-- WilliamBreadenMadden - 2013-11-19

collaborating

This page is a brisk, informal guide to resources available for collaborating with others online. An emphasis is placed on resources that are reliable, easy and quick to set up. Obviously, security features are necessary sometimes, but this page does not focus overly on this aspect of collaboration and communication.

collaborating online

sound and video communication

Vidyo

CERN maintains the Vidyo video conferencing service. The predecessor to Vidyo was EVO which is now phased out.

More information about Vidyo can be found at the CERN Vidyo website.

install

Vidyo is available for the Linux, Mac OS and Windows platforms. VidyoMobile is available for the Android and iOS platforms.

registration

  • From the "Members" tab (which you should be on, having followed the link above), select "Add member". Enter your CERN details and select "Add new member".

  • Shortly after registration, you should receive an e-mail confirming that your registration to the CERN Vidyo service is active.

usage

log in

  • Enter your CERN user name and passcode.

  • If you have not installed the Vidyo client, you shall now be directed to do so. Otherwise, you shall now access "Home".

search for a meeting or search a person, join a meeting

From "Home", enter the meeting title or the person's name in the only text entry field on the page (in the blue bar). All current meetings and future meetings containing the specified text are listed. Select a listed meeting for information on the meeting status. To join a meeting, select the meeting and then select "Join Room" (in the blue bar). A window for the meeting should appear.

direct communications and personal 'rooms'

Select "Control Meeting". Select "Room Links" to access the URL for the room and to set the passcode for the room.

telephone gateways

There are telephone gateways available for Vidyo:

  • CERN, Switzerland: +41 22 533 0322
  • Tokyo, Japan: +81 345 790 501
  • US: +1 866 577 7460
  • London, United Kingdom: +44 203 051 0622
  • Prague, Czech Republic: +420 228 880 755
  • Madrid, Spain: +34 911 233 708

VidyoMobile

VidyoMobile for Android

usage

Upon running the program, enter the portal (vidyoportal.cern.ch), your CERN user name and passcode. In the VidyoMobile interface, there are three main tabs: "My Contacts", "My Info" and "Settings".

search for a meeting or search for a person, joining a meeting

From "My Contacts", enter the meeting title or the person's name in the only text entry field on the page. All current meetings and future meetings containing the specified text are listed. Select a listed meeting for information on the meeting status. To join a meeting, select the meeting and then select "Join Room".

direct communications and personal 'rooms'

Select "My Info". Under "Your Rooms", select your name and then select "Join Room" to join the room meeting or then set the passcode for the room etc.

meeting

In a meeting, there are five main icons displayed: for settings, camera, microphone, speaker, and hangup. Settings displays the current frame rate in the screen corner. Camera switches between available camera modes (for example, front camera on only, back camera on only and cameras off). Microphone controls the microphone mute/unmute functionality. Speaker controls the speaker mute/unmute functionality. Hangup exits the meeting.

settings

Various settings are accessible from the "Settings" tab.

other information

echo cancellation

Here is a video demonstrating testing of the Vidyo echo cancellation algorithm.

Skype™

An obvious initial option is Skype™ which offers decent audio and video communications between up to ten persons. The downsides are that it is proprietary, supports spying efforts and that it requires both installation and registration/log in.

EVO

EVO is the now-obsolete communications software of the ATLAS collaboration. It offers audio, video and other (screen sharing) facilities, so it is quite versatile. The downside is that it requires registration/log in. It requires JAVA on the machine running it, but only a quick download is required to run it. There's no extensive installation required. It works sometimes.

EVO will not run while logged into the same account on multiple computers. The latest computer to attempt to log into the already logged-into account is the instance that will continue to successfully run. The older instance will cease to run.

adding "Buddies"

In the lower left corner of the main EVO window, one can search for names. One can add people to one's "Buddies" list in this manner.

adding a community (e.g., the ATLAS community)

In the top menu bar of the main EVO window, select "Search". Then, select "Search Communities". A list of EVO communities should then be loaded and displayed in a new window. The "ATLAS" community is located in the "High Energy Physics" EVO community group. Select the ATLAS community and add it to your "Subscribed Communities". Select "OK". On the EVO home page, you should now see the ATLAS community displayed as a tab next to the "Universe" community tab.

Telephone Bridge

It is straightforward to connect to an EVO meeting using a telephone (what is this?). Follow the following instructions:

http://evo.caltech.edu/evoGate/Documentation/extclient/telephone/telephone.html

Be sure to dial the right number! Here's the list:

http://evo.caltech.edu/evoGate/Documentation/telephone.jsp

examples:

  • CERN telephone number: 0041 (0)22 76 71400
  • UK telephone number: 0044 (0)161 306 6802

Skype™ EVO Gateway

It is straightforward to connect to an EVO meeting using Skype™. Follow the following instructions:

http://evo.caltech.edu/evoGate/Documentation/extclient/skype/skype.html

Google+

A Google+ hangout offers audio and video communication. It requires no major installation (perhaps a browser extension might be required depending on the browser accessing it). A downside is that registration is required (i.e., a Gmail account is required).

quick instructions

  • Go to a Google+ profile page. https://plus.google.com/
  • On the right, under the "Hangouts" heading, select "New Hangout".
  • Enter/paste Gmail addresses directly as necessary.
  • A URL is sent to all those added to the hangout.

collaborating on code

PrimaryPad

PrimaryPad offers a very simple and easy way for people to look at and edi one page of code online. Line numbers appear by the code and different text highlighting is attributed to each user.

quick instructions

collaborating using scribbles

Scriblink

Scriblink offers a very simple and easy way for people to look at and write on the same virtual whiteboard. Obviously, a tablet computer, a Wacom tablet or something similar is preferred for interfacing with this whiteboard.

quick instructions

  • Go to http://www.scriblink.com/.
  • Under the "Invite Others" heading, click "Get URL" to view the URL for the whiteboard used.
  • Circulate the URL.

AWW: A Web Whiteboard

This is a simple web whiteboard that is optimised for many devices, including tablets and telephones.

quick instructions

FlockDraw

This is a simple web whiteboard that is optimised for use by artists.

quick instructions

  • Go to http://flockdraw.com/.
  • Select "Create your sessioin".
  • Enter a user name.
  • Circulate the URL in the browser's address bar.

collaborating on LaTeX documents

writeLaTeX

writeLaTeX is an online collaborative LaTeX editor.

collaborating in the same place

collaborating on some code

USB hub

Set up one computer (preferably with a big screen). Connect a USB hub to it. Connect two USB keyboards to the hub and connect two mice to the hub.

collaborating online or in the same place

collaborating on code pieces or a large amount of code

version control system

Subversion, GitHub etc. are is a good way for multiple people to work on a large amount of code.

Dropbox

This is a good way for multiple people to work on code pieces or a large amount of code. A shared Dropbox directory can be set up easily. Changes to files are synchronised automatically. Wherever a conflict is detected (i.e., when two people are working on the same piece of code), both versions of the code are saved and users are alerted to the conflict. Then, the files can be merged manually. Additionally, a record is kept of all changes made. If a file is deleted accidentally, it can be retrieved from the online Dropbox interface easily.

-- WilliamBreadenMadden - 2011-08-23

Topic revision: r7 - 2013-11-19 - WilliamBreadenMadden
 
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