Server Computer README
This page and the actual README file on TRC's Display Computer may have deviated, though they matched when this page was created.
HOW TO START THE SERVER
1) Turn on the computer, hopefully you've already done that.
2) Plug it in. The laptop has a good battery but will go into power-save mode when not plugged in, and that could mess you up.
3) Choose between using a WiFi network provided at the finish location (e.g., Round Table) or establishing a "ad-hoc" (private) network between only the TRC computers.
- To Use Available WiFi
- a) Start TRC's Server computer first. It should connect to the Available WiFi. You may need to open Internet Explorer (web browser) to accept the public network's terms.
- To Use the private "ad-hoc" network
- a) Double click the "Connect To" icon on the desktop. A networks window should pop up.
- b) Click on "TRC"
- c) Click on the "Connect" button
- d) A connecting progress window will appear. When it disappears the network is ready. The display and the server both need to have their networks activated before you can use it, but the start up order does not matter.
With either network type,
4) Double click the "TRC Scoring" icon on the desktop. This will start a web browser that uses the local scoring database.
- There is a USB mouse in the computer bag. The mouse can be plugged in at any time. The mouse sometimes has trouble working on glossy or dark tables. Just stick a piece of paper under the mouse and it will work fine. If you really like the track pad feel free to use it, but most people prefer a real mouse.
- To put the display into ""Full Screen"" mode press the F11 key.
- To adjust the size of the text, for you old people, hold down the control button and use the mouse wheel (or + and - keys) to increase or decrease the size of the text.
- Advice: while it is possible to use the ""display"" computer to score and drive the score board, it is better for you to focus on scoring (on the server computer) and let someone else (on the display computer) deal with the scoreboard and help with scoring backlog and protests.
- This person could enter rallyist names and emails after their car has been scored, as long as the advice at the end of these instructions is heeded."
SCORING PROGRAM DETAILS
Here is an overview of everything you need to know from start to finish.
There is a server at http://rallye.ipidooma.net that allows anyone to create a scoring configuration, protect it with a password, and use it over the internet.
Historically, our finish locations did not have any kind of internet access, so there needed to be a way to score using the same program in local configuration. For this reason it is possible to export/import a configuration. So if one does not have custody of the scoring laptop, it is possible to configure using the internet version and then export a configuration file that is then imported into the laptop version.
The two laptop machines form their own adhoc (P2P) wifi network, that theoretically anyone could join, except that there is no DHCP server, because at the time there were no such things that ran reliably and most hand held devices do not support adhoc mode wifi. The scoring machine runs a LAMP stack, the same as the internet server, and the display machine runs a browser that just points at pages on the scoring machine with the intent that it will be driving a large overhead display. It’s a bit overkill to dedicate a laptop driving a single display with just a web browser, but at the time we bought the laptops, there were no tablets or small-scale, self-contained devices that could connect to an HDMI display.
All source code for the scoring program is in clear text PHP. But any changes made on the laptop should be back ported to the internet server to ensure compatibility.
Creating a rallye:
Start this step at least a week before the rallye. Creating a rallye is fairly well guided. Connect to either the laptop version or the internet version at http://rallye.ipidooma.net
From here you can either
- recall an existing rallye. There are two “No Password” examples near the bottom of the pulldown list you can experiment with."
- create a new rallye configuration by filling in the interesting bits and clicking “Create” then follow the steps"
1. Layout. Here you can add separate configuration and score-only password and define the look of your virtual score sheet to appear similar to your physical one by defining grids to be used as header, body, sidebar, and footer. All sections are optional.
2. Names. Here you name the elements of your grid. Default names are automatically loaded to try to match the “standard” score sheet. Within each grid element are +/- buttons that allow you increase/decrease the number of options within a single grid element. This can be useful for double/alternate record gimmicks or AB rallyes.
3. Values: here the native values of each element are defined. Note: only whole integer values are reported, but elements can have fractional values. This is useful for tie breakers. A tie breaker could be worth 0.1 points which would break the tie between to 990 scoring ME’s by making their scores 990.0 to 990.1 and sorting them properly, but the displayed value will still be 990. It works very well as long as the sum of the TB points is less than 1. If you have 4 tie-breakers you want ordered properly, give (for example) the first 0.1 pts, the second 0.02 pts, the next 0.003 pts, and the last TB 0.0004 pts. The total of these is still less than 1, so it won't show on the display, but this makes it easy to tell how two cars' TBs compared..
4. Combos. This bit is a tad more complex. Here the native values of elements are over ridden when a logical combination is trigged. This can be used to drive values to ZERO in cases where a combination is impossible, or can be used to create a bonus situation where having two elements should be worth more points than having each of them alone. For example the native values of A and B are 10pts each, but having A and B together is impossible and therefore results in 0 points for both of them. Or perhaps there is a required combination A alone is 10points, but A+B is 20, A+C is 30, and B and C alone or together are impossible. It is easy to define a set of rules to make that complex combination happen using a couple of Combo Rules. See “No Password Demo 1” for examples.
