Garlic99

Vinyl Express .ve files to Signblazer?

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We run a corn maze and have been making signs on our Lynx 24" for ~6 years. The latest version of Vinyl Express LXi we have is 8.5, which is now end of life, we can't open it to view our .ve files. We don't use the features of the LXi software, and have transitioned to Signblazer.

I need to convert about 150 .ve files into something like an .eps file so that we can open/edit them in Signblazer. I can't find a "trial" version to do this, or any way to accomplish this other than buying the newest version of LXi for $200 - $800. Is there a tool that does this? Or someone I can pay $50 to convert all these?

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I only use Flexi software and someone was wanting to change all of their old .ve files into an .eps file or different format to import.   Same thing your wanting. .  As an experiment,  He posted the files. So I downloaded them. I went to the document files, and changed the .ve to .eps and it worked. The file imported as an .eps file.  Now before you go try something like that.  I would make a copy of the original file , so that you don't loose the file.    What I am saying is go into your documents,  choose a file, right click it and rename,  erase the .ve and write .eps as the file extension.   and see if it works.   It worked for me.   Maybe it will work for you.  But another thing that might be a problem with Signblazer, is that it is old outdated software. It will only import old version files.. Like version 8.   I was using Windows 7, when I tried it. The only problem that I had when I changed the files were,  many of the files had text on them and I did not have those fonts downloaded and installed on my computer, and I was not going to do that.  So it would change all the fonts to ARIAL font. Flexi software will tell you the name of the missing font.   I just chose the ARIAL just to look at the design. We choose not to convert the files for this person, because many, many of them were copyright protected logos which were illegal to reproduce.   My Flexi file format extension is .fs and I renamed .ve files to .eps files and was able to import them into my Flexidesigner10.5 software. 

" latest version of Vinyl Express LXi we have is 8.5, which is now end of life,"     What does that mean?  Have you tried to reinstall it?  Is the dongle not working?   I can still run my Flexi 7.6  which is a lot older than the 8.5...   And I cut with Flexistarter 8.6  everyday.    So exactly what is the problem with the LXI software?  LXI is just rebranded  Flexi software. 

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Same question as Skeeter, what do you mean by end of life? EOL typically means the software is no longer support by the producer however that does not mean it stops working. Signblazer has been unsupported for years yet still works quite well and many use it. Windows XP went end of life but it still works and many still run systems with it. Hell the government still has computers running MSDOS that went end of life some time in the 90's.

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Thanks for your quick replies! 

If I can get Vinyl Express LXi 8.5 working, I'd rather use that than Signblazer. We only just now started fiddling with Signblazer because we couldn't get LXi 85 working. If not, then I'll try MZ Skeeter's idea of switching file extension names (It surprises me that worked for you, as changing file extensions don't typically result in a functional file, do they?)

As for End of Life of 8.5, I'm referencing this page. Our old physical USB authentication dongle was from several versions ago, 8.5 requires some web-based authentication. With a perfectly working Internet connection (as I was googling potential fixes for this on the same Windows 10 PC) the 8.5 LXi shows a "Internet connection is required for this application to continue to work properly. Please check your network connection." error whether on Windows 10, or running the program in compatibility mode as Windows Vista or Windows XP. I suppose this is what the above linked page was referencing, a literal END of life, as opposed to ceasing support or updates to a software...see screenshots.

I'm still stumped. 

20180924_191745.jpg

20180924_192033.jpg

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hmm I am running ve-lxi master plus 10.5 and 12  - interesting . . . . but I have always exported all work in .eps since back when I used signblazer for incompatibility with other programs and customers.

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So what was upgraded, the Windows OS or the cutting software? Either way, have you tried to contact the software manufacturer?

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17 minutes ago, haumana said:

So what was upgraded, the Windows OS or the cutting software? Either way, have you tried to contact the software manufacturer?

This is rebranded Flexi software. Rebranded for Signwarehouse.  Signwarehouse is the support.  Flexi will not even give support anymore for 10.5.   They are on  version 12 now, which is Cloud.  All Flexi software that I have ever gotten is on a disc.   Maybe Signwarehouse just gives out download links and a password.   Now the link is obsolete. Reading on Signwarehouse, this 8.5 had a softkey license, which means it ran without a dongle.  The softkeys are no longer being supported. 

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1 hour ago, MZ SKEETER said:

This is rebranded Flexi software. Rebranded for Signwarehouse.  Signwarehouse is the support.  Flexi will not even give support anymore for 10.5.   They are on  version 12 now, which is Cloud.  All Flexi software that I have ever gotten is on a disc.   Maybe Signwarehouse just gives out download links and a password.   Now the link is obsolete. Reading on Signwarehouse, this 8.5 had a softkey license, which means it ran without a dongle.  The softkeys are no longer being supported. 

