Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Part 7: A/V & Power (PyCon 2008 Chairman's Report)

Carl Karsten was a real hero of PyCon 2008. His seemingly boundless energy and wealth of ideas catapulted the technical aspects of PyCon far beyond what we'd had before. He worked with the hotel's A/V staff to record every talk, and is currently leading the effort to organize, edit, and post the videos to the web.

Tip to organizers of other conferences: get a clone of Carl. You can't have Carl though, he's ours.

I first noticed Joe Baker going from room to room on tutorial Thursday, changing tapes in the video cameras. Joe appeared as if from nowhere (from my perspective), and it was great having him there.

Cosmin Stejerean, who ran the Python Lab in open space, also helped out the A/V effort a lot. At one point there was a cot in the A/V room -- Joe and Cosmin were rotating between sleeping and swapping tapes in the cameras for digital video playback to computer files. That's dedication!

The results of this year's A/V efforts are beginning to show up on the web. And you can help: join the pycon-av mailing list.

When we realized that we wouldn't be able to offer as many tables as we wanted (because attendance was so high), we decided to provide power to every seat. Carl, Sheila Miguez, and Peter Kropf went off to Fry's and bought 8 carts full of 48" power strips (they had to borrow the valet luggage carts to bring them all in). In a subsequent visit to Fry's to pick up some digital video cameras to get the video from tapes to computers, the store greeter recognized Carl and Sheila and told us, "You can't have any more power strips!"

We were going to have the hotel A/V crew tape down all the power strips, but it ended up being a bigger job than they thought. So Carl rounded up some people and they got them all taped down.

And guess who took all the power strips out of the hotel, and put them in storage? You guessed it: Carl (undoubtedly with some assistance from Sheila). The next time you see Carl and Sheila, or Peter, Joe, or Cosmin, be sure to buy them a round!

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