Isadora ‘Watcher’ (re-open on crash)… a free app you will (hopefully) never use!


Isadora is a very stable program, but as beta tester I do occasionally get sent versions to test that are not quite ready and can have bugs; before you ask I can’t reveal anything about future releases – it’s not my place!

However at my new job as Digital Creator at York Museums Trust I realised very quickly that people are skeptical about putting machines/computers and software into installations because they do not trust them and ‘they crash a lot…’ and to be fair there is nothing worse than walking into a space like a museum and seeing an out-of-order sign. So I have had to think about how I can 100% guarantee that the machine and Isadora will keep running 362 days of the year whilst the museum stays open.

Isadora is a very stable program. I find 99% of the time it crashes because of something I’ve done; something silly like attaching a wave generator to the movie player selector… we’ve all done it as it cycles through 100+ movies in less than 5 seconds…. instant hard drive meltdown (on my 5400rpm drive anyway!). Often its a Quicktime of Finder error. Sometimes its a Quartz file playing around with video inputs or sockets. Its not that often Isadora is actually being naughty.

But, I decided as a fail safe to create a little app which loads on start up and watches Isadora constantly to see if its running or not, if not it re-opens Isadora and starts all over again. I created the app in Automator for Mac and then Mark Conilgio revamped it and made it much better allowing it to open and select a specific version of Isadora and a chosen file. (Is there anything that man doesn’t know?)

So, i’m afraid I can only answer basic questions about this as in the end the final app was mostly done by Mark, however you will figure it out very easily when you open the app in Automator due to Marks annotations within the code. I’m afraid this is a mac only thing but I have heard that you can do similar on Windows. I am going to investigate this at some point.

For Windows users check out this post here:

http://www.blogsolute.com/restart-closed-applications-automatically/21992/

This is how to make an app start when you log in:

http://osxdaily.com/2006/11/29/how-to-launch-application-on-system-start-in-mac-os-x/

I hope this will come in handy for those of you doing insulation works, long VJ sets or any unmanned performance/install.

Here is the thread on the Isadora forum; ask any questions here:

http://troikatronix.com/forum/#/discussion/319/auto-reopen-on-crash

And….

[DOWNLOAD HERE] (link to my Public Dropbox)

Thanks,

Graham

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