the 27th -- Well, our mock presentation was rather dull
mainly because we had no graphics on the powerpoint presentation and many members of the
group had not practiced their parts at all. On a good note, our prototype was
working. In a short circuit, the prototype ball circled the loop effortlessly with
the resounding but gratifying sound of, " vooooom vooooom vooooooom voooooom".
Each voom was a complete circuit traveled by the ball as it was propelled by
the accelerator. We then video taped this with a digital camera for use in our
real presentation on Friday. Since the circuit being traveled was extremely limited
in creativity (the opposite of what we wanted), the group decided to build to more
accelerators. Having the design of the accelerators all figured out, we estimated it
would be feasible to make the accelerators. So, Alberto and I went to work.
Today was the most frustrating of all the days in this process. Anyhow, we completed
the two new accelerators by 11:00pm due to unexpected problems (you the rule "If it
can go wrong, it will"). It was good time especially since it took us 4 days to
build the very first accerator. Meanwhile, we hadn't touched the presentation.
Needless to say, we worked on the presentation feverishly. The result --- we
had an awesome powerpoint presentation packed with animation and information. By the
way, it was 4:30am at the time of this completion and three group members had remained
till that time.
the 28th -- Presentation Day. Most of us had only
rested for one hour before we had to be at Professor Slocum's by 7:00am. See, we had
to copy our presentation onto Slocum's laptop. Here again, unexpected problems
emerged. The movie of our prototype at work would not insert into powerpoint.
This problem emerged with every group. Fortunately, Slocum figured out a way to work
around the limitations of the program with clever dual program manipulation
techniques. Next, our presentation was to big to copy to disk according to our TA
who was supposed to bring it to the lab. When we came in contact with her over
the phone, she tried to email it to Slocum. That was not working and she did
not have a rewriteable CD drive in to copy the presentation. Finally, the email went
through and Slocum was able to download it to his laptop and insert our movie. After
these problems were dissolved, the team built the huge version of our prototype (with
three accelerators, this was made possible). We danced in glee as the prototype
worked perfectly. At 9:00 the presentations began (or were supposed to begin,
Slocum was also having technical difficulties with the other groups). So, in
actuality, they started 20 minutes later. Anyhow, all six groups had produced