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 Post subject: LAN SURVIVAL GUIDE: Version 12.0 - with new Touch UI
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:28 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:00 pm
Posts: 846
Location: The Twilight Zone
LAN SURVIVAL GUIDE: Version 12.1 - with added Start Menu

Some of you will try to stay awake from whatever time you wake up on Friday morning, possibly have a full day at work, then game solidly till Sunday evening. You will fail despite mainlining energy drinks and sugary snacks. You will need a few things to make the weekend bearable, but with a bit of planning can actually be very comfortable.
An airbed with a battery pump, foot pump or mains pump. An inflatable Lilo is suitable alternative. Sleeping bag / quilt cover, especially if you sleep nude, or we will draw on you with markers. Or shave you. Also comfortable are sleeping bag suits, like a sleeping bag with arms and legs, it is very possible to fall fast asleep at your PC with these however so you may want to stick with sleeping on the floor to avoid wearing a spacebar shaped groove into your forehead.

Pillow - not just for sleep, those venue chairs can make you ass go numb unless...
Chair - not everyone has one, not everyone can bring one, but if you do and you can - bring your own big-ass comfy chair.
Washbag - with razor, soap, facecloth & towel. There may be a towel onsite, which has probably been rubbed in 500 other people’s ass-crack first. Do you seriously want to dry yourself on that?
Deodorant - just in case you didn’t see it the first time.
More than one set of clothes.
More than one set of socks & underwear. You know you stink!!!
Mini fridge - THE essential item.
Cup or glass, you will drink at the LAN and from the can or bottle is fine unless you want a cup of tea or a dram of Jack with that coke, plus drinking straight from the bottle makes you look like a hillbilly. There are glasses at the venue in very limited supply.
Knife, fork, spoon, little spoon - well duh, there may be cutlery in the kitchen at the LAN, but would you trust where it’s been? Bits of dried Pot Noodle on a fork from 3 LANs ago are nasty.
Coffee, tea, milk, sugar - I personally find that grabbing handfuls of sugar and milk at McDonalds and a few teabags from home does the trick.
Mobile phone, not to be forgotten, good for ringing Daz to ask how to get back to the LAN when you wander off in the middle of the night to buy cigarettes/milk/food/hookers and get lost.
Mobile phone charger, as requested, because not every phone uses mini-USB to charge and your proprietary Samsung or Sony connector will not be in the possession of other attendees, guaranteed.
Slippers, OK don’t laugh, 3 days with the same shoes or trainers on can be very uncomfortable and stinky, also barefoot or socks only is nasty when walking to the loo and other attendees have peed on the floor.
Comfy clothes - I have had LANs spent sitting in the most uncomfy jeans EVAR, bring some trackies, you won’t regret it. Some people may bring a Onesie, we all remember Ben dressed like a monkey, he may look daft but was probably very comfy.
Big comfy top or fleece - There is central heating at the venue and it can be very toasty warm, but if you are playing an all-night Unreal-athon till 5am the temperature can drop and staying toasty warm is important. Going outside for fresh air/cigarettes/flying a kite it will be BLOODY COLD.
Wallet and cash - If you pay on the door then essential, but don't forget nearby shops to acquire essentials like a crate of lager, or to pay for Dominoes deliveries, or for the aforementioned cigarettes/milk/food/hookers.

Flash drives.
External USB hard drive, sometimes it's just faster and more convenient to transfer the 6 seasons of Star Trek TNG that Paramount have just converted to HD to the guy next to you that way than burn the bandwidth on the network.
Blank CDs / DVDs.
CD marker pen.
Ordinary pen.
Paper, yes, ordinary paper, for use with ordinary pen.
Rechargable spare batteries, preferably of the type your battery operated devices use.
Battery charger, (duh!?!).
Headphones or headset.
Powered USB hub and don't forget its power supply.
Screwdriver – Preferably with multiheads, for dismantling your machine whilst 'effing & blinding how much you hate it when whatever widget that sometimes pings off leaving you paralysed - pings off leaving you paralysed. Or for picking wax out of your ears, like all good philips screwdrivers. Also useful for building a whole PC in 15 minutes or less like Bobman did.
Spare watercooler fluid - If it leaks in transit or you now have minimum levels then a top up is always welcome. Please note that if you do forget then ask any car drivers if they have anti-freeze and just pour it in, honestly it is the same stuff.
Torch - Yes, for when the lights go out and it's NOT a movie badguy. Sometimes that electric junction box just has to pop. Also good for pretending to be Holly Johnson from Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
3G dongle or 3G phone with internet connection sharing, because everyone thinks they have up-to-date drivers for their graphics card and are wrong. Also good for watching dodgy far-east TV streaming websites to see the football. Also good for updating Steam to the correct version because you forgot to do it the night before and going offline or for activating games to play offline.
Duct Tape & WD40, why? Duct tape is good for holding down cables in trip areas, WD40 why the hell not? Fans start making horrible noises because the bearings are going and a quick squirt will see them good for the rest of the LAN.
Camera - You may have one on your phone but image quality is usually pap and even though I usually bring along an EOS350D to get some great snaps of the event I may forget, or decide not to take your picture if you are ugly.
Can of compressed air, great for removing dust bunnies that have built up in the PC over the year and the LAN is the only time you ever take the side off to feed them carrots.

