Virtual ABug?

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sydney
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Virtual ABug?

Post by sydney » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:57 pm

With more and more people needing to self isolate and the possibility of a 'lockdown' I've been considering some kind of virtual ABug.
I'm not sure exactly how it would work but I could arrange a date that is suitable for most interested people and open a thread where people could post a description of what they are currently doing, and by currently I mean they'd actually be doing it then in their homes. They could maybe do a live stream on YouTube or use a video calling app like Skype or Facebook messenger and invite members to watch them. Other members could post questions and comments in the thread.
Is anyone interested? Is it a even good idea? Would it work at all?

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flaxcottage
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by flaxcottage » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:46 pm

Sounds like an interesting idea.

I could wear a suit, shirt and tie for the video and jeans for comfort. :lol:
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by dp11 » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:51 pm

Let's give it ago. Google Hangouts or meets could be used.

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RetroBob
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by RetroBob » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:23 pm

This is a great idea.

Personal gmail accounts have a limit of 10 that can attend in a Hangout

For G Suite users, it is better...
Starting this week, we will begin rolling out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally including:

Larger meetings, for up to 250 participants per call
Live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain
The ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive
These features are typically available in the Enterprise edition of G Suite and in G Suite Enterprise for Education, and will be available at no additional cost to all customers until July 1, 2020. If you need help getting started, please visit our learning center page or follow the instructions outlined in our message to G Suite admins.
https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/ ... oronavirus

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LordVaderUK
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by LordVaderUK » Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:05 pm

Definitely up for this!
Loving my BBC Master 128

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by z0m8ied0g » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:18 pm

I've got a Microsoft teams account that can have meetings with 250 people in them.
Could try that out. It also allows for presenting, shared workspace etc.
Acorn... lots of Acorn... http://blog.retroacorn.net

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sydney
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by sydney » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:03 pm

Not a massive response but enough for me to have a go at organising this. Some questions to those interested:

What day(s) would be best? I presume Saturday and/or Sunday as many people will still be working or teaching their children for a midweek day.

When should it take place? Is mid to late April too soon? Easter is on the 12th of April so that weekend is out.

I've never used Google hangouts before so will look at that this weekend. Any further details on this would be good.

I've also never used Microsoft teams so will look into this too. Again any more information would be good.

Since this would be online it doesn't need to be limited to UK members. It may be a struggle for those in Australia to get involved much but most of Europe and possibly the east coast of America should be able to get a few hours to attend. Maybe KarateEd could do a night shift and run a live high score challenge? :lol:

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by Kazzie » Fri Mar 20, 2020 6:05 pm

I'm not sure if I'll be able to do a live broadcast sort of thing, but I can certainly join up in spirit and post activity reports, a bit like the ABug Canada West crew do for us!
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by TimoHartong » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:13 pm

Sound interresting though I wonder if I can connect my camera directly to my laptop to make the live feed

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by tingo » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:29 pm

FWIW, Whereby https://whereby.com/ works with just a web browser on my laptop (which runs Debian), it requests access to camera and microphone so you will know what you are getting into :-) . Not sure what the limit on participants are for the free plan.
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BigEd
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by BigEd » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:45 am

I see people choosing Zoom these days for this kind of thing. And I've used it a few times. It doesn't require participants to sign up, but it does need an app (on mobile) or an application (on desktop). The quality is good and it has plenty of useful facilities.

I would say this is a great idea, do it sooner rather than later, and favour evenings and weekends. Because there's no travelling or money outlay, it's a much less big deal, which should mean it needs less organising, it can happen more often, and so people needn't worry if they miss one.

I would even say every couple of weeks would work. Just announce it and see who turns up. With zoom you can post a URL for a specific time slot.

(Oh, the free tier of zoom has a 40 min limit. I find that's good for a teabreak, so just start a second session after a 10 min gap. Or someone can pay the £12.)

I see the Scotland video meetup wants to limit itself to people who'd reasonably attend a physical meetup. That seems fine to me, as a choice. (I might consider a West meetup with a similar idea, but probably without a strict rule.)

Another option might be Twitch: you can have a panel-hosted meetup there, which means it makes more of a distinction between the panel and the audience. I don't think you can have a big free-for-all on Twitch but I could be wrong.

And zoom doesn't have to be a free-for-all, it depends on how the host chooses to manage participation.

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by markjw » Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:53 pm

I have a licensed Zoom account which allows unlimited minutes and up to 300 participants that is provided to me by a client - have spoken to him and he has no problem with me using for the members here to host a virtual meetup
Mark

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by 1024MAK » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:16 pm

@Mark - That’s good news :D

I’ve just tried Zoom for the first time. It works fine on a tablet. Halfway through our test session (nothing to do with ‘retro’ computing) the service offered us extra time, but keep in mind there was only three of us using it.

Mark

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LordVaderUK
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by LordVaderUK » Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:39 pm

sydney wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:03 pm
Not a massive response but enough for me to have a go at organising this. Some questions to those interested:

What day(s) would be best? I presume Saturday and/or Sunday as many people will still be working or teaching their children for a midweek day.

When should it take place? Is mid to late April too soon? Easter is on the 12th of April so that weekend is out.

I've never used Google hangouts before so will look at that this weekend. Any further details on this would be good.

I've also never used Microsoft teams so will look into this too. Again any more information would be good.

Since this would be online it doesn't need to be limited to UK members. It may be a struggle for those in Australia to get involved much but most of Europe and possibly the east coast of America should be able to get a few hours to attend. Maybe KarateEd could do a night shift and run a live high score challenge? :lol:
Any day, any time - I’ll be home 😋

Zoom sounds like the best idea for this.

I guess every few weeks would be often enough?
Loving my BBC Master 128

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by markjw » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:30 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:16 pm
@Mark - That’s good news :D

I’ve just tried Zoom for the first time. It works fine on a tablet. Halfway through our test session (nothing to do with ‘retro’ computing) the service offered us extra time, but keep in mind there was only three of us using it.

Mark
hi Mark - if people want to test, let me know and I'll schedule a meeeting on the system and PM you the details
Mark

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sydney
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by sydney » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:35 pm

markjw wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:30 pm

hi Mark - if people want to test, let me know and I'll schedule a meeeting on the system and PM you the details
Mark
So zoom seems to fit the bill. I've downloaded it but not played around with it yet so will be giving it a go in the next couple of days. A test would be something I'd be interested in so any time that is good for you is fine with me.

I feel that this Saturday could be too soon so what about next Saturday from 9am to 6pm? I'll give this thread until Thursday evening to run for any more comments then start a new thread with details of the time, how to join in and maybe a list of prospective virtual attendees.
Does anyone have any ideas on what they will be doing? I'm starting to learn ARM assembly language on the PiCoPro so I'll probably do that and answer and pose questions to those that are interested.

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by JudgeBeeb » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:40 pm

Just to be clear, you need to set up the meeting with the Pro account (as generously offered by markjw). The free version limits group meetings to 40 minutes.

Thanks sydney for coming up with idea and arranging it. I'll definitely be joining in (so long as my jam-packed social calendar allows it :lol: ).
There is so much wonder in the universe; why should you want to imagine that there is more?

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by 1024MAK » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:33 pm

The person that arranges a Zoom session is the chair and controls the “meeting”.

If using a free account, although they say it’s 40 minutes maximum, sometimes they will allow a “meeting” to continue for longer, sometimes up to 60 minutes.

If the chair wishes, the system will run automatically, with whoever is talking being selected to be shown full screen.

Mark

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by BigEd » Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:44 pm

I believe the host can also handover to any other participant, who becomes host.

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by EdwardianDuck » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:50 am

Zoom works well, we use it at work for meetings (I'm at home in the UK, my colleagues are in the US, India & Romania).

You can record the entire session, either locally or on the Zoom server and download it later. This is something we make use of to create ad-hoc training videos for developers. I think this is, or is at least similar to, what the CoCoTALK guys do to produce their video podcast thing.

You can also share your desktop / a window. That's useful for showing code, or in a BBC scenario, perhaps demostrating something in an emulator.

A couple of tips.

1) If you've got one, use a headset (I've got a cheap gaming headset, it works fine) rather than the computer's internal microphone. You just seem to get a lot less echo etc. like that.
2) Ask attendees to mute themselves when not talking. Again, just cuts down on the background noise.

One question. Who's allowed to attend? Is it just ABUG members or can anyone join in? I'm not really asking for myself, I can't imagine I'd have anything interesting to contribute, but I thought I'd ask in case anyone else wanted to know.

Jeremy
Master 128 + RetroClinic DataCentre + Internal Pi Zero Coprocessor, MiST
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1024MAK
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by 1024MAK » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:28 pm

Jeremy

Thanks for that information and feedback.
EdwardianDuck wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:50 am
One question. Who's allowed to attend? Is it just ABUG members or can anyone join in? I'm not really asking for myself, I can't imagine I'd have anything interesting to contribute, but I thought I'd ask in case anyone else wanted to know.
The answer to your question is that anyone interested in Acorn computers can normally take part. For a fuller answer have a read of this thread.

Also, you don’t have to have any software, hardware or knowledge to contribute, you can just take part to enjoy the occasion if you so wish.

Mark

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tricky
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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by tricky » Fri Apr 03, 2020 7:07 pm

I (well carol) used zoom for the first time this week for her knitting club, it was tiny, quick to install and worked with my ps3 camera.
We use Skype and teams for work, both seem very bloated by comparrison and neither support my camera! (Neither does Google hangouts).
So I was an easy convert.

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Re: Virtual ABug?

Post by SimonSideburns » Fri Apr 03, 2020 10:22 pm

I'd be interested in popping in/out of a virtual ABUG. Sounds like a great idea. I doubt I'll be able to contribute much in the way of current projects and our home is a bit of a bombsite at the moment, so I'll likely watch and learn what everyone else is getting up to.
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