Sunday, March 08, 2009

Meritorious Practitioner of Murphy's Law

Class of 2009

Somewhere in the string of blogs that I read (and sometimes comment upon) is a discussion that a group of us should get together and write our own wikipedia entry.

As everyone knows, it is terribly bad form to write your own entry on wikipedia, but if I did, then 'Meritorious Practitioner of Murphy's Law' is probably how I would describe myself.

Yesterday, was the day of my presentation at the Oundle Festival of Literature on the art of the blog.

Throughout my life, I have been plagued by what is called the 'live demonstration' - which is why I spent so long making sure that I would be able to access all the sites I needed, because part of the two hour slot was supposed to be a session to allow the participants to start up their own blogs. The mystical Murphy stalks me, so I know that I need to make sure I cover off all eventualities.

One of the classmates couldn't access their email, but I had prepared for that. I made sure we could get to gmail and they could set up an email account.

I had made sure we could get to all of the sites we needed to get to (well, except for one, the food pornographer site which was banned as porn - which it ain't).

This time, I thought I had Murphy licked. All the computers had been tested, all the access checked, my presentation loaded, the projector work - I had every base covered and Murphy would be frozen out of the equation and forced to go to the Literary Treasure Hunt.


Sadly, there was just one thing I couldn't have predicted or prepared for. Someone at Multiply decided that 8:00 am EST was a great time for site maintenance! So when we sat down at 1:00 pm GMT we were greeted with a message, albeit a polite message, that the Multiply was unavailable!

The little pixies at Multiply weren't going to hurry their maintenance either (see Note 1). So in the end we were forced to abandon the setting up of new blogs and the poor people (who had actually paid for the privilege) were forced to listen to me spout.

Thankfully, I had a lot of material and there were a lot of really good questions from the floor (some of which I could answer!) which allowed the session to last the full two hours.

I think it went well. I hope it went well. I guess the real test is to see who does their homework and what new blogs for the festival get connected to my festival Multiply blog.

Note 1 : This is because computer maintenance on overtime has to follow a set for. Management notice when you start work and hence qualify for overtime payments, when the computers go unavailable. The know when you finish the overtime, because the computers come back on.

Computer technicians aren't daft. They come in, switch the computers off, then go and fetch themselves a coffee and a doughnut while raking in payment at time and a half.