OCAU First Time LAN Guide!
From OCAU Wiki
Due to popular demand here is some info for the first-time LAN attendee. Hope it clarifies a few things. Enjoy!
Whats a LAN?
Ok firstly it might help to explain what a LAN actually is. (LAN = Local Area Network) To put it simply it’s an organized event where computer enthusiasts gather to socialize, play games, share data via a network etc. (thus the title)
Are There Any Variations?
Two broad types of LAN:
Private – These are commonly conducted by an individual at his/her own house with the individual inviting their friends as space and equipment permits. May or may not be internet-based, depending on infrastructure available.
Public/Business – The more common of the two, this type is generally run by a business at larger commercial premises. Internet availability is very common here.
Duration: Unique to each LAN, but as a guide; Private – one night/or whenever the home owner gets sick of you lol; Public – Typically run longer, generally 2-3 days.
What To Bring/Do
Individual (for both Private or Public LANs)
- PC case (small toolkit with e.g. Screwdriver etc may be useful also)
- PC power cable, monitor power cable, monitor dvi/vga cable, reputable power board
- Keyboard + Mouse (if wireless bring charger and/or docking station) + mouse pad
- Headphones (a headphone extension cable is often useful too)
- Network cable (recommend minimum of 10metres to limit any difficulty with reach; and bring two if you have them – depending on setup people are known to back their chair over them…or your mate will forget his)
- Operating System Install Disc
- Game discs (can’t stress enough to patch and run the game(s) the night before so ALL people have the latest version)
- Backup disc with ALL necessary drivers should the worst happen
- PC or laptop case lock (recommended for added security)
- Blank CDs and/or DVDs (very useful if you’re running out of space)
- External HDD (again useful for backup and extra storage)
- Eye drops (trust me they’re a godsend after 24hrs awake)
- Sleeping bag/pillow (I’d recommend some sleep no later than 3am if you don’t want to be a zombie the next day)
- Food/drink (water and healthy food is preferable as many will come to realise)
- Deodorant (pretty self explanatory…so your mates don’t kick you out because you stink so bad)
- LAN bag (not mandatory but very useful for transportation of pc and all other equipment)
- Money (yes bring some cash)
This is in addition to that needed by the individual above
- Hub/Router (10/100 minimum, gigabit recommended if funding allows; number of ports needed will depend on size of LAN)
- Strong home power supply (3-phase recommended if you don’t want to loose power after a few pc’s are setup; a room with appropriate power points should also be considered)
- Tables and chairs (a spacious, well lit environment with air-con is desirable)
- Extra network cables, power boards and extension leads are also useful
- Plan some suggestions for food. Either have a BBQ area ready or discount vouchers to your local pizza shop.
- Clear some space in your fridge (or make sure you have an esky of ice avaliable). No one likes a warm glass of coke/jolt/red bull.
- Check your PC and all components are running fine (also charge wireless mice etc)
- Prior to the LAN it’s often a good idea to run spyware/adware programs and defrag your hdd
- In addition, ensure you have antivirus protection completely updated and running. Also ensure your Operating System has ALL the latest updates.
- As mentioned earlier, patch all programs/games to the latest version
- Free up as much hdd space as possible
- Double check you have everything BEFORE and AFTER leaving (had a mate forget his keyboard/mouse three LANs in a row haha)
- Creating a list of all items taken and ticking each off before leaving is also a good practice to follow
- Try to go with some friends and setup next to them for added security
- If still paranoid then have your pc case locked and put any expensive extras e.g. headphones in your bag and out of site
- Laptop owners: purchase the special lock that allows you to secure your laptop to the desk
- Limit administrative rights, password protect your computer, limit file/folder sharing, and run a firewall/virus protection
I hope I’ve provided a pretty comprehensive guide, feel free to note anything I’ve missed and I’ll add it. First and foremost however, get out there and have some fun!
- OzJustin - original thread starter
- Killing Time