Jan 04 2019
Jan 04

When I’m recording an event, there are several recurring threads in conversation when chatting with attendees:

  • Thank you for all that you do | You’re welcome!
  • When will the videos be available? | By tomorrow
  • Where can I find the videos? | The camp YouTube channel
  • Have you thought about making money from this? | (hahahaha) Tell me more
  • We should build a site to host all the videos | I know right?!

Thoughts of that last one started way back at DrupalCon Austin, when we were hoping to get camp videos added to the DrupalCon YouTube channel. Since then, it has come up frequently as the momentum has been building. The fact that Drupal.tv now exists and has more than 3,500 videos is still hard to fathom.

Granted, at the time I added content discoverability as a goal to the (unofficial) Drupal Recording Initiative, I already knew that Ashraf Abed (@ashabed) and his Debug Academy (@DebugAcademy) students were working on a site. Pessimist that I am, I had seen prior attempts at a solution stall out, so I was reservedly optimistic. But as Ashraf kept sending me updates, the anticipation grew. At that time it was Drupal.tube, so when he let me know that he would be launching on New Years Day at Drupal.tv, I was blown away.

Prior to launch, Ashraf asked me for a list of playlists that I’ve recorded (which I happened to randomly have because Dwayne McDaniel (@McDwayne) asked me back in November if a list existed, and at the time it hadn’t, so I created it) and also invited me to load some playlists. I figured I’d upload a couple, but by the time I went to add one, they had already been uploaded. I knew that MidCamp’s YouTube also lists other camp channels, so I went there to upload one and test it out. It was so fast and easy that I ended up adding all of DrupalCamp Atlanta’s events (11), NERD Summit (3), and Bristol 2017 (1).

Rachel Lawson (@rachel_norfolk) mentioned on twitter that this should be added as a project on Drupal.org and I really support that idea. This will allow for documentation and credit, but also the issue queue so I’ll have a place to submit feature requests! 

Here are just a few: 

  • Include conference name with video title on lists (some have the name already, but would help with duplicate listings in search results)
  • Add the total number of videos to the header
  • Add the total number of events to the header
  • CTA / landing page / form for event organizers
  • Simpler importing of single videos for events that don’t have playlists

According to this post, the current roadmap includes:

  • Building out event landing pages
  • Tagging talks with topics and speakers
  • Faceted search
  • Video captions
  • Multilingual

If you run a Drupal event, check for your event in the list of curated playlists. If you don’t see yours listed, fill out the contact form to get your videos added. 

Oh right! And from now on, when people ask where they can find the videos, my answer will be Drupal.tv! The community now has an incredible resource. And it’s up to the community to keep that resource strong. 

Nov 19 2018
Nov 19

Wow. What a year. I traveled to 15 camps this year for session recording (well, that includes MidCamp, which I also organize). In addition, I shipped equipment to Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit and Baltimore Drupal Camp. And finally, I provided direct support to DrupalCamp Ottawa, which chose to purchase equipment rather than chance customs delays. 

Oh, and let’s not forget the highlight of it all: receiving the Aaron Winborn award at DrupalCon in recognition of my contribution.

Since I am occasionally asked where people can find the videos I record, below is a recap of this year’s activity, with links to all the camp playlists.

Sessions recorded by me*: 559

Sessions recorded with equipment I shipped: 45

2018 capture rate: 96.12%


*That brings me to the asterisk from above. The phrase “captured by me” has new meaning this year as I have started recruiting assistance at some camps. Specifically GovCon and BADCamp, because they both are more than one person can rightly handle, and having said that, I honestly have no idea how I soloed both events in the past. Special shout out to Gergely Csonka of Cheppers, Lee Walker and Bo Shipley of Drupal Camp Chattanooga, and fellow MidCamp organizer Avi Schwab for helping me out. 

I have started compiling a list of folks that have either expressed interest in the equipment I use or directly helping me. My goal for 2019 is to transition into more of a mentoring role so we can record even more camps, and more importantly, camps overseas. Because if you look at the above list, I have fairly extensive coverage of North American events, but nowhere else. If you want to help, shoot me an email at [email protected].

