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S5 Information/Support/Etc

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We have  released version 5.0.0 of the Light-O-Rama software suite as an open beta.

Before deciding to download and install the beta, please take some time to read this post for some important information:

  • What is meant by "beta" and "open beta"
  • An entirely new "Pro" license level (above Advanced)
  • How licensing will be handled during the beta period
  • Information about the help files

How to download the installer can be found at the end of this post, but please take the time to read this information before deciding to download and install it

What is beta software? Beta software is code that has been tested by the programmers who have written it and has received some internal testing by other members of the company. The software is stable enough to be tested by a rather large group, but it is not software that is ready for general released.

Why an open beta? We have received many requests from people asking to join the beta testing group. In the past, we have kept that group closed, and have always had a backlog of people wanting to take part. To make management of the beta group simpler, we are going to open the beta to everyone.

Who should use beta software? Beta testing is not for everyone. By nature, beta software will have more problems in it than generally released software. Testing beta software allows a user to find out if an enhancement does what they need, and if not, provide suggestions on how to fix or improve the software. Do NOT use the beta software if you are not ready to uncover bugs/problems with it. People who volunteer to test beta software must report problems, but please do not complain that there are problems - problems are expected! When testing beta software, please make sure to save often so that if something crashes, you'll minimize your loss.

How can I report issues, make suggestions, or ask questions about the beta? There is a set of forums for the open beta, where you can report bugs or give other feedback, here.  Please do not open help desk tickets for S5 issues, instead post a message in one of those 2 forums.

The "Pro" license level

At this time, the difference between Advanced and Pro are that the Pro license level enables the use of Motion Effects. These new features are intended to improve the experience of using very large numbers of circuits (though they can be used with small numbers of circuits too).

During the beta period, certain users' licenses will act as if they were Pro level licenses. Please see the next section of this post, "Does my license cover this release?", for details.

Does my license cover this release?

Depending upon when you purchased, renewed, or upgraded your license, it may or may not cover version 5.0. However, during the beta period (which will last through October of 2017), some licenses that do not really cover version 5.0 will act as if they do cover it: If your license is valid for version 4 or higher, then during the beta period it will act as if it covers version 5.0.

Also, during the beta period, Advanced licenses will act as if they are Pro licenses.

In this way, even if you don't have a license that really covers the new version or the new Pro license level, you can try them out during the beta period without committing to purchase them.

After the beta period is over, if your license does not really cover version 5.0, it will stop acting as if it does. Similarly, if you have an Advanced license, it will stop letting you use Pro level features. At that time, you could either:

  • Purchase a license upgrade, if you want to continue using 5.0 and continue using Pro features; or:
  • Purchase a license renewal, if you want to continue using 5.0 but do not wish to continue using Pro features; or:
  • Uninstall version 5.0 and reinstall version 4.3.18 (or an earlier version).

Please note that if at the end of the beta period you decide not to upgrade or renew, not everything that you created during the beta period will necessarily be useable afterwards. Specifically:

  • Any "intensity files" that you create during the beta period (such as by the Pixel Editor or SuperStar) will not be useable afterwards unless you upgrade.
  • Any motion effects/Sequencer files created in S5 can not be used in the PIxel Editor of S4.

Also, please be warned that although the above list is intended to be complete, it is possible that there are other incompatibilities that were overlooked here and not listed. It is always wise in any case to back up any of your data files, even those that you have no reason to believe will be affected by the upgrade (such as your sequence files).

You can check whether or not your license covers version 5.0 by using the Software License Retrieval page. Please note that if your license covers 4.0 (or higher) but not 5.0, the Software License Retrieval page will not mention to you the fact that your license will temporarily work for 5.0 during the beta period.

Special information about the help files
In this initial beta release, the help files are not completely updated.   We are working on updating our help files.

What's new in this version
S5 was announced at the 2017 Christmas Expo.  You can view this powerpoint presentation for more information on what is new in S5.  Please note this is a large file, and you may need to download and install a power point viewer. http://www1.lightorama.com/s5/WhatsNewInShowTime5-WithNotes.pdf

How do I get this new version? 

The Important Announcements forum will have the latest beta release.  Look for the most recent post (usually located at the top of the forum) titled "Light O Rama version 5.0.XX released as an open beta"

Thanks for your help!

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Running S5 for this season

We fully intend on keeping S5 functional through the holiday season (and all the way up to the final production release).  What I mean by that is, at no time are we going to 'turn off' S5.  What you have been working on now  you should be able to run during the season - baring any bugs.   

Since this is Beta software, we may require you to install newer versions (as our betas can or may be time-limited), but we will always have a new version out BEFORE the old one expires.

The one thing that could throw a wrench into your display this year would be a bug, either new or existing, that prevents the show from running.  Remember, that this is beta software and that is a possibility.  Rest assured that we are pros and understand the impacts of our changes.  As we get closer to season,  we will minimize the changes to things that actually run shows. 

Bugs that impact shows will be given priority, and we will do our best to release bug fixes as needed.  However, because this is Beta software it will take longer to release than say a bug in R4 production.

In a nutshell:  Expect to be able to run S5 for this season.  Should something go wrong, have a backup plan to quickly move back to S4 if you can not live with your show being down.

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We have extended the beta period to 2/28/2018. What this means:

Versions 5.0.0 through 5.0.8 will still expire on 10/31/2017. 

  • If you have not renewed your license in the last year, you will no longer be able to use any of the beta versions through 5.0.8. You can either downgrade to the version you were using before, renew your license, or upgrade to beta version 5.0.10.
  • If you have an Advanced license and have tried using motion effects in any of those beta versions, you will lose access to the motion effects. If you don't want to lose access to your motion effects, you can either upgrade to a Pro license or upgrade to beta version 5.0.10.
  • If your license is current (i.e. has been renewed in the last year), no action is necessary -- you can continue to use any of the beta versions.

Version 5.0.10 will expire on 2/28/2018

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