Software Trials. Michael, John and Trevor 29th Jan 2009
Notes by Trevor

We contacted each other by landline phone today and started talking about what we should try. I have a Mac on a broadband in NSW and Micahel and John were at CDU in Darwin on their Macs using the University broadband network.

Although we have been given the directive that Skype is banned by CDU I keep bringing up the fact that it was so easy to use and it always worked, in some hope that it might magicaly be un-banned.

I had already sent an email outlining that we should try TeamViewer, Gizmo, Dimdim and Glance. We started with Gizmo, an alternative to Skype. John managed to hear me and I managed to see him momentarily and hear a funny sort of garbled noise. We rushed through menu items clicking here and there trying various options. It stopped working, and when we tried to restart Gizmo to have another go, a dialogue box popped up to say Gizmo is damaged or incomoplete and cannot launch! Does not seem to be what we need


Gizmo crash screenshot

John wanted to try Team Viewer so he launched a session that I logged onto. His He started in Remote support mode so I could take some control of the mouse. I saw his desktop very quickly (seemed like only 256 colours) and I launched Photo Booth (an application that uses the built in camera) and I could see John and Michael.


Teamviewer Screenshot


PhotoBooth Screenshot

Teamviewer does work quite well and using the photbooth gave us video. We still had to use the Landline phone for voice.

I remember now that last week when we planned for this session we tried GLANCE (another screensharing solution) which worked fine.

Dimdim: I started a dimdim session (Dimdim is a more fully featured webconferencing tool with whiteboard screensharing etc). With these more featured software there is an equally exponential learning curve in getting all participants to simlar levels of use and most of the time we spent using dimdim was negotiating the interface and tools (with a landline phone cnnection for audio).


Playing on the border of whats new in technology and trying to keep in mind the constraints of user skills, remoteness etc, we will obviously spend more time on sorting out software/connection/platform issues than doing any teaching from country. My perspective of the project is about enabling teaching scenarios to happen. I think we need to plan for more out bush 'real life' sessions.