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Capture/amplify audio with the Yamaha YVC-1000

At Orbit One, we regularly organize ShareCafés: knowledge-sharing & inspirational sessions with customers and partners. It is possible to attend the sessions live through Microsoft Lync (Skype for Business).

Good-quality audio is very important, so that it feels pleasant to remotely join and follow our sessions.Currently we are using the Revolabs HD Dual Channel System:

Now while these microphones are great for capturing audio in presentations, they don’t capture the audio of the public. Revolabs sent us the YVC-1000 for testing:

 

The Yamaha YVC-1000 is a central speaker on which you can attach multiple high quality microphones. For us this is the perfect solution for capturing the audio in large meeting rooms. You can daisy-chain up to 5 microphones! Every microphone captures the audio in 360° for a radius of 3 meters. Good to know as well is that when people are having their laptop on the same table as the microphone the typing or mouse-dragging is not disturbing.

 

image

But there is more

But there is more, when we organize live sessions we want to be able to capture the audio of the presenters and the audience in the room and in the meanwhile amplify the audio from online attendees and the presenter. Thanks to the YVC-1000 we can do this perfectly.

 

At the back of the Yamaha you can connect an audio in signal. This means we can attach our Revolabs  HD Dual Channel System and capture the audio from up to two presenters in addition to the 5 microphones on the Yamaha! Then we were also facing the problem of having a somewhat larger audience and our natural voice wasn’t loud enough anymore. The audio in signal is now amplified by the Yamaha solving this problem! There is almost no delay in the Revolabs HD Dual Channel System so it sounds really good.

 

 

 

High quality audio

This device is full of sound optimization technologies and you can hear the difference. To name a few:

  • Adaptive echo canceller
  • Automatic tracking
  • Automatic gain control
  • Noise reduction
  • Dereverberation
  • Automatic room EQ

The last optimization technology is very interesting. The unit produces some special noise and equalizes the output sound so it compensates for the bad acoustics in your room.

 

Conclusion

We are very happy with the Yamaha enabling us to have high quality output and input sound! It’s very easy to setup and because of that almost everyone in our company can use this device without explanation.

Technology Technology

Op 22/05/2015 door Bram

Monitor the build status for your VSO and TFS projects with our Buildscreen.

View the latest builds from your Visual Studio online and Team Foundation Server projects.

Wouldn’t it be easy if you had a visual summary of all your projects? Our build screen is a useful and easy way to display an organized overview of the build statuses of your projects.

Those of you who are familiar with Visual Studio Online (VSO) or Team Foundation Server (TFS), know that keeping tabs on current projects isn’t an easy task. Each page has to be visited separately, this is a very time-consuming process. At Orbit One a desktop application was used to simplify this. The lack of a VSO implementation and the dated user-interface convinced us to write our own build screen as a web application. This web application has several advantages: setup is one-time process, making it readily available for everyone to use. Furthermore, it’s accessible on every device with a modern browser, this way everyone can take advantage of the application anytime, anywhere. The interface has been designed to be user-friendly, with time-saving features.

 

The need for a new build screen

A build screen is a tool used to view the status of the most recent projects at a glance. This way, everyone can stay on top of the latest developments, an indispensable feature in a work-environment that uses continuous integration. This allows for an immediate understanding of which projects are having problems or need more attention.

The previous build screen used at Orbit One was the Team Build Screen (https://teambuildscreen.codeplex.com/), but it came with many limitations. The UI was hard to read, there was only a Team Foundation Server implementation and it had to be installed as a desktop application.

With this new build screen, we tried to tackle the major issues present in the Team Build Screen. We offer a responsive web application that with an out-of-the-box implementation for both Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio Online.

Supported statuses

  • Green: a succeeded build
  • Red: a failed build
  • Purple: a stopped build
  • Cyan: a not yet started build
  • Blue: currently building
  • Yellow: a build with failed tests

When a project fails to build successfully, a circle is displayed with additional information. Clicking on this circle will lead to a report of the concerning build. This allows for swift assessment of the problem without losing valuable time.

Filtering

You can perform a simple search operation in the navigation bar, this will search on builddefinition name and on team project name. If you want to have a more advanced filter you can enable advanced filter, click on the "filter options" option and a modal will appear. In this modal you can type in the Team Project Name or the Buildname of the builds you want see, this list is complementary (OR relation). On the bottom of this modal you can filter the builds by age, for example you will only see the builds of the last month. This feature is subtractive to the previous two (AND relation).

 

Configuration

The configuration page makes it easy to add a Visual Studio Online or Team Foundation Server account. Just fill in a name of choice, the server URL, a VSO/TFS username and password and that's it.

config

  • Don't forget, to be able to use a VSO account, you have to enable alternate credentials!
  • Because of the authentication requirements of Team Foundation Server, the TFS implementation only works On Premise!

Requirements

  • Visual Studio Online
    • Must enable alternate credentials
  • Team Foundation Server
    • Tested on TFS 2012 Update 3, TFS 2013.
    • Must be hosted On Premise
  • Browsers, tested on:
    • IE 9+
    • Chrome 29+
    • Firefox 24+
    • Opera 21+
    • Safari 7+
    • Android Browser 4.2+
    • Windows Phone Browser 8.1
    • Safari for iPhone 7+
    • These versions support all functionality, for optimal viewing experience, please update your browser to the latest version.

 

To download and contribute, please visit our Github page:

GitHub link:
Orbit One Github.

Deployment package:

Tutorial video

Please watch our detailed tutorial for a smooth setup.

Free tools Free toolsNews

Op 21/05/2015 door Glenn and Sander

Looking for expertise at entry prices?

Investing in IT is no longer as easy as before. IT becomes more a commodity. These days everyone claims to know something about IT and can offer some IT services. (Or so they think anyway)

How can Orbit One convince you, as a customer, that we really stand out in terms of services and project approach?

By limiting the risks:

  • You sign in on our website for a free inspiration session Skype4Business, The New World of Work, CEBP, SharePoint or Paperless. We will contact you and during a 2-hour session our experts help you discover how the chosen technology can support your organization. Do our product offerings or our approach not match with your organization, no harm done but it hasn't cost you a euro.
  • You order through our website a starter pack about strategic consulting, project planning, Skype4Business, Dynamics CRM, SharePoint, OneNote, DocuSign or Office 365. Together with the Project Manager we confirm the scope, tasks and timing of the project.
    How exactly do we limit the risk?
    • You always obtain a tangible result. In a starter pack SharePoint we will, for example, work with you to develop one workflow. That one workflow helps you create a business case for your organization and internal ambassadors. These ambassodors will support you in the process of change to get SharePoint deployed throughout the entire organization
    • You invest a limited amount. Our starter packs vary between 2,500 and 11,500 euros, fixed price. In comparison to your total IT budget or the budget you need to free to roll out a new technology for the entire organization, this is peanuts, no?

On top of that, we guarantee you a quick start. Within 2 weeks you will have been introduced to the team that will work with you on the inspiration session or starter pack of your choice.

What do you think? Ready to try it out? We are ready!

News News

Op 19/05/2015 door Joke

Party! Happy work anniversary Bram & Krzysztof!

This month, we celebrate the work anniversary of 2 colleagues at Orbit One.

  • Bram, Service Desk Engineer at Orbit One celebrated his 2nd work anniversary the 13th of May.
    He is the driving force behind our security checklist and the occasional gin and tonic Friday.
  • For Krzysztof, Developer, May 19th is marked as the start of yet another year at Orbit One.

We asked them what makes them smile when they come to work every morning

14143105385_2d975724d5_mBram: "Working at Orbit One is one of the best things that ever happened to me. As soon as I started here I felt a match with the mentality and philosophy. New technologies are not put off as long as possible but tackled in the early stages. To keep up to date we have the system with the learning credits which allows me to study what I find interesting. The colleagues are not the guys to "eat their sandwiches as quick as possible so they can go home as early as possible" but there is a lot of time to enjoy lunch together and you do not even have to butter your bread! At lunch, there is a "buffet" with toppings and a variety of bread. This saves me nothing but time and inconvenience. The flexible working hours are really flexible and don't just mean you have to work longer. Regularly I also proposed the challenge fully migrate to Git and Visual Studio Online. Initiative like this is always encouraged."

Krzysztof small 129

Krzysztof: "I like  working for Orbit One because I have the ability here to work with latest technologies including tools, frameworks and Azure which is a rapidly growing cloud platform with a constantly increasing number of offered services. I like how the company is supporting self-development by providing learning credits. I also like the fact that English is the company language. I think that my English has improved a lot since I started working here, that’s because I use it on a daily basis in real conversations and not just in the class room.

I like what I do so I don’t need to do a lot to get motivated and because I like what I do It’s natural for me to stay up-to-date with the latest improvements in the industry."

Want to work with Bram and Krzysztof? Curious about how it feels to love your job? Then check out our vacancies http://www.orbitone.com/nl/jobs/en apply today.

News News

Op 13/05/2015 door Joke

Free Visual studio online backup tool

Recently we migrated to Visual Studio Online (= VSO) and didn’t have an option to restore if something went wrong with VSO. We searched on the internet and found several options but we decided to write our own backup tool.

http://www.edsquared.com/content/binary/Windows-Live-Writer/Announcing-Visual-Studio-Online_AD/Visual%20Studio%20Online%20Logo_3.png

Why did we write our own backup tool?

“Trust the cloud” is what you hear from Microsoft evanglists. While we trust the cloud for being online all the time and not to lose our data, there are occasions where something can go wrong. For most Azure products you can configure backups, but not for VSO. For us as a company it is important to be able to recover really fast and to have our most critical data safe. Critical data for us is not about work items or other team project management data, i’m talking about the source code of all our projects.

In Orbit One we solely use Git which makes things easier. According to some people you don’t even need a backup tool in this scenario, but in our opinion there are some caveats. First of all, Git is a DVCS meaning that all developers have a full copy of the history. This means that if VSO goes offline, you can enable another server and copy the Git repository there and continue working. Of course, you first need to find out which developer has the most recent version of the repository. While this scenario is pretty safe, you must be careful when you are talking about old projects. Typically not every developer has a copy of all the historical projects on his computer meaning that restoring here would be impossible!

This is why we wrote our own backup tool which copies a full clone of every repository in our VSO at night. This way we are safe if something happens and have all backups in one central place.

How does our backup tool work?

We use the VSO Rest API  to query our VSO account and get all the data we need. Since in VSO you can only have one Team Project Collection, we retrieve all the team projects of the default collection. Each of these team projects can have multiple repositories that need to be backed up. A folder is created for each team project and saved to a location on disk that can be configured in the app.config. When the team project folder is created, the task loops over each repository in the team project and creates folders for each repository.

http://blogs.msdn.com/cfs-filesystemfile.ashx/__key/communityserver-blogs-components-weblogfiles/00-00-00-54-43-metablogapi/1106.image_5F00_65A15B92.png


The actual backing up of the repositories is done by using a clone url that we can get from the VSO REST Api.This URL looks just like the one you'd see on github, for example: https://orbitone.visualstudio.com/DefaultCollection/OrbitOne/_git/CrmDataAccess.
To clone the repositories we use the libGit2Sharp library. Including this in your project is easy, you can use NuGet to download and install it.This library makes cloning of repositories very easy. All you have to do is call Repository.Clone() and pass in the clone URL and the destination.

Important to note is that you need to have Alternative Credentials enabled in your VSO account. You need this to access the VSO Rest API and to clone repositories using the libGit2Sharp library. You can set these credentials by going to your profile in your VSO account.

On top of that, we also added a configurable key called "RemoveBackupAfterHowManyDays". With this key, we can decide for how long we want to retain the oldest backup. Right now we have this set 10 days, meaning that we will store a complete repository backup for only 10 days. After that, the backup will be deleted from disk.

 

As mentioned before, we also made the path/location where to save these backups configurable. The REST Urls needed to query our VSO accounts are also configurable. For example, this is one of the URLs we use to get all our repositories.

https://orbitone.visualstudio.com/DefaultCollection/_apis/git/repositories?api-version=1.0

Having this hardcoded would not be that convenient, since

  • The api function's name might change
  • We might change our vso account, or use a different name

By having this in the app.config, you can basically use this task as a backuptool for different VSO accounts. Just schedule another instance of the task with different settings, and you're good to go.
By having these app settings, it enables you to quickly change some settings, without having to recompile or redeploy the application.

Download it for free!

And the best part: it’s free! The source code is available on our Github page so fork and adapt as you like. Please drop a pull request for cool new features or bugfixes!

Free tools Free tools

Op 08/05/2015 door Bram