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Strand Classic Palette


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Hello everyone.


Just thought I would give you some info on the new strand desk, and if anyone has any questions about it please do ask.


We have now had the palette desk at college for about 2 months it has been used on 2 shows and currently on its 3rd.

This desk looks physically ok and it is nicely layed out but I am not to sure on the colour and the labeling and it looks like it has been rushed out of the factory a bit.

It is a brilliant little desk and is very easy to pick up and use

I havent once read the instruction manual for patcing or plotting a que as it is really easy to work out for yourself.

The desk runs on windows which means that you can check your emails go on the internet download programs and software all from the desk which I think is very handy.


Overall I would give this desk 7/10 so far but as we havn't used moving lights or any effects with it I cant really comment on those.


But any questions gratefully recieved.


Pic of the desk:





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you can check your emails go on the internet download programs and software all from the desk
It might be handy, but it's also incredibly stupid. It's a show-critical application, running on an OS which isn't exactly known for its rock-solid crash-free endurance - so why tempt fate by running all sorts of other cack over the top of it?!


Moderation: A further comment made here has been removed because it could have been considered a personal attack on a Blue Room member and, as such, received an even worse attack in reply. Please treat other members with respect everyone.

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The reality is, Sam, it makes no difference if you are in a show or not- it's the same OS so downloading/getting viruses etc will affect the desk the same way... and possibly crash it mid-show. There is a reason that 95% of show PCs are clean with few(/no) connections to the outside world.




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Perhaps before each show they just do the usual wipe the desk & start with a completely clean slate.. That'd rid any virus's or crap from the thing!


Isn't it intresting, the o/p posted some findings on a product that he thought might find useful and added a bit of showing off of his new toy (the part about getting on the net etc) and what happens, turns into an all so common arguing session and the o/p having to defend himself <_<



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I hadn't realised that you could use the computer typical non-lighting software. My experience of systems that are based on computers, used for critical tasks is that this kind of thing is frowned upon. My original Avid system running on an IBM PC was fully guaranteed but only if the software and setup were left alone. Installing anything else on the machine invalidated the guarantee -I can't for the life of me imagine why Strand would allow access to non-lighting software.


Come to think of it, would going on the net mid show, downloading something virus ridden, wrecking the show be considered misconduct or gross misconduct? The second being career limiting!

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Slightly <_<, but in the mid 90s I used to build networks using a particular brand of switches. On board each of these switches was a "management engine", which was actually a Sun sparc processor, running SunOS4 - the same OS that was used on what at that time were high-end workstations. It was a "closed system", but with some knowledge it was possible to get to the underlying operating system


We got called to a fault where one of these switches was misbehaving - the processor was overloaded and it just wasn't coping. We discovered that someone had installed Autocad on it...


Perhaps it seemed like a clever thing to do at the time, but it killed the switch.

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Just to clarify, you can not run outlook on the desk, nor any other software that is not already on the desk which Strand have put there. You can not get viruses on the desk as they are programs and the version of Embedded Windows XP which is used on the desk will not allow ANY other software to run. This goes for drivers also. So you cannot go and plug any old USB device like printers for example into the desk. Only drivers which Strand have put there will run on the desk. This is done because a great deal of windows problems come from 3rd party written drivers.

Perhaps reading the manual would be a better place to start.



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  • 2 weeks later...

What I'm really interested in is if it really is a logical continuation of the past couple of generations of strand consoles.

I had the misfortune recently to light a show on an Entertainment Technology's Marquee console. Hated it. the patch interface was clunky. The were no such things as Submasters (called 'looks'.) Channels were fixtures. I detested the touch pad mouse.

Very soon after that, I found the Offline Editor for the new Strands. It was Exactly The SAME.

I am pretty fluent and very comfortable programming the 500's. I feel that I take advantage of many if not most of its conveniences.


[As an aside, we here have had a deposit paid for on "the next Strand Console" since Summer 2005, before the Genlyte thing. We have been and still are patiently waiting for its delivery. I have to say we've experienced very little commiseration from the manufacturer during this period. Most recently, they failed to meet their self assigned shipping date for our consoles this month. We've heard through the grapevine that it was postponed indefinitely in lieu of deliveries to venues without consoles. Practical but not politic.]


Back to the point. I am not above learning a new programming language. But am happy being able to program individual subs as masters, macros, fxs or whatever. does the Palette do that? How about "Channel step" and "thru-on". How about all of the custamizable settings in Set-up. Or patching every fifth dimmer between x and y to channel 1 thru 20? The list is longer than I can Rattle off my head.

I have no doubt the Classic Palette is perfectly satisfactory. But if it turns out to be more Marquee than Strand will probably regret that we did'nt look harder at other consoles.

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You answered your own question when you said you'd downloaded the OLE and found it exactly the same. It is, at the moment, mainly the Marquee OS. Physically the desk seems to be an updated version of the MarqueeILC desk too.


There are changes afoot to make the thing more Strand-like. The OS is being worked on to allow loading of individual parts of the show file (I don't want to rebuild my colour library for every show, or have to explain to a designer that this Strand desk won't let me load yesterday's cue 12 like the old ones did so it'll have to be built again from scratch! :) )


From a conversation I had with a Strand representative I get the impression there's loads of work going on, but I'm not connected to any of it (except for hounding Bill Richards with bug reports ;) so please don't ask me).


One thing I can say, although ;) is that I loaded the OLE and managed to get a show patched and plotted a couple of cues within minutes without help. Conversely our next show will be using a GrandMA. I've downloaded the OLE and manual and can't for the life of me understand how to patch stuff!

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We have one too, and what I can say is that it's a desk with a lot of potential but it's not all there yet. I'm like a lot of other people with a long background of programming the 500 series and found that this new desk initially feels Stand like but once you start to push it you start to find how different it really is.


I'm reliably told that a lot of the updates will add back in those elements that make a desk a Strand but currently I'm learning a lot of interesting tricks to make it do what I want it to. In some ways its better, the macro interface is phenomenal, the down side to that is it means relearning how macros work, and what they can do. The way FX and Looks (Subs) work are not great yet, so buskings out. The cue stacks rather nice, thus theatres a winner


One thing is apparent is that if you're new to programming, and I have a lot of students that are, learning this desk is easy. It's laid out well and is pretty intuitive, if a little long winded sometimes. I'm amazed at how some of these students have taken to it when I had such a hard time rethinking how to programme. My concussion is that you only start to get into problems if you try to think it's a 520i or the other Strand you used own, it's not and it's not going to be, that icon on the top right of the desk that says Classic Pallet and thats the clue to it being a different desk.

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