Exploring auditing and training over the Internet

Skype’s built-in remote meter software (sort of)

cmeter auditor and pcThis is really neat. In the latest version of Skype, on the menu along the top, click Call > Share your screen. You can choose between “Share selection,” which is a resizable window, and “Share full screen.” You can drag this window over whatever you want to on your monitor, click “start sharing,” and whatever the window is showing will transmit via the usual Skype window to the other person.

I was trying this out with David St Lawrence on the other end. I had a C-meter window open on my monitor hooked up to my fingers with the usual fingertip electrodes, dropped the Skype Share window over it, pressed the go button, and he could then see the meter dial with wonderful clarity. My old computer only managed 3-7 frames per second in and out. I have a new computer, same broadband connection, and it manages to get 20-25 fps in and out of Skype now. This is easily good enough to audit with.

You can check the Skype frame rate from inside Skype: Tools > Options > Advanced > Display technical info during calls. You have to be doing a video call to check the frame rate, of course.

Since the Skype video window is being used to transmit the meter image, the webcam (using regular webcam software, not Skype) can transmit the pc’s face as needed. He merely needs to enlarge and adjust the Skype Share window to cover both the meter and the webcam image of his face.

We also did it the other way around, David with a Virtual Clarity meter, and again the needle/meter display is good enough to audit with.

Using the goview software mentioned a few posts back I recorded both meters together. The sound is OK, but the meter recording is not really good enough for use. You can take a look at it if you want — allow a few moments for the video to appear in the blank screen in the middle.

This is exciting for two reasons:

1. It gives a very easy way for a pc with a computer meter that puts a dial onto the monitor to transmit that image to the auditor, without trying to get virtual meter software to work.

2. Getting a new computer debugged my Skype frame rate problem. I thought I needed to get a better broadband connection than the regular DSL line that I have.



June 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments