New version of Hybrid camera app

The programmer fixed a bug that caused some freezes. At least in testing it didn’t appear to happen again. The latest version is available at the same location. This update is only for the "relay version" of the camera app. Not the relay itself, but the one for the phone with the camera. Everyone should now be using this updated app, otherwise there will be conflicts when connecting to the server.  If you are booked to use the Hybrid soon, please install the latest app so you are ready. We don’t need to test the connection again.

 

Also remember to have the app installed that allows the operator remote access to control the phones. And if you are not using the hybrid, disconnect from the VPN and the remote access app or it confuses the operators with irrelevant phones connected.

Hybrid service booking

The new booking system is working perfectly so far. I’ve updated the Hybrid instructions that explains the new booking system. It’s not an essential update. But if you don’t yet know how to book a session, download the latest version and see chapter 23.

Booking hybrid sessions

I’ve installed a schedule planner on my site. It allows players to see and book available times for Hybrid sessions – this saves time with the back and forth email communication to organize times.

 

You can book in your local time, and the times are automatically converted to the Operator’s local time. Either players or the operator can cancel the booking. If a session is cancelled for any reason, theplayer can book another.

 

It’s a new booking system and I’ve tested it all I can, but initially I’ll still confirm sessions manually.

 

I’ll manually email further details to players who have all equipment and are in a position to play.

I will be away between 12th – 25th January 2017, so I won’t be able to work as an operator. Although hopefully by then another operator will be able to work instead.

General update for next month

In case I forget, I’ll specify now I’ll be unavailable from 24th Dec to around 3rd Jan 2017. I’ll still have email access and will do the more urgent things like shipping and code requests. I might still do some emails or other work in between, but it wont be much. Then in January I’ll be away for 2 weeks but I’ll specify dates later.

Update hybrid Instructions, and booking sessions

UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS:

 

All players should download the updated instructions. The download location is the same as before. You should be able to open the document without needing to unlock again.

 

The updated chapter (21) explains how to use the "connection mod", It also explains the additional hardware you need, which is easily sourced.

 

 

TESTING THE MOD WITH ME:

 

Contact me via encrypted email for the download link of the two new apps.

 

Once you have installed the "connection mod", contact me when you have everything ready between 9am – 4pm my local time (Melbourne Australia). Then I will contact you as soon as I receive your message and confirm whether I can log onto the server and test with you immediately, OR we’ll test another time. It is more efficient to do it this way (instead of makling schedules) because my schedule is a bit unpredictable in the lead up towards Christmas.

 

I will especially make myself available on Monday and Tuesday for this kind of spontaneous testing. If you’ve set everything up right, then testing will take 5 minutes or so.

 

Remember to use different sim cards that use different mobile networks, or there’s no point to the mod. Remember that different phone companies often use the same cellular networks.

 

 

BOOKING NEW SESSIONS:

 

If you haven’t played for a week or so, it is probably because your internet connection was at times unreliable. Once your connection mod is working as per above, we’ll book another session immediately.

 

 

PLANS FOR 2017:

 

In the first week or so of 2017, we’ll start assembling more of the international/travelling teams. Nobody should expect to be busy through the Christmas and new years holidays. If you are a prospective player and haven’t been contacted yet, you will soon. But may be in some time in early January.

 

 

EMAIL RESPONSES:

 

I haven’t responded to all individual emails, but will Monday. This notice explains to everyone what to do anyway. Please for now simply download and install what you need. But you need to contact me via encrypted email for the download link of the two new apps.

Hybrid Connection Mod

The programmer sent a "proof of concept" version that worked very well. So we now know we can do what we need, and with the hardware most players already have. It isn’t finished yet, but it’s at least great news we can do what we need. Now the programmer just has to fix a few bugs and refine the process to be more efficient. There’s nothing major left to do though. I’m confident this mod will be available some time next week.

 

So far the mod appears to work on all phone models (for the particular phone series/manufacturer) except one – which is the latest version in the particular series of phones. So if you have this version, you will need an earlier phone version to use the connection mod. Contact me if you need more information. You can still use the "latest" version as the secondary phone, but just not the primary phone. We can get the software working on the latest phone but it is not a priority for now because most people use an older version anyway.

Hybrid general update

This applies to computer service users, in particularly players with "borderline acceptable" internet connections:

 

When I work as the operator, often we might waste an hour messing around with a bad connection. Sometimes it just isn’t reliable enough to be practical for me. Most of the time the problem is a busy network, like during peak periods. Unfortunately I don’t have the flexibility to waste even an hour or to be an operator in other times of the day. There is another operator almost ready to work full time and any time of the day. He is in the final stage of training.

 

So unless you already know the Internet is perfectly ok at the times we need, to proceed with me as an operator, I want the connection mod done. This will make "borderline ok" connections to be perfect in most cases. Then we wont need to waste time fidddling with connection settings or waiting for busy networks to become quieter. And we wont have to deal with frustrating situations where video quality degrades despite a large edge and easily beaten wheel.

 

I expected the connection mod to be complete last week, but development is more complicated than we first thought. It is mainly because of firmware limitations on phones. But still we’re very close now, and I should have a completed version at the end of this week, or early next week. It is NOT certain yet because the development is tricky.

 

There are ready-made solutions, but they involve the use of hardware that is too bulky. Our solution is much more practical.

 

As I explained previously, do not mistake lack of activity to be anything other than what I say. For some players, things may be quiet and frustrating. If this is your case, I understand your frustration but keep in mind you do not see everything that is happening on my end. I try to keep everyone informed with the blog, but I do not always give specific information about what is happening because anyone can read the information. And besides, giving all the details wont make a difference. So please trust that although things are quiet now for some players, you are about to be very busy.

 

If you are a brand new player and haven’t even played yet, then you fall into this category because I don’t want to be sitting at my computer at 3am, risking dealing with a jittery internet connection. I’d rather just have it perfect so I can focus on other things like communicating with the team and maximizing prediction accuracy.

General update and hybrid

Unfortunately I didn’t get everything I needed to get done today because of unexpected software testing. But by midday tomorrow, I will be up to date on all emails and support tickets.

 

I have been unable to schedule any further hybrid sessions this week, although an additional operator is one or two practise sessions from being able to conduct sessions at virtually any hour. I understand that this may be frustrating for players that are waiting. But keep in mind although it may have been quiet and uneventful for the past two weeks, we are about to enter a period where most of the teams will be very busy. Your patience is appreciated.