Running lights from a PC?

tgates

Member
I suppose I'll throw my hat into the ring too. We've had a Light Jocky running in a hot, dusty elevator room on a bottom of the line Dell with XP home for a good two years now without any major crashes or even reboots that I am aware of. It's running a good number of colorblasts all night, all year, at an install at a hotel. It largely sits untouched, but every month or so we add or edit cues for various holidays or special parties. We also use two other light jockey systems for shows and problems are extremely rare. I've not heard any problems with any of PC versions of the major boards, and have done a number of shows with a MAXXYZ PC, thought it's been finicky as far as upgrades, once it's up and running it's been completly solid. Just put as little software as you can onto the machine, close up the network as much as you can if you do need it on the net for remote applications or what not, and DON'T use a anti-virus (though a firewall is probably a good idea).

Just stay off the web, email and file sharing, don't transfer anything but files you need on it and there is no need for an anti-virus program.
 
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derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
...Just stay off the web, email and file sharing, don't transfer anything but files you need on it and there is no need for an anti-virus program.
Funny you should mention this, as I was reading Strand's "Palette Series" User Manual tonight, and I see that the consoles include: Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Notepad Text Editor, and MS Paint. Considering my experience with some of these programs on my Desktop PC, I WOULD NOT want them anywhere near my lighting control system. Strand Palette users, and I believe there are two of you out there, care to comment?
 

len

Well-Known Member
I used to believe that, but I'm not sure anymore. I've run Lightfactory in three shows now. The first one with an Express 72 tied to it for 72 inputs. The second one I ran with no external hardware control. The third one I ran with an Enttec 10 slider playback unit. I did use the sliders somewhat during show prep, and then used the playback unit for it's Cue GO and BACK buttons only. The sliders were taped to the zero position.

I think your success is partly based on the type of shows I assume you're doing. Theatrical stuff, I assume, requires a lot less punting, than does the rock and roll stuff that I do. Programming chases can be tedious, but I still wouldn't give up my software since there are so many options it gives me over a big hardware system.
 

OnTheRock

Member
I think your success is partly based on the type of shows I assume you're doing. Theatrical stuff, I assume, requires a lot less punting, than does the rock and roll stuff that I do. Programming chases can be tedious, but I still wouldn't give up my software since there are so many options it gives me over a big hardware system.

Yes, it is theatrical stuff.

What software do you use? A quick search through your previous post summaries didn't yield anything obvious.
 

len

Well-Known Member
Yes, it is theatrical stuff.
What software do you use? A quick search through your previous post summaries didn't yield anything obvious.

I use LightJockey I run off a notebook pc. I chose it back in 2000, when it and HogPC were the only 2 choices. I didn't like the interface on Hog. I also have a separate touch screen monitor to call cues, a Fingers (not made any longer) fader board, and a wireless tablet I use as an RFU. I'm also thinking of getting an X-Keys http://www.piengineering.com/xkeys/xkpro.php or http://www.piengineering.com/xkeys/xkcontrol.php because I like buttons. Most bands I work with the number of cues I run per song tends to be in the 60 - 100 range, and because of the lack of time I have on the in, I need to punt 90% of them. Having an extra set of buttons would be a help.
 
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Funny you should mention this, as I was reading Strand's "Palette Series" User Manual tonight, and I see that the consoles include: Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Notepad Text Editor, and MS Paint. Considering my experience with some of these programs on my Desktop PC, I WOULD NOT want them anywhere near my lighting control system. Strand Palette users, and I believe there are two of you out there, care to comment?

We own a Palette Preset 48/96. I do not use any of the added "windows" features. These features are a part of windows enbedded and I assume that is why they include them. I have used the media player to run smpte time code to see how it worked, but without having a way to output the audio from the console or input audio, it doesn't serve much use to me. I am running remote video using a laptop running wireless thru a router attached to the console and have a wireless remote. I do find these very usefull, expeciality the remote video. In a pinch I can run lights from off stage. I have done this before and it worked great. As far as the other features, I can do any of them on the laptop without worrying about causing problems with my console. I don't find a need to surf the net while I have a show going.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Funny you should mention this, as I was reading Strand's "Palette Series" User Manual tonight, and I see that the consoles include: Windows Explorer, Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Notepad Text Editor, and MS Paint. Considering my experience with some of these programs on my Desktop PC, I WOULD NOT want them anywhere near my lighting control system. Strand Palette users, and I believe there are two of you out there, care to comment?

Strand's Flying in someone to train me on my Classic Palette in a few weeks. Disabling as much of that stuff as possible will be at the top of my list of concerns.
 

OnTheRock

Member
Strand's Flying in someone to train me on my Classic Palette in a few weeks. Disabling as much of that stuff as possible will be at the top of my list of concerns.

Some things are important, somethings not so important:
MS Paint: good for taking screen captures of bugs with the PrintScreen key
Notepad Text Editor: nice and lightweight, good for taking messages on the fly
Windows Explorer: good for getting to files
Outlook Express: benign, but could disappear, really good for virus distribution, but could be used for sending MS Paint images of bugs
Internet Explorer: big, bloated and can cause problems depending upon the site, should only be used between shows for updates and such
Windows Media Player: broken, cantankerous, and bitchy
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
Strand's Flying in someone to train me on my Classic Palette in a few weeks. Disabling as much of that stuff as possible will be at the top of my list of concerns.
But you ARE going to be able to install GTA on it, right? <trying to be whack!:)>
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Internet Explorer: big, bloated and can cause problems depending upon the depending upon the site, should only be used between shows for updates and such
Well, you can't really get rid of IE on a windoze machine, it would have a heart attack. You can, and should not connect your lighting network to an internet connection, especially if using Windoze based consoles. The other precaution you could take if you want to have your console connected to the interweb, if you have the ability, is to set up your netowrk hardware to only allow communication to the Strand website for upgrade purposes, and use a firewall to block ALL other traffic.
 

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