Welcome to Omnibits for Wednesday, 27 September (Day 11)
0600Fair warning: I haven't had coffe yet. But it's brewing :)
moaned & groaned about this issue before but the garthok that's
been narfling the OSHD operation here is violations of Microsoft
Windows' EULA, specificationlly the paragraph titled "Device
Connections" (run "winver" and click on "Microsoft Software License
Terms"). For Windows 7 Professional, it reads
Device Connections. You may allow up to 20 other devices to access
software installed on the licensed computer to use only File Services,
Print Services, Internet Information Services and Internet Connection
Sharing and Telephony Services.OSHD uses a
peer-to-peer network (not a login domain server), so each computer on
the network with network discovery and file sharing turned on is a
"device connection." I have 19 computers for 4-Way: 3 judging systems,
5 copy stations, 3 transcode servers, 1 admin station (for the CJ, for
browsing and printing results), and 7 jukeboxes (3 actual jukeboxes, 3
for DZTV servers, 1 for internet video generation). (3, 5, 3, 1, ...
My laptop, what I'm typing this on, and do software maintenance, is #20.
problem yesterday (and the day before) was the drop zone's VLC host
computers being used to play the DZTV feed coming from the three
aforementioned "DZTV servers". Some of them had network discovery and
file sharing turned on. During the day they would show up on my Network
list, kicking off one of my computers already on the list, rendering it useless until the next day, when everything can be shut down and brought back up.
Monday, I lost a copy station early in the afternoon to this, and had
to finish the first day of 4-Way with four copy stations.
I lost two: one copy station, and this computer right here, my laptop,
on which I was updating yesterday's bits when I got kicked. Off. My.
I've been assured the offending pooters have their network discovery disabled at the registry level.
who's here to read all this technical crap? Not you! There's a
skydiving competition going on out there!!! All 4-Way events of course
finished late yesterday afternoon, a total of 727 jumps contributing to
730 scores for 73 teams. (There were three missed manifest calls, at
least one of those due to injury.) The 8-Way briefing was last night
and I expect to get the draw uploaded in the next hour or so. I might
be judging some 8-Way too, insuring the 'Bits will remain as thin and
dry as ever!
0700If you kept up with yesterday's traffic on
the facing book you know what I went through with the videos I create
To recap, about two years ago Google
stopped supporting h.264 video, so clicking on the .mp4 links stopped
working. (I create the mp4 files from .avi files using the mpeg4
library which encodes in h.264.) So yesterday I changed my scripts and
NetPost code to create and reference .webm files
instead. I danced and hoo-rah'd and high-fived myself late yesterday
afternoon the first time I clicked on a link on my Galaxy S8 and saw my
webm file streaming in high quality.
Only then did I learn that webm is not natively supported by iOS, meaning Apple users are left out. However they can be played on iPhones and other iOS platforms with third party support.
inclination is to leave this "as is" on the assumption that Apple will
eventually come to its senses and add support for the free and open
.webm format, and even if they don't, Apple/iPhone users will install
whatever third-party plugins they need to make it work.
to say I quite like the notion that my results pages now work with
Chrome and Android. Another nice feature of the .webm format is the
videos start playing immediately -- they don't wait for the download to
complete. A much nicer user experience.
Here are some alternatives for you Apple / iPhone users:
scores GOING UP!!! Draws are also uploaded, you can get those by click
on the round numbers in the results table header. ("TOT" gives you a
PDF of the entire draw, while the individual round numbers give you
just that round.)
1300What a great day of 8-Way so far! And I get to push buttons in Round 5 :)
today or tonight I'm going to share with you what I learned about a
piece of information that ended up in last year's world meet report to
the IPC that was pretty damaging to somebody, in the eyes of
those who read it ...
1420Nice!!! I just judged my
first Nationals jumps in 13 years. Felt great. First time using OSHD as
a Nationals judge. (Seriously!!!) Thank you, Sir Randy of Connell, for
getting me through your course and back on the judges list, and Jim
Rees for finding an opportunity to put me to work.
Did I mention yet that you can download and use OmniSkore!HD, completely free? The whole enchilada, the fully monty, absolutely free! You can find the details here.
are caveats, as you might expect, and for sanctioned competitions you
are expected to use the traditional USB judging consoles (instead of
keyboards) and purchase a license, which are very reasonably priced.
But for the keyboard-operated version, where you can attach any number
of keyboards to the judging computer to simulate the USB judging consoles,
you can use it for whatever skydiving related task you want to: judge
training, team training, weekend throw-together competitions, or even
just want to help the old omni-engineer test his software, which would
be most appreciated!
If you decide to take the plunge, it's also
important to be aware that I'm in the process (now almost a year behind
schedule -- a whole nuther story) of making a series of about a half
dozen Youtube videos that cover every detail of how to use the system.
Be sure to read more on that at the download link. My goal, come heck
or high water, is to have those videos done by the end of this year.
it's been done once already this year -- Skydive Spaceland downloaded,
installed, setup, and operated the software for their August
pre-Nationals competition, with only token assistance from me, and only
the existing online videos to help.
1600So here's what
happened at the WPC at SDC last year. After every WPC, the chief judges
submit after-action reports which get compiled into a roll-up report
that is submitted to the IPC where it is provided to every delegation.
It's a pretty important document.
The report for the 2016 WPC --
which was in several parts, and unfortunately I don't recall
specifically which one -- included some text that was critical of
the video quality produced by OmniSkore!HD.
I wasn't aware of it in time (!!!) to do any kind of investigation or
submit a rebutal, so the damage was done. Needless to say I was not
happy about it; the HD in OmniSkore!HD
does after all stand for "High Definition", and I take great pride in
the total quality I present to the judges. But damage was done to me,
my system and its reputation.
Well, today I finally found out
that it was all essentially bad communication. Karla Cole was the
original author, and she's here now of course, and we discussed what
happened. What she specifically experienced was a team that showed her
their original video, which did not have a visible bust, and they then
watched it on the judging system, where a grip was busted because it
was just off the screen. For some reason this was blamed on software and "video quality", when it had nothing to do with either.
I reproduced the scenario for Karla, which is easy to do. For historical reasons, every HD television is shipped with overscan turned on. For every competition, I give an equipment requirements and setup guide to the host that includes instructions to turn off overscan on all televisions.
I try to make sure this gets done when I'm on site, but in this case it
looks like one or two slipped through the cracks. I turned on overscan
on one of my televisions here and showed Karla how much peripheral
information is lost when it's on. She now understands what happened,
and most importantly, knows specifically what to require for
competition hosts. Unfortunately, her report just didn't get worded
carefully enough to convey what really went wrong.
So, when you download and install and use OSHD at your home DZ, donut forget to turn off your overscan!!!