Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

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Arcadian
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Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:47 am

Hi all,

So, two zoom conferences down so far, and we think they've been generally well-received by most attendees.

We had some discussions towards the end of the last meeting regarding some of the feedback, which has included structuring/bunching topics into various windows, so attendees can pick which times they'd most be interested in dialing in for (if their time is limited), or for example, it could also allow particular members to attend the main meeting at certain times then disappear off into break-out rooms to work on projects whilst topics they're less interested in are being discussed in the main room (note all breakout rooms need to be configured at the start of a meeting - and you can't be in both the main room and a breakout room at the same time).

Myself, sydney and judgebeeb have been working on a first stab at a structure and have come up with the attached (available as a PNG and PDF):

VAbugAgendaExample.png

PDF file:
VAbugAgendaExample.pdf
(80.61 KiB) Downloaded 30 times

We hope we can help ensure that each core meeting will be 'balanced' enough for all participants to feel that they're getting their "money's" worth in terms of topics covered that reflect their interests, but it may be difficult to please everybody now we're 100% online (however, this is where the breakout rooms may prove their worth!).

Obviously we aren't looking to nail things down this tightly/rigidly in reality (nor would we want to) and there will always be the flexibility to move things around, discuss different topics at different times, based on individual circumstances, volume of 'presenter' requests under a particular umbrella etc.

The thinking is that requests for help with repairs would be made during the open 'General Project Work/Questions' windows but ideally if the content of the open slots can broadly reflect the topics in the preceding/proceeding presenter slots - that may assist those whose time may be limited in terms of picking times to dial in. It will also mean users are less likely to have to dip in and out of the main chat room if we can have a couple of hours of one subject, then a couple of hours of something else, then something different again.

So, unless there are any major concerns or objections, we'd like to use it for the basis of next Saturday's meeting on 2nd May and see how it goes (I believe Simon will be creating a thread for this shortly - and will be taking bookings for presenter slots and noting details of those who have hardware/coding problems that require diagnosis).

It may well take us a few events to get the format working for everybody, but that's our goal.

In the evening you'll see we've tentatively added a high score competition as well as a pub quiz. karated has kindly agreed to coordinate the high score event, but if anyone one has the experience - and desire - to run a short online quiz, whether it be Acorn-themed or just 80s themed, please speak up! :)

Oh and finally, the TL;DR version of the proposed schedule is basically:

Saturday meetings run 9am - 9pm.

- Morning: Hardware and general programming
- Afternoon: Games development and programming, ABug housekeeping and community website development
- Evening: Guest speaker (may be too short notice for Sat 2nd but we'll try!), 'Social' activities (games contests and quiz), General chat

Fixed breaks at 12:30 - 13:30 and 17:00 - 17:30.

:)
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by BigEd » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:01 am

A good idea, I think, to have some kind of structure, but not a rigid one.

Don't forget this:
Arcadian wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:47 pm
tricky wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:40 pm
Maybe we could have one or two 10 minute slots at known times where everyone just says hi and what they are interested in, or pass if they prefer.
I think that's a really good idea - 2 x 10 min slots should be easy enough to factor into the schedule ...

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:18 am

Thanks for the feedback Ed. If there were, say, 2 x 15 min slots for introductions where would you put them? How about 10.45 and 13.45?
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by BigEd » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:27 am

Sounds good to me!

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Kazzie » Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:11 am

It might be worth having a short welcome/chit-chat/introductions slot at the start of the day, too, rather than trying to launch straight into things. I appreciate that many people may be joining later in the day, but it feels odd to try launch straight into the first item of business.
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by BigEd » Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:17 am

I was thinking that people tend to straggle in, so being a bit free form for the first 15 or 20 mins might be a good idea. It doesn't work too well if you start introductions while people continue to arrive.

