inperson - InPerson desktop conferencing for SGI workstations
InPersonTM is a multimedia desktop conferencing tool for SGI workstations
such as the Indy, Indigo and Indigo2. Each conference includes audio and
either video or a static image of the participant. Use of shared
whiteboard and shared shelf is optional on a per-conference basis. Other
SGI systems that lack audio and/or video hardware can still use the
You can place a conference on hold, or can look and listen to a
conference without transmitting any audio and video. This allows you to
simultaneously work on urgent projects while monitoring the progress of a
conference. This also allows you to hold an impromptu private
conversation in your office without disturbing the ongoing conference.
Each conference can have 2 to 8 participants when using Indy R4400SC
models. Due to the use of multicasting, total network bandwidth usage
scales linearly with the number of participants.
The InPerson product consists of several programs: the phone, the
conference view, and the whiteboard. The inperson program is the phone
tool that you see on your desktop. The view program opens the main
conference window. It manages all audio and video actions, the shared
shelf, and the whiteboard. The whiteboard program is opened by the view
when a user asks to open it. These two programs are started on behalf of
the user by inperson.
Please see the on-line InPerson User's Guide and the InPerson Setup and
Administration Guide for detailed instructions on the use of this
product. What follows is a brief summary.
Placing and Receiving Calls [Toc] [Back]
To place or receive calls, you must run the inperson program. To run
inperson, double-click its icon from the Icon Catalog's Collaboration
page or type in a shell:
When you run inperson, the image of an old-fashioned telephone appears on
your desktop. The phone rings and flashes when someone is calling you. To
answer a call, place the cursor over the phone; then click the left mouse
button. To make a call, drag group or user icons over the phone image and
release the mouse button.
Participating in a Conference [Toc] [Back]
The conferencing window appears when you participate in a call. By
default, it displays video of each person participating in the
conference. Participant on systems that do not supports video are
represented by a static image. See "Faces Database" section below to
learn how to select a static image.
The conferencing window can expand to show two other regions - the
whiteboard and the shelf. To open the whiteboard, choose "Open
whiteboard" from the Call menu. To open the shelf, choose "Open shelf"
from the Call menu.
About the Whiteboard [Toc] [Back]
The whiteboard is similar to the whiteboard or chalkboard you might find
in a conference room. Each person in the conference has a unique marker
that she or he can use to sketch or write notes on the board. People can
also take screen and video snapshots and place them on the board. You
can bring in 3D Inventor models, text and RGB image files from the Import
menu, too. You can save your work for a later conference, or print it to
get a hard copy.
When placing images and 3D, you can stretch their size by clicking and
dragging the mouse. Then, subsequently move any object by clicking on it
and dragging. You can also `lasso' objects with the selection tool.
When a 3D object is selected, scale and rotation handles show up. The
corner squares allow you to uniformly scale the object, while the round
rotation knobs allow you to rotate it. Use the shift key to get fixed
rotation about an axis.
The toolbar along the left edge of the whiteboard page has tools for
drawing, typing, taking snapshots, selecting colors, text styles, and
line styles, and adding new pages. If you wave your cursor over an
object on the whiteboard, the text under the person's video image will
highlight, indicating who drew it.
About the Shelf [Toc] [Back]
The shelf is similar to the shelves that are used within the IRIX
Interactive Desktop(TM) user environment. Files placed on the shelf are
instantly accessible to all persons in the conference. You can bring the
file to the local file system by clicking on and dragging the icon from
the shelf to an fm (1) view of one of the local directories. Dragging
the icon to the desktop puts only a link to the file on the desktop. The
actual file may not be accessible later so if you want to save the file,
drag the file icon to a local directory.
You can double-click over an icon on the shelf to open it, as with any
IRIX Interactive Desktop icon. If the icon is a folder, a directory view
is launched for that folder. For any other category of icon you may be
notified that InPerson does not know how to run that application shared
between the conference participants and asked if you want to run it
When InPerson is unable to access a file via NFS, it makes a local
temporary copy of the file in a shadow directory so as to preserve all of
the file operation semantics of IRIX Interactive Desktop icons. All
temporary copies and the shadow directory are removed at the end of a
call. The location of the shadow directory is controlled by an X
resource (see below) and by the INBOX_PATH environment variable.
If the environment variable INBOX_PATH is set to a directory path,
InPerson uses that directory as the shadow directory but won't delete
files from it. When a file is dropped on the shelf by another person in
the conference, InPerson will check to see if that file has been
transfered in advance by looking for a file of the same name in the INBOX
directory. If so, then the file is referenced on the shared shelf
immediately. Files copied into the INBOX directory (before or during a
conference) will not be removed. This is the responsibility of the user.
The shelf will only allow you to drop files which are local to your own
system or are accessible to you via NFS.
There are two control panels that let you set preferences to customize
the behavior of the phone and of a running conference. You can also save
the preferences as the default for future calls into the InPerson file in
the the $HOME/.desktop-`hostname` directory.
