We are approaching the finish line

I think the benchmark is done and ready to begin testing. This week was a lot of cleaning up scripts, and making scripts to clean up other things. The details of the week didn’t have a lot of excitement, but what that work represents is very exciting.

The first thing I had to do was figure out how to clean up all the files that I used for testing, and all the files that 3ds Max creates. The files I use in the benchmark are easy. When a simulation is run, Max creates a bunch of cache files. So I need to delete those. Some I was able to clear from within Max after that specific test is run. But some I had to delete with AutoIt after the full benchmark is complete, I just have to be specific to not delete any customer data that may be there.

Speaking of customer data, in its current form, I have it uninstalling 3ds Max when the benchmark is complete. Some of our other benchmarks will check to see if the program is installed already, and then know not to uninstall when it's done. For this iteration I haven’t set it up that way. I am just focusing on being able to run on the Labs test beds. Once I know it's working and am ready to push it to the next level, which is our production and repair departments being able to use this benchmark to test a customer computer, I’ll make the needed adjustments. With it being so close to being done I want to make sure the benchmark is actually giving me good results.

One major change from last week was that I totally misunderstood how our Benchmark program worked. I thought it was installing from the network drive, and I was going to have to figure out how to point to a NAS, and give permissions, and who knows what else. It’s way more simple than that. The benchmark will be a zip file that our internal tool will download to the computer we will be testing, and then unzip to a specific folder. Since I know where on the C: drive it will be, I just have to point there. That is such a relief.

The biggest pain point I'm experiencing right now is network speed. Working remotely, I have to VPN to access our network. This is generally ok, but between the size of 3ds Max, and my benchmark files. We are talking over 6Gb worth of files that need to be transferred each time I want to run a test, and I don't have the best internet connection. That means, I’ll be going into the office for a few days next week to get everything finalized and begin benchmarking. I already knew I’d have to go in for a while since I’ll need to move around video cards. Luckily, Labs is already isolated, and no one has been in there for a few days, so it should be virus free.

After a rough few weeks, it was great to feel like things are beginning to pay off. With any luck, next week’s post I’ll be able to reveal some results.