BridgePal Scoring System

PC Setup

These instructions are not BridgePal specific and would apply equally well to configuring a PC for any other wifi based scoring system. The method for carrying out the operations described below is dependent on your version of Windows, so is not possible to describe in detail here. If you are unfamiliar with how to carry out these operations please search for more detailed instructions on the web.

Disable Sleep/Hibernation

Make sure that the PC is configured so that it will not go into a sleep or hibernation state during a bridge session. The settings can be found in "Power Options"

Disable Anti-Virus Scans

Although anti-virus software is useful for a normal home or business PC it is a positive nuisance when using the PC as a server for BridgePal. This is because anti-virus software tends to start a background scan when it considers that the machine is idle (no mouse or keyboard activity, or low CPU usage, for a certian period of time). These scans are very resource intensive and can prevent or very severely delay response to requests to the PC from BridgePal scoring units, giving the impression that the system has frozen. It is therefore recommended that anti-virus software on the scoring PC be removed or disabled. A dedicated BridgePal scoring PC will generally only be connected to the internet for the purpose of uploading results from BridgeScore, so disabling the AV software should not expose the PC to a significant risk.
Also some third party anti-virus software interferes with correct operation of BridgePal server - another reason for removing it from the scoring PC.

Steps required are:

Disable Automatic Windows Updates

Windows has a tendency to download system updates in the background and then to apply these updates when the system is next rebooted. The time required to apply the updates can vary from minutes to hours depending on the size of the update - obviously very inconvenient if this happend when the PC is booted in the club at the start of a scoring session ! In Windows 8.1 and earlier it is possible to disable automatic updates by changing the windows update settings via the control panel. For windows 10 is it not possible to disable automatic updates through configuration options. However, it can be achieved by disabling the windows update service. This is done as follows:

Disable Automatic Updates of Windows Store Apps

Windows 8 and later versions have access to an app store (analogous to the app stores for iPhone/iPad and android). Automatic downloads/updates of installed apps during a bridge session could slow down the PC during a bridge session. This can only occur if the scoring PC has an internet connection during the session. If it does so, see this link for information on how to disable automatic updates.

Disable Disk Defragmentation

Disk defragmentation can cause delays on BridgePals. To disable it, type "services" in the windows search box to bring up the list of windows services. Scroll down the list until you find one called "Optimise Drives". Double click on this to show the properties dialog box. Startup type will probably be shown as "Manual", which means it is started by Windows when needed. Change "Startup Type" to "Disabled" and click on "Apply". See this BridgePal forum topic