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DevMike last won the day on November 4 2015

DevMike had the most liked content!

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About DevMike

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    LOR Developer

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    Code Monkey

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  • How I learned about Light-O-Rama -
    I work here...
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LOR Software

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    A Beta Version
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  1. I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone who has contacted us on the help desk so far this season. We have been swamped with tickets and calls for the last 2 weeks and are working extra hard to get you up and running. While there are always jerks, I can say that this year I have run into fewer even with the increase in help requests. To all of you who are understanding and are taking the extra time to pass along good wishes we thank you. Just to give you an idea, I would estimate we have seen an 40% increase in users and help desk requests this year. Last year, the highest number of tickets we closed in a single day was around 120. This year it was 189, and season is not done yet. We expect another huge rush this weekend. With each ticket taking approximately 3 replies to complete, that means we are doing close to 600 tickets/day. We are also in the process of trying to get a bug fix release out and have had several major setbacks doing that. I personally have been putting in 10-12 hour days - 6-7 hours doing nothing but customer support, and then 5-6 hours of 'regular' (for me) work. So once again from all of us, thanks to all of you who have been understanding.
  2. FYI: Light-O-Rama software downloads can be found at http://www1.lightorama.com/sequencing-software-download/. The latest version is at the top of the page and previous versions are located at the bottom of the page. It's a big file and could take several minutes to download so be patient. To see a comparison of the different license levels: http://www1.lightorama.com/sequencing-suite-levels/To check your license status: http://lightorama.com/licenseCheck.html This will tell you the maximum version your current license is good for. Anything after that would require a renewal or upgrade (Which would then include updates for the next year).
  3. Pro has only been offered with the TSO package starting this year some time. When you open your ticket, please include your order number so we can look up the date of your purchase.
  4. I hope you have taken the time to open a help desk ticket, we will do our best to help. We don't care who you purchased the controller from. If it is ours, we will stand behind it and repair/replace it as needed. BUT I do want to say I take umbrage with this comment. You stated you purchased the controller from eBay. That would mean the person who pulled a bait and switch on you is the person you purchased the controller from on eBay, not us.
  5. Must be season, time for the annual outrage about the war on Christmas. I see the same group of people involved. If I see this thread get out of hand, I will put people on moderation. If you are about to post about how nothing is wrong, etc you are probably one of the first people to be on that list. My fuse right now is VERY short. Be cool.
  6. Use the Defaults We get 2-3 of these a week, and during the season 2-3 a day. A customer will contact us about moving to a new computer, or reinstalling the software and then not be able to find where all their stuff is - because they changed the location of the LOR Data directory, or they are not saving their audio/sequences/etc in the proper folder of the LOR data directory. These customers (especially during season) then demand we find their data for them. We're sorry, but that's not something we can do. We didn't store or move the data, so we would have NO CLUE where YOU put it on YOUR computer. This is one of the reasons programs like ours suggest default locations for data. All you have to do is press the OK button when asked: "Where do you want your data stored?", or not change the suggested folder when you save something. If you stick with what we suggest, we know immediately where it is on your computer: My Documents/Light-O-Rama. We can easily point you there. But if you were smart enough to change the location of the Light-O-Rama folder, or to save data in a different folder than we suggest, you need to be smart enough to find that data later.
  7. Let's Answer ALL those questions So the help desk ticket system is THE most efficient way for us to handle support issues. But for you, it may not be efficient - you put in a ticket and have to wait for us, then we have to wait for you, etc. After all, it sometimes takes a couple of back-and-forth sessions to properly resolve something. We are keenly aware of that, and so many times we will ask you several questions at the same time. For whatever reason, many (OK. ALMOST ALL) customers will only , and then barely, answer one of them. And it's not like they answer the first or last question. Of the list of questions, they will answer one of them seemingly at random. Without the answers to the other questions, this one answer provides us NO information. And then of course the customer will complain about how long it takes to resolve something with tickets. Again, even if you think one or more of the questions has nothing to do with your issue, please take the time to answer them ALL. If we ask 3 different questions, please provide 3 answers. Otherwise we are just going to have to ask you again - which wastes your time.
