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Desktop Video Conferencing

David Richardson

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The people who were in Gothenburg earlier this month got to look at an OHP slide of a desktop video conferencing screen … and I heard a few people saying "we need to look into this".

If you're ready to take the plunge, why not try to find a time within the next two weeks (otherwise it'll be put off into Never Never Land!)?

What you need to do is this:

1. Go to http://www.marratech.com and download the latest client software. That's 'Marratech 5.1' for your operating system (PC, Mac or Linux) - NOT Marratech Manager, which is server software.

2. Instal it, plug in your headphone and webcam, and start the programme up.

3. You'll be taken through one of those wizards which will check your connections and hardware, and test the sound levels.


The next trick is to decide on a time for a trial run, using Kalmar's Marratech server. I'd suggest 5.30 pm CET, which would be 4.30 pm UK time.

You start the Marratech programme, and replace "http://sessiondirectory/" with:


and click Return

This brings you to our portal page, and you just click on the room we've agreed to meet in (it'll probably be Harpo - all our rooms are named after the Marx Brothers, by the way).

You can do this on your own too - but choose Groucho's Café, which is the public non-bookable room.

Remember to click the Whiteboard tab right down at the bottom of the screen if you want to see the picture of Groucho in Groucho's Café.


So … are you lot up for it?

Feel free to meet without me - but I'll also happy to be there to show you what the system can do, and also some of the things we've already done.

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I think this would be a great idea. To be able to get everybody ready I would suggest a trial next weekend - one time at Saturday (1/10) and one time at Sunday (2/10). We could start with a discussion about the trial period of the MSN system which ended the day before (Friday 30/9). My suggestion would be to do this in the late afternoon. What about 17.00 UK time (18.00 in Sweden...) both days? :rolleyes:

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I think this would be a great idea. To be able to get everybody ready I would suggest a trial next weekend - one time at Saturday (1/10) and one time at Sunday (2/10).

Sounds good to me but I might be otherwise indisposed. We are expecting Inessa Jones-Nerzic to arrive on Thursday so I am either likely to be Oliver watching or at the hospital with mother and baby...


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It looks as if this coming weekend isn't such a good time. Could we try one evening next week? I'm actually having a Marratech meeting in Harpo with some students on Tuesday, 4th October at 7.00pm CET, and I'm sure they wouldn't mind visitors. In fact, they might not even show up! I schedule Marratech meetings at regular intervals so that students have a chance to ask questions directly (and get audio-visual answers directly). We could carry on after they've finished asking whatever they want to ask.

Just to give you an idea of how I'm using Marratech at the moment, I've got a link-up with a student in Hong Kong in about half an hour. We'll be doing Phonetics, Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, and the finer points of English verb tenses.

Then, at 5.00 pm, I'm linking up with an academic in Missouri who I'm writing a long article about blogging, podcasts, Internet radio, etc with. This will be a very focussed session, where we look at each other's latest texts and revise them together.

Next Wednesday, (5th October), I'm scheduled to present at a conference in Stockholm in the afternoon … except I'll be doing it from here in Kalmar (got a parents' evening at my daughter's school that evening, so I don't want to be going all the way to Stockholm, just to do a 45 minute presentation).

PS. I forgot to say 'Congratulations, Richard' (and what on earth were you doing coming to Gothenburg a couple of weeks ago? Your missus must be very understanding!).

Edited by David Richardson
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OK - We will not do it during this weekend then. I will not have any problems finding other things to do - right now I'm covered with essays, tests, etc...

Next week might be little bit tricky fort me though. I'm leaving Sweden for a week in Rome on Wednesday but I will try to participate the day before and I hope that other members will as well. Thank you once again David for giving us this opportunity. :lol:

Edited by Anders MacGregor-Thunell
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I downloaded Marratech and tried to open it today so I could participate in some discussions in the "Harpo Room" but nothing happened. The program does not open. I tried to install once again - with the same result. I'm sorry David - I wanted to "take the plunge" but I obviously did something wrong... If it's possible I would like to try again in a week (when I'm home from Rome). :lol:

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I have two Marratech meetings scheduled for next week:

on Tuesday, 11th October, I'm due to be 'meeting' a group of academic course students at 7pm CET in Harpo to discuss Achebe's Things Fall Apart, assimilation and elision in phonetics and perfect tenses in grammar

on Thursday, 13th October, I'm meeting Bryan Carter from Central Missouri State at 3pm in Harpo so that we can work on an article we're writing about podcasting, Internet radio, etc.

On either of those occasions, you can 'lurk', and then we can continue afterwards.

Alternatively, we could fix a definite time just for ourselves. Would you prefer daytime or evening?

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After a fantastic week in Rome I'm home again. When is the next meeting I could try to participate in? Since I usually teach during the day I would prefer the evening but we could check a few suggestions. If you keep an eye on either your email or the forum (unless we use a direct line on MSN Messenger) I could describe what happens if I don't manage to get into the room... I'm really looking forward to try this out. :rolleyes:

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