Cool. Good job SmitDog. An "all classes" selection might be nice to see the whole picture or how about check boxes to show selected classes on the same page. High tech baby! Just a couple ideas from this lazy azzz.
Hey Bill I assume data entry at the enduro is the most time consuming part and multiple laptops would be a good thing. Does the program allow you to enter scores into separate files on separate laptops and then easily merge them (via memory stick)? Or do you have to network the computers and enter the scrores directly into one central database? How many laptops do you think would be optimal number for entering the scorecards at an enduro?
In my experience, entering scores is the easy part (providing one can read the cards...). There's a bit more work entering riders information up-front. It's very user friendly.
We've used the system for two years, and it is REALLY SLICK. We networked three laptops and we had no problem keeping up with entering riders. For scoring, we were waiting around for the riders (and the backup books) to come in, we were able to complete the scoring so quickly and easily.
Bill will know more, but I believe the program is a central database, with multiple laptops able to enter information simultaneously. It calculates scores instantly, and prepares finish reports for an entire event in like less than 2 minutes. Its also very easy to make corrections due to protests, etc, and can recalc a class finish report for you in like 5 seconds.
I'm really happy Bill is involved with the development of this. Brian is really smart and super involved in the sport; he has a great program. Between the two of them, this will be one awesome product. It's light years ahead of AMA's ridiculous excuse for a computer program.
Data entry coupled with illegible handwriting issues are the most time consuming aspect of it. The beauty of it all is that when the event is complete (assuming you get in all the last minute protest changes), your work is for the most part done. Different class structures at mult-districts events are a pain and do require some additional work.
The event results database can then be uploaded to a reporting web service that auto-magically offers complete reporting of the event (check-by-check points / scores), and also points standings for the series.
Once this system is completely configured and up and running / tuned, I can have event results and standings posted the next day, along with sending results reports to other districts and the AMA. If I was retired and had wireless internet access at staging, I could post all this after trophy presentation.
The massive data entry issue is still the bottleneck, and throwing hardware at it can obviously speed up the process. It requires simple networking of laptops using a shared database. An eventual goal is to either reduce or eliminate the human data entry part: Use transponders / transmitters at checks, or PDAs for entering rider numbers, scanning barcodes, etc at checks. This collected data can then be dumped into an app like MotoTally and have it spit out results and scores. We really need to reduce or eliminate the massive amount of check data that is handwritten on scorecards, and then either manually calculated (lot's o' errors), or transfered into a program via data entry.
If you lined up 8 laptops processing scores, you could do about 10-15 score cards per minute, or 300 riders in 30-45 minutes. There is also time needed however to lookup the backup sheets for illegible handwriting. Part of the issue is getting the right team of volunteers who are computer literate (although it's pretty simple) and are fast on the keyboard. Requires more coordination than simply getting a group of volunteers at a table with a stack of score cards, pencils, and calculators.
I will get a better feel for number of laptops needed per event after I do a few more. I would imagine that 3-6 would be optimal for our events. I have only a 4-port hub right now.
Minimum requirements are Windows 2000/XP, 256-512 RAM, 800MHz + processor. I also need time to stage the laptops and config networking.
Fred: If you can bring your laptop, perhaps we can put it to use for scoring. I do need to set this all up Friday evening after I get to staging. Not much time with sign-up 7am-9am (who picked the key time anyway!).