes a look at the VirtualHere Server.
Anyone who opens their iLok License Manager, as I did this morning, should be presented with this rather unfriendly warning that you need to update your License manager software.
Community member Michael Boettcher wrote to us to tell us about his experience of Ebay problems when buying iLok licences.
As you can imagine life at Pro Tools Expert can get complicated when running a Pro Tools computer. We test a lot of gear, that includes hardware and it also includes more than one Mac. Right now I have a Mac Pro running El Capitan and a Mac Mini running Pro Tools on Yosemite for testing which I have to jump between, so I wanted to find a solution that gave me the greatest flexibility with the minimum of pain. A few things needed addressing, screen, keyboard and mouse sharing, audio and MIDI input and also plug-in licences, this is the solution I came up with.
iLok have updated their website to respond to user concerns about getting information. It includes; A cleaner UI and routes to info, Easier to use supports tools, Better store experience and New how-to videos - what is ZDT and TLC
Community member Nathan Ruyle has reached out to us asking if we would share his experiences after buying an iLok protected plug-in on line.. I just had a recent experience with an iLok software license that I thought I would share with you as a cautionary tale about purchasing software from individuals rather than a vendor.
An issue that has not well publicised is that 2nd generation iLoks (iLok2) can have issues with USB3 ports on newer Macs. The fault can sometimes be replicated by unplugging the iLok after successfully using it, then plugging it back in again, after that, the iLok will light up but may not be detected by any application that needs to access it (this is obviously more of a problem for laptop users). The workaround is to plug it in via a certified USB2 hub (even one of the ports on an Apple keyboard will do).
Following a question in Podcast 81 from Michael Lux asking now to get a copy of Pro Tools 11HD software, because he wanted the surround features that are now only available in Pro Tools HD. We talked about how it was possible to buy it secondhand but that the seller would need to put it on an iLok and send the buyer the iLok as Avid have now blocked transferring Pro Tools HD licenses from one iLok account to another. In the podcast we also discussed how the iLok would show up on the buyer’s iLok License Manager.
Mike showed his modified iLoks at the end of his post about how to label iLoks, and a number of the community have asked where you can get the Star Wars caps from.
Did you know you could label your iLok? Take a look at the photo above. On the underside of an iLok is a little button, if you push that in and then pull the translucent collar, the collar will come off to reveal a grey plastic area which you can write on.
A first look at the new iLok Licence Manager App for Mac and PC. Manage your iLok from your desktop and more!
To access and manage our iLok licenses users for many years now have used a web browser and a special extension, which worked well, but has been plagued with browser compatibility issues, especially with Firefox which hasn’t been supported for quite a while now, and there have been a number of things we couldn’t do like delete expired demo licenses.
Software protection gets a bad rap on the whole, not just from those trying to find ways to get software by not paying for it, but also from those who have paid for the software but sometimes find themselves locked out of our own software because the protection isn’t working as it should.
In this week’s podcast we had a question from Craig Shimmon about recommendations for how to make iLoks secure in a computer lab environment. I had two suggestions, a diecast box which Neil Hester suggested trashing the lid screws once fitted and screwed to the desk, or a product called a Roklocker. We have had an excellent solution which takes my diecast box idea and moves it on many stages to an excellent solution and so with Neil and Fred’s permission we bring you the Fredbox Mk 2. They also offer an improvement to my our ideas for a Mac Pro.