Friday, March 16, 2007

Taking a gigabyte out of OSU programs' budgets

The Capital Press Editorial Board met today with three deans from Oregon State University to discuss various issues, but mostly funding for the university's Extension Service, Agricultural Experiment Station and Forest Research Laboratory.

Managing Editor Carl Sampson and I talked with Thayne R. Dutson, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, A. Scott Reed, dean of OSU Extension Service, and Stephen D. Hobbs, executive associate dean of the College of Forestry. The deans shared a great deal of information over the course of our two-hour meeting about where their funding goes and the world-class research and programs the natural resources-based departments offer.

In our ongoing foray into multimedia use, we recorded the session to share with our executive editor, Elaine Shein, and reporter Mitch Lies, who weren't able to attend the meeting today.

Obviously, I need to go back to school if I'm going to have any hope of learning the multimedia aspects of information gathering and distribution. While I've used our digital audio recorder to capture sound for our podcasts, I'm certainly no audio engineer. It took me a half hour to figure out how to set up the recorder to use two microphones (previously I've only used one). And I must have had something set wrong.

As I write this post I'm still trying to convert one of the audio files from our discussion into a smaller file format for Elaine and Mitch, because I'm pretty sure they don't want the 1.26 gigabyte files that the recorder ended up with. It took a more than a half hour just to copy the files from the recorder to my computer. Now it's taking another 20-plus minutes to convert the monster file down to a more economical file size.

Dealing with the complexity of funding for a major land-grant university and stereo digital audio recording on a Friday afternoon may be too much to take. My mental hard drive is full up. I can't absorb another gigabyte. Not today anyway.

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