Unify Theme ERROR! on CAPTCHA form.

For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why the Sky Forms CAPTCHA was showing ERROR! on my Unify Theme Bootstrap 3 development.

Turns out this was just a rookie mistake… I wasn’t looking closely enough at the “how it works” and I was missing some code from the demo-contacts.php sample file that was crucial to the operation of the CAPTCHA. This code generates the CAPTCHA itself and stores it in SESSION data. Since it was missing, the CAPTCHA system’s image.php was turning out an ERROR!

That $_SESSION[‘captcha_id’] is what the image.php file is looking for. If it doesn’t find it, ERROR!

Refresh, and we’re good to go!

-Robbie

How I plan to bring Internet service to Studio D

Qapla’!

On Tuesday, we were able to successfully broadcast a live show from Studio D via LTE Cellular Internet service! Episode 367 went out in 240p, which is gross, but it worked.

Please visit http://cat5.tv/c to contribute.

Why are we using LTE? Simple: there are no consumer-style (eg., Cable) Internet services in reach of Studio D. We are located in an industrial area where you either settle for DSL, or pay for Fibre.

Through our MiFi 2 we were able to get 8 Mb/sec up and about 25 Mb/sec down using LTE Cellular Internet service. It’s fast, but it’s expensive.

My ISP offers the ability to see your bandwidth usage and price, and so I already know the cost to broadcast that one episode live, in extremely low quality (240p), with no Roku feed and no audio feed, is $25. That’s a little more than $100 per month just to be able to send a crummy quality feed.

It’s good enough for the moment, but we can’t keep that up, nor do I want to sacrifice quality or the ability to watch on Roku or listen via the MP3 feed.

Fibre Internet is available at our location for $740 per month plus installation. That is obviously out of the question.

Wireless Internet is available at our location for $780 per month. Wow… we’d go with Fibre if we had that kind of money to toss around.

So I feel that the best option right now is to look at extending our home Internet (around $150 per month with unlimited bandwidth) to the studio, and we can do that using Ubiquiti Wireless Devices

First of all, in order to extend the Internet service wirelessly using Ubiquiti devices, we need to know if we have line of sight.

There is a really cool tool online for finding out if you have line-of-sight between two or more locations. You can see the tool [here]. According to its output, we’re looking pretty good. We may have to put a small tower on the roof of the studio (represented on the right side of this topography diagram), but all in all, it looks possible.

Using LTE, our cost would break down as follows:
YouTube Feed in 480p: $50 per episode, $200 per month
Roku Feed in 480p: $50 per episode, $200 per month
MP3 Feed in 96kbps: Negligible
Cost per month: $400
Cost per year: $4,800 for 8 Mb/sec up, 25 Mb/sec down

Using Ubiquiti Wireless Devices our up front cost would be:
2x Ubiquiti Rocket AC Lite Transmitter/Receiver Units: $300
2x Ubiquiti Rocket Dish Antennas: $400 (Remember, I’m paying CAD)
2x Mounting Kit, Needed Wires: $200
Total Up Front: $900 + tax ($1,017)

Then, our service fees would be:
Internet Connection, Unlimited Bandwidth: $150 per month, $1,800 per year for 450 Mb/sec direct wireless connection to our home Internet, which is 20 Mb/sec up, 200 Mb/sec down.

Total for first year: $2,817
Total for subsequent years: $1,800

Thank you for your supportAs you can see, sharing our home Internet just makes more sense. It is much faster, and much cheaper, even with the initial expense of hardware. This also carries additional benefits, such as being able to backup to our home server via a wireless LAN connection.

So the inevitable question is to our community. Can you help with this expense?

Initially, we just have to get the hardware. I will install it myself (and show you the process step-by-step).

I know we also need a camera, and we’re still a ways off from that, but at the moment, this is pressing, as you can see from the numbers above.

If you can support this project, please donate at http://cat5.tv/c or send a cheque made out to me (Robbie Ferguson) with the memo “Studio D Internet” to PO Box 29009, Barrie, Ontario, Canada L4N 7W7.

THANK YOU for your support! Here’s to establishing a great, solid Internet connection at Studio D.

-Robbie

Windows 10 First Impressions – A Scrolling Start Menu?!

Well, Microsoft has decided to skip Windows 9 altogether and jump to Windows 10. Could it be that they are so ashamed of Windows 8 that they wanted to separate themselves from it? Is it that they think they’ve finally got a “perfect 10″?

I installed the preview and must say, it feels a lot more like the old desktop paradigm, but the start menu is still garbage. At least in the first preview.

Windows 10 Start Menu

Seriously?

Yeah… let’s look a little closer…

Windows 10 Start Menu - Closeup

Yep: I’ve got a single line where each “app” appears, and an up/down button to allow me to flip through them.

I’m guessing this is a glitch, or a bug, or an oversight, but you’d think they would have gotten the one selling point right. I mean, anyone who hates Windows 8 for the “start screen” is testing Windows 10 specifically to see if Microsoft got it right.

They didn’t.

Not even close.

But hey, Goldwave installed and runs well!  Good thing it adds an icon to the desktop since I don’t want to have to scroll down to “G” one line at a time, let alone a program starting with X, Y or Z.

-Robbie

Studio D: Day 33

Day 33 was exciting! While Hillary recorded Tuesday’s show, I worked hard to pack up all the gear. Yes, this meant her poor microphone got disconnected and I heard non-stop complaints in the chat room about the on-board camera audio for Episode 366, but hey… it had to be done.

The moment Hillary signed off, I tore apart the studio desk, and we moved everything over to Studio D.

Tali tagged along to help with the video portion, and while it’s a bit “herky jerky”, I enjoyed giving her the chance to learn how to use a video camera… one day she’ll be part of the Category5 on-air crew, so it’s a good experience for her. And some of her commentary really made me laugh. And some of her commentary really impressed me. It struck me as I listened back to the recording that she’d actually been absorbing the things I’d taught her through this process. That really impressed me.

So, enjoy the video! More to come as we setup the room, and inevitably paint before our first live show in Studio D on September 30th.

Thanks for all your love and support!

-Robbie

Studio D: Day 26

Wahoo! I did my first “real” drywalling! I mean, I cut the drywall… I didn’t even have Christa cut it for me.  Haha!

That’s right, I got some scrap pieces of drywall and built the window sills. They may not be lovely pine or oak sills, but they were free!  The Landlord will like that.

I think I did an okay job, to be honest. We’ll see how they look once the adhesive dries, and then [gasp] I will have to mud it.

Sasha stopped in to see how things are shaping up, and my daughter Tali looked in the brush for frogs. I think because we found one a while back, she expects she’ll find one every time she visits Studio D. I hate to see her disappointed, so I might have to buy a few frogs and hide them like Easter eggs – haha!

Here’s the video from Day 26:

-Robbie

Studio D: Day 25

After all the work that has been put into sealing up the building from leaks, I called on Andy Christie from Safe Homes Canada once again to come in and find out if our drywall is a dry wall.  ;)

Come along…

Thanks for all your support through this crazy adventure!

-Robbie

Help me choose a door decal for Studio D

We have a small storage room at Studio D, and the topic came up about having the random white door in the middle of our cool new studio.

So I suggested, why don’t we decal it?

Help me choose! Which door decal should we choose?

The TARDIS from Dr. Who?

11fb_tardis_door_cling

 

Or one of these awesome sci-fi inspired door coverings?

168c_sci-fi_door_decals

We wouldn’t go with the gun one … just doesn’t suit our family-friendly style.

Which of the 3 would you like us to go with?

Which Door Decal Should We Choose?

  • Dr. Who TARDIS (57%, 4 Votes)
  • Airlock (29%, 2 Votes)
  • Other (Please Comment) (14%, 1 Votes)
  • Danger: Do Not Enter (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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UPDATE
I am pleased to announce that the storage room door will lead to a room that is much bigger on the inside! TARDIS it is! Thanks for your feedback.

Studio D: Day 24

Hillary stopped in while I was at work to give us a good jump on the ceiling tiles! They’re looking great with a little primer on them. It’s going to really brighten up the place.

I also got to install my first-ever piece of drywall. I know: Christa and Brad already pre-cut it to size for me, but it was still an accomplishment!

-Robbie

Studio D: Day 23

I’ve got to admit, I was getting really worn out, and just knew I had mudding to do. So I got rocking on the mud, and kept pressing on, but was feeling a little like I was marching up hill while pushing a train full of bowling balls.

But then, Christa and Brad showed up unexpectedly to review my work, and to put up the “more complicated” drywall which I would not be able to do. I really felt like that gave me my second wind: to be reminded in that moment that I was not doing this alone… that I have friends, viewers, and supporters who are right here with me.

No matter how tiring this gets, I’m pressing on!

Thank you for your support!

-Robbie