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Friday, 1 July 2011

All systems survived

As people become more and more reliant on the internet I was nervous that everything I do would hold together last weekend.

Of course I am not directly involved in the most important part, the Manx Telecom Timing solution provided by SPORTident. There were a few walkers whose times were not recorded but overall this system remains as good as anything in the world, particularly the texting system.

Although I don't host this, and the processing requirements are much more demanding than anything I do, most people access the timing through the parishwalk.com site. What would happen if my site went down? I hedge this by having the domain name hosted by one company and the web server with another.

The home page and all the menus are hosted by http://www.warewelchwebhosting.co.uk/ who have been amazingly good value for the past few years. Highly recommended. If their servers had gone down however, I could have switched the parishwalk.com domain to www.oneandone.co.uk who host the manxathletics.com site. I've also got the forum at www.manxathletics.info which is hosted my www.hostmonster.com and of course this year I was using www.twitter.com and www.facebook.com.

The risk is further mitigated by publishing the photos at www.zenfolio.com (my new site) and the videos at www.youtube.com Then there is the blog at www.blogger.com

I'm not sure about the future of videos with decent music. YouTube have agreements with several of the large music companies where they get paid for every hit that uses their intellectual property. I tested the song I planned to use at Braddan beforehand (with some of last year's film) and I thought I was ok to use it.

But not only did I get the audio removed I received a serious warning about copyright infringement with a threat that all my videos could be removed. Before I could access my account I had to watch an offender's video and answer multiple choice questions about copyright law. Although I have tried to chose music where the rights holder will be compensated I guess its important to realise that it still amounts to copyright infringement. I can't afford to take any risk where I could have all my videos, including many without music removed.

Anyway, back to the positives and I must thank Margy and Julie at Manx Telecom for making it so easy for me to get set up to upload my files, write my blog etc. The only cost that falls to the organisers for my work (I pay for all the website costs and Manx Telecom provide the bandwidth) is the hire van which becomes my mobile office for the weekend.

Colebourns provide the 2 large TV screens for the results service to be transmitted to at the finish and also loaned two nice new Samsung laps. One of them was connected to the TVs, the other one was used by Sean Hands at the help desk. I also used this latter one to supplement the capacity of my own so I had two laptops uploading files at once. Unfortunately my USB to USB connecting cable broke the week before the event so I was doing a lot of file copying using SD cards to ensure that I had the files on the right laptop but also ended up in one place.

The other system that had to survive was my old and this means not only keeping going through the weekend but through Sunday as well so that the family does not get totally neglected. As always I must thank Marie for putting up with me and still being there when the Parish Walk finishes.

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