Thursday night I went to cover a state high school basketball game at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The game was a "first" for me, since I'd been asked to send a story on the game to our daily sister paper. They've used my features before, but they'd never specifically asked for live game coverage for me.
I borrowed my boss's old Powerbook laptop. It had no working modem, but it did have ethernet hookups. I was assured that the school would have ethernet available to reporters. Nonetheless, I expected to have difficulty with the older laptop so I brought a couple of contingency options.
The game ended, with "my" team losing by three on a missed 3-pointer at the buzzer, and I did postgame interviews in the media room. I then set up shop with half a dozen other reporters in the same media room to write my story.
Less than an hour later, I had my story written and my task became one of sending the story. I had about an hour and 45 minutes before my deadline.
Most reporters were dialing in on a 28.8 dialup connection, but I found an ethernet connection and tried getting on. It didn't work.
I had my USB flash memory card and I thought I'd put the file on it and send from another reporter's laptop. That didn't work either. The Powerbook wouldn't recognize the USB card (although my newer eMac at work does).
My next step was to put the file on a Zip disk, but who has those anymore? I did that, but then sought the help of the school's sports information person. She and her boyfriend tried to help me get on the ethernet, but they couldn't figure it out either.
So the last resort--before dictating over the phone--was to go to the sports information office. They did have Macs with zip drives and Internet access. So I was finally able to send my story.
All told, I had about 30 minutes before deadline. Ol' Murphy tried to get me with his law, but at least this time, I won. The story ran the next day with very few changes.Posted by JRC at March 13, 2005 09:42 PM | TrackBack