We are a few months into the competitive season and Canadian Nationals is right around the corner. 2016V16 is now being tested.
The following are a few things worth noting when using the scoring system::
- Turn autoSave OFF – do disable the Autosave, it always comes at a time when you least expected it and with a huge workbook and fragmentation of the disk, it may take a couple of minutes or more before it finishes and during that time, the system will say it is “non-responding”. Sometimes scorers panic and think the system has frozen (when it is not – just too busy). Turn autosave off and control your own destiny by saving after every couple of scores.
- R1C1 style addressing – we had one case early on in the season when a nothing on a new computer works. On digging around, we found that MS Excel was installed with a rare default of R1C1 style addressing where, columns and rows are not represented as alpha-numeric (e.g C10 to mean column C row 20) but rather as offset from the current cell (e.g. RC(-1) to say one column to the left of the current cell). The column headings therefore will show numbers instead of A, B, C, etc.
The scoring program depends on alpha-numeric cell references and so please set it up as such (or you will have problems printing).
- At every major checkpoint, do close the workbook and create a copy into your backup folder with approximate time of day to unique identify the time of the checkpoint. For example: Elite 2016 – Saturday end of day.xlxm.
- USB stick – at Elite Canada, a bad USB stick corrupted the transfer of the scoring workbook. Always install the score workbook ahead of time and give it a quick test. This seems such a straight forward thing but things can and did go wrong. At the venue, without any extra USB sticks, we had to use the internet to email the program from one computer to another. Extra stress that is not needed.
- Stable computer – always do a quick test after setup or transport from one computer to another. Excel version, options, etc can give you a nasty surprise.
- Static/buzzing sound after connecting the PC to the sound system – At Elite Canada, we had to run the power supply to the PC separate from the amplifier to eliminate a nasty hissing static sound. A spare long extension cord is a good thing to have.
- Music high and lows – some music have a section that goes very soft and another part with very loud booming sound. In theory, the music person should not have to adjust the volume midway. I strongly recommend using a good music softwore to change the gain permanently if the gains differ too much from one section to another.
- Configuration of the carry over from qualification to finals (Comp A to B) – the scoring system can handle a lot of configurations. For example, for Special Olympics Nationals, the qualification round is only worth 25%. In Elite Canada and Nationals, 100% of the scores from Comp A go into Comp B. The default was set in error to 25% and hence the problem with the cumulative results in the morning. This was corrected later in the afternoon. In V16, this value is displayed with a reminder message when you set the event code to a few of the known events (i.e. CIC, EC, ONPQ and SOC).
- Number of athletes – currently the default is set at 200 and can be increased if needed.
- Additional levels – At Planet Invitation, because of the number of athletes, they want to add levels by year (e.g. Junior2001, Junior2002, Junior2003). You can achieve that easily by observing the following steps:
- If you are doing any manual overrides/inserts, always copy and insert an entire row from an existing row. This will avoid missing hidden cells.
- Change column H which is the description of the new level. This value shows of on the rank reports.
- Change column Q which is the start ID for the new level. Simply make sure for your event, ID will stay unique and not overlap.
- Make sure the display Y/N flag is set properly. If column S is N, it means that the scoring system will not allow display of scores. This is set to N for level 1s as well as for HC right now.
- The message mode is still an under used feature when people use live scores – do use it at the end of each day, during breaks, before the event and after the event so that people off premise know what is happening. You can also use it to provide a link to video feeds, official event site, etc.
- It is a good idea to save and reboot the machines every morning before you start (i.e. Both the music computer and the scoring computer)