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Kazzie » Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:25 am

BigEd wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:17 am
I was thinking that people tend to straggle in, so being a bit free form for the first 15 or 20 mins might be a good idea. It doesn't work too well if you start introductions while people continue to arrive.
That's closer to what I originally had in mind (but didn't actually say very clearly): an informal, unstructured slot before the schedule proper kicks off. Think of it as the non-face-to-face equivalent of "meeting at 3pm, coffee from 2:30".
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:08 pm

BigEd wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:01 am
Don't forget this:
Arcadian wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:47 pm
tricky wrote:
Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:40 pm
Maybe we could have one or two 10 minute slots at known times where everyone just says hi and what they are interested in, or pass if they prefer.
I think that's a really good idea - 2 x 10 min slots should be easy enough to factor into the schedule ...
BigEd wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:17 am
I was thinking that people tend to straggle in, so being a bit free form for the first 15 or 20 mins might be a good idea. It doesn't work too well if you start introductions while people continue to arrive.
I'm thinking we could have one Zoom account that permanently displays a simplified version of the schedule throughout (see below, which also incorporates Ed's suggestions above).

But does anyone know if it's possible for a user to replace their video feed with a screen-share of their desktop, without 'forcing' the screenshare to be in the main video feed all of the time? i.e. so people could just manually display the schedule whenever they wanted, by clicking the appropriate Zoom user account?

If not, we can just post it to the forum on the morning of the meeting (it's created in Powerpoint but I might convert it into a google doc so anyone can update it).

VAbugAgenda_AllDay_02_May2nd2020_PNG_v001.png
N.B. I doubt it's possible that we'll get a speaker and pub quiz sorted for this weekend's meeting, but I'll give it a try!!
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by JudgeBeeb » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:26 pm

Arcadian wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:08 pm
I'm thinking we could have one Zoom account that permanently displays a simplified version of the schedule throughout (see below, which also incorporates Ed's suggestions above).

But does anyone know if it's possible for a user to replace their video feed with a screen-share of their desktop, without 'forcing' the screenshare to be in the main video feed all of the time? i.e. so people could just manually display the schedule whenever they wanted, by clicking the appropriate Zoom user account?

If not, we can just post it to the forum on the morning of the meeting (it's created in Powerpoint but I might convert it into a google doc so anyone can update it).
Having played around with screen share quite a bit this morning, I don't think this is possible. I think you can only have one screen share and this totally dominates the feed for all participants. I think the best place for it is at the top of the booking thread for the event in question.
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:30 pm

JudgeBeeb wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:26 pm
Having played around with screen share quite a bit this morning, I don't think this is possible. I think you can only have one screen share and this totally dominates the feed for all participants. I think the best place for it is at the top of the booking thread for the event in question.
Thanks, yep that should be fine.

Incidentally, Simon and I are currently looking into better ways of presenting the detailed schedule (which includes specific speakers slots and details/links about what they'll be discussing).
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by BigEd » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:32 pm

We could also have a thread to accumulate requests for assistance... or suggestions for lightning talks.

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:36 pm

BigEd wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:32 pm
We could also have a thread to accumulate requests for assistance... or suggestions for lightning talks.
I think that's the main event thread, surely? Then the moderators can skim through the thread and allocate/schedule accordingly?
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by BigEd » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:03 pm

Yes, it could be. It could be explained and linked as the first entry in the text chat too.

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by markjw » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:51 pm

Arcadian wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:08 pm
I'm thinking we could have one Zoom account that permanently displays a simplified version of the schedule throughout (see below, which also incorporates Ed's suggestions above).

But does anyone know if it's possible for a user to replace their video feed with a screen-share of their desktop, without 'forcing' the screenshare to be in the main video feed all of the time? i.e. so people could just manually display the schedule whenever they wanted, by clicking the appropriate Zoom user account?
it seems people have been able to do this using a program called 'Open Broadcaster Software' with a plugin called 'OBS Virtual-Cam' - it takes an image or video stream and makes it appear to the machine as though it is coming from a webcam. So to Zoom it would just be another user with a camera.

