ApolloRanch: Boulder – The Day After

It was raining the entire evening so I left for Boulder fairly early. I actually arrived at the planetarium (the entire conference was inside a planetarium!) 20 minutes early and they hadn’t even begun setting up the registration tables. So I just hung back and had a look at all the materials posted along the walls. Lots of Planetarium articles, prints, and so forth. Not-so-interesting… but it passed the time.

When I did check in, I was given an Apollo-branded shirt and goodie bag. The goodie bag contained a copy of Apollo for Adobe Flex Developers Pocket Guide, sticker, Apollo CD, and conference schedule. the CD contains everything that is currently available on Labs including SDKs, Flex Builder, Apollo extensions, sample applications, and goodies.

After check-in, I hung around in the main area and had a look at more planetarium displays. There is a really neat projection system which displays mapped images upon a sphere. These range from images of the moon to various earth mappings such as ocean currents and weather patterns. Very interesting to watch but it gets a little old after an hour… which was about the total time I had to stare at the thing before the keynote began. No fault of the presenters- I was just way too early.

The keynote was presented by Mike Chambers who presented a nice overview of Apollo for us. The following presentations were pretty informative as a lot of the weird details I was unsure of were taken up. One example would be that when defining an Apollo app- you don’t need to necessarily specify all 4 icon sizes- Apollo SDK does a pretty good job of creating derivatives based on your 128×128 icon so that’s all you really need. Nice to know. Also the advantages of synchronous vs. asynchronous file handling was very informative.

I stayed for most of the presentations but decided to leave at around 10:00 for a number of reasons:

  • It was way past my bedtime anyway (now that I have a baby in the house)
  • We normally go to mass pretty early on Sunday and with a baby… it takes some time to get ready.
  • I’ve been sick since the VRA conference in March. I’ll blame my daughter for this one too :)
  • Lastly, I was just tired and ready to get home. Having been gone since 4:00- that’s a lot of time to spend away on a Saturday evening.

All in all- a really nice event. I’m still a big supporter of Apollo and am looking forward to the public beta this summer.

ApolloRanch: Boulder

I’ll be at ApolloRanch in Boulder this coming Saturday evening. The event is scheduled to begin at 5 o’clock and run just shy of midnight. Sounds like they have a full and engaging schedule lined up with a lot of opportunities to both interface with other developers and learn a lot of useful stuff at the same time. There are 85 tickets left as of this posting and I would encourage anyone in the Denver area interested in Flex or Apollo to sign up- it’s FREE!

Back from VRA25

So I am back from the VRA conference in Kansas City, MO. I have to say that this was the absolute worst travel experience I’ve ever had. Not because of the conference itself, or the hotel, or anything like that- mostly just because I was sick the entire time and having a head cold while traveling by airplane is pretty much a guarantee that you are going to have some extra issues. In this case- my hearing was so messed up that I could barely carry a conversation with anyone while I was there.

On the technical side there were also some issues. Our hotel had the most ridiculously restrictive internet access I’ve ever experienced. They had real crummy wireless (two of my fellow presenters could not get their machines to work on wireless), had denied access to many useful sites including http://mozilla.org/ (WHY???), and most importantly were blocking port 1935! So I’m doing a live video tools demo and the port used by Flash Media Server to stream content is blocked- not good. Thankfully, through some dialogue with the technical coordinators and the hotel, we were able to get 1935 opened up for our presentation. Oh- and the machines they had available for us to use were installed with FLASH PLAYER 5!

The presentation itself went well. I was on a panel talking about different video delivery methods with three other universities. I had about as good of a time as possible considering my condition and we received a lot of positive feedback.

Presenting at the VRA Conference

I’ll be presenting my work with Flash Media Server and the DUVAGAII project as part of a panel on March 29th at the Visual Resources Association‘s 25th Anniversary conference. It should be a fairly interesting panel and I will be demonstrating some of the video tools I’ve authored allowing instructors to produce short clips of longer film materials online, at their leisure, for presentation in the classroom and on the web. For anyone interested in using the Flash Platform, Coldfusion, and Flash Media Server for dynamic video delivery, this should be a panel worth attending!

A Burgeoning Beyond Restraint: Delivering Video, Audio, and Image Data to the Classroom

With advances in presentation platforms, file storage systems, and the increasing functionality and power of computer hardware, software, and network infrastructures, there is very little to hold back an educational institution from implementing a full-featured, bleeding-edge multimedia delivery system. During this session, we will demonstrate different systems built to take advantage of these advances in digital technology, and begin a discussion to further advance the development and implementation of such systems, while remaining mindful of very real restrictions placed upon us by fair use and intellectual property considerations.

During this session we will address three important areas software and hardware requirements for storage and delivery, the development and usage of advanced media delivery tools, and a discussion of questions surrounding copyright and security policies.

System demonstrations will include the DU-VAGA media presentation application, the ALORA digital object repository application, and the Media Mill storage, processing and delivery service.