TEC pillar


[digital is physical][experience]
Last Thursday we placed the pillar we made for the event in Terheijden in top of the church tower.

The Traais Energie Collectief (TEC) organised an event in the village: a treasure hunt. To reach the end of the hunt the children had to climb the very old church tower. A rather rickety looking, but hundreds of years old and in fact rather sturdy winding staircase leads at least a hundred steps up to a little attick. That is by far not the highest point of the tower. On that attick a pillar stands with a screen. When you push the button, a film starts to play telling you you have reached the end.

So last Thursday we had to climb that winding staircase to carry the pillar up there and install it. No problem, we just do that. Kosmo was busy, so I offered to go. Because programming is not my expertise, Vesa would come in case something would go wrong. Then he could fix it. Morten, who had done the programming, could not come because he had to go on a boat tour that evening and he did not want to (literally) miss the boat.

Of we went to Terheijden. Leo opened the church for us and led the way. Henrike was there too. Leo and Vesa carried the pillar up the stairs. Up in the attick, slightly out of breath, we put the pillar in place, plugged it in and it worked! A little later we could press the button to start the film. And it did not work! Not unusual for a prototype, but not something we wished for.

First we checked if something had gone loose during transport in car or on the backs. But no, that looked allright. Phoned Kosmo, sent pictures of the inside of the pillar. Nobody could find anything wrong.

Was it the software? Phoned Morten, checked all regular things. Could find nothing. Asked Kosmo… Asked Matthias… And time went on…

In the meantime Henrike had to leave because she had to walk the evening four-day hike with her children and they had to eat before that. Leo could not leave; as proper caretaker he could not leave us alone in that attick. I did not mind; he knew very much about Terheijden and told me about it. The origin, the wealth that was due to the salt that came with the brakish water of the river Mark and could be extracted from the peat. A kilo of salt was worth a house in those times! That is why this little village could build their own church in fourteenhundred-and-something. He also gave me a tour over the ship of the church. Luckily you can not look all the way down from the wooden bridge that leads over the ship.

Anyway, two and a half hours later…

Morten had solved the problem: a little part of the software was running on the internet in our premises. In the tower we were not connected to the internet, so that piece of software did not run at all. Once we knew that, the relieve was big, and the problem was quickly solved.

Morten was glad he had not come, because he would definitely have missed his boat. Vesa was late for his meeting that evening… And I, well, I had a lovely afternoon!

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