To access the phone's control panels, place the cursor over the phone,
and then press the right mouse button to bring the menu. Choose "Ring
control panel..." from the menu to change the incoming and outgoing
ringing sounds. Chose "Call preferences panel..." to change video and
network parameters and is described below. On each panel, the "Save"
button saves the preferences into the InPerson file. The "OK" button
applies the preferences to future incoming and outgoing calls but not the
The InPerson Call window also provides a control panel under the Tools
menu that you can use to change the characteristics of the call in
The Call control panel, which is also accessible from the phone, has two
sections. The Video Controls lets you change the size of the video
images that are shown in the participant display area. The Vanity View
buttons controls whether images from your camera are shown in the
participant display area and whether the view is shown as other see it or
mirrored. The Call Controls section controls outgoing video, compression
and network parameters. if the Outgoing Video button is set to "Live",
InPerson will will capture and transmit video if video hardware is
available. If set to "Static Image", InPerson will always use a static
image in place of video. The most common reason to change this setting
to "Static Image" is to decrease the network bandwidth required for a
InPerson automatically choses the appropriate video and audio compression
schemes based on network bandwidth and the user's performance preference.
The control panel lets you select the following information:
o performance preference: In the presence of network congestion,
InPerson can prefer video quality (and degrade frame rate) or prefer
frame rate (and degrade video quality).
o network bandwidth type: ISDN basic rate, T1/E1, LAN, (e.g.,
Ethernet), high-speed LANs (e.g., FDDI/CDDI, ATM).
o finer control bandwidth slider: it lets you select the bandwidth
target within the bandwidth range specified by the network type.
For example, if you select the LAN network type, the bandwidth range is
0-5000 kbps. You can move the slider to use more or less bandwidth.
InPerson then choses a video compression scheme that meets that target.
For a given bandwidth, two compression schemes might be possible: one
has a better image quality but a slower update(frame) rate, while the
other has a faster frame rate but lesser image quality. The Performance
Preferences button lets you choose which characteristic is more
Resources [Toc] [Back]
There are some additional preferences that control the behavior of
InPerson that are not on the control panels. Advanced users can change
these resources by editing the InPerson user configuration file.
The default X11 resources file /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/InPerson
contains a few resources that can be customized at the beginning of the
file. You can edit this file as root to make changes for all users on
the system. If you want your private customizations, copy the file to
$HOME/.desktop-`hostname`/InPerson, then following the instructions at
the beginning of the file.
InPerson*facesPath (Faces database path)
This resource controls which directories InPerson searches when
looking for static images of user's faces. InPerson always checks
$HOME/.icons/login.icon first, and then for each directory specified
in the faces path, looks in <dir>/$USERNAME. Default value is
"/usr/local/lib/faces:/usr/lib/faces". See the section below, "Faces
Database", on adding a face file.
InPerson*defaultFace (Default face image)
This resource controls what face image is displayed if the user does
not have an entry in the faces database. Default is "inperson".
InPerson*participantBox.initialPlacement (Participant Layout)
This resource controls whether the images of participants in the
conference are placed horizontally or vertically in the InPerson
Call window. Possible values are "VERTICAL" and "HORIZONTAL".
Default is "VERTICAL".
InPerson*shelf.shadowDir (Location of directory for shadowing the shelf)
This resource controls what directory InPerson will use when it
needs to make copies of files that are to appear on the shelf. The
default value is "$HOME/.InPerson.shelf". InPerson appends "." and
six more characters to this name to make a unique name for each
call. This resource is overridden by the INBOX_PATH environment
variable (see above).
InPerson*shelf.xferTimeMsgThreshold (Threshold for transfer time notice)
When you drop files on the shelf, it calculates the time to transfer
the files to the other participants based on the current audio and
video bandwidths. If the transfer time exceeds this threshold, the
shelf will display a dialog box with the time and a choice to
continue or cancel the transfer. The default value is 60 seconds.
Set the resource to 0 to disable the calculation and the dialog box.
InPerson*videoDevice (Video device name)
For Indy systems that have the built-in VINO video hardware and the
optional IndyVideo board, this resource lets select which one to
use. The default is "vino".
InPerson*keyFrameInterval (Video key frame interval)
This resource controls how often a complete video frame is sent.
Normally, HDCC compression just sends the portion of the video frame
that changed. Periodically, HDCC sends out the complete video
frame, regardless of whether or not it is changed, If a network
packet containing compressed video is lost, that portion of the
image will not be updated until it changes again, or until the next
key frame is sent. Default value is 15 seconds; a useful range is
10-600 seconds with 0 to disable it. Most common reason to decrease
this resource from the default value is to improve image quality on
a network with a high packet loss rate. Most common reason to
increase this resource from the default value is to decrease the
network bandwidth required for video.
InPerson*videoRate (Video frame rate)
Controls the maximum frame rate for capturing video when using LANs
or slower networks. The default is 15 frames per second.
InPerson*videoRateHSLAN (Video frame rate for high-speed LAN)
InPerson can send uncompressed video at 30 frames per second only if
your machine is attached to a high-speed LAN such as FDDI or ATM.
You must configure the networkMTU resource as described above and
select the "Hi-speed LAN and "Optimize Frame Rate" buttons in the
Call preferences Panel to enable this feature. The default value is
30 frames per second.
InPerson*audioInputSource (Audio source)
This resource sets the audio input source to the microphone ("mic"),
line-in ("line") or the current apanel(1) setting ("default"). If
not specified, the input source is set to the microphone. The call
saves the current apanel(1) value in your resource file when the
InPerson*audioLeftAtten (Audio input levels)
and InPerson*audioRightAtten. These resources set the initial audio
input level to the specified values. The range is 255 (soft) to 0
(loud). The call saves the current apanel(1) values in your
resource file when the call exits.
InPerson*audioAutoRateConversion (Audio sample rate conversion)
This resource enables or disables automatic sample rate conversion
when playing audio from the conference. For example, if you CDman
running, and this resource is True, the call will produce audio at
the same sampling rate used by CDman. If the resource is False, the
call will change the audio output sample rate to match the current
audio compression scheme.
InPerson*audioInputGain (Audio input gain)
This resource boosts the level of the audio from the microphone.
The most common reason to change this because other conference
participants have trouble hearing you even with your audio input
level set to its maximum value. It is a integer value; default is 2.
Valid range is 1 to 8.
InPerson*audioSuppressSilence (Audio silence suppression)
By default, InPerson detects when you're not talking to avoid
sending unnecessary audio packets, thus saving network bandwidth.
The silence detection algorithm may not work well in noisy
environments and depends on the audio input level set by apanel(1).
Set to false to disable.
InPerson*fontNumber (Whiteboard default font)
The whiteboard has four font choices, selectable via a menu. This
resource specifies the default choice. Range: 0 to 3, with 0 as the
InPerson*drawingLineWidth (Whiteboard default line width)
Specifies the default line width for the whiteboard. Range: 0 to 3,
with 2 as the default.
InPerson*showDrawer (Display who-drew-what on the whiteboard)
Enables whether or not the whiteboard displays the name of the
person who drew the object pointed to by the mouse. Values: "on"
(default) or "off".
InPerson*imageDirectory (Default location for images)
This resource specifies the initial directory shown by the file
browser when importing an image. Default is /usr/share/data/images.
InPerson*textFileDirectory (Default location for text files)
This resource specifies the initial directory shown by the file
browser when importing a text file. Default is your home directory.
InPerson*modelFileDirectory (Default location for 3D models)
This resource specifies the initial directory shown by the file
browser when importing a model. Default is /usr/share/data/models.
InPerson*networkMTU (Conference network packet size)
Lets you specify the underlying network packet size. If you have a
network that is composed entirely of FDDI rings, set this value to
the FDDI MTU of 4352 (see the output of /usr/etc/netstat -i for
appropriate MTU values). See the comments in the app-defaults file
for more details.
InPerson*multicastTTL (Conference network range)
This resource affects how how widely distributed the multicast
packets will be through the network. It is specified in hops;
maximum number of IP multicast routers between any two participants
in a conference. Default value is 10. Range is 1 (meaning local net
only) to 63.
InPerson*networkPortMin/Max (Conference network port range)
If you want to use InPerson through a network packet
filter/firewall, these two resources let you specify the range of
ports used for audio and video UDP packets and for whiteboard TCP
packets. InPerson RPC packets use the TCP port that is defined in
the file /etc/services for the service named "sgi_iphone". If that
service is not defined, InPerson RPC packets use TCP port 32769.
Make sure the port is not in the range used by networkPortMin and
Faces Database [Toc] [Back]
inperson displays static face images of users in several circumstances.
When an incoming call is ringing, the a face image is displayed
alternately with the phone icon to indicate who is calling. During a
call, a static face image is displayed for users without video hardware.
This static face image is in the same format and location(s) as used by
clogin(1). If inperson cannot find a face image for a specific user, it
uses the face image for "inperson", if it exists.
To add yourself to the faces database, run capture(1) on a workstation
equipped with video. Pose in front of the camera, and use the image
snapshot feature to create a quarter-sized static image. Then copy that
file to one of the faces locations as specified by clogin(1).
The audio input sampling rate is automatically set to the sampling rate
used by the audio compression scheme. The default scheme uses a 16kHz
rate. The behavior for the audio output sampling rate depends on the
audioAutoRateConversion resource described above.
inperson's on-line help requires the InPerson User's Guide and the Setup
& Administration Guide to be installed.
Please see the InPerson release notes for known bugs and workarounds.
If the original sender of a file on the shelf leaves the conference and
another participant sends that file on to a newly joined participant, the
newly joined participant will only be able to access the file if it is
available via NFS. The workaround is for the user wishing to send the
file, to drag the file to a local directory view then drop the new local
copy on the shelf.
PPPPaaaaggggeeee 8888 [ Back ]