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Turbo Realtime: Hardware Accessories

SETTING UP YOUR NEW COMPUTER

First off, you need a virus protection.  A good combination for a low price is the free Microsoft Security Essentials Anitvirus, boosted a bit by the Malware Bytes Anti-Malware.  In Windows 8, the Security Essentials Antivirus is already included and built in and you just need to make sure it is turned on and operating.  Versions before Windows 8, you'll need to go to the microsoft.com, type in Security Essentials, and you can download it there.  Then just go to malwarebytes.com and pay about $24.95 and download their product.  It is recommended by many of the computer magazines as the perfect add-on.  This combination seems to work well with realtiming.

You will also want to be sure that certain options are set on your computer, whether your're realtiming for just yourself of sending the feed out to others.  Make sure to:

Turn off screensavers.  (Control Panel - Appearance and Personalization.)

Turn off hibernate/suspend features.  (Control Panel - Hardware and Sound - Power Options - Change when the Computer sleeps and set all to Never.)

Next, go to the Device Manager (Windows Logo key and Pause key together will get you there) and arrow down to the Universal Serial Bus Controllers and expand that by double-clicking.  Then right click each of the USB Root Hubs, go to Properties and then to the Power tab at the top and make sure the box that says "Allow the Computer to Turn Off This Device to Save Power" is UNCHECKED.  This keeps your USB ports from going to sleep after a period of time of what the computer mistakenly sees as inactivity. 

If you've chosen to use Connectify as your realtime output or the virtual router option, you will want to do the same in the Control Panel for the network adapters.  In the Device Manager, go to the Network Adapters, double-click on it to expand it.  Go to each network adapter listed and right-click, go to Properties, then the Power tab and make sure the box that says, "Allow the Computer to Turn Off This Device to Save Power" is UNCHECKED.

One of the most important places you need to be familiar with to be a successful realtime reporter is where to find the COM ports.  You can get there several easy ways.  You can simultaneously hit the Windows Logo key and the Pause key to bring up Device Manager, then arrow down to the Ports and double-click to expand.  On some computers, it is the Windows Logo key, the FN key and then the Pause key.

There you will see a list of the COM Ports and the number they have been assigned.  This is where you will look to see what COM Port your writer is using and what COM Port you are sending your realtime out with, if not using the router or virtual router option.  This is also where you would check an attorney's computer to find out which COM Port he is receiving the realtime feed through.

Once these settings are made, you should rarely have to repeat the steps or look at it again on your computer.  However, it is the first place you should check if you're having connection problems.