Mike Cherry says:
> Ernest Retzel's original message described an interesting use of the
> Internet--that is digital video conferencing. I first saw this in use
> at the San Diego Sun Microsystems office. Cameras on the workstations
> and scattered around their facility allowed any workstation user to
> visually search for someone or communicate via video with someone else
> on there network. To be able to use this technology to hold small
> conferences would be terrific. I'm sure there are many others besides
> myself that loath taking all day to flight to a meeting. I hope
> someone is working on standardizing this for the better of us all so
> we don't have to exclude folks without a Sun.
It really is quite a remarkable use of the tools! I would also mention
that BBN is presently porting to HP workstations [not much use to most
of us, but easy for them, and let's see...40+% of the market + 40+% of the
market is...]; this will be followed by Mac and PC ports, all compatible
with each other. There is a pd program out there as well, but for the
time being, it is a Sun-only piece of software as well [at least last time
I checked]. There have already been nation-wide teleconferences,
the most recent of which I recall was that of Clinton's speech at SGI.
I am equally enthused about the other software. The groupware concept is
really quite amazing; we all know WYSIWIG, and appreciate that--this can
be transformed to WYSIWIS [What You See Is What I See]. So suddenly you
can share anything you have on [or can get into] a computer--an image,
a dataset, a screen, a new display you are working on, an error that you
are getting, a slideset you have scanned in, pages from a paper you just
edited, you name it--all by just "drag-and-drop"-ing. And then write on it,
and point to things in it, and so on and on. In real time, not after
file transfer and opening a program. Combined with the video
conferencing, it so transforms what we can do that I am sure it will alter
the way we do our science, and hopefully sooner rather than later.
A good friend and collaborator is a collaborative sw [groupware] type, and
their techno-sociologists estimate that less than half of what we do, we
do in isolation. Computing, in the environment of the terminal and the
personal computer or workstation, has become a solitary experience.
But with tools like these, it becomes the instrument of joint adventures.
But I am going philosophical... I could have let it go with it will save
us a Lot Of Time and flights we don't want to take, and into the bargain,
they are pretty much fun to use 8^).
ernest at lenti.med.umn.edu