[lug] advice on meeting software

pjr at ucar.edu pjr at ucar.edu
Fri Jul 11 07:37:34 MDT 2003

Hi All,

I would appreciate any advice that you have on meeting software.

I am looking for an alternative to M$oft netmeeting. What my group
needs is to allow (5-10) people at remote sites (all on a high speed
network) logged into a variety of platforms (linux, Mac, Windows, etc)
to "look over our shoulder" at stuff that is being displayed in a
conference room on a projector. The display that everybody will be
looking at will usually be from a windows2000 machine.  Most of the
time he will be clicking rapidly through URLs on a browser, although
there will also be situations where we are displaying postscript, or
running word or powerpoint (and occasionally their non-M$ analogues I
hope). Audio is not so critical as we can hook them up to a
speakerphone with a conference call if the software doesnt support
audio. Many of the remote users are novices, who dont often deal with
installing complex pieces of software.

I am aware of gnomemeeting, but have been told that the one piece of
functionality of netmeeting that it doesnt support is the "shared

(see eg http://www.computeruser.com/articles/2206,4,43,1,0601,03.html)

I am also aware of the various flavors of VNC (tightVNC, realVNC, trdia).

I cannot put aside a day or three to install these various pieces of
software right now and compare them side by side. I cant take much
more time to search the web for alternatives to these products. So I
am hoping that somebody from this group can help me avoid the
pitfalls, and get me started on a useful path immediately.  

If I dont get it right, we are going to take the "easy way out" and be
stuck with netmeeting, and those remote users with non-microsoft OS's
are going to be asked to walk down the hall and use somebody elses
machine with netmeeting installed. Makes my stomach growl just to
think of it.

At the moment, I am inclined to try for realVNC, if only because the
documentation made the most sense to me. It looks like the remote
users may even be able to click on a URL and download some Java code
that will get them going without much fuss.

So here are my questions:

1) Are there other programs out there more suited to my needs that I
   should be aware of? 
2) is VNC the way to go?
3) is realVNC the optimal variant for my needs?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.


Phil Rasch, Climate Modeling Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Mail     --> P.O. Box 3000, Boulder CO 80307
Shipping --> 1850 Table Mesa Dr, Boulder, CO 80305
email: pjr at ucar.edu, Web: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cms/pjr Phone:303-497-1368, FAX: 303-497-1324

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