193: So That Happened

In which the NetHeads had something else in mind when this show happened, instead.

So, about why there’s now a video out in the world where one of the show co-hosts is upside down the entire time.

First and foremost let us already agree with you in advance, yes most people do a dry test-run before they commit to doing new things with new technology and we should have done that. Trent summed it up best during the show, however, when he said, “Sometimes you’ve just got to bite the bullet.” Well, it wasn’t really a bullet, we didn’t bite it, but we did get hit pretty hard with it in the face.

Now let’s step back into the NetHeads Chronometric Nexus to a simpler time where everything was pretty much exactly the way it is now, but video was right side up.

Friday the NetHeads hatched plans to play around with video for this week. Time is precious, the NetHeads are busy folk, so a lot of what we do is off the cuff, but we had solid plans to try to test things out ahead of the start time of the show and we would go from there. Let’s hand the narrative mic over to Will now since he’s the one that bungholed this whole thing up.

The part of Will Wilkins will now be played by Monday Morning QuarterBack, Will Wilkins

So after Trent and I decided to go ahead with video I knew I had three very simple objectives that had to be achieved:

  1. Gotta have a reliable way to show video.
  2. Gotta get the video on a machine where audio is already wired to in the studio.
  3. I wanted the shot framed nice and I wanted a nice background.

Part of either my plan or my backup plan was to have a specific machine be the “host” for the video stream, so I set it to do it’s important updates on Friday night. Remember that, folks. With all these things in mind I did what anyone would do, I went to bed.

Saturday morning I woke, powered up the laptop, used FaceTime to confirm the laptop camera was working so I knew I had #1 taken care of. At the worst of it I have an HD camera and it’s also a machine “wired” into the studio for audio, so I also had #2 taken care of. Everything else is just logistics and hey, two grown men trying to figure out how to make everything work has played out ok for 192 other shows, so let’s just focus on that background thing, right? Besides, I also just looked up the fact that my Sony Handycam (sounds so dirty) also has the ability to be an HD webcam with a USB cable, so again I shouldn’t have an issue.

Sunday was a day with a lot of goals, so after finishing some things for “around the house” tasks I took the time to hang my sound panels back on the walls and decided to finally hang those nifty 3D lights that my lovely wife and daughter had picked up for me. I figure they’d be a perfect addition to the wall behind me to break up the visual of the panels and they’d be a great background. Makes sense, right? It took a bit of time, I actually used things like tape measures, carpenter pencils, and levels to make sure things were spaced out, level and at about the same height. I got to put decal stickers on my walls, dropped in some batteries, and we’ve got what I’d consider an OK background:

A 44 year-old man did this to a wall in his "office" today.
A 44 year-old man did this to a wall in his “office” today.

In case you didn’t get to watch (or hear the show yet) that there up top is the bat symbol my daughter painted for me.

Time to sit down and figure out how we are going to broadcast this. Google Hangouts, I seemed to remember, integrated with YouTube and they have that nifty auto-switching camera feature when people talk, so I figure we’ll use that. Somehow, in the process however, I inadvertently use or create (not sure at this point) a different NetHeads presence on Google Plus.

Will the REAL NetHeads Google + page please stand up?

During all of this, I was very busy sweating the machine I wanted to have as the live stream “host” since, even though it was set to update it was not even to the point of applying them on Sunday mid-morning. I have the MacBook as a backup, I can still run a recording of the video from the HD camera, no worries. “We’ll fix it in post” if we have to.

Now we get to test time. That machine that was updating? Well, this picture was taken after the train wreck above aired.

Nothing like updates to winDOH!s

It’s OK, though, we don’t need that computer, or even that camera… because we’ve got the rock solid hardware and reputation of Apple behind us and we can just use the MacBook’s built in FaceTime camera, right?

Sorry, boss… no FaceTime camera for you… it’s a MacATTACK!

OK, so we couldn’t count on the beauty of Apple to get us through this. There’s no hope left in the world. We’ve got to use the HD Camera now, but it’s cool because the instructions say it can use USB, right? Guess what, it’s a proprietary USB cable. THANKS SONY! Can’t use that thing.

All right, so now the clock is ticking away and thank goodness Trent is being cheery about the whole thing because now I’m fuming because I can’t find this proprietary cord, and I don’t know what to do. At the last moment I look over to my good ol’ Asus that has a built in (non-HD) web cam. Screw it, it’s wired into the audio system so we can do this. I load it all up, get  ready to go… and… well…. let’s let @tkaytt‘s picture speak for itself:

Do not attempt to adjust your video....
Do not attempt to adjust your video….

Yeah, I didn’t mention that I also just took advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10 on this computer. Never used the web cam. It just needed a new driver, however we were already waaaay late so we threw caution to the wind.

What are the take-aways from this that have proven themselves true time and time again but I’ll restate here for the heck of it?

  1. Always test ahead of time when it doesn’t matter.
  2. Never update anything until after the job is done.
  3. Always, no wait… never… forget to check your references.
  4. It’s a silly web show, let the bald guy be upside down!

Now that we’ve leaped that hurdle we’ll improve things and get this going sooner than later.  I need to also work some connections to get some stuff I feel I need but don’t really need but I want to have because I don’t want a video product existing that looks like this.

Thanks for enduring!