Following a recent football match, the manager of the losing team commented that the opposing team “used every trick in the book”. He was clearly unhappy at the result of the game and the tactics that were used. In a similar way, in the realm of Formula One motor racing, one particular team have been able to dominate the sport in recent years, especially one of their two drivers. Some of the other teams have questioned how this one team could be as successful as they have, as their cars clearly have a competitive edge. Naturally it is recognised that the driver concerned is talented and being able to drive a good car does help, but have the team been able to exploit aspects of the rules to their advantage?
In America, their game of American Football is more like our rugby. It consists of a series of ‘plays’, where the ‘offence’ players of one team attempt to move the ball the minimum of ten yards down the field in four attempts, or ‘downs’. If they succeed, they retain control of the ball and can attempt to to move the ball at least another ten yards, the ultimate aim being to get the ball over the goal line for a ‘touchdown’. However, the ‘defence’ players of the opposing team try to stop them. If the defence players recognise or ‘read’ the offensive play and can prevent the ball being moved forward ten yards after four downs, control of the ball switches to the other team. That team’s offence then take over and attempt to do the same.
As has been seen at the recent Winter Olympics, most sports require a degree of skill and an understanding of both the game and the rules by all participants. Formula One is combination of technology and skill, along with, it must be said, financial backing. However, the governing body of this sport are continuing to make changes that it hopes will allow other teams to compete, and enable spectators and fans to enjoy the sport more. There is also more to the game of American Football than has been described above, but certainly much of the game is being able recognise the plays and if possible, gain control of the ball and attempt to score a touchdown. Which means that any allowable trick or diversion to confuse the other team will be exploited, wherever possible! In all of these, anyone breaking the rules will be penalised and in many cases it is not just the player but the team as well that suffers by paying a fine or losing points. But so long as the move, manoeuvre or tactic is allowable within the rules, there is no problem.
Computers have become a great deal more interactive and easier to use by people of all ages. They are designed to provide entertainment, to make our lives easier as well as providing the capability to share information between other people around the world. But they too have many tips and tricks built into them that can speed up or simply make better use of their capabilities. These tips and tricks can be learned easily.
Sadly, some people do not feel that they have either the time, inclination or capability to learn what to them seems a complicated process in using a computer, but many of these same people have learned to drive a car and obey the rules of the road. Unlike many other things, computers have a variety of uses. A kettle simply boils water but it enables you to make tea, coffee and other drinks. A washing machine cleans a variety of clothes, likewise a digital camera enables you to take pictures of a variety of subjects and, with the aid of a simple connecting lead, allows you to transfer those photographs from the camera directly to the computer. These same photographs can then be sorted and if necessary edited before using the Internet to share with family and friends around the world, or stored safely on separate backup drives.
But a computer can do so much more, like storing information, researching family history, playing games, writing letters, keeping a diary, creating and listening to music & video and talking directly to family and friends around the world.
To achieve these skills requires a little training, but they are easily to learn. Skills include useful tips and tricks, referred to by some as short-cuts, but these do speed up the time involved when using a computer. The more of these you learn, the more adept you become and the more you find you can do. There are many publications nowadays to help you, as well as people like myself who offer local training on using computers as well as taking photographs. There is no doubt that using a computer is a great deal easier than it used to be, whether you are using a Windows-based one or an Apple computer, but learning even just the basics makes good sense. You may not learn every trick in the book, but the more you learn then the more skilled you will become!