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June 2016
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January 2017

Stop Gap Solution - Livescribe Display.

Livescribe Controls - mute

Livescribe's dimming display.

I can't deny my Livescribe pen revolutionised how I deal with and cope with text. With Livescribe, I am able to take notes and notate the audio taking place around me. This took away a lot of anxiety I often experience where I need to note down relevant elements but equally, pay attention and be present in a room. Where there is a pressure to produce minutes or notes for circulation, striking a balance between documentation and participation came with a disorientation that prevented me doing either satisfactorily. Then....

I was introduced to Livescribe. I remember it well. The iPad had just launched and a colleague bought hers to a meeting where I bemoaned not being able to justify to myself a very expensive pdf reader! She did then show me her Livescribe pen. I immediately bought one! And now I have an iPad (still 2nd generation) I wouldn't be without either.

Recently however my Livescribe pen has faulted in securing its initial and valued purpose in providing confidence to enable me to 'keep up' with the world as I see it. It's a Dyslexic thing.

The Livescribe display screen is rapidly fading into blankness.

At first, I thought it was due to the brightness in the rooms my meetings were taking place in. After some research, I discover it's a 'known' issue
one which Livescribe seem to have addressed with new pens bought after January 2015 having an extended 3 yrs warranty but that doesn't help me. Anyone reading this far and experiencing this display failure I have a 'keep it going a while longer' fix/fudge. 

It takes a small leap of faith! It takes the settings you had when you last configured the pen with the screen visible.

Continue reading "Stop Gap Solution - Livescribe Display." »


SMA's Elements of Company Management Workshop

EOCM May 2016

I attended the Stage Management Association's one-day workshop for stagemanagers looking to move up to Company Manager. This was no ordinary workshop. I got my place because an attendee living in Portugal and 9 months pregnant wanted to attend too and I provided digital facilitation via Skype making her attendance possible.

The photo above shows all attendees listening intently.

I'd wanted to try this for a while.

How I did it.

  • MacBook Pro with Skype installed EOCM May 2016 behind
  • Lansing Altec portable speaker
  • Slik Compact II Tripod
  • Logitec C920 HD webcam with built-in mic
  • Lavolta Ergonomic Laptop Table Desk
  • iPad2 with Skype installed
  • Bluetooth mobile keyboard

It's not the most elegant solution but with investment in equipment and the right platform, the sky's the limit. The experience was crucial. Can a workshop be attended remotely with maximum value being received by the remote participant? Good audio and video, check. However, Facilitation is the element that makes this work.

Unlike the equipment, participants are not plug-and-play. Those taking part need a little more direction and attention before the event to ensure the venue, event host, those participating and the online event host (me) establish a common understanding and expectations are managed. On this occasion, it was with the course materials, session speakers and provision to dialogue with the participant.

It's easy to forget that the pile of technology on the desk, wires, camera, speaker and screen are a person.

Patricia attended from Portugal via a Skype setup. Once she was 'dialled in' those attending at the venue could see and hear her and vis-a-vera things fell into place. was very happy. But as a Stagemanager by trade myself, I was very interested in the workshop on a personal level. I am currently considering returning to the theatre and the CM role interests me greatly especially with the social media insights I have gained over the last 10 years.

Overview of the day - in case you are thinking of taking the Elements of Company Management course when it runs next.

Continue reading "SMA's Elements of Company Management Workshop" »


#69unbox - tagging nostalgia

image from cdn.images.postach.io
 
This time last week (written 6th Aug 2016) Dan and I were building bookcases, the weekend prior constructing desks. As I write this, I have a bookcase filling with books and a small step closer to unpacking the many boxes not just those from the old house but boxes already filled and in some cases never unpacked when I moved into the last house. It's brought me to a place where I can tackle head on the sometimes crippling sentimental attachment to the palpable nostalgia and memories evoked when in the presence of the items. In a world where we define ourselves by experiences, keeping these things reminds me of who I am, where I have been, and the evidence is the contents of the boxes. In themselves, they were selectively retained well at least not thrown away at the time, and now my active cache is full! There has to be room for 'now' life.
 
In recent years the accumulation of physical items has been reduced by the collections of files, documents, photos, videos, spoken audio and music in digital form. Some sit on the Internet my AudioBoo, my Instagram accounts, my Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote and iCloud. Then there are the offline digital archives on external hard drives and old media storage, cassettes, floppy discs, CD-ROM (read only memory) and as the final bastion of the analogue legacy, paper.
 
I realised this wasn't about choosing what memories to keep it was about optimising the storage. What space can I afford this sentiment, this record? Can the resonant importance assigned to the physical stuff be digitised? It's only relevant to me. When I am gone, the objects will become just things. Without 'my context', they are inconsequential unless they have a cultural importance. That is a rare thing and not what any of my ephemera has. 
 
image from cdn.images.postach.io
 
(pic above) My ‘Small Things’ collection - TIMEHOP 6th May 2015
 
#69unbox is about reducing items to digital files and occupying less physical space. Initially taking photos and on occasion with a collection of related bits, recording video. I can not capture the sentiment, that is within me, the recollection of moments, the knowledge gained, the lesson learnt they are me. I guess I feel the experience in a fresher way returning to the objects and have greater clarity than relying on the continued perception that my memory is inadequate. It's my source material!
 
Using the hashtag started a dialogue between myself and the innate desire to keep everything for fear of it's not yet realised necessity. This is, I know is untrue of a lot of what I have.
 
The first task is to identify the genuinely intangible, ephemera (my small things collection) and photograph them (some I am keeping) and if not retained, disposed of, or prepared for digitisation.
 
Round One!
 
I think Round One will occupy me throughout August.
 
(first posted to Social Media Womble postach.io blog 6/8/16)