  8. I think you handled it well. Lights and decorations are crack to kids (and some adults too). It is hard to blame them when they come running into a display (Halloween or Xmas or anything else), despite our warnings, announcements, and signs. We can only be gentle with them, understand they didn't mean to put themselves in danger, and nicely correct them. 99% of them are going to understand, and apologize. You'll get a friendly wave from the parents. No one is to blame. Even the parents don't deserve any - I have personally witnessed well behaved, well parented children in less than 1/10 of a second take off and end up in danger. The parents don't want their kids in danger, but it happens FAST. But alas as with everything in life, there is that one percent - the JERK percent. When they appear, just shake your head and walk away - there is NOTHING you can do with these people. Rationally and calmly explaining things will not work. Sarcasm will not work. Yelling obscenities at them will not work. Just shake your head, correct the dangerous behavior, don't engage further, walk away. And then share the story with the 99% By my count, you got off easy. If you had 300 kids, you should have had 3 jerks. You only had one. Count your blessings And please don't blame entire swaths of people simply because of their age, birth year, color, or any other grouping. From the beginning of life there have been jerks, and there will continue to be jerks. There are not more jerks today than there were yesterday. You just notice them more as you get older And celebrate the 99% that were great
  9. Today we released production version 5.3.10 of the Light-O-Rama Software Suite. This is an official production release, not a beta release. S5 fully integrates the Pixel Editor, Sequence Editor, and Visualizer into a single program and adds many enhancements to help you program large channel count stages. S5 uses a different methodology called 'Visual Sequencing' to create amazing sequences and has new automatic programming tools called 'Motion Effects' that will speed your sequencing. For more information on S5, please see the "Sequencer (Showtime 5)" section of our Tutorials and PDFs page on our main website. The latest S5 help can always be found online here: http://www1.lightorama.com/downloads/5.3.10/help/ How to check if your license covers this version To check whether or not your license covers this version, please go to the license retrieval page, and enter your email address (the one you purchased your license with). An email should then be sent to you with information about your license. The "Summary" section of the email will tell you whether or not your license covers the latest version. If the email says... Your license covers the latest version, 5.3.*. ... then your license already covers this version. You can use it without making any additional purchase. Please note, though, that your computer may not yet understand that your license covers this version, so when you install, it might tell you that you are running in Demo mode. In this case, simply reactivate your license (for example, via "Upgrade Light-O-Rama" on the Sequence Editor's "Help" menu), and your computer will then learn that your license is valid for this version. On the other hand, if the email instead says... Your license does not cover the latest version, 5.3.*. ... then your license does not cover this version. In that case, you have several options: Upgrading or Renewing Your License (1) You can continue using whatever version your license does cover (for example, perhaps your license covers version 4.1). (2) If you want to take this opportunity to increase your license level to take advantage of additional features, you can purchase a license level upgrade. This counts as a license renewal too - that is, your license will now work with this new version (and some future versions too). So, if you do this, there is no reason to also purchase a license renewal. (3) If you already own a Light-O-Rama license, but you do not currently own Light-O-Rama SuperStar, or if you want to upgrade SuperStar to a higher number of CCRs/channels, you could purchase or upgrade SuperStar. This also counts as a license renewal for the rest of the Light-O-Rama software suite, so if you do this, there is no reason to also purchase a license renewal. Please note that you must already own a license for the rest of the Light-O-Rama software suite in order to take this option. (4) If you do not want to purchase a license level upgrade or Light-O-Rama SuperStar, you can purchase a license renewal. Your license will now work with the new version (and some future versions too), at the same license level as it currently does. For example, if you have an Advanced license, it will remain an Advanced license, but it will now cover the new version of software. What's New in Version 5.3.10 Fix for Looping Show Player - On some Windows Systems, usually but not limited to Windows 7, the LOR Show Player would crash upon trying to start a show. When it crashed, the LOR Control Panel would attempt to recover and restart the Show Player. This would cause the Show Player to loop on these machines and not actually play a show. Other Bug Fixes How To Get the Latest Version You can download the new version from the software download page. If that page lists a different version number as the latest version, please click your browser's refresh button. Thank You!
