Each year I set up computer equipment for an annual black-tie fundraising gala for a local research hospital.
In most cases, the venue does not provide or have the ability to connect up to the Internet, so everything must run locally.
Generally we set up 4 to 6 laptops at the front table where guests check in and host the donor/auction software from a database server on the back table along with 2 printers.
The 2 printers and the server are wired into a Belkin b/g wireless router, but the laptops are wireless.
All IPs are static and all computers have a local account with the same username and password to make sharing easy. The laptops are Dell Lattitude E5510's running Win7, the server is usually another laptop or an OptiPlex 7010 (also running Win7), and the printers are HP LaserJet 4250's if any of that matters.
Each year, the story is the same. Toward the end of the evening when large groups of people are all trying to check out at the same time, the whole setup just slows to a crawl.
The software appears to remain responsive, but printing takes forever.
Sometimes a dozen people will be waiting in line for their receipts while both printers appear to just be sitting idle. Receipts do eventually print but they can take five minutes or more. Many times we have to jot peoples' information down by hand and then mail the receipts to them. As you can imagine, it's a huge mess and quite embarrassing to myself and the event organizer. Nobody likes having their time wasted but rich people seem to hate it even more.
Anyway, I have tried having the clients print to a share, and directly to the IP addresses. Nothing seems to help. The setup works fine in testing but it just can't handle the load of everybody checking out at the same time. I can't tell if this is a wireless problem, a printer problem, a server problem, or what.
Does anybody have any ideas on how we can improve this?