The Technology

A typical ‘technical’ production day

Gary get’s connected on Day 13
…involves the creation of story, photographic, sound and video from 5am to transmission time at 9pm local time. See Day 39 for Tech Thanks

The internet site is built in the field by Gary (sometimes on a mountain side in a yurt – a nomadic tent!)
Sound, graphics, text and HTML files are processed and compiled on two 240MHz Apple 3400 Laptops each with 32Mb RAM using a range of software including Cyberstudio
On-the-move writing is on two Netwon 2000 PDAs using external keyboards
Printouts of stories and photographic gifts for musicians will be done on a HP portable printer
The pre-built site sits locally on the location laptops and is used as a reference to what you, the audience is receiving (especially the newly added links). Real Audio sound files are encoded remotely and uploaded directly to the BBC streaming server. Marc Walker ensures all transmissions have been correctly received and fixes any site problems if required.

Video -The Video footage is being shot on 2 Sony VX100 DVC cameras by Paul & Gary. The camera’s are flexibly utilised and in a variety of styles depending on the situation.

Sound – The sound is recorded mainly by Paul onto one DVC via the audio ‘BeachBox’. Primary sound though is recorded on a HHB DAT recorder backed up by a Song TCD7 DAT recorder, DCC and ProWalkman. Appropriate microphones are used depending on the situation. Interviews are sometimes recorded on ProWalkman by Kathrin to retain intimacy

Photographs – Digital stills are taken on a Kodak DC50 digital camera by Gary with an Apple Quicktake as backup. High quality ‘chemical’ photographs are taken by Kathrin on a Nikon FM2 system for digital processing on return

The Immarsat B data phone & satellite dish are used to send back internet data, audio for World Service and live phone discussions. The Indian Ocean satellite links to a ground station in Norway which is connected by a landline to London BBC Television Centre.The pages and files are sent ‘live’ onto the BBC server in the UK at around 2-3 PM London time. The site is directly uplinked using standard ‘ftp’ protocols and the uplink speed is at 64 kbits/sec (ISDN rates) and we are on-line for between 5-6 minutes per day depending on several variables, including weather, amount of data and battery power if petrol runs out! Some areas are very remote and we have a petrol generator.

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