Grand total of Drupal talks captured to date: 1,279


Finally, if you want to check out my equipment list or instructions, head over to GitHub. And if you wish to support my efforts, chip in at Open Collective.

Thanks for an amazing year! See you soon.

Aug 29 2018
Aug 29

So many times, I see sites with a responsive grid of logos that only rely on width as the limiter. When doing so, square or vertical logos appear disproportionately large compared to their horizontal counterparts. 

Exhibit A (BADCamp 2018’s sponsor footer) 
Square logos appear much larger than their horizontal neighbors

The fix took me a long time to find, but I have it in my toolkit and use it on all my projects. But after seeing yet another camp site with crazy logo sizing, I realized sharing this snippet was long overdue (as well as a pull request to the BADCamp repo).

The parent element (usually the <a> tag) needs this code:

display: block;
width: 100%;
position: relative;
height: 0;
padding: 56.25% 0 0 0; // this assumes a 16:9 aspect ratio
overflow: hidden;

And the child image needs this code:

position: absolute;
display: block;
max-width: 100%;
max-height: 100%;
width: auto;
height: auto;
left: 0;
right: 0;
top: 0;
bottom: 0;
margin: auto;

Or if you are a fan of SASS mixins, you can get fancy and just include this on the logo’s parent element and input whichever ratio you like:

// set aspect ratio of a field
@mixin aspect-ratio($width, $height) {
  display: block;
  width: 100%;
  position: relative;
  height: 0;
  padding: ($height / $width) * 100% 0 0 0;
  overflow: hidden;
  > img {
    position: absolute;
    display: block;
    max-width: 100%;
    max-height: 100%;
    width: auto;
    height: auto;
    left: 0;
    right: 0;
    top: 0;
    bottom: 0;
    margin: auto;
  }
}

In the case of the BADCamp sponsor footer, we now get this:
A mix of square and horizontal logos locked at 16:9 aspect ratio

Enjoy!

May 14 2016
May 14

It has 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 of those camps, I’ve iterated and learned from invaluable successes and failures.

First off, here is a link to the current kit.

With everything, each kit is still under $450. In addition, zip ties to hold the VGA to HDMI dongle tight and some gaffers tape to secure everything to the podium are needed.

Recap

At Twin Cities, I learned that, while I try, I cannot reasonably start and stop every recording in every room, especially at camps with five concurrent sessions spread over multiple floors and buildings. The amount of volunteer participation at TCDrupal is incredibly impressive. I had loads of help at my disposal, but only a few moments to outline how the kits work, so I spent a lot of time troubleshooting from room to room.

BADCamp is another camp that sprawls over a campus and is a bit looser on the room monitor support. So this time, I came armed with printed instructions at each podium for hooking up to the kit. I added some basic troubleshooting and my phone number. I missed about half the session starts, but speakers were mostly able to follow the instructions and run things without me. That was a huge win. Unfortunately, remembering to also start/stop the audio record was hit or miss.

By the time MidCamp rolled around, I simplified the instructions further and also set the backup audio record to just run all day, removing the failure point of missed audio. The big red button is easy and enticing. The little button on the audio recorder remote...not so much. MidCamp, with two days of four concurrent sessions was my first 100% captured camp since St. Louis.

Pain Points

There are four recurring issues with this setup:

  • VGA-only laptops
  • Recurring audio problems
  • File segmenting
  • Random projector problems

Hopefully, the time of laptops that only have VGA out is coming to an end. I've tried several different VGA-to-HDMI converters with basically no luck. And to spend hundreds of dollars or more for a fool-proof converter when modern laptops have better video output is a hard pill to swallow. I don't foresee this being a long-term problem.

The audio issues are baffling. In some cases, no audio at all is recorded with the screen capture, while other times it is sped up and choppy, hence the importance of the backup audio files from the voice recorder. But this means post-processing time which delays uploads. I intend to contact Hauppauge support, but honestly don't expect to get very far as I am using their device as it was not intended. Lastly, the capture device has a touch panel for adjusting gain and muting the audio. It is a little too easy to accidentally mute the audio.

Minor annoyance: occasionally, the recordings will split into two or more files, meaning I have to stitch them together in post.

At MidCamp for the past two years (both held at different locations on UIC campus), some of the projectors would intermittently go dark during presentations. While this has no impact on the recording, it is extremely unsettling for the presenter and annoying for the attendees. I recall this happening in some cases at Twin Cities, but not at BADCamp. So this one currently has me stumped with no good plan of resolution at this time.

Next Steps

For obvious reasons, I can't record all the sessions at all the camps. And already I have firm plans to record Twin Cities in June, St. Louis in September, and BADCamp in October. Talking to folks at Drupalcon, I also now have soft commitments with Drupal GovCon in July and Drupal Camp New Jersey in January. And other camps have reached out, but I have conflicts.

I managed to pack up a complete kit into a 10" Pelican case. This means that if I can start training some proxies and write up some detailed instructions and troubleshooting, then this solution can scale. Maybe folks won’t have experience with the post-production, but I can help with that remotely, if needed. The beauty of these kits is that with timely starts and stops and good audio, the MP4 file on the thumb drive can be uploaded as soon as it is collected.

The good news is that the more camps I can record, the more data I can collect and the more I can refine the process to make it scalable.

Stay tuned!

Jun 21 2015
Jun 21

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:

Planning a #drupalcamp and need your sessions recorded? Sponsor me & I will record your sessions. Ping me! #drupal /cc @drupalstl @tcdrupal

— Kevin Thull (@kevinjthull) April 8, 2015

To my delight, both Twin Cities and St. Louis camps took me up on my offer. Of course, the stakes are even higher now, because it's no longer my own money on the line.

But I'm also feeling more confident about this solution and improve on the process with each camp. Connecting to non-HDMI-capable laptops remains the biggest challenge overall. I've added in a couple (full) DisplayPort to HDMI converters and even successfully tested a new VGA to HDMI converter that got my ancient Sony VAIO to display on my home flatscreen:

The new VGA to HDMI converter shows promise. My ancient Sony Vaio WinXP laptop just connected! #drupalcamp pic.twitter.com/PXb0kBvsCl

— Kevin Thull (@kevinjthull) June 16, 2015

And at DrupalCamp STL I finally got the 100% success rate that I've been shooting for! Three sessions needed fixing in post, but overall, this camp went very smoothly. A huge bonus was the fact that the two rooms were next to each other, minimizing the distance to cover when trying to coordinate laptop hookups and verify timely starts and stops of the records.

Twin Cities is next week, with a much more challenging schedule: five concurrent sessions across two buildings and multiple floors. My Fitbit will likely hit a new high. That, and I need to finally get down to some documentation and podium signage. It's time to share the knowledge I've gained and get more hands and minds involved.

And now for the learnings from DCSTL:

  • swapping thumb drives throughout the day means recordings can be posted during camp
  • well-timed presenter starts/stops means no trimming, which means more recordings can be posted during camp
  • one room had screen flicker and setting the PVR resolution to 1080 helped (typically, the resolution needs to come down to 720 for this, as well as fixing color shifts)
  • having extra SD cards means bad audio can be fixed during down times, which means more recordings can be posted during camp
  • power strips at the podium shouldn't be assumed, and the powered USB hub and voice recorder both have short plugs
  • never plug the powered usb into the laptop, because that can kill your record if resolution changes or the laptop goes to sleep
  • taping down individual components means less cord chaos throughout the day
  • access to ethernet port with a reasonably large pipe going up will get videos posted faster
Mar 28 2015
Mar 28

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.

Testing is good.

After BADCamp, I added a powered 4-port USB hub to the kits, as well as an accessory pack for the H2N voice recorder, mainly for the powered A/C adapter and remote. All total, these two items bring the current cost of the kit to about $425.

In addition, at one of our venue walk-throughs, I was able to actually test the kits with the projectors UIC would be using. The units in two of the rooms had an unexplainable random few-second blackout of the screens, but the records were good and the rest of the rooms checked out.

Success.

After the mad scramble setting up three breakout rooms and the main stage leading up to the opening keynote, I can't begin to describe the feeling in the pit of my stomach after I pulled the USB stick after stopping the keynote recording. I can’t begin to describe the elation I felt after seeing a full record, complete with audio.

We hit a few snags with presenters not starting their records (fixable) and older PCs not connecting (possibly fixable), and a couple sessions that didn’t have audio (hello redundancy from the voice recorder). Aside from that, froboy and I were able to trim and upload all the successful records during the Sunday sprint.

A huge shout out also goes to jason.bell for helping me on-site with setups and capture. He helped me during Fox Valley’s camp, so I deputized him as soon as I saw him Friday morning.

Learnings.

With the addition of the powered USB hub, we no longer need to steal any ports from the presenter laptop. For all of the first day, we were unnecessarily hooking up the hub’s USB cable to the presenter laptop. Doing this caused a restart of the record kit. We did lose a session to a presenter laptop going to sleep, and I have to wonder whether we would have still captured it if the hub hadn’t been attached.

The VGA to HDMI dongle is too unreliable to be part of the kit. When used, either there was no connection, or it would cycle between on and off. Most, if not all, machines that didn’t have mini display port or direct HMDI out had full display port. I will be testing a display port to HDMI dongle for a more reliable option.

Redundant audio is essential. The default record format for the voice recorders is a WAV file. These are best quality, but enormous, which is why I failed at capturing most of BADCamp’s audio (RTFM, right?). By changing the settings to 192kbs MP3, two days of session audio barely made a dent in the 2GB cards that are included with the recorders. Thankfully, this saved three session records: two with no audio at all (still a mystery) and one with blown out audio.

Trimming and combining in YouTube is a thing. Kudos again to froboy for pointing me to YouTube’s editing capabilities. A couple sessions had split records (also a mystery), which we then stitched together after upload, and several sessions needed some pre- or post-record trimming. This can all be done in YouTube instead of using a video editor and re-encoding. Granted, YouTube takes what seems like forever to process, but it works and once you do the editing, you can forget about it.

There is a known issue with mini display port to HDMI where a green tint is added to the output. Setting the external PVR to 720p generally fixed this. There were a couple times where it didn’t, but switching either between direct HDMI or mini display port to HDMI seemed to resolve most of the issues. Sorry for the few presenters that opted for funky colors before we learned this during the camp. The recording is always fine, but the on-site experience is borked.

Finally, we need to tell presenters to adjust their energy saver settings. I take this for granted, because the con my company runs is for marketing people who present frequently, and this is basically just assumed to be set correctly. We are a more casual bunch and don’t fret when the laptop sleeps or the screen saver comes up during a presentation. Just move the cursor and roll with it. But that can kill a record...even with the Drupal Association kits. I do plan to test this, now that I’ve learned we don’t need any power at all from the presenter laptop, but it’s still an easy fix with documentation.

Next steps.

Documentation. I need to make simple instructions sheets to include with the kits. Overall, they are really easy to use and connect, but it’s completely unfamiliar territory. With foolproof instructions, presenters can be at ease and room monitors can be tasked with assisting without fear.

Packaging. With the mad dash to set these up — combined with hourly hookups — these were a hot mess on the podium. I’ll be working to tighten these up so they look less intimidating and take up less space. No idea what this entails yet, so I’ll gladly accept ideas.

Testing. As mentioned, I will test regular display port to HDMI, as well as various sleep states while recording.

Shipping. Because these kits are so light weight, part of the plan is to be able to share them with regional camps. There was a lot of interest from other organizers in these kits during the camp. Someone from Twin Cities even offered to purchase a kit to add to the mix, as long as they could borrow the others. A Pelican box with adjustable inserts would be just the ticket.

Sponsors. If you are willing to help finance this project, please contact me at [email protected]. While Fox Valley Camp owns three kits and MidCamp owns one, wouldn’t it be great to have your branding on these as they make their way around the camp circuit? The equipment costs have (mostly) been reimbursed, but I’ve devoted a lot of time to testing and documenting the process, and will be spending more time with the next steps listed above.

Nov 14 2014
Nov 14

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? 

Wrong.

Throughout day one of sessions, a couple laptops had connection issues and had to bypass recordings, but overall things appeared to be going smoothly. It wasn't until the end of the day when copying files off the thumb drives that I noticed many recordings were 0k mp4 files, primarily from the main room. This was the most disconcerting, because every indication was that things were working.

On this, I have a couple ideas, but no solid understanding of why the files didn't write. That was the easiest room in terms of handshake between PVR and projector, plus there was a dedicated A/V crew that was helping hook up laptops.

When we tested at Fox Valley's camp, the laptop was typically disconnected by the time I made it to the rooms to swap out equipment. I suspect that disconnecting the device before hitting the stop button and waiting long enough for the files to write may kill the save. This one will be easy to test.

Projectors were also an issue. In the main space, none were HD and all were different flavors of Sony. Some hooked up just fine, while others squeezed the output. The Saturday-only keynote room was loving it. 

And then there were presenter laptop issues. There were a few older VGA-only laptops. One refused to work with the VGA to HDMI converted, while one worked for about 15 minutes before failing off and on, mid-presentation. One of the A/V techs suggested that maybe there is not enough USB power on the laptops to handle both the PVR and the converter, so a powered USB hub may be in order. Most Macbooks were fine, but a handful gave output with a very green tint to it.

No surprise, HDMI in/out is proving to be more of a hurdle than originally anticipated. In addition to HDMI in, the PVR also has an option to accept component video. It's likely that converting VGA out from a laptop to component video in to the PVR will be a safer bet. So the question becomes whether I can convert the HDMI out of the PVR to VGA for the projectors.   

All in all, this was an enormous fail. That said, this was the absolute best time for it to happen. My goal is to build a system that can handle the majority of the random that a camp will throw at it. 

I'm looking forward to testing the next iteration.

Nov 02 2014
Nov 02

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!

This is fantastic news for many reasons: 

  • Co-presenters or panels: Standing several feet away from the unit for the test resulted in great sound quality
  • No microphone cords: Speakers are free to roam, if that is their style
  • Redundancy: If the voice recorder is powered and hooked up correctly, the PVR will spit out a finished MP4, but should that audio fail for any reason, there will be a backup record on an SD card

At $160, the recorder definitely costs more than the original lav mic tested at DrupalCamp Fox Valley. With the suggested accessories (A/C power, tripod, wired remote, case, 32 MB SD Card, audio cable) the audio component comes up to about $225. This brings the total kit cost to just approximately $425 per room, which should accept a full day of recording and accommodate most laptops.

I'll be attending BADCamp and plan to bring the full kit with me, if anyone wants to check it out. Hell, if I get the chance, I will try to test it in the wild. Next steps are testing dongles for various portable devices, as well as contacting the Drupal Association to see what is needed to make these available for camps.

Huzzah!

Oct 06 2014
Oct 06

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. 

The outward problem with this is that the language around contributing back to Drupal is code-centric. The current system places emphasis on how many commits you have and how many projects you maintain. But there is hope for those of you who, like me, won't be contributing back code anytime soon. 

I am a co-organizer for the Fox Valley Drupal Meetup Group in the western suburbs of Chicago. We held our first camp in 2013 and I was part of the team that helped pull it off, and we recently wrapped our 2014 camp.

When the idea of the inaugural MidCamp was getting kicked around, I offered up my logistics help for that as well. And I'm on deck as the logistics lead for 2015.

Through my non-Drupal day job, I have extensive print experience and do a fair amount of video production work tied to the annual conference we host. So I was all over session records for all three camps, and I'm working on a rebooted session recording kit that the Drupal Association is very interested in learning more about. 

My print skills have been tapped by the core mentor team, mostly because I was hanging around a bunch of them at Drupalcon Austin and they needed materials printed for the mentored sprints at Drupalcon Amsterdam. 

Hell, I even got roped into catering the extended sprints at Austin mainly because I am passionate about food, especially when it comes from something with four wheels and an engine.

My point: there are many opportunities to give back to the community and the project as a whole in real life. It took me a while before I realized that yes, I am a contributor. Just not in a way that is currently measured. But that's not why I do it. I am forever indebted to all the heavy code lifters that I depend on for my work. It just feels good to be able to give back.

So while it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever see any kind of percentage powered by kthull on a Drupal site, I’ll continue to lend my time and talents where I can. You should too.

Oct 03 2014
Oct 03

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:

  • One presenter laptop (MacBook Air) never successfully made a connection, but luckily we were able to capture a QuickTime screen record
  • There is no indicator of the audio levels, and three sessions were lost due to no audio
  • The record is stopped if the presenter laptop goes to sleep, so we lost a session due to that
  • The touch audio panel is visually misleading to presenters, and very touch sensitive
  • There is only one audio input, so to record multiple presenters, we need to test a small mixer to accept multiple inputs and output one audio channel to the recorder
  • The projector must be able to take a 1920x1080 signal
  • The VGA to HDMI adapter didn’t hold a tight connection to the VGA cord for the projector, so we scored some tip ties from the venue AV department. This was inconvenient when we had to switch out the cords
  • The audio was a bit too quiet, so we should have used the +20db boost for the records
  • There is a detectable clicking on some of the audio records, though can’t say why
  • Additional dongles need to be purchased and tested to capture from various tablets for presenters that come in without a laptop

Next Steps

Before this can be ready for prime time, the audio issue definitely needs to be overcome. I’m hoping to find a digital audio recorder that can feed audio out, which would then pipe into the recording device. This would give direct feedback via the audio recorder as well as a backup audio channel. If we had this, we could have saved three session records, since the video capture was perfect. 

The mics proved to be the weakest link. Three sessions were lost because of no audio channel. Hard to say why, but it’s possible that the on/off switch was inadvertently switched off after initial setup, or the unit was muted (seems less likely). It would be worth testing if a portable audio recorder can feed audio in to the record device. That would also overcome the issue of multiple presenters.

Also, with better communication with the presenters, after we hook up the kit, they can be in charge of the start/stop of the record, since that big red “easy” button can’t get any simpler. Maybe a simple printed sheet listing the various indicators on the device. This would eliminate the need to trim and re-process in post.

Ultimately, with predictable/boosted audio and no need of trimming, session videos could be uploaded directly from the thumb drives.

Bonus points if there is a converter out there to take the 1080 signal out of the recorder and downsample it for older projectors.

The Beta Kit

Record Device - $140
Hauppauge HD PVR
http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-Rocket-Portable-Recorder-Systems/dp/B00…

This device provides a pass-through record of the presenters laptop directly onto a USB thumb drive. The movie format is an H.264 1920 x 1080 AAC 30 FPS MP4 video. 

The unit takes HMDI or component video (with a provided adapter cable) in and provides HDMI out. For audio, there is a 3.5mm microphone jack. To start and stop the record, you basically push the big red button. The audio touch panel lets you mute/unmute the microphone, increase the volume and add 20db boost. 

Powered Microphone - $32 
Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone  
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATR-3350-Omnidirectional-Condenser…

HDMI to VGA (connects to projector) - $10
VicTsing 1080P HDMI Male to VGA Female Video Converter Adapter Cable For PC Laptop DVD HDTV PS3 XBOX 360 and other HDMI input
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G9UWP94

VGA to HDMI (support non-HDMI PC laptops) - $25
IO Crest VGA to HDMI Convertor with Audio support (SY-ADA31025)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006FILNV6

Mini Display Port to HDMI (support non-HDMI Mac laptops) - $10
PNY A-DM-HD-W01 Mini DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter
http://www.amazon.com/PNY-A-DM-HD-W01-Mini-DisplayPort-Adapter/dp/B007B…

Additional Untested Equipment

2-4 Presenters, if a standalone digital audio recorder does not work

4-channel mixer - 17.44
Nady MM-141 4-Channel Mini Mixer
http://www.amazon.com/Nady-MM-141-4-Channel-Mini-Mixer/dp/B0009X9H9I

1/8” to 1/4” - 2.3
Hosa GPM-103 3.5mm TRS to 1/4" TRS Adaptor
http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-GPM-103-3-5mm-TRS-Adaptor/dp/B000068O3T/

1/4” to 18” - 1.95
Hosa Cable GMP386 1/4 TS To 1/8 Inch Mini TRS Mono Adaptor
http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-Cable-GMP386-Inch-Adaptor/dp/B001CJ68KE

Various tablet support and alternate dongles

Cable Matters SuperSpeed USB 3.0/2.0 to HDMI/DVI Adapter for Windows and Mac up to 2048x1152/1920x1200 in Black - 47.99
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BPEV1XK

VicTsing Dock to HDMI AV Cable Adapter for iPhone 4 4S iPad 1 2 New iPad (1080P) - 11.99
http://www.amazon.com/VicTsing-Cable-Adapter-iPhone-1080P/dp/B00979QONC/

Lightning Digital AV Adapter - 43.37
http://www.amazon.com/Apple-MD826ZM-Lightning-Digital-Adapter/dp/B009WH…

EnjoyGadgets Thunderbolt to HDMI Video Adapter Cable, with Audio Support - 9.98
http://www.amazon.com/EnjoyGadgets-Thunderbolt-Video-Adapter-Support/dp…

Micro HDMI (Type D) to HDMI (Type A) Cable For Microsoft Surface - 5.99
http://www.amazon.com/Micro-Cable-Microsoft-Surface-Compatible/dp/B009X…

Skiva MHL Micro USB to male HDMI cable (6.5 feet) for Samsung Galaxy S3 (SIII LTE i9300 L710 i747 i535 T999), Samsung Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, HTC One X, LG Optimus HD and other MHL Devices (HD-X3) - 11.99
http://www.amazon.com/Skiva-Samsung-Galaxy-Optimus-Devices/dp/B00A9H30L…

LinkS Micro USB to HDMI MHL cable +Micro 5pin to 11pin adapter + 3 Feet Charging Cable in Black Kit-(Compatible with any MHL enable smartphones and tablets) (Adapter kit) - 12.99
http://www.amazon.com/LinkS-adapter-Charging-Compatible-smartphones/dp/…

Cable Matters Gold Plated DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter (Male to Female) with Audio in Black - 11.99
http://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Plated-DisplayPort-Adapter/dp/B005H…

Samsung ET-H10FAUWESTA Micro USB to HDMI 1080P HDTV Adapter Cable for Samsung Galaxy S3/S4 and Note 2 - Retail Packaging - White - 28.91
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-ET-H10FAUWESTA-Micro-Adapter-Galaxy/dp/B0…

USB A Male to Mini 5 pin (B5) Female Adapter - 2.97
http://www.amazon.com/USB-Male-Mini-Female-Adapter/dp/B001VLIL3K/

Various HDMI converters - 13.99
AFUNTA Hdmi Cable Adapters Kit (7 Adapters)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AA8MAUK

HDMI cable - 7.69
Twisted Veins 1.5ft High Speed HDMI 3 Pack
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FX6KO8Y

VGA to component video (would still need component video cables) - 7.24
StarTech.com 6-Inch HD15 to Component RCA Breakout Cable Adapter - M/F (HD15CPNTMF)
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-6-Inch-Component-Breakout-Adapter/dp…

Personal Voice Recorder Option

Personal Voice Recorder with audio line out - $160
Zoom H2n Handy Recorder
http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H2N-H2n-Handy-Recorder/dp/B005CQ2ZY6/

Zoom APH2n Accessory Pack for H2n Portable Recorder - $40
AC adapter, case, wired remote, tripod, and other goodies
http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-APH2n-Accessory-Portable-Recorder/dp/B005CQ3…

3.5mm audio cable - $9
FRiEQ® 3.5mm Male To Male Car and Home Stereo Cloth Jacketed Tangle-Free Auxiliary Audio Cable (4 Feet/1.2M)
http://www.amazon.com/Jacketed-Tangle-Free-Auxiliary-Samsung-Android/dp…

32MB SD Card - $17
SanDisk Ultra 32GB SDHC Class 10/UHS-1 Flash Memory Card Speed Up To 30MB/s
http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Frustration-Free-Packaging--SDSDU-032G-AF…

Oct 03 2014
Oct 03

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. 

CKEditor populates the style drop down menu with a js file, and it lets you override it. Problem is, as stated in the docs, it doesn't work. And there were a few various options posted in the CKEditor module issue queue. 

First off, you create a new js file to name a function that will build the drop down select items and the parameters for each. Contrary to what has been suggested in various posts, I put this in my theme's js folder. That way it won't get overridden by a module or library update, and it just makes sense since it's tied to my theme. Only CKEditor will be looking for this file, so there's no need to call it in your template files nor add it to your .info file. 

For example, I created a file named ckeditor_styles.js like so:
 

( function() {
    CKEDITOR.stylesSet.add( 'my_styles', [ // this is the styles set name you will call later
        { name: 'Teal Heading 2', element: 'h2', attributes: { 'class': 'teal' } }, 
        { name: 'Teal Text', element: 'span', attributes: { 'class': 'teal' } },
        { name: 'Unbold Heading', element: 'span', attributes: { 'class': 'unbold' } }
    ]);
} )();

It's pretty straightforward. The name parameter is what you will actually select in the drop down. The element is where you specify where to inject the class. If it's a block-level element (h1, h2, div, p, etc.), the class will added. If it's a span, then the selected text will be wrapped in a classed span. As for attributes, that's where you specify you are calling a class, and also provide the name of the class you want to inject. The resulting drop down will be split into block styles and inline styles.

The second step is to let CKEditor know where to find this file, via the advanced options section in the configuration. Navigate to admin/config/content/ckeditor and edit the profile you wish to add this to, most likely Full HTML. Docs will say you only need to set config.stylesSet, but as gleaned from the issue queues (and tested personally), you need to also set config.stylesCombo_styleSet.

Expand the Advanced Options field set and add the following to the Custom JavaScript Configuration with your styles set name and the path to your js file:

config.stylesCombo_stylesSet = 'my_styles:/sites/all/themes/mytheme/js/ckeditor_styles.js';
config.stylesSet = 'my_styles:/sites/all/themes/mytheme/js/ckeditor_styles.js';

Clear your caches and you should now be able to pick styles from your drop downs that will add either standard elements or spans with the desired classes. 

Sources:
http://docs.ckeditor.com/#!/guide/dev_howtos_styles
https://www.drupal.org/node/1287432

Oct 03 2014
Oct 03

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

Most of the discussion was centered around information sharing and coordination of efforts and how to accomplish that. We had thought that creating a private group on g.d.o for organizers to share not-ready-for-prime-time information would work. Turns out, that's not the case, as "private" only means there is moderation on who can join, but all posts are fully public.

Why a private group? Well, mostly for shared contact lists, proposed dates for coordinated planning before announcements, things like that. The intent also is to publicly share as much knowledge as we can, but in a centralized place that's a little less cumbersome than g.d.o.

In addition, we created a #drupalcamp IRC channel, and you should totally join if you are a camp organizer. 

So stay tuned, add your name to the doc if you want to be included on the proposed quarterly meeting, and join the channel so collaboration can start now!

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web