I wanted to take a few moments and talk about the Webcast at Amiwest 2010. I've been reading the various posts on Amigaworld and other sites with good and bad comments about the webcast this year. As many of you know, I have been broadcasting Amiga shows to the web and the world since 1996. It's something I fell in to and fell in love with. It's the way I give back to the Amiga community. I ask for no money and I work hard every year to make it the webcast better then the last. Like moving to audio streaming, then to video streaming and this year setting up an Amiga 2000 Toaster to processor the video feed. And believe me this does time lots of my time and some of my money.
This year was a special year in that my cousin was celebrating her 10 wedding anniversary in Las Vegas. As one of the original wedding party and someone who cares about my family I made it a point to attend. When the dates for Amiwest slipped back a week they collided with my trip to Vegas. This forced me to make a choice between attending my cousins wedding anniversary or going to Amiwest. By luck or fate the wedding ceremony was Friday, leaving Saturday and Sunday free. So I did what any crazy Amigan would do, I booked a flight from SFO to Vegas Thurday night and from Vegas to Sacramento Saturday morning. I suggested the 7:30 am flight but my girlfriend insisted on the 10:30 am flight, it would turn out to be a good choice.
Given my travel schedule I would not have been able to drive my gear, Amiga 4000, Amiga 2000, PC, Mixer, microphones, monitors, power strips and cables, video camera, wireless broadcast gear, and all the other random stuff this takes, to the show. So I solicited the help of some very good friends who drove my suv to the show and unpacked all my crap. With out their help there would have been no broadcast.
At about 4 am Saturday morning I decided it was time to leave the casino floor and head back to the room to get what little sleep I could before the flight. While waiting for the flight in Vegas our plane was delayed by President Obama who happen to be taking off then (My trip to SFO was delayed by his visit to the bay area too). I landed in Sacramento and went strait for the show. Seamed like an eternity waiting for the hotel clerk to check me in...
I think from the time I got to my table to the time we started sending audio was about 45 minutes. That might seam like a lone time but don't forget this is a new venue and Carl was talking at the time. Luckily George from the Sacramento group was there to help out. Video took a little longer due to the toaster, so I bypassed the toaster and got the video running too.
After some additional tweaking I was able to get the toaster back in and happy stream for a number of hours. Until the streaming server provided by Intiutionbase fell over. Still don't know what happened but I know it died. For that I am sorry. When I found out it was dead I jumped on to google and paid for access to a commercial streaming service to get the stream back up. Took about 10 minutes to get started but we did and I updated the amiwest broadcast page and number6 updated the thread here.
The next morning we had a problem with the commercial service so we switched back to intuitionbase. I was also able to get the webcam machine running again, more on that later. Toward the end of the show something happened to the toaster and it died so I took it out of the loop.
I know some folks complained about the audio levels during the event. As Amiwest get's more interesting I spend more time meeting with people and not monitoring the levels. I do my best to bring the event to your home but it's a real problem then next year come in person :p
So bottom line I want to thank everyone who listened to the webcast. I hope you had a little enjoyment from it. I am sorry that we had a late start and a server problem which disrupted things. For next year I'm going to have a twitter account going so I can give and get real time feedback. I'll also have the toaster again, I think it was super cool to have. The webcam is another issue, my beloved Amiga 4000, the current webcam machine is currently dead, it did not survive the journey. I've started looking in to alternatives so I can use an Amiga One in place of my aging A4k (assuming it can be fixed).
So BIG thanks to all those who helped make it work, Brian, Chuck and George of SACC, Alex and Tony in the Bay area, Ryu for the streaming server, Amigaworld for the audio servers and thanks to everyone who tuned in to make it worth while!
I truly hope to see you at next years Amiwest show in Sacramento!
Bill "tekmage" Borsari