A good lesson is that you should never count on machines. Luckily, it was only an exercise. We were supposed to demonstrate how the Marines could make fresh water from sea water. In the exercise, we were supposed to let the Minister of Health drink the water directly from the desalinization machine. Of course, the machine didn’t work while she was there. It evidently worked before and after. The evidence was that we had a lot of fresh water made. But there are always breakdowns and hiccups.
Some are just little/big things, like the tide going out farther than the intake pipes can reach. Other things are systemic, like filters getting clogged. The better plan is to have the water ready to go, already produced. The machine can be in the background and if it makes water at the time of the visit, we can go down there and watch it. But the show should never depend on it working at the exact time period.
This also goes, BTW, for web-based presentations. I have seen it dozens of times. The person tries to load something up and all we get are those hour glasses that show something is loading, or else it has to buffer so many times that nobody can stand to watch it.
There is an old saying that one should not watch laws or sausages being made. It is probably good advice not to watch most things being made unless you are especially interested in the process rather than the result. Most of the time, however, we really just want the finished project. It is tempting, but a little narcissistic, for the creator to want to show the work that went into his creation, but most people don’t care, at least not into the detail the artist himself wants to inflict on his audience.