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Ah….the Fair!

Posted: March 17, 2017

The Fair: Where citizens of the commonwealth go to eat sausage sandwiches, get indigestion and eat antacids. The Fair: Where Extension professionals go to conduct shows and sales, get indigestion and eat antacids.

Fair season is just over the horizon, but taking steps early – even this early – can help reduce the stress of setup.  We strongly recommend getting all the pieces and parts out of their various hiding places and test the network and the printing, maybe even using last year’s show data.  This month is not too soon!  You’ll want to allow time to actually find all of the computers that you are going to use, and if the computers spend most of the year in a storage room, you’ll need to verify that they work and put them on the network for a few days to catch up on all of their updates.  Also, you’ll need to make sure that the software you’ll need is already installed.

Keep digging until you find the network cables that you securely put away last year (which sounds better than ‘hid from your colleagues’) and the router and printer that you need to finish the network.  Find all the power adapters, and make sure that the printer has ink.  Remember that Ag IT recommends that, for the greatest chance of success, you use a router and not a hub, and that you have a dedicated, USB printer for the show and not one that is in use in your office.

Hook it all together and check that it all works.  Once you’ve verified that the network performs as expected, take it apart and hide the pieces until you get to the fair.  Assemble the network early in fair week - before you need it - and test again.  Nobody on either side of the phone likes to say or hear, “We are at the fairgrounds, the cell phone battery is dying, the auction is in an hour and nothing is working….”!