I've been spinning stories on local sporting events since 1977 and my how things have changed.
When I first went to work at the News-Record, we were using a computer system that is archaic by modern standards. The monitors were huge and the mainframe was in an air conditioned closet.
Our first "laptop" was a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100 – circa 1983. It was perfect for journalists since it had a built-in modem.
While ancient by today's standards — its monitor was tiny and could display only 8 lines of copy — it was fun to use.
We always seemed to have problems with getting the thing to connect to the computer here so we could download copy. It would have been a cinch had wi-fi been available then.
Some of my AmCon Media brethen are currently using iPads to report and even do live streams of events.
When getting the results of Tuesday's Super Tuesday voting for The Associated Press, we got the local numbers on a laptop from the state election board's website.
The use of software to keep statistics at professional and collegiate sporting events now is the norm and it's trickled down to the high school level.
It's nice to have a printout that shows all the needed info, like field goal attempts, rebounds and turnovers.
Troy Gray and Travis Norwood were among the first I knew who used scoring software on their iPhones.
The latest toy we've found is software that replaces the need for a baseball and softball scorebook.
Northeastern A&M baseball is using iScore while the Lady Norse softball and Afton High School baseball programs are using GameChanger.
Both are available in the iPhone App Store for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and in the Android Marketplace.
They offer game summaries, statistics and a detailed play-by-play, which is helps make writing stories so much easier than trying to decypher a traditional scorebook.
We were able to replay NEO's game against Coffeyville – pitch-by-pitch – to glean information for a story.
Then Friday afternoon, we tracked the Eagles' 14-0 victory over Bluejacket, even watching as Trevor Maupin had an eight-pitch at-bat that ended in a second-inning walk that forced in a run.
"My brother gave it to me," Afton coach O.Jay Bowen said of the GameChanger app.
Bowen said GameChanger and MaxPreps.com, an online high school sports service, are teaming up to provide more reliable data.
As part of the agreement, MaxPreps.com will encourage its network of over 10,000 baseball and softball coaches to replace traditional paper scorebooks with GameChanger's mobile scorekeeping technology. MaxPreps.com teams that use the app will see their post-game stats and scores delivered immediately to MaxPreps.com.