Notes after the Test Cruise

Mark Hereld hereld at
Fri Jun 18 18:27:50 CDT 1999

This week significantly increased the experience level of all those who participated in the Test Cruise.  We plat to follow this Test Cruise with regularly scheduled NanoCruises, aiming for two sessions a week... ad infinitum until we're seasoned veterans, one and all.  Hence, NanoCruise1 is scheduled for next week Thursday from 1 PM to 3 PM Central Daylight Time.  Put it on your calendar.  We'll announce details, prime goal, and plan later.

A short summary of the week:

Much of the AG node equipment had not yet arrived at participating institutions by the start of the week, or even by the end of it.  Nonetheless, we were able to make material progress on many fronts.  Participants: ANL, UKy, UNM, and to a lesser extent BU and ACCESS-DC.

We spent the early part of the Test Cruise week spinning participants up on mud, vic, rat installation and use.  The Kentucky group are quite far along, as are the University of New Mexico.  They know how to handle the tools and were instrumental in finding causes and solutions to problems that we encountered.

The last two days we concentrated on experimenting with and tweaking audio quality.  By 5 PM on Friday, we'd succeeded in very good quality two site interactions with good audio.  Contributing to this success were fine tuning configuration issues discovered throughout the week and up the the final hours (16 kHz sampling, silence suppression OFF, 16 bit linear encoding, and others).  Late in the day Friday, we also identified a known hardware problem in the CISCO switch at ANL as the source of substantial packet loss in our audio streams.

We also gained a lot experience, and need more as a group, in communicating over the various backchannels that we have when problem arise with the primary media.  This may be the single most important reason for institutions to participate in these rehearsal sessions.

Details to follow by posting on tech pages of AG web.

Action Items:

	() update ag-tech mailing list -- need Utah and GA Tech contacts

	() publish current-best-settings for audio tool (rat) -- config file and web FAQ

	() BU and ACCESS-DC -- generate vid and aud stream, join the session

	() Utah, GA Tech, NCSA, EVL  -- mud, vic, rat... generate vid and aud stream, join the session

	() beat on CISCO to fix their multicast bug(s)

Have a nice weekend.

-- Mark

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