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Pity anyone who has to give a demo of a computer software product, particularly on short notice. Murphy guarantees that the smoothest running product will suddenly become recalcitrant when demonstrated. (The probability of such an occurrence is known to be directly proportional to the importance of
the persons in the room).
Careful rehearsal can often avoid these scenarios. But sometimes thats not possible, and disaster strikes. Then you are faced with the problem of talking around the issue while you troubleshoot. Let us take a lesson from our friends in the world of magic. What you need is a distraction!
Enter the Misdirection Adapter Card (MAC). Available in PCI, PC Card and Express Card versions, the MAC device can be pre-installed in your demonstration PC or laptop, and activated via hotkey or an easily pocketed remote. When activated, it will emit a large puff of noticeable smoke from your demonstration PC, in quite spectacular fashion.
More importantly, the MAC will temporarily disable the screen output of your system, and set in motion a configurable script to reset your demonstration environment. This can be as simple as killing and restarting the application in question, to a complete reboot.
By the time the room recovers from the shock of your system seemingly going up in smoke, you can launch right back into the next step of your demo. Youll seem like a hero at that point, even if the rest of the demo is uninspiring.
Coming soon: MAC Model 2, now with sparks!
Inspired by the concept of "magic smoke" [krelnik, Apr 28 2007]
Halfbakery: Pyrotechnic I/O Card
Implementation? [jutta, Apr 28 2007]
||Hey, look, over in the corner, it's [krelnik]!
Welcome back & have some smoking crumbs.
||//you can launch right back into the next step of your demo// Assuming, of course, that your software product has magically regained function. A device that simulates a fire in the auditorium might be more effective, giving one time to repair the problem while the building is evacuated.
||Always safer just to record the demo in advance and just show the video file.
||I needed this just the other week. [+] (and as soon as I got home, the damned thing worked again and the demo-error couldn't be replicated - arrgh!)
||you will not believe this but i actually once tried to make a "malfunction sparks generator" for my motherboard using motors and a barbecue lighter. i miss it.