East Africa Safari Rally

1996-1997

East Africa Safari Rally

In the 1990s the East Africa Safari Rally was the most grueling of the international rally circuit. Timekeeping was complicated by poor communications and poor computing infrastructure. Checkpoints across the country would call in times by radio, often out of order and after considerable delays.

Small Business Systems, the ancestor to Unusual Systems, delivered a bespoke software system to manage the leader boards. The system calculated which cars were on what leg of the route and their relative positions on the leader board even where data was missing. Results were delivered near real time to the press site. The event was largely staffed by scattered volunteers and enthusiasts; requirements were contradictory and anecdotal.

Hardware was installed as the event started - effective integration testing was limited. Support over the 48 hour event was therefore crucial and hot-fixes were managed carefully to avoid severely impacting the leader boards.