THE welcome arrival of a shiny new laptop at Newsquest Towers earlier this week provided a reminder, not that one was particularly needed, that technology and fiftysomething sports hacks get along about as well as Celtic and Rangers supporters in a Glasgow boozer on Old Firm day.

The fact you are reading these weekly warblings is proof the computer is now fully operational. The easy-to-follow, idiot-proof, a-child-could-understand-this instructions which accompanied it, though, proved beyond the comprehension of the ageing recipient.

It took several lengthy phone calls to a patient and understanding IT department and numerous loud expletives to successfully download Outlook Express, open Microsoft Word and log in Google. Truly, your correspondent can make Ned Ludd look like Steve Jobs at times.

Aberdeen clearly suffer from exactly the same aversion to modern gadgetry.

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The Pittodrie club released a lengthy and withering statement about VAR (Video Assistant Referee) earlier this week which concluded with an assertion that the system which is in place in Scotland is not fit for purpose.

They were aggrieved at the injury-time goal which Bojan Miovski had scored in their cinch Premiership fixture against Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Saturday – a goal which would have secured an important 1-0 victory if it had stood - being disallowed.  

The Herald: Aberdeen striker Bojan Miovski celebrates his goal against Livingston at Almondvale on Saturday -They revealed that Hawkeye had suffered a malfunction during the encounter with the bottom-placed team in the top flight. They stated the VARs had been unable to use the normal calibrated lines to determine if Angus MacDonald had been in an offside position in the build-up to the Miovski strike and effectively had to “guess”.

It was, however, them who ultimately ended up looking inept. They twice conceded that the correct protocols had been followed to the letter in the extraordinary circumstances. So what exactly was their problem? That a camera broke down? S*** happens guys! It was desperate stuff.

A blind man on a galloping horse could have spotted that MacDonald was beyond the last Livingston defender when his team mate Leighton Clarkson floated a free-kick into the opposition area from looking back at a replay. But a “retrospective calibration” proved that to be case. So why the scathing attack?

Could a desire to deflect attention away from their failure to appoint a new manager more than two months on from the sacking of Barry Robson and spare themselves from the wrath of their longsuffering fans in the aftermath of another woeful showing against struggling rivals they should by rights be beating comfortably have been behind the coruscating missive?

Only a cynic would suggest as much. But it certainly smacked of a grubby attempt to curry favour with the more partisan element among their fanbase and avoid further criticism while they are still hovering just above the relegation zone. Maybe the SFA were simply convenient scapegoats.

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The timing of Aberdeen’s broadside was unfortunate. VAR has, despite the number of correct calls which are made increasing dramatically since it was introduced in the Premiership 18 months ago, few admirers. But no fair-minded observer could deny it helped to get all of the major decisions spot on in one of the biggest games of the season so far on Sunday.

The Herald: The Connor Goldson handball, Cyriel Dessers goal and Fabio Silva penalty were all highly contentious incidents in the league match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox. Arguments about each of them have rumbled on for days. Most neutral observers, though, are wholly satisfied that referee John Beaton in tandem with his colleague Nick Walsh did a decent job. 

Philippe Clement, who has worked at the highest level in his native Belgium and France for years, has certainly expressed that view on more than one occasion since the 3-3 draw at the weekend despite suffering from a couple of the rulings.

“I think the referee and the VAR were good in that game,” he said. “We are lucky we can see after the game with all the cameras and views and replays. They have an impossible job to make every decision right. That’s impossible to see everything on the pitch in a split second. So VAR is there to help that way. I think it’s team work to be a referee now.”

There is, no doubt about it, significant room for improvement with VAR in Scotland. The length of time it takes has to be reduced for a start. It is disrupting the flow of a match and killing the atmosphere inside stadiums at the moment. The situations it is called upon should also be reviewed and amended. 

But the new technology is, as was evident on Sunday, working well. Can the same thing be said of the Aberdeen directors? Their imminent appointment of Swedish coach Jimmy Thelin is highly intriguing and hugely ambitious. Still, they have to raise their game considerably going forward. And embrace the realities of the 21st century game while they are at it.

If a reporter who started his working life clattering out copy on a typewriter decades ago can do it then anyone can.