rAge 2011 hardware survival guide
The annual NAG LAN @ rAge is upon us. We've got some tips to help your equipment survive
The NAG LAN @ rAge can be tough on your hardware, and many first-timers don’t quite know what to expect.
MyGaming has previously published a NAG LAN @ rAge survival guide and the LAN rules and general information contained within still holds true; be sure to check it out – rAge LAN survival guide.
Below we have some tips to make sure your hardware survives the journey there, queuing to get in, and the mega-gaming session that will follow.
Flat earth-pin power plugs
Of paramount importance is coming equipped with flat earth-pin power plugs.
These are a specific type of power plug required to use the dedicated power circuits provided.
This plug is usually red, but the important bit is the flattened earth-pin, which you can see below.
This plug is required for both PC’s and monitors, which will be tested at the door to see if they are likely to trip the power.
Without one of these plugs, you won’t be LANning at rAge.
Check everything the night before
Seems simple doesn’t it? You’d be surprised at just how many people forget to do this, and suffer as a result.
Open up your case, clean all the dust out and make sure everything is secure.
Tighten the screws holing the graphics card and CPU cooler in place, and pay particular attention to hard drives and optical drives that can slide out and damage your motherboard.
For those who have managed the cables in the system to fit perfectly, loosen these accommodate for some sway, particularly the graphics card power.
Ensure that your OS is installed correctly, and definitely ensure you have an up-to-date antivirus program installed. Consider bringing along your important software, such as OS and game install discs. Best to leave these locked in a car for the duration unless required.
Among the list of things that won’t be tolerated are desktop speakers, UPS’s, multi-plugs, personal switches, or additional power draining devices.
Because of the flat earth-pin plug scenario, two-pin plugs won’t find a home, so external drive users should bear this in mind. One brings and uses their own adapters at risk of raising the ire of event organizers.
Pack your car properly
When you come through to the event, make sure your hardware has as little room to move as possible.
Use your sleeping gear to wedge things in if you have to. In fact, to sum up the car ride to the event, use common sense.
While you queue at the event, keep an eye on your stuff.
Not because gamers are greasy fingered thieves, but when you start moving forward in the queue it’s very easy to miss out a stray monitor or bag, particularly if you’re part of a large group and are in charge of other peoples’ gear.
If you’ve LANned at rAge before, you’ll know about the stairs. For those that haven’t, welcome to the worst of the queuing phase of the event.
You’ll have to negotiate two descending flights of stairs into the event, and with security checking for tickets and groups rushing to get good seats, things can get very cramped very quickly.
A considerate attitude towards others will ensure everyone gets through security without any damaged equipment.
Have your protein shakes before you leave; there will be a lot of hefting.
Unpacking and setting up
No need to rush, you have the whole event to look forward too.
I’ve seen LCDs knocked off tablets and cables ripped out of PCs as gamers rush to get set up.
Chill out and remember to try keep the area around you clean; no one can setup when there are boxes, bags and sleeping gear strewn across various tables.
Keep a watchful eye
Gamers are (for the most part) pleasant people that wouldn’t try to rob each other of hardware. Except that little [extreme profanity] that took my mate’s cellphone last year.
As with any public event, keep a watchful eye over your hardware, particularly if you arrive with an easy-to-steal gaming laptop or Bluetooth mouse/keyboard.
While rAge security will ensure that no large items can leave the LAN without the owner presenting their proof of ownership stickers (issued at the door), smaller items can easily go walking.
Cellphones, wallets and show purchases shouldn’t be left lying around. Rather lock these things in your vehicle or tuck them in the bottom of your sleeping bag when you are catching some sleep.
• PC equipment (everything installed and up to date).
• Red power plug with flat earth-pin (for monitor and PC).
• rAge LAN ticket.
• Lots of HDD space.
• Accommodation details (if staying at a hotel).
• Plenty of money.
• Headache pills.
• Eye drops.
• Eye shades and ear plugs (for catching 40 winks).
• Warm clothes – the Coca-Cola Dome has industrial strength air-conditioners.
• Basic toiletries (will go a long way to keeping nearby LANners on your good side).
• Breath mints.
• Itchy mouse finger.
• Happy gaming attitude.
Do you have any more LAN protips? Let us know on the MyGaming forum and in the comments below.