Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's done....
The slideshow presentation, that is.

The presentation of our 2010 road trip to Alaska went pretty well last night. NOT!

Murphy was in attendance.

Extension cords (which I forgot to bring with me) were all two-prong affairs but the projector had three prongs. And extension cords were needed since the wire from the projector was only 4' long and would not reach the outlet from the optimum set-up position. Someone from the photo club happened to live a block away from the library and she took Terry home to get an adapter so everything could work together.

The slideshow, which ran without a hitch at home, froze several times on my computer once the computer got hooked up to the projector. This, of course, caused several delays before we simply switched over to a friend's laptop using a copy I had stored on a memory stick for just such a situation.

The half hour lost due to this frustration inducing SNAFU produced an outbreak of nerves on my part and a much longer than anticipated program running time, causing people to start squirming in their seats. I ended up halting the show as we were returning to the lower forty-eight in Portland, OR. Folks never got to see our birding in Utah, the visit to Fort Bridger in Wyoming, or hot air ballooning in Colorado Springs.

We did get to discuss portions of our trip with several folks who had been to Alaska either by ship or plane. It was interesting to see them nodding their heads as we showed slides of places they had visited and hear them agree with some of my comments about those places.

This morning, when I ran the slideshow at home, it worked perfectly. It could be that while I merely clicked through the slides rapidly at home (1,2,3,4...etc.) I was pausing to discuss a few of the slides during the performance last night. This gave the computer an opportunity to cogitate in the background and access the RAM--of which I have only the minimum 1 GB--causing the computer to seize up.

To prevent that from happening in the future, I just ordered some memory chips from Crucial to boost my RAM to 4 GB. Should help with the running of a sometimes balky Photoshop program as well. In any event, more RAM for the old computer is cheaper than a new computer--which would probably come with either the basic package or an exorbitant boost in price for the larger RAM package.

That is all.


Rev. Paul said...

I'm glad it went as well as it did, Murphy notwithstanding. Live and learn, eh?

The extra RAM will be just what the doctor ordered. Or is that The Doctor? I keep losing track. :)

Teresa said...

Here is a rule of thumb to live by. Always know that the technology WILL fail during a presentation. Have backup info to discuss when it does. Maybe some printed photos or just some informational points for people to consider.

The other couple of things... make a list of all the items you need to take with you when doing a presentation, print it out and put it in your computer bag. This way you don't forget any cords or batteries (got this one from a photography podcast about how to remember to bring all the equipment needed for a shoot). Hit Radio Shack and buy yourself a small laptop surge protector They have some that look like this. So your battery doesn't have to deal with too much wonky power.

I'm gonna guess the problems were caused by one of several other things.

Possibly the projector plug rather than the limited RAM. The extra RAM will help make your machine faster, but you could still have the same problem next time using the same equipment and power options.

Either the power supply to the projector was bad or the plug from the projector to the computer was not playing nice with your port.

Oddly enough it could even be the driver on your computer for the port you used to connect to the projector. This would cause issues during a presentation while connected, but not when you run things directly to your computer screen.

Also if you were running your laptop off of a battery for the presentation - that could cause issues too since laptops don't run as efficiently on battery as they do on standard power.

Ain't technology grand. LOL.

joated said...

Teresa, we DID have lots of paper stuff to talk about (what it was like traveling with a caravan, what advantages we experienced in traveling with a group, handouts showing the relative positions of the towns we stopped in in BC, the Yukon and Alaska). We also stopped an purchased a power strip knowing we would need more than one outlet at a distance. AND, as I mentioned I had previously backed up my slideshow to a memory stick and confirmed that by buddy would have his lap top available...just in case.

Still is frustrating, however.