Monthly Archives: September 2014

Timing Multiple Races at the same time

Hello readers!

This weekend I’ll be providing some actual timing services…anyone who follows my blog knows that I end up doing a few of these a year, and probably even more this year than the norm.  But it’s all good, because I get to see some amazing athletes, beautiful country, and smoooooooothly executed events!

This weekend I’ll cover three events within the course of about 16 hours.  In and of itself, that’s not a big deal, but it does make for some crazy sleeping hours.  Two of the events are simultaneous, which is what this post was supposed to be about originally.

Simultaneous events are not that big of a deal in Good Times Software.  We designed the system to be flexible enough to time multiple events that start at the same time and run simultaneously, or you can now setup Divisions within a single event.  (Technically, I don’t call Divisions separate events, but I’ve noticed people using the terms interchangeably.)  First, within System Preferences, make certain to select the option “Enable Multi-Start capability when timing events.”  If that option is enabled, your timer will notice that the “Get Set” button on the Time Entry window changes to “Multi-Start” on all open Time Entry windows, when multiple Time Entry windows are open.

What does that mean?

Well, if you’re going to time two simultaneous events, you need to have two Time Entry windows open.  If you’re using the Multi-Start option, then the stopwatch timer for all events will launch simultaneously whenever one of the Multi-Start buttons are pressed.  Think of it like a whole bunch of stopwatches “linked” together so that whenever you press start on one, they all start!  And it’s handy to have either a big monitor, or multiple monitors for viewing multiple Time Entry windows at the same time.

That’s really all there is to it… at this point, the software will time each event independently, according to however you have it setup.  If it’s a chip-timed event, it will poll the chip system in accordance with the rules for the event.  If it’s a computerized select timed event, you’ll have to enter bib numbers in as runners cross the finish line.

Have a great weekend, and make sure to check out our website, our Facebook page, and our YouTube Channel.

Having a Good Time

Biking in Montana

Biking in Montana

One man, one bike, and many miles of open road!  That picture is the typical scene I was fortunate enough to experience for all of last weekend.  This year I went solo, which is very therapeutic.  I’d be lying if I said the whole time I was thinking about timing races, race timing software, registration, etc.

But I did put some thought into many different aspects of my life, both personal and professional.  I realized how beautiful this state truly is.  The 841 miles of back country plus a couple of Montana’s larger cities completely validated that.  It’s also obvious to me that a good mind-clearing break like this is good for the soul.

Next on the roster is wrapping up some of the summer’s last few races.  This has been an amazing season with wonderful races, great people, terrific customers, and continual updates to Good Times Software.

Check us out on YouTube, or like us on Facebook.  And it’s not too late to get into one of our webinars.  The webinar is a great way to see for yourself the power and ease-of-use of Good Times Software.  Give us a call at (877) 244-5484 and register.

Race Day Registration Woes

Laptop Quagmire

Laptop Quagmire

Hello Readers!  So that was the scene on my kitchen table last week as I prepped for a pro bono race held this past Saturday.  I’m not sure why I left the plant in the middle of the table; perhaps I felt it added some peace and tranquility to the quagmire of laptops.

The event offered Race Day Registration, hence the need for so many computers.  In addition to the participants who registered online ahead of time, we had about 150 people show up Saturday morning to register for the event.  Moving 150 people through a well-organized registration process doesn’t have to be all that difficult.  The problem is, well, we’re human.  And we don’t like to show up too early for something.  Moving 150 people through a well-organized registration process with only 30 or fewer minutes remaining to the start of the race is an entirely different proposition.

Thankfully, we were prepared with lots of computers and a good number of well-trained volunteers.  But the whole situation really begs the question: why not just offer online pre-registration?  More and more races are doing this, and some even penalize participants with high prices if they choose to forgo online pre-registration and show up for race day registration.  In fact, I know of one event where the cost was twice that of online pre-registration!

I don’t need to be an evangelist of conducting business online.  Millions and millions of people do this routinely on a day-to-day basis.  So how about it, folks?!  Let’s ban race day registration forever and usher in the modern era!  (Okay, cynicism cease!)

Thanks for reading, and please make sure to visit our website at GoodTimesSoftware.com, or our Facebook page.  You can also find our helpful how-to videos on our YouTube Channel.  (Or you, too, can slip back out of the modern era and use a telephone to call us at 877-244-5484!)