MEMPAD Bulletin #3
This memorandum is sent to all club IT contacts plus others….
This bulletin is a follow-on from #1 and 2 since various queries resulted from the earlier Bulletin.
Several people commented that it was difficult to know when a new release of Scorebridge was available.
I thought this was a reasonable point. Stephen Bligh produced an answer immediately.
Users should go to the System Preferences screen (via the Preferences menu);
and then tick the box “Check for Upgrade”.
Then each time ScoreBridge is started up, provided it is connected to the internet, it will automatically check if there is a later release available.
If so, it will then give the user the option to read about the latest release and to install it if they so wish.
Sounds simple, you tick the ‘preference’ box once and then relax because “the system will tell you”, but obviously you have to be on-line.
The current latest level of Scorebridge is 10.16.02.
It has become apparent that when a club or its scorers use multiple PC to do scoring and/or transmission to MEMPAD the multiple copies of Scorebridge software could be at different levels.
This obviously could create major issues, thus
rule one is that all the utilisers of Scorebridge within a club should be on the same level, and
rule two is that it should be the latest.
Otherwise this is a recipe for problems.
There were a couple of queries as to why clubs had to update when it was not obvious to them that the changes had any relevance to the SBU.
There are many reasons why it is ALWAYS good practice, if not obligatory, to update to the latest level of an important piece of software.
A) The list of changes that describe the new release may not contain a description of the technical adjustments made (since they are boring), but they would be necessary for security or protection reasons.
B) If you encounter a problem and need support from the vendor, his first question will always be what release level are you running on, and if not the latest he will ask you to update, and rerun and see if the error still manifests itself.
C) As higher above, if a club has more than one computer involved, then the difference in levels can cause mayhem.
D) As MEMPAD grows and develops more capabilities, we are more dependent upon good quality input, and some of the changes that have been made to enable clubs to protect against making input errors. Since the beginning we have had a number of situations where clubs inadvertently used the wrong CLUB code, with the result that some clubs were paying for others MP certificates. Also EVENT code has particularly been vexatious for all concerned. Where there are errors that Scorebridge could have prevented, the resulting workload to correct them then impacts myself or those working with me.
E) Often new releases are to enable the Scorebridge s/w to function correctly with more up-to-date technology (e.g. tablets, Windows 10, whatever).
F) The SBU intends to continuously develop MEMPAD, and to do so may mean that that we have to add new capabilities to Scorebridge for the benefit of players, club officials and reduce SBU workload. This would require every club to be producing the same file format so at the same software level.
F) Lastly if you are using bridge pads/mates you need to be in synch with your wireless s/w.
One other issue was raised, namely “but then we have to pay for it”.
Yes, it is quite normal that customers who have programs which are being further developed, maintained and supported are charged by the vendor (unless it is Microsoft).
Whilst I hold no brief for Scorebridge their annual support charges do not appear out-of-line, and currently there is no reasonable alternative.
Not so, says one club, we will move to the Jeff Smith programs.
As previously announced with considerable notice period to allow clubs to get the latest version installed, Jeff Smith has transferred his “business” to the EBU. The EBU will provide a continuing service, for new and old customers, and for existing customers who need the updates and support the price for the newly-named EBU Score will be £50 + VAT per annum. For further information see the EBU website.
It has been suggested that the SBU negotiate directly with the EBU and why not Scorebridge also, to see whether a SBU direct deal can be arranged.
This will be discussed at the upcoming SBU Council meeting.
Lastly, may I ask that clubs pay particular attention to the accurate recording of their players’ SBU number in the Scorebridge player database.
What has become apparent is that there are errors which have lain undiscovered. This because a number is valid but wrong, the unfortunate result being that MP points are being awarded to a different player.