  10. This. And it's what we recommend too. With pixel controllers coming way down in price (especially ones like our Pixie controllers), it makes more sense to de-centralize. Yes, you may end up spending a little more when you factor in quality power supplies, but the benefits far outweigh that. Now that is not to say that giant controllers don't have their use. For example, a large pixel tree can consume 16 ports of a pixel controller without a sweat. That is what I would run there, not 8 * 2 ports. But if I'm putting pixels on a couple of bushes [or anything with some distance between them], a 2 port pixel controller goes there. Plan and use the right size for the job
  11. This is a known issue with Windows 7 and the show player. A release will come out shortly that addresses the issue.
  12. ABSOLUTELY NOT! You are the informed consumer all companies wish they sold to. You and I shop the same way: based on VALUE not on COST. Let's talk shoes for a moment. My shoe of choice is a loafer (well, actually a boat shoe). Shoes come in vastly different qualities and vastly different costs. I discovered long ago (when I was much harder on shoes) that I could spend $20 on a pair, or $80 on a pair. The $20 pair would fall apart after a year. The $80 pair would fall apart in 3. The $20 one is the much better value - even though it is the lowest quality.
  13. The help file probably has all the information you need. You need to have a Deluxe MP3 director. That is an MP3 director that has a real-time clock built in. http://www1.lightorama.com/help/index.html?differences_between_mp3_direct.htm Scheduling shows for different days/times: http://www1.lightorama.com/help/index.html?select_sequences_and_show_opti.htm
  14. It is not fair to discount ALL of China as 'cheap Chinese' . Most mfgs in China can make product and either adhere to your specifications, or will produce several different 'grades' of a product on speculation. Take fictitious USA companies "H" and "L". They may both order from a Chinese manufacturer some product "X", also fictional. In fact they could order from the exact same mfg. "H" orders the least expensive version of "X" available from the mfg. This product is made 'on spec' IE, the factory makes this version (and probably several others) as a kind of 'default' product. Knowing that there are some companies in the world where price means EVERYTHING, they make it as cheap as possible. "L" on the other hand contracts with a mfg specifying that they want "X" to be made to their higher tolerances, using these upgraded (higher price) parts, and these optional additional processes (which add durability). What "H" gets is low quality: Sure, it does what it says it will do - but it may not last long, support everything it should support, etc. "L" on the other hand gets a much higher quality product - because they specified their requirements. If product X doesn't meet the specific high requirements, "L" doesn't pay. If it does, 'L" paid a little more and so in the end will charge a little more. "L" may even have negotiated with the mfg to offer some business-to-business warranty: IE, if more than Y% of an item fails, the mfg is on the hook for the failures and will compensate "L". So in the end what you have are 2 companies that have product X. The product "H" sells is less expensive and offers no warranty. The product "L" sells costs more, but is made to a higher specification. It may even have additional features. Because "L" contracted with the mfg for higher quality products it can offer a warranty. Both were made in China, and may have even been made in the same factory. Moral of the story: Just because it's made in China does not mean it is cheap or low quality. You can not compare the product "H" has to the product "L" has. Yes, they may perform the same function, but they could be completely different in quality. Side bar 1: Keep this in mind - Never ever let price alone dictate your purchase. "H" may sell you something for $10 and every year you have to replace 90% of them. "L" on the other hand may sell you the same item but made to higher specifications for $22. The failure rate may be 5% per year, but the item has a 2 year warranty. On the surface, "L" is more than twice the price. Why buy something for $22 when "H" sells it for $10? And this would be true IF you only expect to use an item once. Yes, sometimes the cheap way is the best way. But if you are looking to reuse the item, is it REALLY? Think about it. Between years 2 and 3, you will have most likely purchased from "H" twice and spent $20, and it is all but guaranteed that at the end of 2 years, your item is broken AGAIN (90% failure rate). At year 3, you have to purchase AGAIN - $30. Sometimes you may get lucky, most of the time you will not. If