Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fast mouse clickers

Some time ago, I wrote some critic judgement about the registration system applied in international F3F competition. I slept quite some nights since then, and once in a while, I thought about my points in this matter. Yesterday April 1st was an important day for international F3F pilots since two registration procedures were scheduled. The first was for La Muela Eurotour in Spain on February 1st, 00:00, and the second was for Rana Eurotour in the Check Republic on the same day at 15:00.
I have to admit it: my point of view about registrations didn't budge an inch!
First, the registration for La Muela started in advance of at least 4 hours, probably some time before 7:41 PM on January 31st, instead of February 1st 00:00 AM. Fortunately, the mailing list relay worked again and I got the "hurry, guys" information very soon from France. I easily went through the online form and got my slot for Spain. I was quite happy since the family Easter holiday in central Spain depended on it... Since there were 50 slots for this competition, there were even some available slots from the official registration time onward.
Then in the middle of the afternoon, it was the turn of the registration for Rana. Let me explain my situation at 2:57 PM in some detail. I was sitting in the middle of a small boat anchored on the Murten Lake next to the underwater archaeological dig I currently work on. The weather was grey and cloudy, temperature around 2°C, freezing wind from the North-East. I was wearing a heavy cold water diving dry suit made of compressed neopren/kevlar over a thick diving thermic overall looking like a down sleeping bag for the Himalayas. I tried to keep my feet warm with not less than FOUR pairs of socks. My head was covered with a rubber hood under a neopren hood. Since I had to go through an international F3F competition registration procedure in 3 minutes, I took some time to take off my huge industrial rubber gloves and the underlying thick whool gloves, because with them, I had no chance to grap my Android phone...
So, sitting like this as good as I could in the bottom of the boat to try to keep my hands away from the chilling moist wind, I launched the phone web browser and got to the Rana web page, hoping the battery would last for the necessary time. Since I was still 2 minutes early, I reloaded the page to be sure to have it updated when 3:00 PM would come.
There the link goes for registration. My fingers were already so cold, but I could open the online form, zoomed in to select the first data field, typed in my name, then the second field, etc. Until the floating online form was repeatidly slipping off center from the damned phone screen. I could zoom out (far) to see the full form but then it was impossible to select the bottom fields!!! Tried again with different zooms until once in a while I could get into this or that field. But at the form bottom, impossible to get into the last fields... My hands were frozen cold and I shouted desperatly to the unfriendly skies in the middle of my boat in the middle of my lake in the middle of my heavy diving suit. No, I won't teach you all the french F-words I shouted at this point of time (probably around 3:03 PM this February 1st 2011).
I suddenly saw another solution: closing the default phone web browser and launching Opera Mini! Found the Rana page again, the entry form, and like magic, I could jump almost easily (with frozen finger) from the first to the last form field and go through the registration. But there was no confirmation message the entries were saved after the antispamming number code, so I entered those numbers 3-4 times to repeat the process in hope everything would be fine.
It was 15:05:38 as the participant list shows today. So five and a half minutes after registration opened for this competition, I could get slot number 31. Fortunately enough, the organizer decided to increase the participant number from 30 to 35!!! Thanks guys. Without this, I would have sent one half of my frozen rotted finger in an envelope to Contest Modellsport and the other half to Rana... hey, I'm joking, my finger is ok again!
Voilà the story of my registration for Rana. Just pure fun and a pleasure to participate. The last slot was attributed 10 minutes and 30 seconds after the official opening time. I am so happy I do not work in a slaughterhouse chopping chicken heads, or in a wood mill shifting planks, or as a yoga teacher, or as a bus driver, or a hair-dresser. I am almost sure I would have missed the registration somehow. Now I know freezing one's ass in the middle of a lake in plain winter is the best professional position one can get to have a fair chance registering for F3F international competitions. And since I have such a job, I think I'll stay with it some more time ;-)
So I could conclude: there's no need to change anything, everything's just fine. But as quite some of you may now know, I won't anytime soon because though the registration system in F3F could be worse, it could also be better!
By the way, and to avoid any misunderstanding: to all you guys achieving a fantastic work organizing the La Muela, the Rana, and all other F3F events, to all you guys doing a great job promoting our sport at Contest Modellsport, to all of you my sincerest thanks and greatest respect. I had a funny anecdotic way to show that registering F3F international competitions isn't always easy or smooth, but I wrote this only for one single reason: let's continue to think about possible ways to make things better, and let's continue to share thoughts.
I love what became my sport, I love the F3F community for what it is and represents, I love you all!
Cheers and see you on the slopes.

PS: Bravo Lukas, you're not only fast in the runs, you're also the fastest mouse clicker. You've got your slot Nb. 4 (first after organizating team) only 39 seconds after registration opened. That's a very very good time, at least in regard of the conditions I met on my f...... boat ;-)

PS2: by the way, my wireless F3F timing system now speaks! More information about its state of development it in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!


  1. Hi Reto,

    Are you lining in the futur ?
    You are talking about the 31th of March and the first of April :) !!!

    We are the 3rd of February :)
    Registration was on the first February, not April !

    C U


  2. Pierre, it's because I'm working on past stuff that I must experience some time shift in the present. Of course it was between the 31st of January and the 1st of February that all this happenend. I think you won't mind if I correct the post. Thanks for resetting my counter.
    Cheers. Reto