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First Lego League in Virginia and DC


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Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Phil Smith III <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 3 Nov 2009 15:15:54 -0500
text/plain (74 lines)
I'm sorry you're so frustrated. I can certainly believe it, especially this close to Regionals!

At the risk of being called a Pollyanna (or worse), let me suggest that you make this into a learning exercise for the team:

- What could (not *should*) they have done to avoid/plan for this? ("Have a spare brick" being the obvious, if not necessarily practical, answer)

- What can they do *now* to get around it? (Do any of them own a brick? Can you buy one and then return it once this one is fixed? Have you called LEGO for support?)

- Could it be a battery issue? Have you recharged it since the problem?

- Can you try it on a PC instead of a Mac?

FLL is all about solving problems. This is beyond the level of problem they SHOULD have to deal with, of course, but that doesn't mean they can't be encouraged to step up and try to figure it out.

And I hope you'll come to competition anyway -- the table runs are 1/4 of the points, and the whole point is the experience, not "winning". In fact, they might find another team with an idea, or a spare brick to lend...
Phil Smith III
Virginia State Judge Advisor, 2007, 2008, 2009
Judge Advisor, Northern Virginia Regional tournaments, 2007, 2008, 2009
Division 1 Judge Advisor, Virginia State tournament, 2006

Coach, The Capital Girls, Oak Hill (retired)
Team 1900 (2002)
Team 2497 (2003)
Team 2355 (2004)
Team 1945 (2005)
-----Original Message-----
From: First Lego League in Virginia and DC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sherene Silverberg
Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 2:38 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [VADCFLL-L] more problems

Lee Hilt kindly sent me a picture that showed us how to find the reset  
button.  My son depressed the button (I was unable to see it with my  
old eyes) and now the brick refuses to switch on or to stop clicking  
so we can't reload the drivers.

I have to say that I went into this FLL League with great excitement.   
I am now totally turned off by the entire experience.  Buggy  
equipment, buggy programs, drivers download pages hidden so well that  
unless you are given the exact page, even Google's spiders struggle to  
find it.

I have received 6 emails in the half an hour since I sent my original  
email.  All these people are experiencing the self same problems as we  
are experiencing with the programs that run, not resembling the  
programs that were downloaded.

This is the most appalling situation I have ever experienced.  Lego  
needs to get their act together and sell equipment that works.  Driver  
and firmware updates should be easily found.  This is an exceedingly  
expensive exercise and for this money, I expect far better service and  

My team has spent more work trying to fix Lego issues than they have  
on developing their programs.  It is most frustrating for my team to  
write a program, have it run perfectly 3 times and then on the 4th  
time have to execute a program that does not resemble the one that ran  
perfectly 3 times prior.

Now we have a dead brick just because we attempted to reset it.

Just in case you haven't realized it yet, I am fuming.


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