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Question on PC Resources and re-booting


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Had an interesting thing happen last night. I have six small trees in the front of the house and when I looked outside, those were the only lights doing the sequence. They were doing the right sequence but none of the other lights on either controller were working during the sequence. I have two 16 channel controllers. The sequence ended and the next sequence started and all of the lights were working properly. I waited around and all was good including the same sequence I witness just earlier. All was fine. I came out a little bit later and the same sequence was running only the six front trees. I thought I was going nuts so I disabled all sequences and went into the hardware utility and lite up all the lights with no problem. Started all of the sequences again and all seemed fine but then a different sequence only had the six small trees on. I rebooted the entire system (hate doing that at 8:30, but perfection we must have) and everything was fine.

So the question is how often should the PC be robooted or how often do others re-boot their system? I had not touched my machine for about 2 weeks prior to this happening and after the re-boot, have not seen a similiar issue.

Love LOR and looking to expand my channels from 32 to 64 for next year. People are blown away by the results.

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I have not rebooted my XP pc since November 21. Although, there were two nights when the lights suddenly go off on the quarter hour. They were on completely different unrelated nights. I disabled LOR and everything was fine. Sounds very similar...

I am planning to go from 56 to 88 channels. (mainly for my Big-Daddy tree)

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What OS?

My light show computer is Win98SE. I usually reboot it once or twice a season preemptively. The first season I didn't and Windows ran out of resources. Win98 was known for leaking resources like mad and wasn't made to be running 24/7. The same issues happened when I used to use it as a webserver.

-Tim

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However, Windows 95, 98 and ME editions are based on the same kernel. NT, WIN2K, and XP based on the other. They (the latter 3) get progressively better in handeling constant on time. XP being the best, and about 100 times more stable than all other versions.

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Dhbaxter wrote:

[snip] All was fine. I came out a little bit later and the same sequence was running only the six front trees. [snip]
So the question is how often should the PC be robooted or how often do others re-boot their system? [snip]

Do you run only one sequence at to time?

Are you running LOR 1.5.0?

You said "Started all of the sequences again and all seemed fine but then a different sequence only had the six small trees on" Does that mean that you started the show?

Have you tried disable/enable the show when this happens. I would like to know if that makes a difference. This is a wierd one...
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tfischer wrote:

What OS?

My light show computer is Win98SE. I usually reboot it once or twice a season preemptively. The first season I didn't and Windows ran out of resources. Win98 was known for leaking resources like mad and wasn't made to be running 24/7. The same issues happened when I used to use it as a webserver.

-Tim






You could go my rout! I have a GFCI problem so about 5 times a night the computer gets re-booted! Besides that problem, 98SE has had no problems for me, even if it DID manage to stay on a few nights!

--Daniel L
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LightORama wrote:

LightORama wrote:
Do you run only one sequence at to time?

Are you running LOR 1.5.0?

You said "Started all of the sequences again and all seemed fine but then a different sequence only had the six small trees on" Does that mean that you started the show?

Have you tried disable/enable the show when this happens. I would like to know if that makes a difference. This is a wierd one...





Windows XP - SP2 is the windows software with LOR 1.5.0. I only run on sequence at a time (all musical)

I had disabled the shows from the control panel (lightbuld in tray) then enabled all again. That is what I mean by restarting the sequences. So yes, the first time I did disable/enable the show. When the same symptoms appeared again, I figured it had to be with the PC running the show and then I rebooted.

I ran this through halloween without an issus and really went 19 days in December without a reboot or an issue. For the last 2 days since the reboot the show has not had a single issue.

Also the trees that were running were on the first 6 channels of controller 1.

Below is a link to the sequence video of a bit before and after the sequence. One thing I did notice earlier was that at the end of the sequence, all of the lights that were suppose to be on came on so that they could fade down.


http://home.comcast.net/~jessica_baxter/SeqIssue1.wmv
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Dhbaxter wrote:

[lots o snip]One thing I did notice earlier was that at the end of the sequence, all of the lights that were suppose to be on came on so that they could fade down.

This now is making sense to me. I am not sure exactly what happened to the machine BUT what ever it was, Light-O-Rama was starved so there was some type of resource problem...

The reason you lights went out.... Light-O-Rama controller need to get a (director is running) message every two seconds (or so)... If that message is not received then they shut down their lights.... This prevents your lights from staying on forever it there is some type of system problem or a com wire gets unplugged.....

LOR sends the (I'm alive) message out a few times every second. For LOR to be starved of resources for 2 seconds is really long even for a windows operating system. But once the controller shuts down the lights, it then receives commands to turn others on so only those lights get turned on. At the end when there was a fade down, the command that is sent to the controller is (Fade for 100% to 0% so it will turn those lights on to 100% to start the fade (which you would not notice if they were already at 100% as they should be)

The question is what was the problem. I do not think that we have any significant leaks in the LOR show player... I have run it for months without any signs of memory leakage BUT a particular show could cause an issue we are not aware of.

It sounds like you may want to watch the task manager and see if you are loosing memory over time or the CPU is running hot...
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LightORama wrote:

Dhbaxter wrote:
[lots o snip]One thing I did notice earlier was that at the end of the sequence, all of the lights that were suppose to be on came on so that they could fade down.

...The question is what was the problem. I do not think that we have any significant leaks in the LOR show player... I have run it for months without any signs of memory leakage BUT a particular show could cause an issue we are not aware of.

It sounds like you may want to watch the task manager and see if you are loosing memory over time or the CPU is running hot...

I have had the task manager up since the reboot and I am losing memory each show. I am not going to be working on the machine in any great effort for the remaining 10 days. I have another machine and I may just run a test on the other machine after the season is over.

One last thing was that I did apply the firmware patch between Halloween and Christmas for the fading, since I seem to be attracted to the fading and it was driving me nuts.

Great product and service.
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Dhbaxter wrote:

I have had the task manager up since the reboot and I am losing memory each show. I am not going to be working on the machine in any great effort for the remaining 10 days.

Thanks for checking... If you have the time, would you check the program called LORMonitor.exe in the "Processes" Tab of the Task Manager. Two fields (Mem Usage) and (Peak Mem Usage)... I would be curious to know if those numbers are increasing... They should jump up after the first show but then should stabalize.... If you have time to check them it is appreciated.
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LightORama wrote:

Dhbaxter wrote:
I have had the task manager up since the reboot and I am losing memory each show. I am not going to be working on the machine in any great effort for the remaining 10 days.

Thanks for checking... If you have the time, would you check the program called LORMonitor.exe in the "Processes" Tab of the Task Manager. Two fields (Mem Usage) and (Peak Mem Usage)... I would be curious to know if those numbers are increasing... They should jump up after the first show but then should stabalize.... If you have time to check them it is appreciated.

From the show last night:

Start of Musical: LORMointor: 5528K Peak Mem Uage: 112276K

End of the Musical Show: LORMonitor: 6788K Peak Mem Usage: 144508K

This Morning: LORMonitor: 6240K Peak Mem Usage: 165324K
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