Improvise good lighting for video conferences

I have been witness to a number of video conferences where participants were shown as a shadow in the blazing backlight of a summer day or wonderfully only jaw and nose were visible. Not pretty, even though uncombed video snapshots are currently becoming fashionable…

At present there are no professionally illuminated video conference rooms available, so I have some ideas for improvisation.

A large amount of diffuse light is a good start. A bright full spectrum health lamp pointing towards a white wall is great for the job.

White curtains are not bad, especially if sunlight could shine towards the webcam. Coloured light, through a dyed curtain or an illuminated painted wall, should be avoided. On some webcams, you can adjust the white balance, but that doesn’t really work out nice.

Place the main light source behind the monitor. A work lamp, desk lamp or table lamps behind the monitor are well qualified. LED lamps are especially suitable because of the low heat development with high light output. Please make sure that the LEDs are flicker-free. Either purchase new ones or check their fitness individually with the webcam or mobile phone camera.

In closing, a note about the nose position of your camera. If you have to use the camera integrated in the laptop, please place a pile of books, cooking pot, cardboard, etc. under the laptop for the time of the conference. The same applies to mobile phones and tablets. Build a stable base 30 to 40 cm high, depending on your seating position, so that the camera is at your eye level.

Time management: Realise change

Do you know statements like this from coworkers “Well, I have also tried time management method X, but in my work context it doesn’t fit because … even author Y confirms this”? Although such a statement may even be true, it has nothing to do with the introduction of a personal time management system. And definitely not with the chances of mastering or failing to succeed.

In my opinion, time management, like self-management, is a highly individual approach. You have to find methods from various time management practices that may suit you, experiment, change, try again, adapt after a while and sometimes discard stuff that was well thought out at first. The right amount of endurance is vital in this case, because establishing time management is change management. Continue reading “Time management: Realise change”

Lean: The Service Champion principle

Nowadays, so much new technology and knowledge is arising that one cannot even keep up with the latest developments in all aspects of a specialist field. This is quite a shock, to be honest. Instead of burying our heads in the sand and watching others overtaking you, instead we start running. To ensure that this doesn’t become uncoordinated, knowledge acquisition and knowledge management must be arranged in your team. This works most effectively with a Service Champion concept, which I am happy to introduce to you. Continue reading “Lean: The Service Champion principle”

Learn why things work on a system

Yesterday I migrated a 10-year-old laptop to a new one. Therefore I installed the new system (10 min via proxy), installed standard software (20 min via script) and transferred the user data 1:1. For this purpose I dismounted the hard disk of the old laptop. Remove a screw at the side slot, open the cover, take out the HDD and copy it via a SATA-USB3 hard disk adapter (25 min depending on the amount of data), log in, be amazed that everything is ready and works. Continue reading “Learn why things work on a system”