|The mission test was underway complete with a few token younglings to add a sense of realism to the venture.|
While most congregants of the Space Centering Community were busy enjoying the more traditional Labor Day festivities, InfiniD Learning's imagineers were at work in their secret laboratory high in clouds atop the Telos University building in Orem / Vineyard Utah. It was crunch time - the last day of testing before the worldwide release of the much anticipated InfiniD Lab Simulator Controls.
|InfiniD Lab Lighting Module with its custom casing.|
A perfect device for the computer lab converted simulators. The lights are connected to the new software, thus never needing a flight director's attention (unless desired of course).
An invitation to join them came through by text earlier in the day. It was an invitation I couldn't ignore. This was one of those historical events in our profession needing to be documented for generations to come. I asked Bracken Funk to join me. Bracken will be running Renaissance Space Academy's InfiniD Lab program. I wanted him to be one of the first flight directors to see the new programs in action.
|Skyler Carr and Casey Voeks supervising the mission tests.|
Getting into the testing facility was the first hurdle. The top floor of the building was locked up tight. Word was there were a few unrecognized individuals disguised as Telos U students wandering the lower halls looking for a way into the top floor. Face recognition software identified them as foreign agents working for the Chinese and Russian educational ministries. How they found out about the test was a concern until one of InfiniD's crack programmers found the hack - a line of code in the company's scheduling software.
|The 6th grade mission "Zeus" was about to be tested. The "crew" was logging into their stations.|
A passing Telos supervisor found us and whisked us into the elevator to the floor directly beneath InfiniD's testing location. From their we used a staircase up to the floor where Mr. Casey Voeks was waiting on the landing to welcome us. After a quick search of our belongings and an examination of our dental fillings for micro-transmitters, we were allowed into the facility.
|Bracken waiting for his screen to load.|
The InfiniD imagineers were eating healthily. I was expecting chips, sweets, doughnuts, and a variety of caffeinated shots.
The imagineers were focused on their screens working through a few bugs from the pervious mission test. I sat quietly and watched. Skyler and Casey were kind enough to fill me in on a few details. Everything was working exactly as they had expected. The few bugs and hiccups were easily dealt with by the team. "Will this be ready for deployment tomorrow," I asked.
"Have we ever missed a deadline?" Casey responded. Knowing I'd never get a straight answer, I let it go.
The InfiniD Lab software will be light years better than the previous version which carried no name except those given to it by those who used it.
The staff at Renaissance Space Academy are excited to implement the new InfiniD Lab software and missions. InfiniD, along with Interstellar and Thorium, will make the Starship Voyager a multiplatform simulator able to fly every mission written and never be restricted by a set of controls.
Has Fortuna Met Her Match? How Maeson Busk, Matt Ricks, and Bracken Funk Tamed the Vixen of Olympus
|Maeson Busk coaxing a light into submission|
The Starship Voyager at the Renaissance Space Academy is the ship of dreams, except for the simulator's lighting system. It has been the source of our nightmares for two years. Every week or two the Voyager had a nervous breakdown manifested by the flashing of nearly every light in the simulator. The flashing played perfectly well for attack sequences and those special "alien" boarding storylines. But for normal bridge operations, they were only good for inducing epileptic fits.
I blame Fortuna, the Goddess of Fortuna. She is a worrisome trouble maker and has been a constant thorn in the side of many a space center director. She repeatedly haunted me during my 23 years as director of the CMSEC. And not one to ever forget a grudge, she followed me to Renaissance and found herself a home in our simulator's lighting system.
Something must have really upset her because the Voyager's lights reach their strobing peak last week. Isaac Ostler was able to coax them into a stupor long enough to get us through a mission or two, but that was only a bandaid. We had to have a solution or face the prospect of rewiring the entire lighting system to find the fault. Fortuna had to be corralled and convinced to move on to some other center needing her twisted devotion.
After a series of debates and methodical tests, we determined the problem wasn't software. It had to be the lights themselves. It became obvious that a team of highly skilled demigods be assembled to tackle Fortuna's bewitchments. Bracken put out the call. Matt Ricks and Maeson Busk responded. Armed with spells, counterspells, and exotic potions, the team got to work. Matt did his magic leaving Maeson to do his. Bracken and Maeson spent last Saturday in the Voyager's ceiling.
In the end we believe the problem had been solved. Maeson found six of the DMX lights were switched to "Master" when they should have been set to "Slave". The lighting signals were bouncing back and forth instead of finding their way down the chain. An additional problem was found with the terminating device attached to the last light of the sequence.
The lights have been good now for three days. Not a flicker. Not a flutter. We think the problem is solved. My only fear is this post and her reaction. Fortuna doesn't take kindly to boasting, especially at her expense. Now we wait to see whose powers are greatest. Fortuna vs. Maeson and Matt. Where would you put your money if you were a betting person?