Whether your a sound guy who forgot to mute the pastor’s mic before he went backstage or your a web admin who’s site was infected with malware and you’re at the center of a major security scandal, we’ve all had out brushes with tech-based tragedies, “tech wrecks,” if you will. What makes it worse is that when you want to vent about it, no one around you has any idea what you’re talking about, thus limiting the effectiveness of your ranting. Last Wednesday at church was a perfect example:
My Tech Wreck
Our youth group’s G5 Mac had been trucking along with mediocre quality for a few years, but we’d asked for an upgrade. Of course, as most church techs will tell you, there’s never room in the budget. Before I go on, I don’t want to sound ungrateful. We did just receive an HD project through a very generous donation of funds, so we’re not running out youth room entirely on duct tape and chicken wire.
Of course, the sweet awesomeness of that HD output was a bit much for our secondary video card, which was a ten-year-old Windows PCI card that one of our techs flashed to make Mac compatible. That card fried like a pound of bacon in Paula Deen’s skillet. In a matter of seconds, we lost the ability to play music before service and project the words for worship. This was no small problem. We had already invited all of our students’ parents to join us, doubling our audience and exponentially increasing our need to pull this night off successfully.
Failure was not an option; no matter how strongly our equipment suggested it!
In the end, we made it work, like all good techs do. I used my MacBook to display the words in Pages since we had no time to build a Keynote presentation.
Pardon me while I shudder.
It wasn’t pretty.
It was barely legible! I had to invert my display’s colors so that it could be read.
Catharsis in Community
That’s just one of the many stores in my repertoire of “tech failure.” I have tons, and I know I’m not alone here. We’ve all got these stories, so let’s put them to good use. It’s time for some community catharsis by getting out all of our rage and bitterness. (Better to do it here than to unleash it all on our tech and people standing around us when we go-off!)
Every Tuesday, we’re going to post one of our tech wreck stories. Eventually I’ll run out of my own, so over the next few weeks, I would love for you to submit your stories in the comments of these posts. We’ll read the comments—like we always do—and pick out some truly epic fails to share in the coming weeks.
What are some of your “tech wreck” stories?