Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Think fast

As you may know, I make some money on the side keeping official statistics for sporting events. Mostly it's for games that take place where I work. I had a couple state high school tournament games to do tonight. No big deal, really.

In the third quarter of the first game the computer's low battery warning came on. Huh. That's weird. It's plugged into an outlet. My colleague, who had set up the computer, checked, and everything was where it was supposed to be. The warning remained.

Uh oh.

We have no back-up. If the computer goes down, we're cooked. So, as we're calling and inputting the action on the court, we're also trying to figure out how to fix this problem that needs to be solved right now. Oh, by the way, the readout says that there's about five minutes of life left in the battery. This won't get us through the first game, let alone a second one.

The best I came up with was to see if anyone else happened to have a similar computer. By an enormous stroke of luck, one person did. His laptop was already fully charged, so we borrowed his power supply. That did the trick. PHEW!!!

Out of the hundreds of games I've worked, I don't know if there's ever been such pressure-filled moments as those while I was trying to type in the codes that describe what's happening in the game and figure out how to keep the blasted machine operational. We dodged an enormous disaster. It was gratifying to know that we were able to improvise and get through it, but that's also the kind of excitement I don't need.

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