According to the Times-Standard (have I said how much I hate the fact that the T-S moves its arcticles behind a fee based protected area after 14 days and that’s why I won’t link to them? I have? A few times? OK. I will stop…no maybe not) the Arcata City Council meetings are going to be available on the web, both live and in archived versions, starting with Wednesday night’s meeting. Terrific!

One catch, though. According to the article, to access the video, you need “…Windows 2000 or XP with 128 mb ram minimum, Windows Media Player 9 or newer, 1.2 MHz processor, sound card, and a high-speed Internet connection.” Wonderful. While I can understand the minimum processor speed, need for a sound card and a high speed connection, why have they settled on limiting access to Windows 2000 or XP? That leaves me out. I usually run Mac OS. And that certainly leaves out Linux users. What is it about this service that makes it necessary to provide the video in such a limited format? Is it tieing in the agendas with certain points in the video? Is it the search? I can’t imagine these capabilities are not available in other formats. Maybe the article got it wrong. But while the whole world is moving toward open standards and accessibility, if the article is correct, the City of Arcata has taken one step forward, and two steps back.

I did actually try this on my Mac (the Planning Commission was available Tuesday evening) and it did work. Though the feed kept stopping and starting so it was virtually unusable when I fist connected. However, as time went on, things smoothed out. So, what gives? Is the article wrong? I read the press release from the City and it said the same thing. Does the City not know what their system compatibilities are?

If you have a system other than Windows 2000 or XP, try it out. Let me know.