[AG-TECH] Human factors and AG

Don Morton morton at cs.umt.edu
Thu Aug 29 09:28:00 CDT 2002

"Barbara A. Kucera" wrote:

> Here at NCSA we have a two-person staff with a manager.  Small AG nodes often
> have one person who does everything, perhaps with the help of a student.  The
> sites with which I'm familiar often have limited funds and are interested in
> making this easy for users to be able to operate without a full-time operator
> present.  Has anyone attempted to define the AG operator position?

Along those lines, I'd say that the AG becomes fully available to
the population when the following requirements (in addition to many
others, I'm sure) are satisfied:

Joe/Jane Sixpack with only enough computer literacy to surf the web
and create some presentations (not necessarily restricted to
power point!!!) can walk into a room with presentation on laptop,
hook laptop up to network, go to some web page and, with a couple
of clicks, have everything connect - the vv server does that
well now, particularly with the PIG version (using it on my
laptop now with simple web cam and headset).  However, it's still
very tedious to work with applications like presentations, VNC, 
Quicktime, etc.  Joe/Jane Sixpack should be able to go to same web
page, and with a click, "make their app available" so that clients
can jump in, and with a click, "connect to" the app.

I've always felt that the above wouldn't be "that" hard - it's 
all software - just needs funding to make it happen.  

As it stands now, when you're a presenter/operator at same time,
these "trivial little details" start to add up, and the AG becomes
anything but a "natural collaborative tool."  I still maintain that
the AG represents the most promising approach towards such collaborations,
but there's still a lot we can do.
   Don Morton                   http://MRoCCS.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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