Have had a play with it, but not got it working yet - Zoom can see the OBS camera as a device, but I've not got OBS itself to show it up.
Mark

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:13 pm

Ah, thanks for looking into it, I've used OBS before but not for a long time. Let me know how you get on! :)

If you suss it out, as I believe we'll be using the Zoom Abug account that Judgebeeb registered, perhaps you could display it on your second laptop setup throughout the meeting, what do you think?

(Problem I have is the internet's not great here in rural Wales, and having 2 x Zooms downloading/uploading video at the same time, whilst leaving enough bandwidth for other household members, may become a problem!)
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Kazzie » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:49 pm

Arcadian wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:36 pm
BigEd wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:32 pm
We could also have a thread to accumulate requests for assistance... or suggestions for lightning talks.
I think that's the main event thread, surely? Then the moderators can skim through the thread and allocate/schedule accordingly?
Having people post ahead (when they can) to give a few details on what they'd like help with would be good idea on two fronts:
  • People who think they could help can make sure they're logged on at the right time
  • It'll give troubleshooters a chance to get their thinking caps on in advance, so they can come up with some useful suggestions
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by markjw » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:41 pm

Arcadian wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:13 pm
Ah, thanks for looking into it, I've used OBS before but not for a long time. Let me know how you get on! :)

If you suss it out, as I believe we'll be using the Zoom Abug account that Judgebeeb registered, perhaps you could display it on your second laptop setup throughout the meeting, what do you think?

(Problem I have is the internet's not great here in rural Wales, and having 2 x Zooms downloading/uploading video at the same time, whilst leaving enough bandwidth for other household members, may become a problem!)
think I have got it working properly - happy to run it up on my laptop for the next meeting to try it out if you want. I'll PM you the details of setting it up for reference
Mark

Edit: if anyone else wants a copy of the instructions on setting up the virtual camera with Zoom please let me know - in theory should work with other software that supports webcams, eg Skype

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:52 am

Thanks Mark, your solution worked a treat and I've forwarded details to the other ABug hosts! :)
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Pernod » Mon May 04, 2020 9:50 pm

Would a regular emulation chat be something of interest to add to the schedule? I've not really had any feedback on my previous session, but it did overrun by an hour so hope it was appreciated.

I wouldn't have much to show on a regular basis but could be in the form a Q&A session, which my previous session turned into anyway. Other emulator authors could be included too, so not just MAME.
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Dave Footitt » Mon May 04, 2020 10:12 pm

Pernod wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:50 pm
Would a regular emulation chat be something of interest to add to the schedule? I've not really had any feedback on my previous session, but it did overrun by an hour so hope it was appreciated.
I enjoyed it very much so thanks for taking the time to do it. Are you the chap who had the Genie ROM going? I wanted to ask about that but I was aware I was gonna get called away any second so if I asked and you started demoing it I'd have looked pretty rude running off!

I was also quite keen to take a look at Dare Devil Denis and Palace Of Magic 2 (?) but sadly wasn't about then. I wonder if schedule and speakers permit might be an idea to do both AM/PM demos of the same stuff? Particularly handy if we are out of things to talk about although that didn't seem to be a problem :lol:

Also there was some gaming on the go when I closed the laptop, that looked fun.

Pub Quiz a great idea too, have we done one of them yet?

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Kazzie » Tue May 05, 2020 6:20 pm

A further thought:

Some people are constrained as to what time of day they can attend an all-day meeting, due to work / family / time zone.

Might it be worth rotating some of the slots for "geared towards X" general project work (and presenter slots?) from session to session, so that someone who (e.g.) can't attend before lunch won't always miss out on what's timetabled for the mornings?
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by BigEd » Tue May 05, 2020 6:25 pm

If we're veering towards ever-more-frequent meetups, maybe theming each one, or dropping one or two themes for each one, would allow people to decide to miss this one or that one but make an effort to see the other one. Might help negotiation with other family members!

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Wed May 06, 2020 2:10 am

Hi, after reviewing the feedback given during the session on Saturday, I spent all afternoon updating (and subsequently most of the evening, tweaking) the template sheets so they're now ready for the next "post-Cambridge" all-day event.

