Thoughts on a VTC

Many of you know that I am now deeply involved in Federal Green IT. Add that in with my personal nonprofit work on Food/Obesity/Recycling and I’m all ears for video conferencing.

Which is why I’m a bit wry in these thoughts scrambled on sheets during my first VTC:

Sitting in two separate rooms. Two different groups. A Turing test – feeding voice info through the mic to the other group. Like Turing would think, if the message is delivered and a smart reply ensues, we have an intelligent VTC.

The atmoshpherics of the VTC are such that any delay in transmission can fail the whole operation. The faces on the screen are cold, flat, and the size of a penny on a screen far away on the wall. Wait! There is a third interloper, a single person, in a dark room. Is that big brother? Did he see me writing these notes and now going to take me to secret prison number 72?

Papers are everywhere. We have video screens of each other and a million printouts. Separate notes being taken on each. Lots of writing. Redundant. Scattered. Back to their individual desk and then…lost.

Why not a single note taker – entering notes digitally – on the scene = available instantly back at my desk for free!

Is the whole point of a video conference saving time and money, with lowered stress? Appears to work but still seem so awkward. How to improve? Does the new meeting format ask corporate servants to learn new meeting skills – like muting the box, waiting for the delay to pass, squinting at the screen to see their faces?

Maybe its just me and Im now old. Used to my physical “warm” meetings…or maybe im not using the top of the line technology…what is that like?

Can I just sit at my desk and play/enter Second Life and sit at virtual desk?

Kevin Nealon – Happy Gilmore

I still have this memorized from Happy Gilmore, when Kevin Nealon provides some sage advice:

Yeah, lot of pressure. You gotta rise above it. You gotta harness in the good energy, block out the bad. Harness. Energy. Block. Bad. Feel the flow, Happy. Feel it. It’s circular. It’s like a carousel. You pay the quarter, you get on the horse. It goes up and down and around. Circular. Circle. With the music. The flow… all good things.

My Autumn Safari through mopey Montrose park

As a self-proclaimed hater of the seasons I am starting to come around. There are minutes and sometimes whole days where I enjoy them (the rest of the time they just annoy me).

Today was one of those days. I am a naturally mopey emo person and so this time of year delights me. The leaves are dead or dying. The trees are starkly dark, bereft of colour and beauty. Yet, many of the vibrant colors of the last falling leaves remain richly colorful.

Today I found all of this in colors of purple, fire, red, yellow, neon, green, and orange. Great day and the weather was in the 60s.

Today I like the seasons.



Autumn 2008 Photo Safari from steven mandzik on Vimeo

Gadgets Porn

After listening to the first of two episodes on Real Deal about gadget obessiveness, I decided to rummage through my collection. Turns out I have little to nothing in gadget porn. I guess my minimalist strategy is working well. Here it is:

Despite there only being 8 items on the list I don’t feel deprived. They are awesome and my favorites. Mostly expensive and catered to my individual hobbies:

  • Movies, Internet, & Podcasts

An interesting note is that as recently as 6 months ago, I had way more stuff. Due to a combination of craigslist, amazon, and ebay, I’ve offloaded all my old stuff for a good return on value. Which in turn has allowed me to purchase more, creating a sort of tech-geek life cycle.

2008 Xmas Wish List

I love gadget dreams. I was looking over my old dreams from Jan of this year (2008) and realized how much I have changed in the last 11 months. Of the 7 things I was dreaming about, I only got one!

  • Media Center PC
  • A Robot
  • Wireless iTunes Sync
  • 5 Wireless Devices (already had 3: iPhone, Lappy, Bluetooth)
  • New Laptop
  • High Def DVD
  • Xbox 360

The one dream that I satisfied was a new lappy. I’m typing on it right now, my MacBook Air. Of the other dreams only one carries over, but it has changed from a media center PC to a Mac Mini. I think the new list represents a change in my dreams: basic gadgets –> gadget hobbies: movies and music.

Here is the new list for Xmas 2008:

Well, that’s it. I am super stoked about the list. I can’t wait to go browsing and learning about which ones I want, and then add them to my Amazon Wish List. Yay!

My Amazon.com Wish List

Vidcast of day 1 from Web 2.0 Expo

Well, day one came and went. We had some fun, some disappointment, and a little hangover this morning. Luckily enough we put our thoughts to video before the after partying took are brains away. Check it out and send any questions.

Also, here is Andrea’s blog-up of day one. Especially check out her links to the twitter acct, flickr group, and hash tags for this exposition.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWNd38mBDiI[/youtube]