The Network Cycler
The best place to start to learn about the Network Cycler is on this site, which documents a particular piece was made with it. There is quite a lot packed into this little interface, and while i suppose i could go and try to document each and every feature, i think it's best if players simply mess with and explore the interface. One crucial thing to know, when playing with the instrument alone, is that there is a small "practice" toggle switch, which, when turned on, will cause the beat clock to run locally; this way you can practice with it without being on the network and having a server serve up the beats. Find that little button, and you are on your way.
In order to play the Network Cycler, all players must be on the same network. We have always used it on a dedicated wireless network (Apple Airport), and had robust performance. Another laptop, preferably one NOT being used by a player, should launch the NetworkCycler_server application, which is in the "files" directory within the NetworkCycler directory. This application should connect to all other machines on the network running the main NetworkCycler application. The clock can be started from the server application, and the tempo adjusted; often, this laptop will be controlled by someone who serves in some kind of "conductor" role.
Each player should choose an alias from the red row of controls; in most situations each person should choose a unique alias, from anyone else. In the green row, each player should choose the alias for whomever s/he wants to spy on; settings from the neighbor can be copied, though the copying is usually imperfect.