Look, we were doing it because (a.) we could, and (b.) it seemed like it might be useful. Not because it was a(nother) great promo for Apple kit. But of course, nobody will believe that.
Picture the scene; ‘The Dover Castle,’ says somebody (Danny?), ‘That should hold enough people.’ The room holds about 40; more like 90 turn up. Ah. So, we spill into a back room (AKA ‘The Cheap Seats’), from about half of which a view is afforded of the main room through a non-opening window. There’s sound, thanks to a PA that turns out to be
[picking up where Movable Type cut this off, grrrr:] turns out to be better than feared. But it’s a little odd being at a small-scale event, and having no idea what the speaker looks like.
However, near the front of the main room a chap called William has an iBook and an iSight FireWire video camera; after a couple of minutes’ tinkering in one of the breaks we have a video stream running wirelessly to my PowerBook in the back room. Which is cool and all, but not really very clever on our part. We’re just Mac users, and we trust that this sort of thing is worth trying. It’ll either be so simple we’ll have it working almost immediately, or in only a few minutes we’ll have exhausted the obvious possibilities; either way, there’s still time to get to the bar. And yet, even in an audience of alpha geeks, this caused a minor stir.
It’s easy to forget how good Apple are at making simple things completely transparent, and mildly-complex things pretty-dang-simple. But of course, using this stuff will always come across as smug: ‘It just works’ is the sort of phrase people want to wipe off your face with a soggy core dump. Unfortunately for all parties, it happens to be true.
What frustrates me is that I didn’t think of having QuickTime Streaming Server/Broadcaster installed before I turned up, and that the cable for my miniDV camera was in Glasgow. With all of that kit, we could have pumped two feeds to every wireless-capable box in the room. Now that would have been neat.