Wow. That just kind of sucks. Generally, if it was working before, and nothing was upgraded or updated, then the dongle should still work. The purpose of the dongle is so that online verification is unnecessary, so it seems like something changed in the setup to trigger the new window requesting for web connectivity.

I am definitely not a fan of any cloud-base activation/verification. I will  hang on to my legacy software until my machines die and I can no longer find an OS to run them on.

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 I forgot I do have a Flexistarter8.5, which is also softkey,  but I have not used it for years. I use 8.6 with a dongle.  Version 8.5 is about 10 years old.  

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Have you used the program in the past with Windows 10?

If not, do you have another computer you could load an older version of windows on and try it there? Many on here have a cheap old computer or laptop running Windows XP solely for cutting.

Changing file name extensions typically does not work as you stated. However there seems to be a trend in the vector file world of using the eps file format as the base for many programs/file formats. The various formats my have additional or slightly different encoding but it seems if the changes are minor programs can ignore them and still open the file. You might loose some information such as colors, line formatting, etc, but the heart of the file is still good.

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Maybe this has more to do with me using Flexidesigner10.5 But this is what I did.  The first photos is the download files that are .ve from a previous OP.  2nd photo is where I changed the extension and it shows .eps  I choose Trackside-2.ve  from the  top line.  3rd photo was the file, I put it on wireframe to show all of the image was there. but it had several different fonts. I made all Arial.  I do not have LXI software.   I tried  also to open just a .ve file from that list.  I chose the Tim Carson .ve from the top list and my Flexidesigner OPENED that LXI .ve file. even though .ve LXI  is not on my OPEN list as a file format.  I am using Flexidesigner 10.5, which is the same as Flexisignpro 10.5  with out cutter drivers. 

VINYL EXPRESS FILES.JPG

VINYL EXPRESS FILES.1JPG.JPG

TRACKSIDE_2PHOTOS.JPG

VINYLEXPRESS4.JPG

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All versions of Windows will attempt to open just about any file that has an assigned suffix (.doc, .xls, .eps, .ve, .pdf, etc.), with whatever software happens to be designated as the default application to open it with - regardless if the application can or cannot successfully open/read the file, or even if the file format does not belong to that application.

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In reply to some Q's:

The VE LXi 8.5 was running on a Windows XP laptop. I used the disc to install it on a different PC in Windows 10, same result. That prompted trying to run as XP and VISTA from Windows 10. Still the same errors noted earlier.

I'll try the "change file extension" option this weekend (This is for my parents).  

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So VE was running fine on the XP machine? If so, then I would stick to that - or stick to that long enough to try and export anything you need.

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No, sorry. I didn't clarify: The XP machine started giving the "Internet connection required for this program to continue to work" error. That's what prompted this mess. I still don't have any way to convert all the VE files to EPS without paying their new software.

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That's kind of strange that all of a sudden it would start requiring an internet connection. Have you tried to connect it to the internet? Because those screen shots you posted are not an XP wallpaper. Something had to have changed and/or updated.

Have you tried changing the file extension (method) already? If so, you can try several different file extensions (i.e. .eps, .svg, .pdf, .jpg, etc.). Because at this point, even if a raster extension will work, the artwork can always be re-vectorized if necessary.

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On 9/28/2018 at 7:54 PM, haumana said:

Have you tried to connect it to the internet? Because those screen shots you posted are not an XP wallpaper. 

Have you tried changing the file extension (method) already? If so, you can try several different file extensions (i.e. .eps, .svg, .pdf, .jpg, etc.).

Yeah, the first laptop, an XP install that we've used for years is connected to the Internet, but started generating the "Internet connection is required" error. That's what prompted trying it on Win 10, then Win 10 in Vista and XP mode (the screenshots). 

I tried changing the .ve files to eps, svg, pdf, and jpg and no luck. Photoshop and Acrobat were unable to open anything.

The frustrating search continues...

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58 minutes ago, Garlic99 said:

 

Yeah, the first laptop, an XP install that we've used for years is connected to the Internet, but started generating the "Internet connection is required" error. That's what prompted trying it on Win 10, then Win 10 in Vista and XP mode (the screenshots). 

I tried changing the .ve files to eps, svg, pdf, and jpg and no luck. Photoshop and Acrobat were unable to open anything.

The frustrating search continues...

Photoshop and Acrobat are not vector programs. They are not going to open vector files. What did your .ve file look like after you changed it to an .eps file?   Post up one of your .ve files, as long as it's not copyright protected. 

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