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I have been working with the local fire department for a couple years, doing sequences for their ladder truck in the Christmas parade.  Now, they want to expand their use of pixels and LOR to other uses.  They want to get a dedicated computer and learn to do projects without relying on me to do the work for them.  The first question they asked me is what are the recommended computer requirements.  I checked the FAQs and I think they are way out of date as those say that the operating system can be Windows XP; thought I read somewhere that Windows 10 is required for S5.  Does anyone know what the current, recommended computer requirements are? 

They do a lot of community outreach and go to a lot of schools throughout the year to talk with the kids about fire prevention, what to do in case of a fire, etc.  The project they are talking about would be a pixel matrix on the side of one of their trucks with 1 inch spacing between pixels, and at least a100x48 grid, maybe as large as 150x72.  Their plan is to convert short video clips to play on this matrix using S5.  (More questions on this in a separate post.)  What would the recommended computer requirements be to do this?

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There are different requirements, depending on what you are doing at the time.  S5 dictates the OS (and possibly the RAM, but W10 probably needs 4G min)

1) Display A SHOW.  This could be a laptop with lots of good USB ports to connect to the controllers. (advantage, is it is also portable and small, coupled with controllers on a truck, this could be good)

2) Design a show.  This is where much of the hard stuff is done. Good Graphics capacity (ability for 2 Monitors is sweet). Since I don't do Video, I can only say a I3 class is good enough for the basics)

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Thank you for the insight.  I have always used S4 until this year.  Seeing what they wanted this year, I decided to make the change to S5 and decided I should have changed over when it first came out.  I use the same computer I have always used at home for the sequencing, but last year, I loaded the show on a laptop to play in the truck.  This year, they have invested in an N4-G4-MP3 ShowTime Director for use in the truck for the Christmas parades and static display of the truck at different locations.  Went from one CTB-16PC and a single Pixie 16 last year to two CTB-16PCs and 6 Pixie 16s this year.  There comment for this year's parades was we want to go from First Place (which they took last year) to "Awesome" this year.  They are really into it this year, truck is a little over 40 feet in length with the bucket and ladder on top.  They want to be able to raise the ladder to "advertise" their location when they do static locations this year.  Truck has 4 matrices on it this year.  Anyway, that project is pretty well on its way for this year, props are made and they are building detachable aluminum frames to hang on the truck for all the props and display elements.  Have to be able to remove things fast should the truck need to respond to a fire.  Anyway, what we are working on now is a different truck, there hazmat response truck.  This is the truck that they will use throughout the year for community outreach and education at the schools, etc.  Told them I would help and advise, but they needed to learn how to sequence and set up.  I don't want to give them any erroneous information; even though I have been using LOR since the original version, I am only two months into S5.  Health problems preclude me from doing my own show anymore and don't want to leave them hanging in the lurch if I am unable to continue.  Thus, it's important that they at least learn the basics for their outreach projects.  They said they have a contract with Dell to provide all their computers and they want to get one that can be used into the future.

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I can only say for sure that S5 will run on Win-7, Win-10, and Windows Server 2012r2.  I do my sequencing on a Windows 10 desktop that has a i7-8700 with 16GB of RAM, a GeForce 1070 Ti video card with four 24 inch monitors.  I play the Christmas show on an older Windows 7 desktop, and the year round landscape show runs on my Dell R710 server.  I can not run S5 Sequencer on the server because of the video driver, but everything else run on it.

 

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I agree with Jim. I too have run both Windows 7 previously then upgraded to Windows 10 on all machines here. It will run on a laptop with a reasonable amount of memory and of course insuring the power is available to it for your parade. Please note that some things get turned off when on "battery", like USB ports. Its important to look for all possibilities and insure they stay on. Most laptops available today will run the software.

      At home, I use a dedicated desktop to design and run the show. Its an older Dell T5500, former server with now Windows 10 Professional installed. Dual Xeon CPUs and 74Gb of Ram and a higher end video card supporting four monitors. This way, I can move things around as needed during the design process.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/mflz0xflpl4u3xq/Computer Room medium.JPG?dl=0

Edited by dgrant
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