Monday, September 21, 2009

Digital versus local

At a railway station (more about this particular station soon), we were trying to locate the position of our coach. And we spotted a neat digital gizmo right there which gave you all the details of the train you were supposed to travel in. At the time that I tried the machine, it was able to tell me the location of my train, whether it was running on time or otherwise and it had a neat coach position chart too. That was simple I thought, ignoring the *ed "Actual coach position may change" as if it were some musical chair event...

And then we walked onto the platform where there was an old painted board with the coach position of the particular train. When we checked, the digital gizmo and the board were giving coach positions at the opposite ends of the train. Considering a very short halt and luggage and all that, a run was not going to look all that good.

So, we asked at the only place where it seemed to be possible to ask - the canteen and he helpfully told us that the board was right. And since he was so confident we took our position and he was perfectly accurate.

If it possible to locate the trains position so accurately, there is no reason why the coach positions could not be accurate too...But thats the thing with gizmos - GIGO. And thats why local knowledge will triumph gizmos unless we get the whole thing right.

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