What to do when disaster strikes

Hello,

After nearly 2 months of perfect on air performance disaster has struck.  The sequence of events is as follows:

1. The live show host seems to recall hitting the Scheduler Clear button.  Whatever happened the end result was that all 8 schedules went missing.

2. Next the technical support person came in to check things out and decided to get some content playing on the backup PC using a standard playlist.  This was done to free up the main PC to do some recovery work.

3. Next the main PC came up with an error message in a small rectangular box and repeated itself over and over across the screen diagonally.  We wished we had recorded the error message but we didn't.  We rebooted the main PC but RadioBOSS came up with the same error message.

4. We did a re-install of RadioBOSS without uninstalling the old installation but still the error message continued to come up.

5. We uninstalled RadioBOSS and rebooted the PC and did a new RadioBOSS install.  This time RadioBOSS was stable but all of our config settings were lost.

6.  Previously having not known where all the config settings were stored we had decided to do a series of screenshots of everything we had configured before.  We were so glad that we had done this.  So we manually reloaded the Settings Preferences, the Schedules and the Playlist Generator configs.  I cannot tell you how happy we were to have a printed backup of how those things were configured.

7. We did a few tests to make sure that things were ready to go and swapped over to the main PC again and resumed normal broadcasting.

8.  BTW, the main PC and backup PC feed program material out via optical digital audio and we have a $5 optical switch that allows us to switch from one to the other in case of emergency to feed into our studio to transmitter link (STL).  This is a very cheap and simple way of switching betweeen main PC and backup PC

9.  Total time off air about 5 minutes

10. Total time to recover RadioBOSS and all configurations (except Compressor settings which we did not have a screenshot of) about 3.5 hours


So ... the question is, how could we have done this better ?


Some RadioBOSS config settings are saved to known directories on the HDD whilst others are not.

> Settings > Save Profile as ... saves to a known directory location

> Playlist Generator ... saves to an unknown directory location

> Schedule > Save ... saves to a known directory location

> FX > Additional FX ... saves to an unknown directory location

And there are a few other functions that are adjustable that save to unknown directory locations.


Ideally it would be good to have all of this documented OR saved to a common directory location like /RadioBOSS_Configs


We have broken RadioBOSS before when we were evaluating it.  Back then we reinstalled it and lost all of our settings and it was this prior experience that motivated us to create the screenshots.  But there has got to be a better way to do this so we don't have to hand enter tick boxes and settings.

Your suggestions for a better recovery method would be most appreciated.

We still love RadioBOSS - it's fantastic :)


Thanks, Jamie C.
 

djsoft

Well-known member
Staff member
I'm sorry this happened. I think I should somewhere in visible place about how to backup RadioBOSS settings. Good thing, it's very easy :)

All RadioBOSS settings are stored in the special folder located under "Users" or "Documents and Settings", depending on what OS you're using. You can open it by clicking Settings->Open Settings Folder. To backup the settings you need to make a copy of that folder somewhere.
To restore later: install RadioBOSS, open settings folder, copy your old settings to that folder.

I also added a feature "backup all settings to a single file" to our request list to make the task even more simple.
 
Dmitry,

Sounds good, but those directory paths are very obscure and impossible to remember.  They always have to be written down and documented.  Another VERY useful feature would be to append a date and time stamp at the end of the config file.

Why ?

Well, backup of config files takes up very little space and if we created a new file every time we did a backup it would give us many opportunities to backtrack and find the right backup rather than just the ladt one.  Similar filename + date + time stamp as the Radio Logger files would be great.

And while you are at it, is there any way you can add an extra level of safety and security to changing and saving settings ?  Like "Are you sure you want to delete this ?  Enter admin password to continue ..."

Also, in our situation with a Main RadioBOSS PC and a Standby RadioBOSS PC, we would choose to backup the config settings to a NAS (network shared HDD)  which in our case is a Vortexbox with some special directories mapped as special HDDs.  We map a special directory as the W: drive (W for working HDD) and under that we have a dozen or more directories for different things like playlists, announcer files, software and files, backups and so on.  This Vortexbox has a RAID-1 array and a USB backup HDD, so it is the most secure and backed up HDD in the building.  We would choose to have original config files stored on each RadioBOSS PC, but store the backups on the Vortexbox for redundancy and security.  The PCs that run RadioBOSS only have software installed on them and all music and content is stored on the Vortexbox and shared over the 1Gb LAN.

So a master "Save Settings" button to save ALL the config settings for RadioBOSS and the facility to map this to any HDD and directory would be a fantastic feature.

Thanks, Jamie C
 

djsoft

Well-known member
Staff member
radiodungog, the Idea is similar to Windows's Restore Points. Something like this will be added to the program.

Access levels (user/manager/admin) is a feature which was planned for RadioBOSS 4.0, but for some reason we didn't add it. I'm sure it will be done this summer, probably in RadioBOSS 4.5.5.
 
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