Why are you reading this? Go outside. Do something meaningful with your life.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


On Friday we went bowling for a friend's birthday. I hadn't been bowling in about 15 years. Several things were surprising. First, Google had the address wrong - it's 1205 Wellington, not 1025 - I've filed a bug. Second, the shoes were both comfortable and stylish - they had an embroidered "Rental" on the side - I almost stole them.

But the automatic scoring system fascinated me most. It detected which pins were down and calculated scores - players didn't need to do anything. Each lane had their own computer screen. You could manually override incorrect score - of course, none of us knew how to score anyway. Here's a blurry photo.

It's an old system - probably programmed by one or two people 20 years ago. It must be cool for them to know that their software is still chugging along. It was a good system - as players were added the height of the rows changed. There were awesome multi-coloured ASCII art animations when someone got a strike, spare or gutter-ball.

The system was from Mendes, a now defunct Quebec company. They built the software and the pin mechanisms. YouTube has a very cool video of the pin mechanism.

For the observant, yes, that's 5-pin bowling - a truly Canadian game.

No comments: