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Round-the-clock ski race cover challenge

Round-the-clock ski race cover challenge for computer experts

Press Release

Round-the-clock ski race cover


challenge for computer experts

AUCKLAND (11 JULY). - Resources and expertise from the world's largest supplier of computer systems will bring non-stop coverage to the Internet from a round-the-clock international ski race in Queenstown next week. Compaq Computer New Zealand, sponsor of the 16-hour Compaq 50K of Coronet, has lent its resources and expertise to deliver live video and race information to spectators around the world through a special web-site - http://www.compaq50k.co.nz With eight teams from the world's top downhill racing nations competing, global interest in the event is high. Chris "Superman" Kent, a three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Aspen, leads a strong Canadian team. The Spanish team is headed by Luis Breitfuss, a highly-regarded international race coach who has coached the Queenstown Alpine Ski Team for several years. The all-women Swedish team boasts the race's youngest competitor, 18-year-old Nike Bent a national Downhill and Super G champion who fourth placing in this year's World Junior Downhill Championship. Racers begin the gruelling event at 6 pm New Zealand Time on Monday, 17 July, and will finish at 10 am the next day. Each team is expected to complete more than 50,000 vertical metres, or 50K. Compaq has set up a web-site - http://www.compaq50k.co.nz - which will feature live streaming video and progress details during the race. Technical challenges have provided a test for Compaq staff setting up the web system. Compaq Technical Consultant Blair McKenzie has had experience, through Compaq's Americas Cup sponsorship, in planning the Louis Vuitton Media Centre hardware infrastructure. This included extensive Internet access requirements to provide journalists with a simple, non-stop information flow to the outlets they represented. He says while the two events differ in scale, the logistics of installing a server and supporting infrastructure on a mountain presents its own difficulties. "It's a technical challenge. No-one has ever set up a server and system this complex on a mountain before. We think it's the first time live ski race statistics have been transmitted over the world wide web." Compaq technicians have set up an Alpha server on Queenstown's Coronet Peak. But because of the difficulties in getting a high speed Internet connection up the mountain, data is then transferred to a mirror Alpha server in Auckland. Project Manager Paul Monteith says Compaq's integration skills have also been put to the test. The system contains a range of machines running a variety of systems from DOS to Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Linux. A Compaq EN Small FormFactor DeskPro with video capture card will take race footage from Queenstown Channel 5's local TV broadcast to stream as video over the Internet. An SP 750 workstation will be used to edit race highlights taken with a digital video camera. Spectators at the Air New Zealand Winter Festival who can't make it up the mountain can watch the race at four Queenstown bars, where new Compaq iPAQ internet computers will display race statistics alongside TV coverage. The two-man team have four days to assemble and test the complete system. Meanwhile, the web-site will continue to provide updates on team preparations for the race.

About Compaq Compaq Computer Corporation is the largest supplier of computing systems in the world. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures, and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, and communications products, commercial desktop and portable products, and consumer PCs. Compaq products and services are sold in more than 200 countries, primarily to customers from the business, home, government, and education sectors. Up-to-date information about the COMPAQ 50K of Coronet, plus information about Compaq and its products and services, is available at http://www.compaq50k.co.nz Compaq is registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Product names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Further information:

Hugh Scott Public Relations Manager Compaq Computer NZ Ltd 09-373-9197, 025-412-700 hugh.scott@compaq.com

Race web-site: www.compaq50K.co.nz


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