We use pellets... if you only have access to blocks of dry ice, get a hammer and break them into smaller pieces. Some use hose, some don't really depends on where you're shooting from, and where you're trying to focus the smoke, and if a hose will help distribute it more effectively. For example, some venues have ac that really messes with the flow of the smoke and prevents it from reaching the center of the floor hwen shooting it from a certain side of the room, however if shooting from a different side, it works perfectly. A hose is a lot easier to manuever, than say an entire machine, especially around guests. What we do now is we do a test run with a handful of pellets before any guests arrive, and see how the air is blowing so that we can find the best shooting position.