Recorded sessions from Code Camp?

I record the monthly presentations at the Inland Empire .Net Users Group.  I’m half way done developing the distribution area for our groups website.  This is taking a while because I have no free time!  J/K, I’m also guilty of putting in the kitchen sink.  I’m creating it so that users will have a single place for all session content including a Silverlight player for video, access to downloads such as slides and code as well as ratings and content.  Will be nice, if I ever get it done!

Anyway, back to the topic.  Is anyone interested in recorded sessions of Code Camp?  I know I sure am.  There are so many sessions by so many great speakers that it is impossible to see them all.  Why not record them and make them available after the show?

I’ve volunteered to Lynn Langit and Daniel Egan, who I know have vested interest in Code Camp, to do the work.  I just need funding for the resources.  It’s not expensive, but it’s not trivial either.  The setup I currently use for our IE .Net sessions is a VGA frame grabber from Epiphan (great equipment!), a wireless mic and my laptop.  That’s it.  Turns out when I went to the ESRI User Conference in San Diego they do the exact same thing, although they use Macs and a few mixers since they also have PA systems for the presenters.  They sell their week’s worth of presentation recordings on DVD’s for ~$400.  I’d like to make this content freely available for viewing on the web much like PDC.

This would be relatively easy.  I could get a few bodies to help set up and keep things running smoothly.

Code Camp 2009 has at most 9 simultaneous sessions.  Assuming this doesn’t grow I’d need to purchase and put together 9 recording “kits”.  If we went the “inexpensive” route, without any vendors kicking in free or discounted gear, we could probably build a kit for a little less than $1,000.  This would be for the frame grabber (VGA2USB model), a decent but inexpensive laptop, wireless mic and miscellaneous cabling gear.  We’d get 5-10 frames per second at 1024×768, which for 95% of the presentations would be adequate.  So, we’re looking at the need to finance ~$10k of equipment allowing for one spare.  Any takers? 🙂

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Multiple Displays on a Laptop

Two of the main reasons why I’ve never switched to a laptop as my main platform is performance and multiple display support.


With today’s laptop performance is almost nil.  The cost compared to desktops is almost trivial and the performance a laptop can offer these days is absolutely incredible.  Unless I am a performance nut, such as someone working in film or audio editing and you need quad-core processors, four hard drives and 8 GB of ram a laptop can usually fit all your needs these days.  If you’re a gamer they even have laptops with SLI on board (although these are still fairly expensive).


However, multiple displays has always kept me back.  I love my dual 20” displays.  I also don’t want a 17” screen on my laptop.  The whole point of a laptop to me is portability.  When I go to a presentation or a conference I don’t want to lug around a 12 pound machine and then fight for chair space when I try and open the behemoth in the audience.  So I want a lightweight laptop with a 15.4” screen.  That causes a problem when I’m home at my desk.


In the last few months USD-DVI cables have started coming out and the performance is pretty amazing.  Here’s a company allowing you to run three simultaneous displays as 1600×1200.  After a firmware update coming out in the near future you’ll get even more performance and resolution.  Amazing!


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