# Writing a grant for booth-y things.

#### curtis73

##### Active Member
Our tech booth (lovingly named John Wilkes) is pretty pathetic. I have a Mackie 24+4 analog console, an older ION that we just got a couple years ago, and (believe it or not) a reel-to-reel tape machine. I added a CD player, but I left the R2R in place just to show the executive board how pathetic our tech is.

So we're finally writing a grant to upgrade the following:

• our office computers which are currently a mixture of Pentium and Core i2 towers running Vista
• our network which consists of a router, a switch, and cat5 hanging from the drop ceiling
• our booth tech. We're not pushing for a digital console in this particular grant, as this charitable fund focuses on smaller office/computer grants, not arts/production
There will be 6 office computers and I mostly have them figured out. We will more or less let each of the 5 employees have an allowance for the computer of their choice, and then we'll likely do a Mac Mini for box office. As TD, I will want a laptop with all the processor and all the video for CAD stuff. The ED will likely want a laptop/workstation so he/she can take presentations on the road for meetings/lunches/etc. AD wants a Mac for graphic design.... you get the idea.

Can you tell me if I'm off base with my booth desires? I think I'll ask for an iPad for future digital sound console reasons, a Mac Mini for running Qlab and video, and a touchscreen laptop/Nomad dongle, plus additional touchscreen monitor, plus ION keyboard for programming/cueing. That will prevent us from carting the ION up and down from the elevated booth for designing/tech. The wireless I can figure out later or on my own. Heck, for that matter, I can just drop a cat5 for now.

1) does this sound like a logical direction for booth things?
3) am I missing something with the ION client? Should I do the whole laptop/monitor thing, or should I do something simpler like a R-pi to be a client (keep in mind, I'm not even sure what those words actually mean, I'm just coughing up phrases I've heard from people who actually know computer things.)

#### DrewE

##### Well-Known Member
Do you have a decent (i.e. laser, maybe color/larger format/higher speed, depending on your needs) printer somewhere? Do you need another decent printer?

Will the mac mini be sufficient for whatever video you need to run? If it's just playback to a single projector, quite possibly; but if you have some sort of on-the-fly rendering stuff, or multiple projectors, or other fancier needs, I'd think you might want something a bit more powerful...but I also could be way wrong, as I'm not super well up on such things.

#### macsound

##### Well-Known Member
I'm always a fan of Macs. I have lots of them and they're easy to support, both short and longterm.
They also have a far higher resale value than PCs and in a pinch, you can pick one up at a local Apple store that is identical to a broken or misplaced one.
A big reccomendation is get that wired ethernet sorted. Ubiquity gear is amazing and in line with consumer stuff. And buy the dongles for the mac laptops so you have them when you need them. Wifi is ok but not when the box office is backed up, there's a Zoom call in or whatever.

My biggest gripe with PCs and why I try to not support them anymore. Drivers, windows updates, quirks with specialty software, it's all a headache.

I have a couple virtual Windows 10 machines on my macbook pro and I use them in snapshot mode so that every time they reboot they are in the exact same state, no updates, no viruses, no changes. All the data is on a separate partition. (can't do that with the M1, only downside)

And as much as support is annoying, if you have 5 identical mac minis and 5 identical macbook pros, support is far easier. You can use a 3rd party management system like fleetsmith or do it manually, but your spreadsheet will look far simpler than with a dozen mismatched machines.

Also Microsoft stuff, its fine. I use the web and installed version of excel, word, outlook, powerpoint, whatever, everyday. Maybe its not the same as the PC version but you'd only know if you had a PC sitting next to your mac. And the web version is (for obvious reasons) 100% identical, PC to mac.

Biggest upside for Macs - they don't restart to do updates on their own. Windows starts a countdown if you ignore the button for too long and then poof.

##### Member
As an IT Guy who works with non-profits, I fully agree with @Aaron Becker. Every non-profit I have worked with are either as he described or had someone give them a grant for computers 5-8 years ago and are in the same boat as you now are. Rather than let everyone roll their own, the greatest bang for the buck long term is to establish a standard desktop environment for the back office. While Mac has it's place on the artistic side, I am a Windows fan for back office functions. If your AD is creating brochures and programs, then publisher (which only runs in a Windows environment) is really the right application for him though he may want to have a mac available for some of the artsy stuff.

If you are a 501C3 organization, take a look at Tech Soup (techsoup.org) for their office365 donation programs. For a very reasonable monthly fee, you can get a desktop license the full suite of products for your in office folks and the online version for everyone else for free. The functionality of G-suite apps cannot compete.

Local NAS for big storage is a good idea IF you are religious about having 3 copies of everything - Real time, local backup, and off site backup.

For ticketing and other development related back office things, have you looked into Tessitura?

#### curtis73

##### Active Member
I will consider the thought of using all the same platform. Selfishly, I really don't like Apple stuff. I know, learning curve and I'll get used to it. I had an iPhone for 4 months before I gave it away. I try using the macs at work and want to rip out my hair. I was actually just given an iMac with a bad HD. Of course, you can't just replace it with an $80 Barracuda, you have to spend$500 on a specific HD from Apple. It's like buying a Mercedes only to realize that a radiator costs $1500 instead of$125 like your chevy. Grrr.

But, given the need for Mac in at least two positions (booth and box office), I may end up having to deal with it if we go with all one platform. I know my utter hatred for Mac is irrational, but buying into a proprietary system makes me feel dirty and duped like I just bought a timeshare in Antarctica.

#### macsound

##### Well-Known Member
iMacs do use regular harddrives except for all the current SSD only models, but those are easily adapted using a \$12 adapter.

While it may seem like Apple is proprietary, its no more proprietary than Windows. It's more like a car company since it's vertically integrated.

PCs are the weird thing that the company you bought the box from doesn't make any of the components on the inside or the software it runs on, they just build the plastic shell and do the marketing videos.

And if you feel like it, buy any Intel mac and install windows on it for your use case but everything else uses the mac partition.

#### almorton

##### Well-Known Member
I was going to mention my partner's mac pro that has a couple of generic SATA drives in it, a generic Nvm SSD to boot from and a generic PC graphics card, but @macsound got there first. Macs are no more proprietry than a windows laptop or ... a surface. Macs are nothing to fear and I say this as a Windows dev. In fact if you you really want to not be proprietry, you should ne running a Linux I guess. At least they're open source.

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#### TimMc

##### Well-Known Member
I was going to mention my partner's mac pro that has a couple of generic SATA drives in it, a generic Nvm SSD to boot from and a generic PC graphics card, but @macsound got there first. Macs are no more proprietry than a windows laptop or ... a surface. Macs are nothing to fear and I say this as a Windows dev. In fact if you you really want to not be proprietry, you should ne running a Linux I guess. At least they're open source.
Linux with Nixie® tube displays... a LinNixie? /nudge wink.

JohnD

Senior Team