[AG-TECH] newbie questions

Don Morton morton at cs.umt.edu
Mon Sep 3 07:54:58 CDT 2001

Hi Sue, this is of course Labour Day Holiday here in the States, 
so you may not get "fully-qualified" responses until Tuesday :)
However, I'll take a quick stab, and I'm sure others will
join in.

Sue Rogers wrote:

> My first question. I'm asked can an Access Grid room also be used easily
> for "normal" IP point-to-point conferencing?  ie does the control pc have
> an IP number which I can dial up from my suite? Is it possible to send only
> 1 videostream?

Yes - these machines have normal IP addresses and there's no reason you
can't use "regular IP" at times (though, in Access Grid events, it's
very desirable to use multicasting).  I've found it useful to use 
some of the AG tools (e.g. rat) to hold IP point-to-point conferencing
with a student interning in Alaska.   I've also found the room
useful for teleconferences, etc.  In short, it "can" be multipurpose,
but there are clearly those who argue that an AG should just be left
turned on as sort of a "persistent space."  In my opinion, the more
you try to do with this room, the more complex it becomes, you end
up with more scheduling conflicts, etc.  

> My second question. I need to draw up a spec of equipment to be ordered to
> equip a 5 x 3.5 metre room.  Can any of you help me with this please? I've
> looked at the Access grid hardware pages which list the equipment and
> suppliers used in their much larger room including all the cables and it
> throws up lots of questions, eg am I right to assume I don't need 4 mikes
> as my room's smaller?    Is 5 x 3.5 a sufficiently large size? I see the
> Manchester room is much bigger.  We envisaged using the 5m side for the
> projections rather than 3.5m side.

Access Grid rooms run from very small to quite large.  Ours
(http://www.cs.umt.edu/~morton/AGN/) is just a little smaller than yours.
I've found that, because many of us jump into this without fully
understanding where we're going, that planning on 4 or more mics
offers greater flexibility.  We certainly make use of the 4 mics
in our very small space.  If I had it to do all over again, I'd
probably try for a larger space - we can fit roughly 10 people in our
room so, if we want to get just a slightly larger class in there,
well, it just becomes unworkable.  Again, this is sort of an issue
of us jumping into to AGN construction with one idea but, once it's
built, other ideas start popping in, so if one can be flexible from the
beginning, it helps.

> Finally, I understand there's a 5-day conference on the Access Grid 17-21
> Sept at Manchester. Does anyone have details of this? I looked on the MRCCS
> and Access Grid pages but couldn't find anything.

This is the "Production Institute."  Jennifer Tieg von Hoffman
set up a web page several days ago


For an overall picture of this "SC Global" thing, you can go to




   Don Morton                      http://www.cs.umt.edu/~morton/
   Department of Computer Science       The University of Montana
   Missoula, MT 59812 | Voice (406) 243-4975 | Fax (406) 243-5139

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