Assistance with Rally of Canberra

Hugh Blemings hugh at
Wed Feb 19 16:41:08 EST 2003


As a few of you would be aware, I've been involved with the Rally of
Canberra for quite some time assisting with the (Ham/Amateur) Radio
Communications and the tracking system we use to monitor the progress of
competitors through the event.

If you're unfamiliar with the event it's a three day
car rally that will run Friday April 25th through to Sunday April 27th
2003.  This is the Anzac day weekend.  It's a long weekend but usually
pretty fun.  All voluntary and being in headquarters you don't even have
to venture into the Big Blue Room (TM)

For the last few events my focus has been more on the computer side of
things.  The tracking software is something I wrote three or four years
ago, somewhat ironically it was originally written under Linux but time
pressure at the end (and lack of a good rapid GUI tool under Linux) meant
I finished it as a Windows application using C++ Builder.

I digress but the Windows platform has actually proven to be completely
stable, I guess there is something to be said for always using a
absolutely clean install and not running anything else on the box :)

For this years event I'm most of the way toward re-writing the tracking
stuff under Qt/Linux (code will be GPLd of course).

Why am I telling you all this ?  I/we need some help, possibly quite a bit
of help.  Carl Makin and Martin Pool have kindly agreed to help out but we
could use a couple more people.

* Volunteers to help out with coding, testing and general hacking
  prior to the event.

 - Help with the tracking software (Qt app)  If you're a Qt God and
   inclined to help event better!

 - Database/PHP person(s) to help write a separate logistics tracking tool
   Thgs basically lets us track events that need to happen by a particular
   time.  A particular stage being set up, first car ready to start etc.

* Volunteers (ideally the same ones) to assist in setting up the
  systems prior to the event as well as help out over the weekend.

* People interested in the thing to bounce ideas off as we go.

Why should I help ?

* It is a fun, if busy, weekend

* It's a good advertisment for Linux/OSS

* I'll buy the Coke ?  

* You get free breakfast and lunches

* You get to go to the volunteer shinding afterwards (free beer IIRC)

Why shouldn't I help ?

* It means an early start on Saturday (7-8am) and Sunday (6:30-7:30am)  If
this is the only thing that puts you off we can works something out

* The Rally command centre can be a very stressful place at times. 
Usually things go very very smoothly, a few cars go missing but we quickly
find them and learn the crew is ok.  

Sometimes we don't find them and stop a stage, send in an ambulance and
helicopter and save someones life.  It gets very serious very quickly at
200km/h+ if you come off the road.  Thankfully it's a long time since this
last happened...

* You hate computers/rally cars/me/other people/etc. etc. :)

If I haven't scared you off and you're interested please send me some


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