3.101 tech mostly

Sunday 03/13/2022

Read the paper, watered the plants, did the crossword. Now what? Decided to walk to California Ave. Did that, had a pastry and a bottle of juice, decided to Lyft home.

After lunch it was time for the second scheduled hybrid zoom of the weekend. Also run by David M., whose memorial yesterday came off relatively smoothly. This one didn’t.

David M. was at the controls. David G., who will be running the Resident Association meeting tomorrow, and me, David C., and Lennie, another frequent zoom host, were sitting in the front row kibitzing. In the half hour before the scheduled start, David M. and the speaker, Sally, ran through what they would show. First her intro slide, then a video, then back to her slides. It all looked good.

I was watching the zoom on my phone. Lennie saw I was doing that and she got out her phone and joined the meeting. Unfortunately she didn’t select “No Audio” when that choice came up. Having the phone, in the zoom meeting, with its mic on, created a stunning audio feedback loop. Not a simple one. It goes like this:

  • Lennie’s voice goes into the iPhone
  • With a half-second delay to pass through the internet to Zoom.us and back, it comes out of the host’s laptop
  • Which is connected by HDMI to the Auditorium sound system because its screen is being mirrored on the projection screen
  • Lennie’s voice comes out of the ceiling speakers and enters her iPhone.

The long delay give the whole thing a pulsing, booming echo and nothing you did would shut it up until Lennie killed the zoom app on her phone.

We thought that was fixed, but then the reverb echo started up again. Everybody denied they were using their phones. Maybe it was David G’s laptop? The echo died out but as soon as Sally started talking, it came on again. Meanwhile, the remote participants were in the Zoom chat saying “NO SOUND”. David M. tried everything he could think of to make the sound start and the echo stop. Finally he got pissed and declared the event was cancelled, we would try again next week.

The dozen people who had showed up to the auditorium wandered away, David M. packed up his equipment, and David G. took over to practice for the RA meeting tomorrow.

At supper, Carolyn commented that at her church (where David M. also goes) the tech committee spends hours on Saturday setting up for the hybrid zoom for the Sunday service.

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