Splinters

Random writings from a father, husband, web developer, artist, and writer.

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Sky is Falling

So yesterday was a fiasco. It was evil and ill-tempered. It was Thursday.
Yesterday was the day for our broadcasting 2 e-conferences from our building using the new application I had developed for our Flash Communications Server. We have had 5 previous conferences broadcast and they have been fairly successful, except for some microphone issues. But yesterday was BAD.
The first conference started in a conference room that we had never used before, so of course, the connection to the network was glitchy at best. We had changed the slides that would be used in the presentation that are called externally from the Flash app. That would have not been a problem except that I had kept the file name the same, and our Proxy outside the firewall had cached that file, so anyone outside was seeing the temporary slideshow of 5 slides, instead of the working show that consisted of 51. And we could not get it to change over, until after the show. This was all happening live, while the poor presenter was just trying to present.
Of course, to add to it, someone had decided to test another application on the web server that pulled most of the server’s resources, so we had some good lockouts. And then, upon restarting FCS, I only had my code set to “record” the streams, not “append”, so with each restart, a new stream was recorded over the last, leaving no archival footage except maybe a 15 minute slice of the hour and a half presentation.
By then, I think I had that shock of white hair on my forehead like the mom in Poltergeist had after entering the “beyond” to save her daughter. Yes, it was that bad.
There was another broadcast in the evening (this is for a world-wide audience so we adapt to their time-zones), but I knew the traffic wouldn’t be a concern or as stressful on the server, and we would be broadcasting from a proven connection in another room. So I let someone else baby sit that bastard, but of course I had to check in from home out of morbid curiosity. It was a little shaky at first, but seemed to pan out better than the previous show.

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