- Test your combos with a pretend car that scored only the pieces of the combo. Was the score what you expected? Remember that checking every box is not the way to earn the highest score. Verify your highest score is 1000.
Preparation for Scoring without Internet Access:
Instructions for this are in the EXPORTING AND IMPORTING RALLYE CONFIGURATIONS section below
1. On the scoring screen, your definitions become active. You must fill in a car number to differentiate one car from the other, but Names and email addresses are optional and can be very time consuming night-of. Here, it is also possible to recall a car that has reported a discrepancy. Sometimes errant clicks cause problems.
2. Select the competition class (FT thru ME)
3. Then just check off the elements that the rallyist has on his score sheet. It can be done very quickly if you think in terms of patters rather than values. That is, rather than thinking: Has A, Has B, Has C, does not have D, does not have E, has F… Just match the pattern: column 1 starting at the top: has 3, not 2, has 2… Don’t get tied up in the details of the CM, the computer will do that for you. That is, you usually don't have to check that F was recorded with 12. What else would it be recorded with?
4. You will notice that some elements are framed in red, this means that the element is part of a combo.
5. Finally click “score” and a report will be given to you showing where points came from or went to in the case of impossible combos.
6. If at this point you realize you made a mistake, you can immediately recall the car, or if everything is good, continue and move on to the next car. As you score cars, a scoreboard will start to appear at the bottom of the page, along with statistics regarding the number of cars by class that have marked various elements. If a score board is running, it will automatically pick up changes to scores every 30 seconds or so.
Protests (tab on scoring screen)
In classic paper scoring, complex protests were a nightmare; sometimes simple ones too. Not any more. Simply fill in a protest form so it reads like a sentence. That is, fill in the points to be granted, who this protest applies to, and, if necessary, select the conditions, then press Grant. “Grant 10 points to Car #1 for this reason: ‘…’” provided X is missing. Cars whose scores were changed by a protest have their score shown in red. For example: If a 10pt protest is being granted to car 1 and no one else, simply fill in the points, the car number, and a short explanations like “Committee agrees with car” then click Grant.
If the protest is more complex, such as any car that HAS A and is MISSING B. Select those options from the protest score sheet, fill in the points, leave the car# blank, and write a short description like “combo is invalid”. This will apply those protest points to any car that meets the criteria without having to go through each score sheet one at a time.
Results (tab on scoring screen)
Publishing results is quick and easy too. Assuming you have added names and email addresses to the cars, clicking the Results tab will display a preformatted results sheet for you that you can copy/paste into an email. The Addresses of participants is included at the top and should be used in the BCC line. A memory stick is useful in moving the results from one computer to another for emailing, alternately, if the club is so inclined, an email client could be installed onto the scoring machine.
The display machine, when it is connected to a TV, actually has two monitors that can either be carbon copies of each other or can be separated, with a score board running on the big screen and second scoring station running on the built-in display. Other laptops or tablets can join into the adhoc network to act as scoring stations and score boards. It is perfectly fine for more than one scoring station to operate at a time, as long as those doing the scoring are not trying to work on the same car at the same time. It is best to have the paper score sheet in hand when working on a car just to be safe.
EXPORTING AND IMPORTING RALLYE CONFIGURATIONS
The club's server computer has the scoring program locally. The purpose of exporting your rallye configuration from the web and importing it into TRC's server is twofold:
1. When scoring locally on the club computers, a Score Board (and Scroll Board) display is available that is not currently available from the internet scoring program. 2. Scoring locally does not require Internet access (to http://rallye.ipidooma.net/) on rallye day."
You can do the exporting, provide a password to the keeper of the club computer to do both exporting and importing, or get the club computer(s) and do your own exporting and importing on the server computer. Do all this before the last minute, in case there are any problems.
0. Browse to the Web-based rallye program on http://rallye.ipidooma.net/ and click Configure. Select the rallye, enter the rallye's password, and click Configure. First, make sure your Configuration is correct—i.e., that Test Scoring assures the combos work like you intend and the rallye's maximum score is correct.
1. Then, with your rallye's password, go—or have someone else go—to Configure the rallye and click Export Rallye. This will download a ".ars" file locally. This file needs to be on the club computer for the next step. Emailing that .ars file to the keeper for the club's computer gets that file onto the club computer without giving the keeper your Configure password.
Importing onto TRC's Server notebook:
2. Get the .ars file on TRC's server notebook, either by performing step 1 on it, or by getting the .ars file (e.g., via email).
3. On TRC's server notebook, browse to the LOCAL scoring program at http://localhost/rallye/ and without a password, you can use the "import an ARS" section. TRC's computers have a shortcut to this page on their desktop. Browse for the file (likely in Downloads), and press Import.
4. Bring TRC's notebooks and the rallye's passwords to the rallye finish.
5. On rallye day, the rallyemaster and/or his/her delegate, can login to either the LOCAL or INTERNET scoring program (but not both!) using a web browser and the rallye's Scoring password.
Either scoring program can score the rallye and display a results page, but at the present time, only scoring LOCALLY on the TRC Server allows displaying the Score Board (or Scroll Board) at the rallye finish. Nick should remove this restriction.