Re: Computers are afraid of me...
On wednesday 12 May 1937 the BBC had three cameras and one mobile video unit connected by 8 miles of balanced cable ready to broadcast the coronation of King George VI.
The Marconi-EMI equipment had all just been delivered and set-up the day before, with the television vans only just completed in time for the event. On the day of the coronation it nearly all worked perfectly first time with no problems reported from any of the three camera positions or the engineers being relayed the pictures back at Alexandra Palace. The problem that did arise nearly cost the entire transmission however. Just as the royal procession was nearing the first camera position a dryjoint in the vision relay circuitry in the control truck shorted out and the picture transmission stopped. Bernard Greenhead, who had been responsible for much of the equipment (including its installation and operation on the great day), took a guess at which panel would be the cause of the problem. Giving the offending relay rack a sharp kick with his shoe, the circuit was re-established and with barely three minutes to spare, picture transmission commenced.
From: R.C. Alexander, The Life and Works of Alan Dower Blumlein.