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PodCamp Podcasting

PodCamp Ohio 2009 After Thoughts

PodCamp Ohio 2009Another PodCamp Ohio has come and gone! The second annual PodCamp Ohio went extremely well. Confirmed attendance was exactly 200, and factoring in some other missing swag and nametags, I estmate attendance was somewehre between 210-220.

We had some new sponsors as well as some repeat sponsors this year. TechSmith, Blip.tv, Doctor Anonymous, Spaceblue and Blubrry sponsored both last year and this year. Circle of Seven productions, Avitae Energy Water, AssistCoach.com and The OSU Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing (CSTW) are new sponsors.

Doug from CSTW was a great host for PodCamp Ohio this year. Doug and his assistant Judy bent over backwards to make sure PodCamp Ohio 2 worked perfectly at their facility. And did the space work or what! We had more than enough rooms to our disposal as well as plenty of projectors, wireless Internet access, desks, chairs and parking! Thanks so much Doug and Judy!

We had Qdoba fur lunch again, and this time all the food went! Last year I remember finding a lot of quacamole left over that we ended up having to throw out. I’m glad to report all the quacamole along with everythign else was gone. By clean up time, we just had extra chicken, cheese, chips and shells to dispose of. Don’t worry, we didn’t throw the remaining food in the trash.

After party was a lot of fun! The food wasn’t so hot and the bar we picked was out of stock of most of their draft beers but after dinner we made the trek down High Street and visited Jenis Ice Cream. Interesting ice cream, as all the flavors are very exotic. It is definitely worth checking out if you’re ever in the Columbus Short North/Arena District.

On Sunday I met up with Chris and Kim for lunch at BC Roosters. It was great to have one more meetup before winding myself down from the weekend. When you help organize an event like this, there is defintely a day or two of withdraw afteward. It is like a combinatoin of let down that it is over, relief it is over and pride that the job was accomplished.

Whats Next?

I’m pretty confident we will have PodCamp Ohio 3 at the same location as this year. As long as Doug will have us back then it’s a done deal. I would also like to see us create a non-profit organization to manage future PodCamp Ohio events. Last year I had two cases and this year one other opportunity that we missed all becuase we don’t have a non profit tax id. It makes sense to make a non-profit, we certianly don’t make any money from the event plus it is educational. There are a few organizers and volunteers this year who expressed interest so in a month or so once all the PodCamp Ohio 2009 dust settles we’ll start backup the monthly meetings and see what we can get setup.

Categories
Home Technology

Ohio Wind Storm September 2008

If you haven’t herd, our house was one of the many casualties of the Wind Storm that blew through Ohio this past Sunday. No one was hurt, but the roof on the house got a pretty good beating. Our power was out from about 5pm that Sunday and was restored at about 9pm Monday evening. We were without power for about 28 hours. Just about everything but the pop and water in the frig is marked for the trash.

The storm also damaged a fence gate and blew off one of the rails to our deck. Many other homes in the neighborhood have similar or worse damage.

Sunday night was very interesting, before the sun went down Heather and gathered all of our flash lights and candles, got our small gas grill out of the garage and figured out how to open the garage while the power was out.

On Monday, Heather navigated through the city of broken stop lights and got to work. I spent the first half of the day fixing the fence gate and putting together the baby change table. Once I ran out of things I could do without power, I took the laptop to my Brother-n-law’s office and got myself caught up on email. When Heather and I got home around 6pm, there was still no power so we went out for dinner. Finally at about 9pm, the power was restored!

Our neighbor had to get a gas generator in order to keep their sump pump powered. Though we don’t have a water issue under our home, our dependence on electricity from the grid hit home pretty hard. We’ve decided that we don’t want this to happen to us again. Over the next 3 months, we’re going to make an investment into purchasing solar panels and battery packs for both situations like these and they can be used for camping/traveling.

I did some math and discovered that our cable modem uses roughly 2 Watts and my laptop uses roughly 75 Watts. In a pinch, it would not take much in order to power just these two items. I did some research, it looks like I can get a battery pack and some solar panels to charge the battery for less than $500. It’s a start, though not a complete power replacement for all of the electronics and lights in the house. I’m also ordering a Kill A Watt device to monitor the Watts used by certain devices in the home so in the future we have a good idea what we can and cannot power through a solar system.

Another item I’m going to be ordering soon is a solar USB charger. You can find these on Ebay. Anything that you own that can be charged plugged into a USB port of a computer can use a solar USB charger. Both heather and I have a USB charging cable for our cell phones, which would have been very useful for us this past weekend.

How did the wind storm impact your home? Were you prepared for the power outage? Are you taking steps like I am to be less dependant on electricity from the grid?