By stefanhinz on Oct 20, 2008
Note that this session will start at 9:00 Pacific Time (18:00 CET, 17:00 BST).
For this session, we'll use a new presentation system that we hope will make things much easier for both presenters and attendees: Dimdim (www.dimdim.com). If it works out as expected, Dimdim will replace our current presentation system which required attendees to open a browser, connect to an IRC channel on Freenode, and open some fancy URL with a voice streaming application. With Dimdim, all that needs to be done is point your browser to a URL, and that's it. Here is the URL for this Thursday's meeting. The Attendee Pass Code is 783326.
That's all you need to know. You may register a Dimdim account, but that's required only for setting up meetings. Even presenters don't have to register. Dimdim provides an international dial-in number if you don't have web access (712-432-6139), but just listening in probably doesn't make sense for MySQL University sessions.
Dimdim requires a web browser with a current Flash plugin. We'll probably get some flak for requiring Flash, but after all that plugin is ubiquitous (installed on at least 98% of all browsers) and works fairly well on most operating system. So far, we've tested with Mac OS X and Linux, and Dimdim worked remarkably well regarding sound quality and desktop sharing. It also has an integrated chat function.
So far, we've run tests with up to 5 people per Dimdim session. This Thursday we're curious to see how this works out in "real life". Some things we've noticed while testing:
- Presenters should have a good headset and microphone.
- When speaking, you shouldn't be on a Wifi connection with a dozen other access points in the neighborhood deteriorating the effective throughput. I was, and the result was that my voice sounded like a robot (others said I sounded like a dwarf rolling downhill in a metal barrel). Sound reception was still marvelous for me, though.
trust the CPU usage reported by top. On all our laptop computers (Linux
and Mac OS X) top reported weird values. For me, CPU usage was up to
189% (what's > 100% CPU usage supposed to be, anyway?). Still,
switching between applications was smooth, and the laptop fans didn't
speed up or anything. One of the testers (on 64-bit Linux) reported
that Dimdim was "grilling" his CPU, though.
- If you're a presenter and want to share your desktop, you'll have to be on Windows or Mac OS X, because for desktop sharing Dimdim requires a browser plugin that's not available on other platforms. I've attended a Dimdim tutorial session and asked about a plugin for Linux. The presenter (from the Dimdim staff) said it's on their agenda.