Author Topic: Tournament Director Crashing  (Read 2106 times)

Sneds

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Tournament Director Crashing
« on: October 09, 2007, 06:16:09 AM »
I hold a tournament weekly and on Sunday 7 October the whole software crashed and I'm not sure why.

The week before (Sunday 30 September) we had a tournament with 107 people. The software was extremely slow and cumbersome and after a year of using the product, this was the first time I had ever experienced anything other than optimal performance.

At the time, I put it down to having a high number of entrants, our usual number last year was around 40.

However, on 7 October we started noticing the software skipping a few seconds while counting down. It was as if it was freezing and then catching itself up. Eventually, when we were down to 36 players remaining, the Tournament Director stopped operating.

I was able to move through all the section of the menu (Game, players, rounds etc) freely, albeit slowly. However, when I attempted to access the tournament it simply wouldn't count down. Nothing seemed to get the tournament going again (we were on a break at the time)

I couldn't move the rounds forward, and while in the menu I was unable to save or load any other information. I eventually just turned off my computer out of frustration and continued the tournament as if it were a 'home-game' and I timed the remaining rounds manually.

Through-out the year and a half I have used this product, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Its a fabulous piece of software, and although disappointed that it restricted my tournament, I have no other issues.

What I ask is that I could perhaps get an explanation for the problem and ways of preventing that this doesn't happen again. Is it possible that Tournament Director simply can't cope with 50+?

We have another tournament this sunday and if I can't get the software to work on my laptop I would maybe require another product key so I can move it over to another persons computer on the committee.

Unfortunately due to work, I haven't had the chance of having a look myself and investigating it. However I can obtain information if needed.

Corey Cooper

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2007, 10:17:46 AM »
Unfortunately, this is *most* likely due to the environment in which the TD runs, that being Internet Explorer.  There are some known memory leaks in IE that *could* cause this type of issue.  Obviously, without direct observation and possibly debugging, I cannot say anything for sure.

In your topic subject, you mentioned that the TD "crashing".  But in your message, it doesn't sound like this actually happened.  Crashing of the TD, while it still occurs, has become very rare.  Probably due to both improvements in the TD software, and improvements in IE.

For your question: the TD can most definitely cope with tournaments of 50+ players.

The only suggestion I can make at this time is this: if you notice the software becoming "sluggish" during your tournament, I would recommend when you get a chance (such as during a break), saving the tournament (hopefully you've got auto-save on anyway), and exiting the TD and restarting it, then loading your tournament and continuing.  This, if nothing else, would allow IE to exit and reclaim any leaked memory, if that is indeed happening.

When you notice that the Tournament screen seems to "skip" a second or two, this is usually due to IE not being able to update the screen fast enough.  I have no real explanation for this (except on slower machines), especially since earlier in your tournament IE seemed to have no problem doing exactly this.  This is why I would recommend exiting and restarting.  This restarts IE as well, and should hopefully right things.  But again, I can't say for certain if this will help or not.

I'm curious about a few things.  First, when the software was "skipping a few seconds while counting down" and then it eventually "stopped operation", but you were able to move through the Settings tabs OK: when you were on the Settings tab, was the mini-clock displayed in the upper-left hand corner?  And was it running?

Second, you mentioned that while on the Settings page you were unable to load or save.  What exactly happened?  Was the Save button inaccessible (disabled maybe)?  Or did nothing happen when you pressed it?  What exactly did you observe?


tandemrx

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 11:42:47 AM »
Just out of curiosity,

1.  What PC speed/amount of memory are you using?

2.  Do you have a lot of changing elements on your screen and/or are you using any very large graphic files as part of your layout.

3.  Do you show the built in player rankings page often or did you create your own player rankings cell?

Only ask because on my slow PC if I have big image files being used and have multiple changing elements, then TD does work very slowly.

You may be able to work around some screen refreshes by removing seconds from your time displays and not using a lot of complex banners or other things that maybe eat up memory?

Just interested in your pc set up for my own reference.


Sneds

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 09:47:58 AM »
I apologise for my late reply. Work has been so busy recently I haven't had a moment to myself.

I accept that the software may not have crashed Corey, but if I refer to it as that, it would be easier for me  ;)

So the night the tournament crashed, we actually received a message saying something about the links with IE was disabled, also when i say we couldn't save it - we got an error message come up each time.

The mini-clock was indeed in the top left hand corner but it wasn't running. It was still.

What would you suggest to prevent this from happening again? Would downloading the latest Internet Explorer help? And is it better off running in Firefox?

Also, I'm curious as to how TD runs with IE especially as we often don't have internet connection.

Tandemrx - the laptop has

80GB Hard Drive
1 GB RAM
1.60 GHz, 1 MB L2 Cache, 400 MHz FSB

It hasn't really been used in a while due to me having a PC solely for online poker, but I now need it again for these tournaments. I loaned it out to my mother for the summer - would you recommend cleaning all the crap off it then?

Corey Cooper

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 10:44:48 AM »
You don't need an internet connection to use IE, or any browser for that matter.  You can always open HTML (web page) files on your computer.  In the context of the Tournament Director, you can think of IE as simply displaying pages locally (from your computer).

The TD can only run in IE.  No Firefox, Opera, or any other browser.

Your computer, while not the fastest, seems ample.

The error message you got would have been helpful.  I know in the middle of a tournament you're not thinking "Hey, maybe I should write this down", you are more likely thinking "Oh $#!T, what do we do now?".  But nevertheless, knowing the error message can be extremely helpful.

Based on your description, it sounds like some piece of IE broke or went haywire.  IE has so many pieces, and has so many moving parts, any number of them could have problems and still as a whole it continues to "work".  Knowing so little about what really happened, or what might have happened, I really cannot give any real, good advice.  You might try re-installing IE.  I don't think you necessarily need to upgrade (I still use IE 6), but re-installing might fix any corrupted "pieces" of IE.  It has worked before for others.

The biggest advice would be to use the auto-save feature.  If this does happen again, you could always exit the TD, restart, load your tournament and continue where you left off (or at least very close to it, time-wise).

Sneds

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 05:34:41 PM »
Ok, well I'll try that and see how I get on.

I actually remember disabling auto save half way through the tournament so it would run faster, doh!

I'll report back after sunday

Corey Cooper

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 10:16:26 AM »
You might want to increase the time between auto-saves (by default it is set to 300 seconds, or 5 minutes), and then make sure the "Auto save after events" is checked.  That way the tournament is auto-saved after important events occur and otherwise it doesn't auto-save very often.  It's much easier (if something bad happens) to figure out (and agree to) where the clock should be, rather than trying to remember who busted out whom, etc.

Consider checking the "Make backups when saving tournaments" checkbox, too.

Trips

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 09:08:02 AM »
Since this runs with IE and I run FireFox do I need to upload the latest IE version? Mine is somewhat old.

tandemrx

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 10:01:00 AM »
software requirements noted on the TD main page(FAQs) says you need IE 6.0 or greater.

Corey Cooper

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Re: Tournament Director Crashing
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2007, 10:30:03 AM »
The TD should warn you if it detects an IE version of less than 6.0, or if it cannot determine what version of IE is installed.  You should still make sure you have at least version 6.0.