Monday, November 24, 2008

Silver Infocomm Day...official Opening 22 Nov 08

The official opening was held on Saturday 22nd Nov 2008 at the S'pore Polytechnic Auditorium.
The Guest of Honour for this mega event was Rear-Admiral(NS) Lui Tuck Yew who is also the Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Information, Communications & the Arts, & Ministry of Education.

The auditorium was fully packed to capacity before the arrival of the Minister. Those present were all senior citizens above 50 years old.

I had arrived before 8 am to have a dry run of the morning's proceeding with the briefing conducted by staff from IDA. On the huge monitor screen I could see my blogsite page on display and later my Facebook photo pages. We had a number of run throughs when the hall was still empty of people. Everything went smoothly and soon the crowd began to saunter in. To keep them busy and entertained, there were a few performances by volunteer groups in guitar and songs.

The emcee soon announced the arrival of the G O H who was given a warm welcome. A short video-clip was shown highlighting various aspects of Silver Infocomm activities.
Then it was time for RADM Lui to deliver his opening speech. On a given cue, I walked up the stage to the right lectern where the laptop was connected to project some of the pages referred to by Minister Lui. The pages were of this very blogsite and my FACEBOOK albums. Minister Lui pointed to me to introduce me to the assembly. I nodded in acknowledgement. The laptop was working fine but somehow there was nothing projected on the screen! After a few seconds, IDA and poly staff reacted quickly by checking the laptop as well as some of the connecting cables. Despite everything they tried the screen was still a big blank. Minister Lui was absolutely good, remaining smiling all the while, patiently waiting to see if this most unexpected technical problem could be somehow corrected. After about 2 minutes ( my estimate ), he took the initiative to continue his address but not before apologising for this snag and telling them we can come back to the pages later if the problem can be corrected.
When he had finished his speech, he walked towards me, shook my hands and said," Hi Dick, I am so sorry that we couldn't show the audience your interesting website and FACEBOOK. This kind of things can happen sometimes at the most unexpected moments."
I told Minister Lui that I was not the least perturbed. How come? Such things have happened before...many times! Some can be "prevented", many can't. In fact, I told a few of the people directly involved not to be too demoralised by this as no one wanted this at all. It could be anything that triggered this snag.
We chatted about our common experiences of technical foul-ups. He had his share of computer crashes and glitches at home and I mentioned mine. My longest computer crash was 3 weeks!
Later, I had to change the entire motherboard of my computer! ( Not cheap! ).
We walked from stall to stall to see and try out the various new gadgets on display. We had much fun together. At the reception, I had hardly any chance for a cup of coffee before I was lined up for a series of "Live" interviews by reps of the Straits Times, MediaCorps 93.8 Radio
Station and the IDA in-house network.
My next post will be about my talk, that afternoon.

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