Timing a Race: Software on Windows or a Mac, or a Website?

It’s quite funny how Event Directors, race participants, or essentially anyone actually involved with a race never question why Good Times is a software application on Windows, instead of a Web-based application on the Internet.  But other software developers do ask that question.  Well I’ll answer it today!

But first, the easier question of why Windows instead of a Mac?  And for that answer, we must simply consider that Windows-based laptops still dominate the market.  Not nearly as much as they used to, however.  In fact, support Good Times on a Mac is probably a likelihood at some point in the future.  But for now, we have to target the most widely available platform out there.

But let me get back to why Good Times is an actual software product instead of a website.  And that question is pretty simple, too.  It just as easily (well almost just as easily) could be either.  Sure, we could make a whiz-bang registration and timing website complete with all the whistles and bells.  But what about these things:

  • Make sure that a good and dependable Internet connection is available from the middle of a cornfield 150 miles away from civilization?  (Because we do time races out in the middle of nowhere sometimes)
  • Ensure that if we did have an Internet connection, that the website would actually be up and functional?  (After all, someone else is responsible for making sure the website is up, and let’s hope it’s up on race day!)
  • Provide accurate times (Have you ever noticed that little inconsistent and frustrating delay when you click a link on a website before the page shows up?  I’m pretty sure that would monkey with elapsed times which need  something called precision!)
  • Figure out how to integrate a website on a server somewhere across the country with the chip timing devices sitting on the side of our race course.  (Now that would be difficult, and expensive!)

So it’s a pretty cut-and-dry answer: when trying to consider your options for how to time a race, stay away from websites!  Good Times is a software product.  It runs on your Windows PC or laptop, provides a shared database so multiple computers running Good Times can connect to it, all in a self-enclosed network that can be setup in the middle of the most distant cornfield of your choosing!

If you haven’t checked out our YouTube videos, you can go there now by clicking here.  And visit us on Facebook, too.  And we’ve recently released another upgrade that builds on our Chip Timing capabilities.  Grab the trial version of Good Times on our downloads page.

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