however you spent $22 at the start - even if you were unlucky and hit the failure on year two, you start year 3 with a new item - at no cost, and with something that is designed to last at least 2 years (or why would "L" offer a warranty?). At year 3 you save (make a 'profit') of $8. Let's say that item only lasts until year 4. That's $18 in your pocket for that one item compared to "H". Over 4 years: "H" = $40 (and a high probability it is broke AGAIN - 90% failure rate). "L" = $22 and a high probability it is probably STILL WORKING (5% failure rate) Naturally your situation should dictate which you buy. If you are changing a part on your car and expect to do it once in a lifetime, do you buy the $50 tool from Lang, or do you buy the same tool for $2 from Harbor Freight? Harbor Freight for the win - use it once, throw it away. Side bar 2: The sad thing is that the profit margin "H" has is usually much higher than the one "L" will have. Let's say "H" purchases their item for $5 each, and sells them for $10 each - a profit of 100%. "L" on the other hand will spend $15 each, but can only sell (due to market pressure) at $22. The profit there as a percentage, is around 50% - they sell a better product but make less money per sale.
  15. Hey here we are again! The season is off to an early start. Let's see what's happened so far: We're only trying to be nice: We are more than happy to send parts to our customers to repair controllers/etc. Some customers are shy and will ask us for part numbers, etc and somewhere they can buy the parts. We always turn around and tell them - Hey! We'll send you the parts, usually at no cost. Just tell us what you need (and tell us that you know how to actually change the part in question). They are being polite, and we appreciate that! So a certain customer (a Dr. of something or other) recently asked us for a part number for the RJ45 jacks on a controller. We send him the obligatory 'Are you sure you can do this work, and if so just tell us what you need'. 9 days later he replied that he can in fact do the work and he asked for 20 RJ45s and 20 Triacs. Now, that is a lot of parts. This person would have AT LEAST 10 controllers that have both RJ45s broken. Most likely it would be more - typically only 1 jack gets busted on a controller. So in my eyes, this HAS to be one of our bigger customers. He's also asking about the jacks and triacs for EVERY generation of controller we have ever sold. Now at this point, it's not really about the cost of the parts. At the quantities that we purchase, each one of those is a few cents. The RJ45s are probably around $.40 each, and the triacs are around $.80 so we are talking at most $25 + shipping. In other words, we are not going to go bankrupt even if this is not on the up and up. What is odd is that this is the first ticket we have ever got from this person, and the person to whom he wants the parts shipped is not him. You would think with that many different controllers, that many different generations of controller, and that number of parts he would have had some contact with us at some time in the past. I go searching for this person in our orders system and get NOTHING. Not a single hit. I also search for orders from the person he wants these parts shipped to. Nothing. Again, it's not a question of cost. But we also don't want to be sending parts to every Tom, Dick or Dr. David that asks, we want to send them to our customers. As soon as we opened (he replied at around 1AM) I asked the person what name the controllers were ordered under. 2 more days pass and the reply comes that I am wasting his time. Now in his defense he did ask for part numbers initially - But we would much rather send a customer the parts. We get them for a lot less than he can (Those jacks are going to be around $1.25 each, and the Triacs around $2.25 each if he buys them - $65 plus around $15 shipping - $80), AND it's just good customer service. So in the end we sent him the part numbers and have not heard back from him. However it's still a strange situation. Frankly I think my initial gut reaction was right - despite saying he wasn't looking for freebies, I think that is EXACTLY what he was looking for. Does it make sense to berate someone who is trying to save you $80 and just wants a little more info? I guess sometimes, just being nice get's you yelled at. PS: To everyone out there that has higher education, the MDs and PHDs and the like, I respect the heck out of you. I will call you Dr. But when you stomp your feet like a little kid, say someone is wasting your time, and then sign your eMail with DR. SO-IN-SO, as if somehow you THINK you are more important, you will get laughed at - and get absolutely NO respect from me
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