PC or laptop, hell, even a Mac, but don't blame us if your Mac can't play LAN multiplayer games with PC's unless it is a Steam game, even then you are pushing your luck. Thanks to Gabe Newell you may also be able to run some Steam games on Linux, but if you do use a Linux machine, don’t forget your socks & sandals and your jacket with leather patches on the elbows. Hippy.
SteamOS may make an appearance at the LAN at some point, but bear in mind only about 10% of your games will work, you have been warned.
Monitor, with the VGA, DVI or HDMI cable, don't forget it as no one will have a spare cable.
If keyboard and mouse are wireless, don’t forget the receiver, (DUH, well it has happened before)
Headset, for teamspeak or just to keep the music to yourself, or to drown out other people whilst you snooze.
Power cables, one for each item that requires power, remember any different types like figure 8 and cloverleaf.
Ethernet cable, at least 5m, do not rely on the venue having quality cables, plus if it is coloured it will be easier to identify where yours is. Also, as the network will likely have a Gigabit switch and lots of file sharing then a CAT6 cable is ESSENTIAL.
Wi-Fi adapter, there may be wireless access to the network, or maybe even a house nearby that hasn't enabled security. More likely however you will pickup a phone user onsite with 4G, no data limit and tethering enabled. FREE INTERNET!!!
Additional HDD space, either internally or externally, leeching is a fact of life. No matter how much stuff you think you have there will always be at least 20Tb of stuff you don't have and really, really, really want, like the 6 seasons of Star Trek TNG that Paramount have just converted to HD.
Multiplug surge strip, with enough spots for each of your plugs, borrowing from the guy sat next to you is just rude.
Recovery or Windows disks, someone always does a fresh install onsite, they don’t know it yet but it will happen.
Games, either on original disk or those handy backups.
Install codes for all your games.
Updated Steam client AND ALL THE GAMES, set to offline mode, cut off point 9pm the night before (usually). Ensure you have activated and run each game at least once whilst online or it won’t work offline.

Speakers, 30 people all at once with music blaring or machine guns or engines roaring, no no no.
Alarm clocks, you may have set your alarm 30 mins after the guy next to you who has just had a marathon 18 hour Unreal session went to bed, they deserve a nap. This also applies to alarms set on your phones.
Electric Heater, sounds stupid I know but imagine what happens if you plug in a 1KW electric heater into a surge strip with a couple of people PCs attached, yep, it flips the breakers and it all goes dark for a bit, if you are cold there are heaters on site.
And yes, some Einstein has already done it.
You know who you are.
UPS - Do not bring a UPS for the same reason as an electric fire, it draws 2 lots of power, one as a pass through for the PC and another to tick over the battery charge, any good LAN organiser will go Ape Sh*t if you blow out the power and if you are still playing on your PC it will be a dead giveaway who you are.

The urge to run and leap around should be resisted at all costs, a couple of LANs ago someone (who shall remain nameless) mis-timed a jump at speed, tripped and went chest first into the corner of a large wooden box. The box did not yeild and could easily have resulted in broken ribs, collapsed lung, death, etc. Please just take care when moving around the venue as there are a lot of wires, sleeping bags and other trip hazards. Even if you don't injure yourself, if you trip and pull my PC on the floor I will kill you myself.

After careful consideration, 2 people per table is a bit mean and a whole table per person should be achievable with careful placement of desks and a reduction in the amount of free floor space. As the table arrangement is wholly dependent upon the number of attendees the venue organisers may be forced to review the one-table-per-person arrangement on the fly, but as a general rule everyone should be able to get a whole desk. You can place PCs on desks if you wish but you do so at your own risk.

Not everyone can bring the kitchen sink, so despite all the stuff listed above, bear in mind that I personally have attended LANs before now with only 6 items - my laptop, PSU, mouse, headphones, camping mat and a sleeping bag.

Just remember to have fun and enjoy the LAN, see you there!

###coming soon, watch this space###
 Post subject: Re: LAN SURVIVAL GUIDE: Version 12.0 - with new Touch UI
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:00 pm
Posts: 846
Location: The Twilight Zone
Updated, for LAN XII

###coming soon, watch this space###
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