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A flair for the mundane February 7, 2013

Posted by mareserinitatis in engineering, research.
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A few months back, we had someone from one of the local papers interview some people from our group about one of the widgets we’d been working on.  We were in a different lab than the one where we’d done all the work on the widget.

As we were talking about it, the reporter seemed rather interested and asked a lot of good questions.  Before he left, I suggested we give him a demonstration of the widget.

That was an awful idea.  We turned on all the equipment, got things set up, and…nothing.  It didn’t work.  There were a couple of points where we got something, but it was all bad data.  As we were trying to get this figured out, I could see that the reporter was obviously losing interest.

There never was an article about the widget in that paper.  After the awful demo experience, I’m not surprised.

The lesson I took away from this was to always make sure your demos work before you show them to anyone.  We did eventually figure out what the problem was (some sort of hardware incompatibility), but I wish I’d known the demo would’ve been a no-go and not made us look like dorks in front of the reporter.

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