Imagine Cup We've been in India for the past week taking part in the Imagine Cup 2006 finals. Unfortunately we were knocked out and didn’t make it through to the top three.
After a few hours of depression we came to terms and set about enjoying the events that had been organised for us. We had great fun on a trip to an ancient temple to help out with its restoration, an Indian culture night, followed by a brilliant party and of course a trip to the Taj Mahal. As our final article we thought we'd write a mini-brief on our experience both presenting and demo-ing our application.
First things first, DO NOT rely on a network connection for ANYTHING! Secondly, when you’re about to stand up and demo, make sure it was you who did the setup.
Suffice to say we had a few problems during our demo which luckily we’ve been told weren’t noticeable. It turned out that the Pocket PC emulator required a stable network in order to interact with the host even with a reg hack to get around the “Media Disconnected” warnings it still floundered. Although network access would’ve also been useful for getting access to the University VPN for uploading last minute code changes to Team Foundation Server. To top that off a friend who wasn’t on the team plugged the USB phone into one dodgy USB port on the laptop – why is it all laptops seem to have at least one dodgy USB port. But despite all of these troubles we pulled through and delivered our message.
If there is one piece of advice we’d like people to take away from this article it’s “always have a backup plan to hand”. When the network was failing we had a stand-in application prepared to step in and perform. When changes got added that resulted in the system performing differently to expectations the team covered for it. Finally, when our phone system didn’t work because the USB port wasn’t functioning we had an alternative to hand which saved the day. Well to be honest when we say alternative we mean we used the keyboard and built=in Microphone and skipped on mentioning that the USB phone wasn’t working and just shouted loudly in the direction of the laptop, hoping the microphone would get it all.
Despite sounding like it went to shambles, the demo went very well, we did our best and at the end of the day the judges can’t make everyone a winner. We’ve seen some great things and met some fantastic people, our congratulations go out to Italy, Brazil and Croatia who claimed first, second and third place, respectively.
This is the last entry from us, it’s been a pleasure doing it even if at times we have struggled to find the words or indeed the grammar to express our somewhat incoherent thoughts.
So from all of us here in sunny Hull Tom Randell, James Lissiak, Andy Sterland
We wish you all the best and thank you! ®
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