Notes:
  • on Saturday we discovered that it clearly isn't possible to run 4 x detailed 15 minute presentations in an hour; dp11, anightin and oss003's slots proved that you need to allow 15 mins for similar types of presentations plus a further 15 mins for follow-up questions. On top of that, as several people requested, you then need a short break (for folks to go to the loo, make tea etc) before beginning the next presentation. Hence most 'presenter' slots are now 30 mins followed by a minimum 15 minutes of 'open' time).

    N.B. 15 mins each for the 4 x quickfire demonstration/feedback slots between 4 and 5pm seemed to work well; so these slots have been retained on the schedule
  • of course - even though the 'projects + troubleshooting' slots are labelled as "geared towards ..." hardware/restorations in the morning and graphics/games coding in the afternoon, these are just pointers/guidelines and there's nothing to say that hardware repairs can't be raised in the afternoon troubleshooting spots etc
  • we hope new attendees won't be shy about raising repair/troubleshooting issues during the events, hence plenty of "open" 'projects + troubleshooting' slots are present throughout the day (however it will always be useful if we can get advance notice of hardware troubleshooting requests, as that way the session moderator can try their best to make sure they are given coverage)
(Note these schedules don't reflect the feedback that was posted in this thread on Tuesday, though I did speak with sydney at length about today's feedback earlier in the evening, will follow up tomorrow ... bedtime now!)

VABug_Session1_AgendaExample.png
VABug_Session2_AgendaExample.png
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by Arcadian » Wed May 06, 2020 2:28 am

Pernod wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 9:50 pm
Would a regular emulation chat be something of interest to add to the schedule? I've not really had any feedback on my previous session, but it did overrun by an hour so hope it was appreciated.

I wouldn't have much to show on a regular basis but could be in the form a Q&A session, which my previous session turned into anyway. Other emulator authors could be included too, so not just MAME.
The MAME talk clearly had everybody engrossed and was a huge success I'd say.

I actually meant to invite Chris (Scarybeasts) along to talk about beebjit and the new HFE protected disc image archive at Saturday's event after you'd originally suggested the 16th would be better for you, but I never got round to it.

I don't know if we'd want to dedicate a slot to emulation at every single meeting (as once all the core emu's have been demonstrated it may be difficult to find new things to talk about) but I can see MAME having endless possibilities, as there is just so much obscure Acorn hardware emulated now ... most of which folks won't have tried even under emulation, because, as was evident on Saturday, we clearly need to increase awareness of how to configure and run MAME with the correct romsets for Acorn use.

But yeah, there's a 6pm - 6.45pm extended speaker slot on the schedule so let's make use of it! ChrisN is attending the meetings now (BeebEm maintainer) so it would be great to get an overview of recent additions and future plans for this emulator. Flibble (RPC Emu co-maintainer) is also in on the Virtual sessions, so there's another possibility. Ultimately I'd love to hear presentations from all the main emulator authors and maintainers (Model B/B2, B-Em, Elkulator/Arculator, ElectrEm/Clock Signal, jsBeeb, BeebDroid etc).

I reckon a 'panel' discussion between Phil M, hoglet and 'Commander Coder' regarding the different approaches they took to writing their respective Atom emulators would be fascinating (guys if any of you are reading drop me a PM or post in the thread!).
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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by BigEd » Wed May 06, 2020 6:19 am

Maybe the moderator could introduce the assistance sections by explaining that we first want to help new people trying to fix or build something, and after we've done that, we'd like to hear from the regulars about their projects-in-progress which might need fixing or debugging?

That is, try to make a space for the newbie to speak up and be counted - the newbie will naturally be a bit more reticent, on average, than an old hand.

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Re: Proposed format for future all-day "Virtual" Acorn events on Zoom

Post by 1024MAK » Wed May 06, 2020 12:39 pm

Good idea there Ed 👍

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