Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Now hear this

Recently I’ve been doing some work producing a web-based seminar (or webinar, to use the fashionable neologism) which demonstrates some aspects of NAG’s optimization routines and their use in the finance industry (specifically for the optimization of financial portfolios). We originally scheduled a live broadcast of the seminar using the GoToWebinar package, which works very well; we’ve also used Webex’s offering, with similar results. Unfortunately, in spite of a lot of preparation and rehearsal, some technical problems (unconnected with the package) arose during the broadcast which rendered the recording of the session useless. Reasoning that better results might be obtained through simplification (our broadcast was a joint effort between two sites, which contributed to the problems), we decided to try just recording the seminar and put it up as a video.

And so it was last week that I found myself talking to my computer in an isolated room whilst deftly manipulating slides and demos. It was just as if I was giving a real live seminar - albeit one that nobody had turned up to (come to think of it, that wasn’t the first time such a thing had happened). I used CamStudio 2.0 to record the session (an earlier attempt using the more up-to-date CamStudio 2.6b failed on this Windows 7 machine for some unknown reason) and Windows Live Movie Maker to do some very minimal editing of the resultant video file. The results can be seen and heard here and here (there's also some explanatory text about the seminar on this page for the curious). I was quite pleased with the way they turned out, although I’d be interested to hear from anyone who knows of a tool that can automatically remove the large number of um’s and err’s from the soundtrack.

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