Drupal Camp Session Recordings: A Year in Review

Session recording kit, as shown at Drupal Camp St. Louis, photo credit: @czaroxiejka

It hss been nearly a year since I’ve updated the status of my camp recording kits. Since DCSTL15, two other camps took me up on my proposal to sponsor my travel and hotel in exchange for me recording and posting their sessions: TCDrupal and BADCamp. And, of course, as a MidCamp organizer, that counts too. And with each those camps, I’ve iterated and learned from invaluable successes and failures.

Camp Record Beta Test Four: DrupalCamp STL 2015

Following a successful MidCamp and with some new ideas how to improve the kit, I was eager to hit the road for more testing. Problem is, I'm a freelancer with a limited budget, and getting to camps comes out of my own pocket. On a lark, I tweeted the following:

Camp Record Beta Test Three: MidCamp 2015

After my #epicfail that was BADCamp, to say that I was entering MidCamp with trepidation would be the understatement of the year. Two full days of sessions and a 1-and-1 track record was weighing heavily upon my soul. Add to the mix that I was coming directly off of a 5-day con my company runs, and responsible for MidCamp venue and catering logistics. Oh right, and I ran out of time to make instructions and train anyone else on setup, which only added to my on-site burden.

Failing is Important: Drupal Camp A/V Kit Update

When I learned BADCamp wasn't going to be recording sessions, I jumped at the chance to field-test the camp record kits I'm working on. After all, I was confident I fixed the audio equation and was going to start talks with the Drupal Association about next steps.

The current recipe for the kit is a Hauppage HD Rocket PVR for the screen capture and the Zoom H2N voice recorder as the microphone. Add to that a handful of dongles and converters to cover HDMI in/out for the PVR, and you're good to go.

Walking in to BADCamp, I was feeling great. I'm a big advocate for session records and I would be covering three rooms. Pretty cool, right? 


Update: Drupal Camp A/V Kit REBOOT!

In my initial test of a new session recording kit, some records were lost due to lack of audio. Also, the test setup used powered lav mics, which don't fly too well with multiple presenters. 

As a follow up, I tested the Zoom H2N digital voice recorder because it just so happens to have a line out jack. So the question was whether that line out would be compatible with the HD PVR for audio. I'm happy to report that it is!

Contributing IRL

Let’s face facts: I am not a coder. With a lot of caffeine, much googling and more time than is reasonable, I *can* code my way out of a paper bag, but that’s about it.

So it is highly unlikely you will ever see my username tied to a module or on a list of contributors. Sure, I create the occasional new issue on a module’s issue queue or provided feedback for a patch I needed, which in itself is a form of contributing. But messing around with core? Funny. Me writing a patch? Nope. Sprinting? I only run when being chased.

According to d.o then, I am not a contributor. 

Drupal Camp A/V Kit REBOOT!

This is a continuation of the discussion started here: http://bit.ly/DrupalAVKits

The session record kits we tested at DrupalCamp Fox Valley 2014 show a lot of promise for easy-to-use, affordable recording stations. There are some issues that need to be worked out and some additional testing to be done before we can approach the Drupal Association to consider making them available for camps.

While most sessions were recorded flawlessly, we ran into a few issues:

Adding Your Theme Classes to CKEditor

WYSIWYG editors are the bane of my existence, yet they are a necessary evil if you have clients that want to edit their site content.

But somewhere between all the inline styles they create to editing source code, there simply had to be a solution that would let me open up my theme css to content creators. 

After much searching and testing, I have found that unicorn. 

Drupal Camp Organizers, Unite!

At DrupalCorn Camp 2014, there seemed to be a fairly high number of camp organizers in attendance, so we held what I like to think of as a SuperBOF. I think we pulled four banquet tables together in order to fit everyone.

The purpose was to share pain points and just brainstorm camp stuff. Notes were taken and the doc is shared publicly here: http://bit.ly/drupal-camps

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