I asked our tech guys to prepare a notebook for me with NetSecure configured to work with our GP30 RFID reader. The usual Lenovo that I borrow from them has a problem so they lent me their Compaq notebook. When I tested it, it seems that the startup time is pretty long. So I figured it would be best to boot it up; run NetSecure; then just put it in suspended mode. That way, when I open it at the studio, its ready to go.
Well, when I tested it, I found out that the suspend mode does not work. Normally, if you close the notebook's screen/lid while its running, Windows will just send it to sleep. While it did send the notebook to sleep, I couldn't "wake" it back up. I can see the LED indicators on the notebook on, but the screen is completely black. No button can seem to get it back on. I had to remove the battery just to reset it.
At this point, it looks like I have to boot-up the notebook and run NetSecure prior to my interview segment. Since the show is shot and aired live, there is no room for error or a slow boot-up. The TV viewers simply cannot wait for this notebook to get ready for the demo. So I made sure the Compaq was fully charged before heading to ABS-CBN.
The call time at Studio 6 in ABS-CBN was at 6:40pm. Since I was not too familiar with the area and traffic can be unpredictable, we left the house at 5:30pm. I got to the studio by a little past 6pm. There was plenty of time to kill. There was a small dressing room outside Studio 6 where the guests hang-out and get their make-up done. The make-up artist told me it was still too early to put on my make-up and she asked me to walk around first so I don't get bored. Aside from myself, the other interviewees included a guy from LTO Stradcom, a guy from DENR, and another guy selling alcohol-level breath analyzers.
Off I went walking around the corridors hoping to get a glimpse of some tv/movie personalities. The closest I got was TV newscasters Ginger Conijeros and model/entertainment newscaster Phoemela Barranda (who was seated a mere 2 feet away from me) who got their make-up done at the same dressing room we were in. (The DENR guy was asking me who they were and if they are movie stars. Duuhhh...) Ginger seemed nicer and friendlier between the two. Although neither of them talked to any of us guests (we're not worthy of their star presence), Ginger bid us good luck on our interview on her way out.
At around 6:45pm, things started moving quickly. We got a little make-up and ushered into Studio 6. The room was freezing! The crew said it is really like that because of the studio lights. They need to crank up the airconditioning to compensate for the heat generated by the lights.
The show starts at 7pm. It is anchored by TV newsman Tony Velasquez. The Stradcom guy was up first. His interview is expected to be about 15 mins. So while he was being interviewed, I already booted up the Compaq to make sure its running. I also prepared and powered the GP30 RFID reader and hid it behind the LCD panel in front of the interview area so I can quickly pull it out and connect to the notebook when its my turn.
As fate would have it, when the Stradcom guy was down to his last 3 mins or so, the darn notebook started flashing a low battery warning and told me to plug it to regular power asap! From the time I booted it up to now, I think it has only barely been 30 mins. A regular notebook battery should last at least 2 to 3 hours if the computer is not doing anything intensive. Something was wrong with this unit's battery. If it died, I wouldn't have time to plug it to regular power and wait for it to boot up again for my turn.
When the Stradcom guy's interview was over, the crew told me I have exactly 2 mins to setup. At that time, they ran some video/voice-over on-screen for the televiewers. I quickly plugged the notebook to a power outlet hidden behind the LCD TV; connected the RFID reader; did a quick test. Phew! It worked! What happened next can be watched at the YouTube video below: