Started the day with a frustrating 2 hours in the Auditorium. I wanted to use the cheap little Acer laptop that we keep in a cabinet back of the stage, to test my instructions that I wrote yesterday. It was the only PC I had access to.
Well it is the slowest little slug ever. And old. Some weeks ago, our IT department added a Dell USB Dock and a Dell Monitor to the setup. When they run an event, they connect to the Dock and they are able to see the Monitor as one external screen, and the overhead Projector as another external screen. Actually they mirror those two, with the result that what they put on the Projector is also visible to them on the Monitor. David M. also uses this when he runs events.
I can connect the Dock to a MacBook, and the MacBook sees the Dock as a USB hub. Unfortunately Mac OS does not recognize the Monitor attached to the Dock as an external monitor. It does recognize the Projector as a display, so you can put various content up on the Projector screen, but to see it you have to crane your neck because you see the projector screen from the side.
The dorky little Acer, like a MacBook, could see the Dock as a hub but not the Monitor. So I couldn’t do what I wanted to. Other problems, too. With a MacBook, if you want to show powerpoint slides, you’ve got Keynote built-in. If you want to show PDF slides, you have Preview built-in. With Windows? Not so much. The only PDF viewer is the Edge browser. I tried multiple times to download Adobe Acrobat from the Microsoft Store and it failed every time with an obscure message. To show powerpoints? It seemed like the only choice was to buy a license for Microsoft 365 (aka Office). Well, no; there are free powerpoint viewer apps, but they warn “contain in-app purchases” so will they show ads? No idea.
I contacted Bert who has a better and newer PC and we agreed to meet at 3pm to try his machine. But at 3pm we found the Auditorium in use for a staff meeting.
So that was pretty much a wasted day. I did pay a couple of bills and brought the t-bird to “almost done” state. I also started looking at reference pictures for the next model, a 1953 Studebaker, like the one that Gary Pierce’s dad drove up our road in Washington every day in the late 50s.