MBONE: Multicasting Tomorrow's Internet

Watching an Event with SDR

SDR is a new session directory tool destined to replace SD. It includes many more features and functionality than SD. The SDR main window appears when SDR is launched, as shown in Figure 5-8. The main window contains five buttons and a scrollable list. The list contains session names. The five buttons are for showing the calendar of events, creating a new session, making the settings window appear, invoking help, and quitting the application.

The calendar of events, shown in Figure 5-9, provides you with an overall view of all the scheduled events for the current month and for the next two months. The calendar helps you plan your sessions and, at the same time, avoid conflicts with other sessions. Since only two or three MBONE sessions can exist at the same time, careful planning is easy using this calendar feature.

Figure 5-7: The vat settings window.

Shortly after SDR launches, session names begin to appear in the scrollable list. The left and right mouse buttons each perform a different function when you either left-click or right-click on a session name.

You can set various parameters in the settings window, as well as turn on the balloon help. With balloon help enabled, when you position the mouse pointer over part of the SDR window, a help balloon tells you what each button does. You'll want to turn on balloon help during the first few times you use this software. You also can set how the WWW links specified at event creation time will be handled. If you choose Send to browser, the links are passed on to SDR's internal Web browser. This Web browser allows you to see the supplementary conference information that can be found on the Web page.

Figure 5-8: The main SDR window and the preferences window.

SDR's internal browser does not download images; it just presents you with the text. Only presenting text is faster and saves colors from the 256 colors availavble on an 8-bit display. Downloading images and assigning colors to them would steal colors from your MBONE applications. You can also select Start external browser so that a browser like Mosaic or Netscape can be started, enabling you to see the images from the Web page. In the Start external browser window, you also can choose your favorite MBONE tool, depending on the format of the data, and you can select which sessions you want to see from the scrollable list of the main window. These choices are all pretty obvious, except for Preferred sessions. If you select this one, all the sessions are shown in the list, except those that you have specifically chosen to hide using the third mouse button in the scrollable list of the main window.

If you select a session name from the main window with button one (the leftmost mouse button), the session information window appears, as shown in Figure 5-10. This inform-ation window shows you the conference information and also allows you to join the session. Selecting a session name with the second (middle) mouse button allows you to join the session without putting the conference information window on the screen.

Figure 5-9: The calendar of events window.

Figure 5-10: The SDR session information window.

The session information window shows you the session name, the description, time and date information, and the various media involved with the event. Selecting the Contact Info button shows you who created the event and an e-mail address and a phone number in case you want to reach the person.

To join the event, you can select either one or more of the media buttons (audio, video, text) or the Start All button, which starts the tools for all the media for that session.

You may also choose to record an event in case you won't be present to watch it or you want to replay or rebroadcast it later. If you choose to record an event, make sure that you have plenty of disk space: for audio -- 64 Kbps of audio * one hour (3600 seconds) = 1.84MB of data (for a monaural event). You also have to plan disk space for video data, text, and whiteboard data. Video is not as easy to calculate, because the various video encoding algorithms will most often send you variations (deltas) from one frame to another.

If you are the person who created the event, two supplementary buttons are present in the session information window: Edit and Delete. The Edit button allows you to change almost everything in your event, from the contact information to the format of the audio and video. In fact, the Edit window is nearly identical to the event creation window, except for the Create button, which is called Modify in the Edit window.

Now that you know how to watch an event with SDR, it's time to create one.

To create an event using SDR, follow these steps:

Table of Contents | Previous Section | Next Section