Monday Jun 29, 2009

Online-Workshop: Besserer Klang mit wenig Aufwand von der niche09

This post is in German because it's about a Podcasting workshop in German language. If you want this workshop to be in English, feel free to gather a bunch of people and invite me to do it for you.

Constantin beim Workshop-ModerierenAm 20.6.2009 fand in München das Podcamp München statt, besser bekannt als niche09. An diesem Samstag trafen sich über 100 Podcast-Begeisterte in München und tauschten sich zu verschiedenen Themen rund um's Podcasting aus. Das Programm bot einen schönen Querschnitt durch das Thema und im http://www.niche09.de/">niche09-Blog kann man sich die Workshops noch in Form von verschiedenen Aufzeichnungen auch nachträglich und online kostenlos zu Gemüte führen. An dieser Stelle vielen Dank an Alex Wunschel, die Sponsoren und die vielen Helfer, die diese wirklich schöne Konferenz zustande gebracht haben!

Alex war auch so nett, mich einen Workshop zum Thema "Besserer Klang mit wenig Aufwand: Tipps & Tricks beim Podcast-Produzieren" moderieren zu lassen. Ein Audio-Mitschnitt samt synchroner Folien ist nun als Video erhältlich, in der Hoffnung, dass dieser Workshop auch online vielen Leuten bei der Produktion ihrer Podcasts helfen möge:

Den Workshop könnt Ihr unten direkt anschauen, als Quicktime-Video für den Rechner oder als iPhone-Video herunterladen, sowie Euch die Folien zum Workshop anschauen.

Hier noch ein paar Links, Anmerkungen und Korrekturen zum Workshop. Keine Angst, ich bekomme von keinem der genannten Hersteller irgendwas, sondern spreche nur aus eigener Erfahrung bzw. verlässlichen Quellen.

  • Nicht wundern, der "halbstündige Workshop" ist nur ein Witz, weil die Konferenz mit ca. 30 Min. Verspätung angefangen hat. Der Workshop war von vornherein auf 1 Stunde angelegt :).
  • Für mobile Aufnahmen ist das Zoom H2 und sein größerer Bruder Zoom H4 von Samson sehr beliebt. Für vergleichsweise wenig Geld erhält man eine sehr gute Aufnahme-Qualität und eine praktische, mobile Handhabung. Darüber hinaus kann das Gerät kann auch als gutes USB-Mikrofon dienen.Im Workshop lobte jemand auch den Audio-Recorder von Olympus (nicht sicher, ob dieses Modell gemeint war).
  • Die USB-Audio-Interfaces von M-Audio sind gut und günstig und für den Einstieg sehr empfehlenswert. Nach einiger Zeit bin ich jedoch aufgrund eines Tests im Professional Audio-Magazin zum Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1 gewechselt, das mich durch sehr gute, rauschfreie Audio-Qualität sowohl bei der Aufnahme als auch bei der Ausgabe über Kopfhörer und Aktivboxen beeindruckt hat.
  • Tim Pritlove vom Chaos Radio Express und MobileMacs empfahl uns die Beyerdynamic DT 297 Headsets für die stressfreie Aufnahme von mehreren Podcastern auf einmal, da die Mikros guten Klang bieten, man jede Stimme einzeln aufnehmen kann und die Kopfhörer präzises Feedback für die Sprecher erlauben. Alleine das richtige Audio-Interface/Mischpult/Vorschaltgerät, das jedem einzelnen seinen eigenen Feedback-Kanal gönnt und gleichzeitig eine getrennte Aufnahme ermöglicht, scheint noch ein ungelöstes Problem zu sein. Vielleicht hilft ein eigener Mehrkanal-Kopfhörerverstärker?
  • Im MacCast 2009.04.14 gibt es ein schönes Interview mit Heroes-Star David H. Lawrence XVII, der u.a. auch ein eigenes Studio betreibt und vom Radio kommend zum Podcaster geworden ist. Er hat viele nützliche Tipps parat und empfiehlt u.a. das Audio-Technica AT2020, insbesondere die USB-Variante AT2020 USB. Im Workshop hatte ich leider "Audio-Technica" mit "Behringer" als Hersteller verwechselt, ich bitte um Entschuldigung für die Verwirrung...
  • Auch in unserem HELDENFunk-Podcast verwenden wir das Audio-Technica AT2020, sowie ein paar Røde NT5 und können diese sehr empfehlen. Mehr Details gibt es in einem eigenen HELDENFunk behind the Scenes-Artikel. Inzwischen haben wir unser Setup um ein Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) 8pre 8-Fach Firewire Audio-Interface erweitert, das wir ebenfalls sehr empfehlen können.

