[AG-TECH] Idea: AG Remote Control Device

Jay Beavers jbeavers at microsoft.com
Fri May 25 11:09:04 CDT 2001

What about a simple "Administration UI" on a dedicated "console"

IMHO, trying to squeeze the number of components you need to manage in
an AG environment onto a PDA sized screen will lead to a needlessly
complex UI.  Being able to take advantage of a larger 1024++ resolution
monitor should allow the different components to be easily visualized.

I've also put a lot of thought into "PDAs in the classroom".  My biggest
holdup with them right now is that the PDA has to be connected to be
interesting for collaborative scenarios and connectivity eats battery
life.  I've been playing with a Compaq iPaq with the external PCCard
sleeve and 802.11b cards.  Even with power save on the 802.11b card and
an extra battery in the sleeve, I can only get about 2 hours of useful
battery life out of the system which IMHO makes them too hard to use in
AG-like situations (too many instances off "just let me bring up...oh
darn, the remote is dead again").

I'm hopeful that new technologies, perhaps Bluetooth and maybe larger
jackets with bigger batteries, might work.  I've even seen a working
custom handheld done for Wall Street about three years ago that added
~16 oz battery to a handheld that was able to do 8 hours of wireless.
But I haven't seen anything yet that's compelled me to say "that's truly
useful and convenient, let's do it."

 - jcb

-----Original Message-----
From: Allan Spale [mailto:aspale at evl.uic.edu] 
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2001 8:01 PM
To: ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: [AG-TECH] Idea: AG Remote Control Device

I was in a thinking mood this morning, and I thought about why a node-op
is needed for AG sessions.  Now, I know that the eventual goal is to
lessen/eliminate the role of the node-op or at least put the node-op
more of a maintainence / on-call role.  So, I thought, how can people
use the AG assuming that everything is configured properly?

I thought that the AG needs a universal remote control (almost like what
the Polycom devices have).  This could be implented on a PDA.  It would
allow users to call up different remote control panels on this PDA that
would allow users to change positions of windows on the plasma display
vic, adjust cameras, adjust vic video settings for each camera, adjust
gain on rat, start powerpoint, etc.  The important thing would be to
abstract the technical details and just allow people to adjust user
relevant settings.  If technical details needed to be changed, then the
node-op or some knowledgeable person could go and make the changes on
respective machines.  Maybe having some way to do backchannel chat on
PDA would be useful too.

This is just a thought; maybe it will be useful.

EVL / UIC  node-op 

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