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August 18, 2003, by Léon Krijnen

Yeahronimo? Yeah!   

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Maybe because i haven`t checked often enough development of streaming video, after so many disappointments during the last couple of years, that i wasn`t aware of the status of watching live events on the net.
Anyway, never before my scepticism vaporized so fast as sunday afternoon, while i was watching the soccergame Groningen - NAC, live, on the web.
Fair dinkum, it works, at last al those predictions are beginning to become true!

How they manage to handle the technology at Yeahronimo.com, where Roelof Oltmans is director Sports and Events, i don`t know, but does it matter?
Driving a car, talking in a phone, watching television, nobody bothers how it works, as long as it works. Yeahronimo works, but having said that, it took me about fifteen minutes of fiddling - irritating time in which my scepticism was growing, before the soccer players finally started to move on my monitor.
The result, among other peeves, of the registration procedure, that doesn`t excel in clearness. It`s a pretty simple process that goes wrong on two simple things. Watching a game costs you five cents less than five euros, and you have to pay per credit card (only Master Card or Visa accepted). You only have to do this once, afterwards you`re a regular customer, in the possession of a username and a password.
Yeahronimo wants the number of the card and the expiry date, and i presume they get it from you it through a secure shell or something like that. I trust them because if they hadn`t taken care of a secure and safe way of doing that they wouldn`t exist anymore. Simple as that.
Then why two such stupid and irritating things that kept me busy for a while? First one: the expiry date, which is printed on the card in the format two digits, slahs, two digits: 07/04. On submitting the form returns and tells me in a red warning font that i`ve submitted a wrong expiry date. Check, 07/04, submit, again refused. Now what?
Yearonimo doesn`t tell me it wants the full year, 2004 instead of /4. When i finally try that, teletekst on the good old television shows me that NAC is already one goal behind, and i still have to pay 4,95 euros.
Second blooper: Yearonimo also wants a three digit code, printed on the back of the credit card, but when i flip my card there`s a seven digit code. First three digits, middle three digits, of last trhree digits? It turns out they want the last three, but why don`t they say so?
When my card is at last authorized and i`m accepted as new customer, some thing go very wrong in the Windows Media Payer, and it`s build 9.xxx, as Yearonimo wants it. I get, in the best Microsoft traditions, a number of error messages which might as well have been written in Swahili or Sanskriet: absolutely incomprehensible. The bloody thing can`t find one server, or something, while the other doesn`t answer, and nothing happens. Now what? I`ve just payed five eurodollars, i want to see the bloody game and if it doesn`t work, i`ll call Oltmans, and ask my money back!
After having closed down Media Player a couple of times, and having clicked left and right, by cripes, there`s a yellow black shirt moving on my monitor, i hear a soccer commentator, apparently there are more camera`s, and the commentator sounds like a professional. The sound is crisp, the guy knwows what he is talking about, the shots are professional looking, and the repeats in slow motions are allright.
I guess it differs from machine tot machine, form connection to connection, but in pc-terms my three year old 650 mhz Pentium III is a Neanderthaler. The connection, a LAN connected to the web on a 2 mbit pipe, is okidoki, but i`ve never noticed that much difference with my 1.5 mbit ADSL at home, which sometimes performs better than the LAN.
I don`t think you should try do it through a modem, or an ISDN connection without DSL. But if you have a reasonable (A)DSL, or cable-connection at home, you like soccer, but don`t feel like driving to a far away game, give it a try.
Yeahronimo? Yeah! It works!

The original article in Dutch, in the archives of BN/DeStem, where i am working as the internet editor. If you want to read it in Dutch, you have to register once, but it doesn't cost you anything (yet) :-)

Posted: August 18, 2003 09:26 PM (745 words).   

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