Overtime (ice hockey) vs. Network Computing Devices (NCD)

Overtime (ice hockey)

I am the wrong person to argue for this, because I hate hockey. Yeah, yeah, strip me of my Canadian passport, that’s fine. I prefer my sports to be as slow-moving as possible, like baseball. So I shouldn’t like overtime – if I hate hockey games, I should definitely hate the thing that makes them last even longer, right? Well, sort of. But what I do like is suspense. And shoot-outs. And the expression “sudden death” in reference to sports. (Not in reference to actual death.)

If Justin were writing this one, he’d probably quote a bunch of stats about the best overtime goals or whatever. But I don’t care about that stuff. And if you care, you probably already know more than I do. My favourite fact from the Wikipedia list of “notable overtime contests” is that in 1936 Detroit and Montreal (the Maroons, not the Habs) played a game that lasted as long as three games. And it was ended with a goal by a guy named Mud. Mud. Awesome. If you want to read about overtime goals by people not named Mud, go read this list. Because I mainly care about players with awesome names.

Overtime means the game is tied, which is about as good as it gets for excitement in a sports game. Shootouts are great because you know where to look for the action. That’s why I like baseball: the action happens in specific little spurts, with long stretches of boring nothing in between where you can gossip and get more beer. Hockey games are busy and chaotic and something important could happen at any time, so you always have to pay attention and then someone’s slammed into the boards and someone else is ramming a skate into his neck and I feel terrible that this barbaric nonsense is our (unofficial) national sport.

But most people disagree with me. Most people love hockey. No one loves defunct computer companies. And overtime is the most thrilling part of this game that most people love more than their first born, the part where you’re as excited as if you’re playing, even though you are just sitting at a bar please stop kidding yourself.


Network Computing Devices (NCD)

NCD's thin client computer. Saving more space on your office desk to put photos of your loved ones.

Never mind that the company no longer exists, during the 17 years it existed, Network Computing Devices (NCD) worked towards advancing the “thin client.” And what this basically means is that your desktop need no longer take up half of your office space.

I’m not a big computers guy but it’s clear to see what the advantage is here. By being able to link a bunch of computers to one server, thin clients not only save space but also money. And while I don’t care about big corporations being able to save a dime on their office infrastructure, I do like how this can make it affordable for public spaces such as libraries and schools to be able to offer free computer access to everyone.

NCD may have ultimately failed as a company, but they helped pioneer a technology that has become the standard today. It might not sound that exciting but it sure beats overtime in hockey. These guys actually put themselves on the line and took a chance, while hockey players can coast through OT assured that they leave with one point regardless. There’s no one point here for losing here, it’s all or nothing. Their accomplishment goes down in history as helping advance a significant step in computer technology, not some stupid overtime loss that has made hockey statistics virtually indecipherable and a complete farce.

Published in: on January 13, 2010 at 10:25 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Alison and I have no business discussing the virtues of “Our Game” as, frankly, we both care very little for it. And in many ways, Garry Howatt should epitomize that […]

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