2012 Event Tech

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This page is kept as an archival reference.
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Recent activities have highlighted the need for WMUK to have equipment to support the events that it is running or supporting, and to be able to loan that equipment to volunteers as needed. This equipment currently falls under four categories, as described below.

Please note that this page may overlap with the 2012 Developer budget, and a number of other budget lines. Some items may be purchased out of the 2011-12 budget.

Laptops[edit | edit source]

There are several groups of volunteers that would benefit from us being able to provide them with computers at WMUK events:

  1. Those that do not have laptops or portable equipment (including tablets), or have not been able to bring them along to the event. (This happened at the OTRS workshop; the makeshift approach was to relocate an available desktop computer, but this was not particularly effective or efficient. This has also happened at a number of previous events, including e.g. the first BL editathon)
  2. Those with limited capability technology, e.g. if they have only brought ipads/tablets along to an event but subsequently find themselves needing a full computer to participate fully. (This happened at the OTRS workshop; the only available approach was to make do with available technology. This will likely be an increasing problem over the next few years.)

The generic basic requirement that we have at our events is for participants to be able to access the web via standards-compliant browsers (e.g. Firefox). This does not require a particularly powerful laptop. We may also want to make the laptops available for basic photo editing, or for streaming videos on the internet - but most laptops will be capable of this.

The cost of purchasing a suitable laptop is minimal - circa £300-400. Options:

In order for us to be well-equipped for future events, I recommend that we purchase 4 laptops, at a total cost of £1,400. They will also be useful on a temporary basis with new staff members, and on a longer term basis (aside from specific events) for use by by visitors to the office. 2 of these would be purchased in January; the other two later in the year.

The laptops should be installed with a minimum of:

  • Linux (Ubuntu?)
  • Firefox
  • Libre Office
  • ... and other software options?

If a laptop comes with Windows by default, then we can set it up to dual-boot (so that people can choose between linux or windows).

Accessories needed:

  • Bag (I have a couple of spare laptop bags, plus charity shops seem to be overflowing with them in my area --)
  • Mouses
  • USB card reader (high speed compatible)

Update February 2012: We are in the process of purchasing one standard laptop and one Chromebook. They are in need of accessories, and ideally two additional laptops would also be purchased. Mike Peel 20:44, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Projectors[edit | edit source]

A number of meeting rooms where we will be hosting events will not have a projector available. This includes meetings with partner organisations, and meetings in the smaller meeting rooms available at the WMUK offices.

  • Asus X1261 projector, cost of £360. Probably need 1 of these available.
  • Adapter cables and convertors. Recommend having lengthy VGA and DVI leads available. (The OTRS workshop ran into problems with the only available VGA lead being too short to reach presenter's laptops). The ideal length here is circa 5 meters (costs per cable should be circa £10-£20). Also recommend having a wide variety of Apple laptop connectors available, both for current generation (DisplayPort to VGA, DVI and HDMI) and recent generations where laptops will still be in use (e.g. mini-DVI).
Update February 2012: We are in the process of purchasing a projector. TBC whether this includes all of the relevant leads or whether these would need to be purchased separately. Mike Peel 20:46, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Internet connectivity[edit | edit source]

There are a wide variety of situations where we will hold events, but internet connectivity may not be easily available. These include national institutions (such as the British Museum) which are not yet fully equipped with wireless internet access, local organisations which do not have wireless networks set up yet, and remote locations (such as flower shows) that will only have internet access via mobile telephones.

There are also a number of situations where our staff and trustees may not have internet access available but need to have that access available.

There are a number of solutions that are applicable here, and we should be able to provide the appropriate equipment depending on the situation.

  • Wireless router. Where a reliable wired internet connection is available, then we should be able to provide that by wireless technology to a number of event participants. We currently have one router able to do this, which is in use at the WMUK office. I recommend that we have a second router available for events.
  • Individual internet access via 3G - this can be made available using 3G dongles. These may be used for events, and also generically by WMUK staff members whilst on the move. Recommend that we have several dongles available which are billed directly to WMUK (ideally on the basis of how often they are used rather than on a monthly basis)
  • Shared internet access via 3G. This is available by using MiFi devices. Up-front costs are higher than dongles, but the costs of bandwidth are similar. Not sure how many of these will be needed - perhaps 1 on the basis that events will happen non-simultaneously?

Photography[edit | edit source]

Should ensure that events are photographically recorded where possible. Hence need a reasonable quality camera that can be loaned out to volunteers.

May also want access to a high-quality digital SLR camera for GLAM events (for photographing objects in low light). Cost of this would be circa £1-5k depending on quality. May be best to hire this rather than purchase?

Video recording and Webcasting[edit | edit source]


  • Good quality microphones (suitable for recording meetings or talks)
  • Video camera (webcam?)

Input from Pigsonthewing here? Ideally want to have the equipment available to live-stream events, and also to record events.