Ich hoffe, dieser Workshop ist trotz der Länge von 1 Stunde für Euch nützlich. Schickt mir Euer Feedback, Fragen und Anregungen, bei der nächsten Konferenz (niche10?) bin ich gerne wieder dabei!

Tuesday Apr 15, 2008

SAGE@GUUG Web 2.0 Presentation

Yesterday, we had a SAGE@GUUG Meeting at the Munich Sun office.

In similar spirit to the USENIX SAGE, the SAGE@GUUG meetings are an informal gathering of system admins and Unix enthusiasts that like to talk about interesting computer-related topics. This time, I had the honor to host their Munich's group April meeting at Sun and the topic of the day was Web 2.0. Many thanks to Wolfgang for organizing the meeting, and a lot of thanks to Barbara, my angel from marketing for getting us food&drinks!

We began the meeting with this video:

Check out Mike Wesch's digital ethnography site for more information.

My slides were a slight modification from the GUUG FFG talk of the same name. As expected, the "PHP maintainability" slide with the large spaghetti photo triggered some agitated responses, but that's what provocations are for, and this is why Ruby is becoming more and more popular. I try to make my slides unusual and interesting, not boring eye-charts and bullet-point deserts. Let me know what you think of them!

We had about 30 people and the interaction with the group was great. Many people pointed out examples of their own on how the world is changing thanks to web 2.0, most visible in the way young people interact with media and technology.

After the talk, we saw an introduction by our favourite IT Guy to the new Sun UltraSPARC T2+ servers:

Which led us to a visit of the Sun Vision Center for some hardware show&tell, before going to the Fliegerbräu for some well-deserved beer.

Friday Mar 14, 2008

Presentation on Web 2.0 to the German Unix User's Group (GUUG)

Hands holding each otherYesterday I was invited to present on Web 2.0 during the German Unix User's Group's (GUUG) annual conference called the "Frühjahrsfachgespräch" (Spring Topic Conversations). The day before, Ulrich and I did a ZFS workshop during the same conference.

I was originally planning to show a video before the presentation, but I discovered too late that I forgot to install mplayer on my laptop. It's actually as easy as "/opt/csw/bin/pkg-get -i mplayer" (which I'm doing right now), if you have Blastwave installed. Here are two great videos to show during such occasions.  

About 35 people came and we had some interesting discussions after the talk. Some people like "The new web" because of its new possibilities of participation. Some are scared by fear of privacy, profiling and spam issues. My personal opinion is that the best way to deal with it is to participate, learn and adapt one's lifestyle to the Web 2.0 reality. If you don't like what Google comes up with when you search for your name, then update your online profiles on the different social networks, start a blog (or update it more often) and make sure that the good stuff you do shows up on the web somewhere. I only blog about 2-3 times a month, but this is enough for Google to put my blog on the top three links when searching for my name.

Here are the german slides to my current web 2.0 presentation, and an english version is available too. The slides are meant to complement the speaker, not to substitute him or her, so they may only be of value to people who attended the session. If you want to get the presenter as well and you are in Germany, tell your Sun sales rep to do a Web 2.0 workshop with your company :).

Yes, Alec, I know I should record myself on video... I will.

