Kukla's Korner

Canucks and Beyond

Hockey Slave to Technology

There are plenty of things to talk about in Vancouver, but I think most of them are getting us nowhere. While interesting, they all seem to come down to "hurry up and wait." For instance: - Trevor Linden is out; Trevor Linden is in; Trevor Linden is baggage??? (Geezus, Tom...) - The Canucks still need scoring. (I quite enjoyed some of the stuff added in the comments here. Well done.) - Peter Forsberg wants to be a Canuck. But he won't be. - The new jerseys are ready to hit the streets. But you still have to wait. (F*#&@!) ...etc So instead, let me point out a real-world mess from last week that botched up my hockey life (and apparently interfered with the lives of millions of other people... although that would be their problem) and made me think about how dependent hockey fans are on technology: the crash and burn of Skype. As it's always easiest, let me first start by blaming Bill Gates:

“On Thursday, 16th August 2007, the Skype peer-to-peer network became unstable and suffered a critical disruption. The disruption was triggered by a massive restart of our users’ computers across the globe within a very short timeframe as they re-booted after receiving a routine set of patches through Windows Update.”

Bloody hell.  And perhaps not Bill’s fault exactly, but I’ll hasten to point out that those same Windows Updates, downloading automatically and fighting for precious space on my obscenely-overworked hard drive, sent my own computer into total oblivion for a brief period that day as well.  Grrr.

Regardless, once it all settled down, the whole thing got me thinking about how reliant my hockey brain is on technology. (I mean, are you going to get any NHL news from ESPN? I think not).  So where would most of us be without the instant accessibility of HockeyDB.com?  Or without the breaking news online at TSN or Kukla’s Korner? And how else but through Yahoo!Sports would we even have a clue who half of the 700+ guys even are, that are playing in the NHL at any given moment? Not to mention, losing all of these other amazing hockey resources.

We’d be absolutely nowhere, that’s where.

Speaking as a fan who happens to possess the single WORST memory in all of hockey fan history, I’d be screwed without these electronic cheat-sheets. And Skype is part of that since I’m quite reliant on it to do my job, not to mention life in general.  So when something as fundamental as Windows triggers a chain reaction, even for entirely innocent reasons, one’s hockey life can easily down the tubes. (Admittedly, my Windows rebooted fairly quickly after its own horrific crash. But still… I’m an addict. I’m easily scared.)

It’s just about impossible these days to imagine being without the technology we rely on to explore the sports world online, and hard to remember how recent it all is.  About 12 years ago, my first decent computer (a 486, for historians) was purchased for about $5,000 (I kid you not).  Yet my current “outdated” laptop—which I suspect could still personally fly and park a spaceship on the Jetsons—can be bought in most electronics’ stores for well-under $1,000 today. Astonishing. And how much I take it all for granted, this access to hockey friends, news and statistics that I have ready at the tip of my keyboard.

Anyway, this whole theme of we-are-all-whores-to-the-internet reminds me of this video I saw on Youtube a few weeks ago.  Nothing to do with hockey, but a small piece of entertaining genius about the internet universe.


Filed in: business of hockey, vancouver canucks, | Canucks and Beyond | Permalink


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About Canucks and Beyond

Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.

In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.

So that's me. Who the hell are you? smile

Email: am@kuklaskorner.com

Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]