Monday, 8 December 2008

A virtual return

Before we left England Rowan and I were both employed as youth workers at a church in southern England. Last night we made a virtual return to a youth service courtesy of Skype and a little bit of technical ingenuity at both ends. Our end was undoubtedly the easier. Nevertheless, Heath Robinson would have been proud of the laptop perched on a chair, itself on a coffee table; miscellaneous desk lights provided that all-important face-light. Employing two pairs of headphones Rowan and I were able to hear our interviewer, while ensuring the digital camera got sound too; all without creating a nasty feedback loop.

Back in England I do wonder what our webcam looked like projected about ten feet tall. Our interviewer will have stood on stage and stared up at a much-larger-than-life version of us. Not that we could see much on the webcam feed from England. Webcams are designed for offices or bedrooms, not for sending a crisp image of a hall that’d seat a thousand. I’ve done more sound checks than I care to remember in that building. I’ve been involved in plenty of creative feats of technical bodgery but it was strange to sound check from the other side of the continent.

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