6-May-2020 (Wed)
Wherein the webcast is HD now

Since the current dystopia means that all we do now is webcasts, we've upgraded! We're now doing full HD on the stream, and it looks great. (Downside: if your home network can't support a full HD stream, it's gonna be a little choppy... but most people can handle that these days, I think.)

Our audio webcast went online in May or June of 2000, and the video webcast followed in July 2000, and has been running 24/7 ever since. I'm not sure, but I suspect this makes DNA Lounge the oldest continuously-operating webcast in the world. There were older ones, of course, but the Trojan Room Coffee Pot and the Netscape Fishcam shut down many years ago.

Anyway, about that upgrade. We've been a very happy customer of Sonic for years (their service and support has been fantastic, and their policies on customer privacy and net neutrality are top notch), but even though they've been rolling out fiber all over the city for years, SOMA still gets treated like a stepchild, and our four DSL circuits from them just aren't cutting it any more. Sorry, Sonic. It's not you, it's me. No wait, it's you.

We're using Monkeybrains now (another Bay Area company not owned by an international conglomerate). I'm nervous, though, because I have a deep distrust of wireless uplinks. We tried that here before, ages ago (remember when we sent Bishop down the pipe?) and I also had a DirecTV dish at home for years, and my experience has always been: putting a dish on the roof is great, unless you want it to work if there's rain, or fog, or birds, or a stiff wind. But, people tell me things are better now, so we'll see.

This was a multi-day slog of cacading failures, and hardware and software upgrades piled atop each other, but such is my lot in life as House Music's Own Sysadmin.

You can make me feel better about these decisions with a donation, is what I'm getting at here.

Also there's a chat area at the bottom of the window now. I wrote that a couple of weeks ago, in case you haven't noticed. It's basic, but it gets the job done, and so far people haven't been jerks! Let me know if there are chat features you're dying to have there.

Anyway, the stream looks really nice now. I hope you enjoy it. Tune in to our upcoming webcasts. It's a pretty full schedule!


6 Responses:

  1. Dude says:

    I just knew there was a reason I bought a new laptop last year! (Hell, it's full 4K.)

    And thanks for info about Sonic and Monkeybrains. As I've been looking for new digs in The City, I've been looking at both of them (I also considered Webpass back in the day, until you-know-who bought 'em out in 2016) and Monkeybrains' "Unobstructed line of sight to our network (free of trees and buildings)" always seemed odd in a city with new buildings sprouting up all the time.

    With so many new residential and commercial places sprouting up in SoMa, you'd think The City would have a solid ISP... that isn't the Comcastards. Or Wave.

  2. Bill Paul says:

    I was shocked^Wsurprised^Wbewildered^Wamused to find out that the contraption of Rube Golberg-ian proportions that is the DNA Lounge network:

    a) still has a Soekris machine lodged somewhere deep in its guts

    b) it's running FreeBSD

    c) it's using the vr(4) VIA Rhine ethernet driver that I wrote back in checks notes 1997

    I hope that someday you can finally get the proper forms submitted to have central services come out and upgrade that for you.

    (Actually John has informed me he has plans to replace it with a Unifi EdgeRouter which will be far more useful if you actually want to shove more than 100Mbps of traffic through that wireless link.)

    • jwz says:

      OpenBSD 5.1, DON'T FIX WHAT AIN'T BROKE!

      It seems to be capping us at somewhere around 70Mbps, but for now that's still way more than we need...

      • Bill Paul says:

        Oh, that's right. They ported the vr(4) driver to OpenBSD and NetBSD too. Same for the RealTek driver and several others. (Geebus, how much traffic am I responsible for moving...)

        Given the speed of the CPU in that thing, the fact that the interfaces on that hardware are 100Mbps only, and that you're doing firewalling entirely in software, 70Mbps is actually pretty darn good.

  3. forresto says:

    At least for audio, WXYC Chapel Hill has been streaming since 1994... it was even a Jeopardy answer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WXYC