Who is Who
Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN
You are coming to WMOC with Peter Arildsen M75 and Vivi Arildsen W70. Are they your father and mother?
Yes, Peter and Vivi are my parents.
Who firstly have discovered orienteering: you or them? Who really introduced orienteering to each other?
We were all introduced to orienteering at the same time, in the mid seventies when a local orienteering club was formed. When my brother joined, the rest of the family tagged along.
I found your name for the first time in a very interesting document that everybody can discover on the Internet: "Denmark and Sweden revisited 1973-1999". Do you know what I'm talking about?
I was not aware of this document, but I have checked the internet. I found that a good friend of mine, Dick de St Croix, from Canada wrote this document. I think the de St Croix family must be among the early orienteering "globetrotters". In relation to WMOC, Ted de St Croix, the son of Pat and Dick, has won several WMOC medals.
Traveling from Canada to Denmark, 26 years after their first trip in Scandinavian, Pat and Dick talk about friendship and competition. And they write: "Finn [you] was also a pioneer in Orienteering, having developed the first computer program for control descriptions which he called Condes." Can you remember the first episodes of developing this system?
In the mid eighties I was the course planner at a national event. The PC had just entered the market, and I thought that it might be interesting to try to use it to keep track of controls and courses. At the same time, it could ease the task of printing symbolic control descriptions. The software turned out to work quite well, and I got requests from other course planners if they could also use it.
Only few years ago, all courses were planned by hand on the maps. A lot of time lost, inevitable imperfections, difficult to compare different courses, to check over-visiting controls, to calculate precise distances... Do you remember that time?
I definitely remember drawing courses by hand, and I remember making mistakes and having to start over. Preparing maps for a large multi-day event could literally take weeks of hard work with the manual course printing machine. Obviously the reason for using a computer to help with course planning is to simplify these "trivial" tasks so that the course planner can concentrate on the creative side of course planning.
Why did you call it "Condes"? In Portuguese it means "Counts" (noblemen) and there was the name of an important cinema at Lisbon. Why "Condes"?
In the early days the software was designed for the DOS operating system, which had a limit of 8 letters for a program name. Thus, I abbreviated "Control Descriptions" to ConDes. Of course I didn't realise that the word has a meaning in Portuguese. I'm glad that I happened to choose a word that has a positive connotation, and I am flattered that I get free advertising in Lisbon... :-)
Last version is "Condes 8". Can you tell, in a few words, the most important steps before arriving here?
From the start in 1985, Condes printed control description, and had support for relay variations, so the checking aspect was in focus already at that time. Still as a DOS program, from 1989 Condes supported export of course data to event administration software, allowing control codes to be printed in the boxes of the control card (if anyone still remembers the pin punching system). This export function is still the basis for punch checking data. The first step towards "visual" course planning with a map on the screen came in 97 when Condes 6 became a Windows program and supported course plotting with a pen plotter. Condes 7 came in 2001 with support for OCAD maps, which paved the way for printing course and map on a colour printer.
Which are the main progresses of this new version?
Condes 8 has many new features, and it also improves the existing features. Among the new features are: support for multiple maps in the same event; improved relay support; the ability to overlay graphics on top of the map, and to create a new graphics design using an existing map; printing multiple maps on the same page, etc
In a recent race near Lisbon we had a product of your talented program: a map with 2 parts in different scales. Normal users of maps don't think about the work behind the map? How difficult was to find a way to make this?
As you can imagine, it was quite a challenge to get this right. It was also fun to design the calculations that are necessary to scale the different items correctly. The most difficult part in designing Condes, however, is to design the so-called user interface, in other words to make it as simple as possible to use and at the same time allow for flexibility to support more complex tasks, and to cater for the many different functionality requests from around the orienteering world.
Jukola and Tiomila relays maybe are some of the most complex courses to plan. Is Condes able to do it in a "normal way"? Or have you developed a specific program to these events?
It is a guiding principle for me that it should be possible to use the same software for a local training, as well as for a major international event. Condes 8 supports relays with up to 20 legs, and it supports most relay formats. Although the mass relays are larger by sheer numbers, in reality the most complex relay formats are often found at local training relays.
A Portuguese friend had a problem that he could not resolve with Condes. After plan the courses, he realized that meridians were not correct. He changed the meridians, but after he had to plan the courses again, because he couldn't transfer the previous work to the new situation. Can you comment?
It doesn't sound right to me that merely moving the medians on the map would have created a problem to continue the work. It has to be more complex than that. I will be happy to help your friend if he contacts me. Surely, this might also give me inspiration to improve Condes, either by making this task simpler, or by adding new functionality if it is missing.
Same friend also ask why Condes don't have an option to renumber automatically the codes of controls (Master) for an indicated controls interval? (I'm not sure if I am translating the question correctly)
This is indeed a request that is already on the wish list. I am continuously adding new features to Condes, but I have also had to realise that the wish list grows faster than I can design new features, so I have to prioritise.
Last question of this friend: why Condes don't have an option to join in the same file two events produced in different files but concerning the same map?
Support for multiple events in one file (and the joining of work from multiple files) is on the drawing board at the moment. It is a complex area, so it takes some work to get the design right.
"Condes" has a forum http://www.condes.net/phorum/list.php?1 where you answer all the questions that users of the program can feel. Maybe you check there some points that you have to solve in future. Do you remember any important questions that appear there?
One of the new features in Condes 8 is that you can place multiple control descriptions on the map. This is different than Condes 7, where you only had one control description. In Condes 7, this control description was added automatically, but in Condes 8 you place it manually. This change has caused a number of questions from people who could not find the control descriptions. By the way, I encourage users to provide ideas and tips in the forum for the benefit of other users.
