So last Wednesday, as reported in this blog the North West England Perl Mongers held a live video feed of their session Question the Catalyst Authors (See: http://per.ly/chat/) – held between 8.15 p.m. and 9 p.m. (GMT) on Wednesday 28th October.
The technical difficulties of this session were:
Castaway and Theorbtwo (Jess Robinson and James Mastros) had to travel 300 miles on the day to the venue and some less-than-stunning Manchester folks directed them to the wrong location – MEN Arena not the MEN offices.
KD (Kieren Diment) lives in Australia so was on OZ time (11hrs ahead) and had to get up in the early hours of the morning, added to that we had to do a sync with Google Talk and then project him, which always loses video contrast.
The whole thing was being streamed to the internet using a service that had to be tweaked into working on the day.
This sounded like a bit of a nightmare and it was not helped by the rail service in the North West going into meltdown on that evening. Ian, Matt, Leigh, Clair and I had decided to travel early (thankfully) to eat before the event and we were delayed by 1hr 30mins because of signal failure north of Lancaster. We were delayed on the way home for three hours due to a fatality, a woman (suffering from illness and depression) had committed suicide by placing her head on the line.
So after getting to the venue late, Matt and I had to race out to find Jess and James who thankfully could direct us to where they were and we got to the MEN offices with ten minutes to start up. There were a few teething troubles with contrast and signal for the video feed to KD, but the sound was clear for the webcast so people did get to hear the whole event. There will no doubt be a video of it going live and linked to from the nwe.pm site sometime in the near future.
So this seemed like an awful lot of effort for one 40 minute broadcast to a provincial Perl group, right? Well, to be honest it was, and it was also extremely rewarding. It proved yet again what a great group we have. Sorry for tooting on our own horn (we have been unable to find someone else willing to do it for free) but we really rocked. This was a great communal group effort and we were rewarded for it with a good experience.
And I wanted to share that with you all.
A Big Thanks:
I also wanted to make this another opportunity to give a big thanks to the people who made all of this possible in the first place, so in no real order:
Thanks to KD for writing the Catalyst book and getting up really early in the morning to talk to a bunch of insane Northerners.
Thanks to Jess and James for traveling across the UK on a very dreary day just to get lost in an unfamiliar city and then thrust into answering questions.
Thanks to Iain, Carl and Graeme for dealing with technical issues and once again securing us a venue in which to do this crazy stuff.
Thanks to Matt S. Trout for the constant performances and helping to write the Catalyst book.
Thanks to the Manchester Evening News for letting us use their venue.
Thanks to all the people who watched, pitched in and gave support, it was very kind of you all.
Here are some images from the night, the first is the dedication that Matt left in a book for the MEN offices by way of thanks for letting us host the occasional technical meetings on their premises, the second is our mascot doing scenes from well known internet sites – “Luggage rack Penguin is watching you….”: