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Ok, this may be the closest I ever get to the real thing but I must admit once I got the hang of it I had a pretty good time. (That’s PlanetNeutral Fackler a.k.a. Greg Schwartz taking the plunge with me.)
Tagged with: second life
Overall I’d say it was a success. All of the sessions were well attended and many great questions were asked of the vendors about their products. Both of my sessions, Second Life and Hot Topics in Technology” were also well attended.
More specifically to me, my use of YouTube as presentation platform seemed to go over very well. All of the feedback I received indicated that it worked well and gave everyone an idea of what it was like to be in Second Life without actually going there. (That, and I didn’t use PowerPoint at all so that’s a guaranteed plus.)
From the presenter’s persepctive YouTube did leave a bit to be desired. Due to the fact that all YouTube video pages force you to scroll to see the whole video window and each time you move to the next video in a playlist you have to re-scroll, I decided to use the playlist that I embedded in my blog the previous day. This way I could scroll down once, click play, and let it run, pausing when I needed to address something specific. Unfortunately, I didn’t test this plan fully in advance. It seems that embedded playlists will play the first four videos and then force you to click over to the YouTube site to play the rest. (For purposes of ad revenue I’m sure.) So, due to this I was back in YouTube, scrolling to align future videos on the screen. It wasn’t a complete breakdown of the plan but it did catch me off guard, something I try to avoid during a presentation.
The only other comment I would make about this method of presenting is not to go over the 30 minute mark when showing video. I pretty much kept to exactly 30 but I started to get the feeling at the end that if I’d gone any longer I would have started to loose some of the attendees.
Overall I’d give the day a 9 out of 10 and my YouTube experiment an 8 out of 10. (My photos from the day can be found by clicking on the photo in this post.)
Tomorrow is the Nebraska Library Commission’s Vendor Day and as part of the festivities I get 30 minutes to introduce Second Life. So, with the discovery of the video I posted earlier today I decided to take a different approach and assemble 30 minutes worth of YouTube videos and use them. (I’ll most likely cut short the Vega song short as I’m using it more as an intro to the video on building her SL guitar.) I’ve still got handouts but I thought this would be an interesting experiment. The videos are presented for you below and I’ll report back afterwards as to how the audience liked it.
Here’s a great short video introducing Second Life. I think I’ll use this one tomorrow. Listen for the line about linking from Second Life to an “old fashioned Web site”.
The MP3 and PDF for my Second Life presentation are now available on SirsiDynixInstitute.com.
I’ve seen the article Speed Up Windows Vista from ExtremeTech blogged about several other places so I wasn’t going to mention it here. I did read it though and agree with the criticism regarding the section of the article dealing with Windows services. But the one thing that I got from the article was the importance of making sure your drivers are up to date; especially if you’re upgrading from XP to Vista.
First a little background: In my workshop Tech Support on the Fly I talk about Windows update and the different categories of updates you’ll find there. One category in XP is “optional hardware updates” and I stress that you should only install hardware (i.e. driver) updates when you’re having trouble with said hardware or if the new driver gives you new features you want. This advice spawns from the times that I’ve had to rollback video drivers on computers where I can no longer see anything on the screen. That is not fun!
So when I upgraded my laptop to Vista I updated as many drivers as I could but was unable to find the updated driver for my video card. (As blogged earlier.) My laptop was running but it seemed a little more sluggish than I would like. I was poking around in the computer’s properties last weekend and found something called the “System Rating”.
The one pictured here is from my second office computer with known issues so don’t worry too much about the low score. In the case of my laptop the score was 2.8 out of five. Looking for a little more detail I clicked on “Windows Experience Index” and found the detail and explanation I was looking for.
It turns out the the rating is based on the lowest score in five categories: Processor, Memory, Graphics, Gaming Graphics, and Primary Hard Disk. In my laptop’s case, the graphics rating was 2.8. This may just have been the reason for the sluggish performance of my machine.
A commenter to this blog had recently pointed out where I could find the driver and a few days ago I download and installed the update. I then went to Windows update and noticed there was an “optional” update to my video driver so I took a chance and installed that next. After all the required reboots I went back to look at my computer’s score. The score hadn’t changed but it did inform me that it had “found new hardware” and needed to rerun the tests to recompute my score. I clicked OK and waited about five minutes. The score was updated to 3.8 and I was told that I could even comfortably run the Areo interface now.
I switched Aero on and started to play. My laptop is now back to the speed it was running at with XP. (Unfortunately, Second Life still won’t run and my iTunes problems still exist but I’ve ruled out my video driver as the source of the problem.)
So, the bottom line, if you’re running Vista, my current advice is to install those driver updates as soon as they become available. Might your system die as a result? Sure, but I’d say the benefits outweigh the very small risks in this situation.
This morning Rhonda and did a SirsiDynix Institute presentation on Second Life and Info Island to more than 300 attendees and have both received several post-presentation e-mails already so keep them coming. For those that missed it, there are several ways to get copies of the material.
Thanks to everyone who made this a success. Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions.
The NLC Network Services staff got together this afternoon to take a group photo in front of our new building in Second Life. Getting everyone in the right clothes, in the right place, not tripping over each other, and finally into the right pose is no easy task. Oh, then there’s the lighting issues… Look for the final result shortly on the NLC blog.