Monday Jan 21, 2008

The Newly Found Art of Presenting

I haven't blogged for a long time. Ok, there were the holidays and I was on vacation for the first two weeks of January etc. but that's not a good excuse. I'm not the this-is-what-I-did blogger, because I don't find that too interesting to blog about. Follow me on Twitter if you're really bored. I don't like the I-read-this-on-that-blog-and-agree/disagree/opine style either, as I'm not particularly chatty and much of what is written in this style seems kinda redundant.

I prefer picking an interesting subject and try to write something that hit me as useful and that I hope maybe useful for others.

Last week for instance, I was invited to present on a Sun internal event. Three presentations on broad and complex topics, and then my time was cut to 3 x 30 Minutes because there were so many other presentations to include into the agenda.

Last year, I ran into Guy Kawasaki's "10/20/30 rule of Powerpoint" (Guy, I assure you, StarOffice/OpenOffice is compatible with this rule, as with virtually all PowerPoint presentations). Watch him illustrate the concept in this 2 minute fun video:

I made a news year's resolution to try it out and stick to it as much as possible.

First presentation: "Workstations and High End Visualization Solutions". Hmm, two topics. Will it work? Slide #1 was about Guy's rules, as a warning to the audience. 9 to go. Slide #2 shows the Sun workstation portfolio, both SPARC and x86 ones. Then: Positioning, usefulness of >4 cores in a desktop, monitors, NVIDIA Quadro Plex, NVIDIA Tesla, Visualization in HPC overview, Sun Visualization Software, Summary. I didn't read a single word from my slides, they were all mostly (except for some tech specs) 30 points or larger anyway and the audience grasped them instantly. Instead, I enjoyed a nice flow of information to the audience, adorning the slide content with customer stories, practical examples and the occasional joke. After 20 minutes, there was still room left for Q&A which fit exactly into my remaining 10 minutes comfortably. It worked!

Second: "EcoComputing and UltraSPARC T1/T2". This isn't going to be easy... The presentation I stole (and compressed) the Eco part from is 20 slides long (thanks, Rolf!) and a "good" UltraSPARC presentation can easily have 50 slides! But, so be it: # of servers in Europe (millions), the amount of power they consume (37TWh or 4 nuclear power plants in 2006), stuff that helps (consolidation, more efficient servers, Sun Rays, tape), UltraSPARC T2 servers, UltraSPARC T2 chip overview and features, example benchmark (SPECjbb2005, 10x more efficient than a GHz hungry server), application compatibility (It runs almost everything beautifully), project eTude, customer example, Victoria Falls (it gets even better). It worked again: All major messages came through, they won't be forgotten. Let me quote a favourite technology of mine: "The audience is listening." Saving the world with 10 slides in 20 minutes!

Last topic: Web 2.0. A tough deck to prepare. A topic dear to my heart. So much to say, so little space-time. Guy makes it really hard to prepare as he forces you to dig deeply into your content and really bring out what's essential: Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0, The Flickr Example, User Generated Content & Wisdom of Crowds, Long Tail, Folksonomy & Tagging, Social Networks & Viral Distribution, Rich Web Interfaces, Open APIs & Mashups, The New World of Software (we're in the middle of buying a piece of it), What This All Means & Call to Action. I may have cheated with all the "&"'s that combine 2 slides into one. And I'd like them to be more visual which I'm going to change. And still too much text. But it doesn't matter: I hardly use the text on the slides, they're just waypoints in an excited, motivating plea for participation. I'm sweating. It was the last talk of the day but the audience is still there and they loved it!

Simplicity is king, especially with presentations. Limiting your deck to just 10 slides doesn't help you with preparation: Each slide for the presentations above took a lot of work to create (or not to create), but it forced me to concentrate on what's important. And it worked out just great. Thank you, Guy!

Want more? Try out the Presentation Zen blog. Today, I received the book in my mail, it's brand new, still warm and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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