The final contestant in the t-shirt hurling contest, Ron Smith,
had his turn today. His entry was truly medieval: he built a
Trebuchet. Two years ago, I built one of these for JavaOne (with
much help from Dale Yoakum). I kinda learned how they worked as
I built it. Ron clearly knew how they worked from the beginning:
his had a very clean release that resulted in beautiful flawless
flat arcs. Totally reliable. No wires, motors or computers.
Peter Moore and his mates from Cenqua in Australia came in
second, and Oscar Guandique from El Salvadore came in third.
They all got silly certificates, a cheque and (surprise) a sun
workstation (the winner got two). It was a huge amount of fun.
All put in excellent efforts. There are some interesting
lessons about the practice of engineering here.