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Computer tips for complete newbies


Al Saunders
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This may be an obvious suggestion/tip to a hardcore computer person but for the general computer "user" that doesn't tinker with settings much this may save some stress.

 

First is if your running your show on a desktop, go into settings and disable (turn off) automatic windows updates. Sometimes these updates cause your PC to reboot and in doing so it shuts down your show schedule until you restart it.

 

If you are running your show from a laptop do the above and also change the power save setting to never sleep when plugged in. Have your screen sleep but not the laptop itself or else you'll have to "wake" it up for the show to start.

 

Lastly, I turn off my wireless on my laptop during show season. This may not be a big deal but unless you need the wireless to run part of your show if the wireless is off you won't get any updates that may cause a reboot as described above.

 

I give this tip because I've had that stress of being outside with my wife in the car a few minutes before the show starts at 6pm. 5:58, 5:59, 6:00, 6:01, 6:02, 6:03 still no show and now a visitor shows up wanting to see the show! Quick, run in the house to the laptop! Click click, tap tap...Ok shows running. Sorry for the delay folks, Merry Christmas! :D

 

Also in getting so much ready for your first year show even if you know about this stuff you may overlook it. Good luck with your shows!

 

Later,

Al

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Some good tips AL.  Two years ago, my first year with LOR, I found out the hard way about the window updates.  I was in the middle of sequencing when my computer decided to shutdown and reboot because of a windows update.  Because of this I lost a lot of my sequence that I was working on.

 

And another tip is to back up your sequences, back up your sequences, back up your sequences.  Did I forget to say BACK UP YOUR SEQUENCES!!

Edited by 75redman
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I suggest also having a whole backup computer, with all the recent sequence updates, software and etc...all ready to go, just in case the computer decides to take an extended vacation. 

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Yes, forgot about the backing up tip. Believe it or not last year was my 4th year doing my show and I had NEVER done any back up. I now have all my LOR files on two thumb drives in seperate locations.

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Having a back up computer is a good idea. Last year my laptop died the first week of the shiite and I was unprepared. Caused issues all season when I switched to my new laptop. I would also suggest using a separate location to store sequences and shows from years past. I have an external HD that I keep everything on.

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I repair computers from time to time for various people and the usual cause these days are power supply failures. That's not an absolute of course. When they come to me, they have to be in really bad shape, viruses, malware and of course hardware failures. 

 

When it comes to our show computers, no matter if a desktop, laptop or whatever, the fact is, it can fail and getting it up and running again in short order, could be a severe problem. I always have at least two ready to run, the show computer and a backup. Just so happens I have two more more with the software and sequences too but not always ready but I do keep the files on more than one flash drive so I could make  either of the two ready to run in a matter of minutes.

 

Disabling the internet is a great idea as you don't need any security updates or AV updates coming in when you aren't wanting them. But, make sure you do those the next morning. Always, always have the security updates installed and the AV updated, scanned completely but disable all that before your show starts. Personally, I always run the visualizer too while the show is running outside. This way I can see what's running and sometimes I'll do a quick compare to insure that all controllers are operating properly just in case a fuse blows or GFCI.

Edited by dgrant
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