How is the relationship between Condes and OCAD? You compete but you have to think of compatibility...
The late Hans Steinegger (father of OCAD) was a good friend of mine, and we worked together in the IOF for many years. We had many good discussions on orienteering software. I believe Condes and OCAD have each their focus of excellence; Condes as the leading course planning tool, and OCAD as the leading mapping tool.
You belong to the IOF Information Technology Commission. Which role do you play there?
Yes, I have been active in the IOF for almost 20 years, dealing among others with questions of how to use technology at major international events, and trying to set standards. It has been very interesting to follow at first hand how IT has become such an immensely important element in organising an orienteering event, and to influence this development.
Coming back to orienteering in terrain, can you elect the best events where you have been?
This is a very difficult question. There are so many wonderful orienteering terrains in the world. If I have to mention one example, it could be an area in Northern Norway, used for Midnattsolgaloppen 1987. It was a very good to experience navigating in this complex terrain with an excellent map, and even without making mistakes...
What was your best (perfect) race?
Has any orienteer ever admitted to having had a perfect race? ;-)
What do you enjoy the most in orienteering?
I enjoy orienteering in a complex, and runnable terrain with a good map. I am a recreational orienteer, so the results are not very important.
What is your date of birth and where do you live?
I am born in 1959, and I live near Århus in Denmark.
What do you expect from WMOC 2008?
I know that the organisers are putting in a lot of hard work so that we all can enjoy good and fair orienteering in wonderful terrain. I look forward to coming.
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008, Jan 2nd.)
[2008-06-20] Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director
[2008-06-20] Dieter Wolf, M55, SUI
[2008-06-19] Timo Teinila, WMOC speaker
[2008-06-19] Jorge Simões, WMOC Event Director assistant
[2008-06-18] Blair Trewin, M35, AUS
[2008-06-18] Mariett Matias, WMOC Media responsible
[2008-06-17] David May, WMOC Senior Event Advisor
[2008-06-16] Gottfried Tobler, M60, AUT
[2008-06-16] Tuulikki Salmenkylä, W45, FIN
[2008-06-16] Arvo Majoinen, M80, FIN
[2008-06-14] Fernando Costa, WMOC Marketing responsible
[2008-06-13] Sarah Dunn, W40, GBR
[2008-06-12] Santos Sousa, WMOC planner
[2008-06-11] Sigurd Daehli, M55, NOR
[2008-06-10] Alexandre Reis, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-09] Nick Duca, M40, CAN
[2008-06-07] Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-06] Irina Stepanova, W55, RUS
[2008-06-05] Luís Sérgio, WMOC mapper
[2008-06-04] Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN
[2008-06-03] Rui Antunes, WMOC Mapping coordinator
[2008-06-02] Jon Musgrave, M45, GBR
[2008-05-31] Jacinto Eleutério, WMOC Course coordinator
[2008-05-30] Rune Carlsson, M70, SWE
[2008-05-29] Åke Jacobson, IOF President
[2008-05-29] Augusto Almeida, POF President
[2008-05-28] Jurate Uleviciene, W55, LIT
[2008-05-26] Vladimir Ioffe, M70, ISR
[2008-05-23] José Fernandes, M45, POR
[2008-05-21] Ezio Paris, M55, ITA
[2008-05-19] Gabriella Györffy, W40, HUN
[2008-05-16] Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP
[2008-05-14] Tomas Zdrahal, M55, CZE
[2008-05-12] Paulo Becker, M45, BRA
[2008-05-09] Ingrid Roll, W70, NOR
[2008-05-07] Jerzy Parzewski, M55, POL
[2008-05-05] Hugh Moore, M60, AUS
[2008-05-02] Martin Checkley, M55, GBR
[2008-04-30] Etienne Bousser, M60, FRA
[2008-04-28] Andreas Grote, M40, SUI
[2008-04-24] Liudmila Labutina, W65, RUS
[2008-04-22] Freddy Sillien, M60, BEL
[2008-04-17] Tomislav Kaniski, M35, CRO
[2008-04-14] Eero Tuuteri, M85, FIN
[2008-04-10] Lena Nordahl, W80, SWE
[2008-04-07] Albano João, M45, POR
[2008-04-03] Tom A. Karlsen, M55, NOR
[2008-03-31] Kayoko Sakai, W55, JPN
[2008-03-27] Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN
[2008-03-24] Anne Nurmi, W45, FIN
[2008-03-20] Peo Bengtsson, M75, SWE
[2008-03-17] Alida Abola, W50, LAT
[2008-03-13] Matti Railimo, M60, FIN
[2008-03-10] Cornelia Eckardt, W35, GER
[2008-03-06] Joaquim Sousa, M35, POR
[2008-03-03] Birgitta Olsson, W75, SWE
[2008-02-20] J. Salmenkylä, M75, FIN
[2008-02-18] Torid Kvaal, W65, NOR
[2008-02-15] Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR
[2008-02-13] Pavlina Brautigam, W45, USA
[2008-02-11] Ferran Santoyo, M35, ESP
[2008-02-08] Sole Nieminen, W80, FIN
[2008-02-06] Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA
[2008-02-04] Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL
[2008-02-01] Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE
[2008-01-30] Tom Hiltebrand, M50, SUI
[2008-01-28] Baiba Ozola, W40, LAT
[2008-01-25] Eddie Harwood, M55, GBR
[2008-01-23] Marje Viirmann, W45, EST
[2008-01-21] Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS
[2008-01-18] Paulina Majova, W55, SVK
[2008-01-16] Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE
[2008-01-15] Lillian Røss, W85, NOR
[2008-01-10] Tapio Peippo, M55, FIN
[2008-01-07] Elizabeth Brown, W90, GBR
[2008-01-04] Erkki Luntamo, M90, FIN