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I want to move on from printing thumbnail sheets for equestrian and am looking for some advice.
I have a Pc with monitor, laptop and two additional monitors.
I'm looking for the best solution for customers to select images and software needed.
I don;t intend spending a fortune on the likes of digital express, i just want 3 viewing stations allowing customers to write down iamge numbers. Nothing too flash or confusing.
How would it connect together etc?
Do i need 3 seperate pc's/macs? or can 3 monitors be connected to a server?
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The first thing your going to need is a graphic card capable of running multiple monitors, Something from the " Matrox " brand perhaps..? These can run as many as 4 monitors from one computer......!
Its simpler and more cost effective than running several computers/Servers combos....!
That would be a starting point, As for software I don't have a clue, Hardware is my thing........
Here is a link to Matrox..
problem with viewing stations is people hog them, other people then walk away, they drink coffee and eat burgers whilst watching thier pics,many of them just want to see where their horses feet are on jump[s etc.
you could try mike , mr walrus on here he has software he has created
You could use a number of photoframes. Just transfer the pics to memory cards.
Use jalbum and an appropriate skin. I sell one with a built in cart and server, but if you dont mind your clients filling in an order form use the chameleon skin. (jalbum and chameleon is free)
Running Jalbum in server mode
I would suggest that you use laptops rather than something like matox. I just bought 6 laptops from ebay @ £75 each and there fine.
Thats all you need to do, is have your main pc (this needs a bit of grunt 2gb ram and dual core) the viewing stations can be cheap. When an image or folder is addedd to Jalbum it creates a website gallery in a folder on your main PC. Right click on the index.html in that folder and share. On your viewing station run FF in F11 mode, (full screen) and point at that index.html on you main pc.
In chameleon I would suggest that you include instructions in your header and make the file number BIG and red. This is html so get an image with REFRESH, and point at the index.html file. so if a new customer come up and clicks the refresh button and any new pictures are shown.
You can see something similar all working here
All depends realy, if you want to maximise your sales the more people who can see there pics the better, we havent had a prob with hogging yet, a decent spec pc in our case running xp and laptops and cheap monitors , the non glossy laptops work best, we use acds ver 5 on the laptops and point them at the PC. You have to have enough people to man the desk but again it depends on how much the event is worth to you, if people cant see the pics then they wont buy. Simply down load the files to the PC and use the lap tops to browse them on a wired network, we can go up to 8 laptops before the system starts to complain, more and I think you are in server territiory. Reading your OP you want 3 viewing stations and have 1 pc 1 laptop and 2 monitors? Unless you virtulise off the PC you will need 2 lap tops and 1 monitor. We took the view early on that the simpler the better, I do not have any great IT skills and mid event with a tent full of people is not the time to start developing them also with a simple set up its easier to scale to the event. I have had BAD expirences with Vista, dropping the network on a whim at random times and will only use machines running XP at present. I have heard good things about systems like the one that Mark uses but in the end most of us use a specific solution to our workflow.
Today I dusted off and old Toshiba laptop (long forgotten and laid to rest in the garage) and downloaded Jalbum and Ultimate View. I networked the old Tosh with my newer laptop and it works fine.
I've just bought another old Tosh from ebay for £50 and will keep an eye out for another two, giving me 4 viewing stations.
Thanks for the help guy's.
I scale from 1 laptop and server up to 24 depending on the event
try and hook up more than 10 to win XP Pro and it will drop one to add another, XP home allows up to 4 concurrent connections
Win server - as many as you want - but rather expensive, and needs maintenance
The second biggest headache is mobile phone theft - as you cant keep an eye on all the monitors all the time - put up a notice and you make those that haven't thought about ding it do it, this issue has really ramped up this season
Paul, what has mobile phone theft got to do with monitors? Surely it isn't you responsibility for others mobile phones?
snapper pauls talking punters taking screenshots with mobile phone cameras rather than paying for pics, we even get it with paper contact sheets where the pics are inch by half inch, the buggers still go around snapping them for their bebo sites.
Very annoying we try to stop them when we can, saying these images are copyright and owned by ourselves
Right, got it.
I can see it being an issue now that camera phone are touching 8 mega pixels.
LOL aye I had somone want to snap a viewing session with there mobby phone to go to ASDA to print them off
Once I picked my jaw off the ground and told them very nice that I had to actually eat and things with the money they where supposed to spend to buy some pictures.. They eventually understood..
Quote: Snapper pauls talking punters taking screenshots with mobile phone cameras rather than paying for pics
See this happening a lot more this year. We now have anti glare screen over our viewing stations. don't tell them, but if they don't use flash then the screens do not work. but even mobiles have flash now that reflects the flash and makes the image totally useless.
Once we see the flash, then we always confront them.
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