[AG-TECH] Creating an AG Room Node using a Mac Backbone?

Jason Bell j.bell at cqu.edu.au
Wed Feb 15 17:19:55 CST 2006

G'day Mike

I think you have asked a good question here and I thought I would voice
my opinion to why I think there hasn't been any Room based nodes using
MAC's to date.

As you may or may not been aware, the Access Grids have been around for
a number for years and I personally have been playing with them for
nearly 4 years.  In this time, the Access Grid software (mainly the
media tools) has only worked on either Linux/Unix or windows. It has
only been recently that a full deployment of the Access Grid software
has been fully supported for the Mac.

I currently have an iMac which I have AG 2.4 and 3.0 Beta1 running on
it, in which I use the iSight for the video capture.  In my opinion, the
older versions have been a little buggy and it wasn't until the release
of AGTK 2.4 that it became stable enough to use on a regular basis.  The
biggest thing I have noticed with the Mac version compared to the
Windows and the Linux version have been the "Sluggishness" and having it
running what appears to be a lot slower (and tends to use a lot of CPU).

Upon using the AGTK 3.0 Beta1, it looks a lot more promising and
"appears" to run a lot faster as well.  Given I have only ever used the
AGTK on a single "Mac" node, I am unsure if the following problems may
also limit the building of an AG Room Node.  So things to consider that
I hope others might be able to comment on are whether:

*	the Mac has driver support for multiple capture cards;

*	the Mac can support multiple screen/projector display.  (I am
pretty sure it can, it's just I have never done it nor can I recommend
what video cards to use)

Other than the above two points, I cannot see why someone cannot build a
Room base node using Mac's.  I would be interested to hear if you are
able to do it.

Hope this helps,

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov] On
Behalf Of Mike Bogle
Sent: Wednesday, 15 February 2006 3:19 PM
To: ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: [AG-TECH] Creating an AG Room Node using a Mac Backbone?

Hi Everybody,

I have been asked to research the logistics of implementing an Access
Grid Room Node at our university, and I am hoping that some of you might
be able to help me resolve a question.

Specifically, I have been told by our IT Manager that Mac's would be the
preferred operating system for the backbone of our uni's room node.
However I have been so far unable to locate much of any information on
either the Access Grid homepage (http://www.accessgrid.org/), or
community pages such as AGCentral, that would help shed some light on
this topic.

For example, a quick browse of the Global Nodes in our country
(Australia) seems to indicate that most Room Nodes are founded on either
a Windows or Linux backbone.

Is this the case?  And if so, why?

I would also be particularly interested in hearing from other
institutions and/or organisations who have either run into difficulties
establishing room nodes using Mac backbones, or who have succeeded and
are using them currently.

Any and all help would be appreciated.

Kind regards,

Mike Bogle

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