"While the hour glass turns..."
by N. Sivasothi
CDRW and the super 14.1" battery save the day
Original version posted to email@example.com on Thu, 03 Oct 2002 00:37:31 +0800
I was in Jakarta for a presentation today. Important South China Sea grouping that will decide if there is a phase two to a project we executed last March - its the expedition I brought my iBook on, called "Exercise Anambas".
Sound militaristic? When I wrote the proposal in 1999, I used the term "Exercise" in the draft. Actually unsuitable army lingo name since this is some peace-generating programme! But to my surprise, the draft got circulated widely (around the region), and in March 2002, when we set sail, the banners said Ex Anambas!
The meeting today was another last minute thing, as was everything about this project. Grabbed plane tickets yesterday, did a hasty claris-homepage (not like Colin's!) webpage and ironed pants in the dead of the night. I prepared more than 130 powerpoint slides, with the many images from the expedition, and made a copy to my 6GB HD and a CDRW.
I've been having a good run on my iBook, making presentations at various locations in Singapore - CCs, hotels, private groups, schools - everyone has new LCD projectors, so no more problems.
So I forgot what it could be like...
I join the meeting after lunch, hook up the iBook and the lcd projector makes a high-pitched humming sound. Oh dear! 10 mins to start. Support staff shaking their heads. Do something!!
Oh no, I forgot my USB ZIP drive, driver floppy disk or USB floppy disk drive. No CD-drive on the old PC laptop linked to the projector for earlier sessions. Aargh!
Optimistically, I start burning a CD from finder because people are returning from lunch. Happily 10.2.1 has no windows-compatability problem.
Room filling up. Ah! An Indonesian foreign affairs officer provides a beat up laptop with masking tape over the hinges. It has CDR! Pop in the freshly-burnt CD and the hour glass turns and it....reads the OS X-burnt CD, hurrah! I double click the presentation. Powerpoint 97 fires up and the hour glass turns, and turns and turns...
The chairman for the session is looking at me. I mouth "go ahead", and he makes opening remarks. I tell my host (another guy) I will present without slides, and begin cooking up a routine in my head.
Then I remember - Ctrl-Alt-Del. Reading off the CDR must be too slow, remember?! Copy to hardisk first! I eject the CD, open Powerpoint 97, and within Powerpoint, open the file. But still the hour glass turns and turns...
The presentation would contribute a significant visual impact to the meeting, which will decide about similar expeditions in future. So it has to work and a lot of things are riding on this! Amazingly, just as the chairman and host finish their remarks, as if on cue, the first slide appears! Hooray!
A 130+ image-intensive Powerpoint v.X presentation is running smoothly on Powerpoint 97!
Luckliy I remember that Powerpoint will react slowly, so I must compensate for time lag after pressing the fforward key. As I talk, I frantically press the arrow keys. The timing actually works out. During the one or two very long lags (which I thought was the pc dying), I began discussing a certain issue. It worked out, phew!
Presentation over, everyone raving about happily, and a success!
The good times in Singapore made me sloppy. I forgot to being a power adaptor (lucky 14.1" batteries last very long!) or a USB ZIP, USB Floppy or serial-USB adaptor (for pc-mac transfers). Soft underbelly and all that, for I used to pre-empt these sort of problems. Interesting analogy with the way our youth lack challenges to enhance their development.
So I survived, OS X rules! PC-advocates circling the sky turned back today. All is well.
And the group seemed interested in follow up proposal presented by the Philippines. Guess what? It's called "Exercise Palawan"!