Getting your computer ready for NetMeeting tutorials
1. Obtaining, installing, setting up, and logging onto classrooms with NetMeeting
(Since Schola operates on Escondido Tutorial Service's reflector server, and because a number of students take tutorials from both ETS and Schola, we (and also Oxford Classical Tutorials) follow ETS's technical protocols for the sake of consistency.)
2. Start NetMeeting if it's not already started. Go to the main NetMeeting window, go to tools | options | audio and run the audio tuning wizard. Make sure the "enable full-duplex" box is UNchecked. Go to the general tab and click on the Bandwidth settings button and set to 28,800 or faster.
3. To connect to the classroom, go to start | Programs | NetMeeting (or double-click your desktop icon) to start NetMeeting. In the drop-down box at the top of the NetMeeting window, type in the IP address of the conference server (this will be sent to you by email) and click on the phone button. A box will pop up showing the "classrooms" you can join--select the "3 Callihan" room and click "OK". Now click on View at the top of the main NetMeeting window and make sure compact and Data only are unchecked. Then make sure that your mic is OFF by clicking the speaker/mic button in the middle of the main NetMeeting window until a picture of a face appears instead of the speaker/mic image and then UNchecking the mic box beneath it. The chat window will already be open unless you're the very first person in the room--if that's the case, just click the chat button (second from left at bottom of main NetMeeting window, with the chat balloon picture) to open the chat box.
If you are using DSL or Cable and/or a router, it is desirable that the computer which you are using for class has its own IP address. Having a Proxy IP address on your computer or having a firewall on the router or broadband modem may cause Netmeeting audio to be unreliable. However, for non-techies it is a fairly complicated process to set an independent IP address. It requires working through a series of re-configuration steps with a technician (your DSL provider) and it may not be necessary. Many students have found that their systems work reasonably well with a Proxy IP address. A common trick which allows students to use Netmeeting through a Proxy IP address is to lightly tap on their microphones whenever they lose audio. Therefore, you may want to wait and see how your system works in the test sessions before taking the step of establishing your own IP address.
If you have trouble with DSL (whether wired or wireless), our server administrator (Mr. Hinrichs) recommends a specific set of port configurations for the maximum performance of your computer with Netmeeting. The only wireless router which our system currently supports is the Linksys Wireless G router (available for about $60). The main configurations for the router (whether wireless or wired) are contained in the following link: Linksys Router Port Settings
This set-up is for a single computer on the network running Netmeeting. If you need to have multiple computers running Netmeeting, Mr. Hinrichs recommends that you obtain a separate external IP address for each computer. If you seek technical assistance Mr. Hinrichs is offering tech support service for $ 45 per incident. His phone number is (760) 746-0980. Contact Mr. Callihan first by email (email@example.com) if you wish to do this.
How do you know if you have a real external Internet IP? Go to Start|Programs|Accessories|Command prompt and type ipconfig followed by ENTER. If the IP address that you have begins with 192. or 172. you have a proxy address. This address will not be the same as the external IP address that your computer actually has when connected to the Internet. To see this IP address, go to http://www.ipchicken.com. If your computer's IP address is not the same as your external address, Netmeeting may at times be confused and break your connection. Usually you can quickly reconnect and return to the classroom. However, if this becomes a chronic problem you may want to call your ISP and ask them to tell you how to reconfigure your system so that the external Internet IP address sits on the computer itself.
1) Keep your windows machine updated at http://update.microsoft.com.
2) Make sure you have some personal firewall and antivirus software running. For firewalls I recommend the excellent and free Zonealarm. For antivirus software, there is the standard Norton, but I recommend the free AVG.
4) If you want to really work over the security of your windows machine, use this page. The recommendations are excellent and all of the programs recommended are free.
1. Chat: There is a box near the bottom of the chat window that says "message". Click in this box and type what you want to say, then hit Enter and it will show up above in the chat window where everyone can see it.
Check the box (by clicking in it) to turn your microphone on and talk, UNcheck it to turn your mic off. Always check to see that the mic box is UNchecked when you come into class, and never turn your mic on without permission from the tutor. Below this there is a speaker icon with a box next to it. This box should always be checked so you can hear. By both mic and speaker icons there are sliders that control volume. To increase the volume of what you send over your microphone or hear from your speakers, move the sliders to the right. To decrease volume, move them to the left.
4. Other Important Notes:
1) WHITEBOARD OFF: Schola classes *never* use the whiteboard. Please be sure never to open it, and to always close it immediately if it opens.
2) MICROPHONE OFF: If you have a microphone, make sure that it is OFF by un-checking the box next to the microphone icon. See "Using NetMeeting, #2: audio.". Also, click on the small speaker icon on your start menu- usually at the bottom right of your screen. Make sure that Mic is muted. This well prevent feedback to your speakers.
2. Click "Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices" (In the classic view, it is called Sounds and Audio Devices
3. Pick the Sounds tab.
4. Look in the box labeled "Program Events" and scroll to find NetMeeting.
5. Click on each of the four items there and then click the drop down box, scroll to the top of the list in that box, and click [none].
6. Then click Apply and OK.
3. Troubleshooting NetMeeting if you don't hear audio (Note: After checking that you've done the above steps correctly, go through the below items carefully in order. For numbers 5-9 below, you may have to disconnect from the classroom before you make the changes.)
2. SPEAKER ON: Make sure that your NetMeeting speaker is ON by checking the little box next to the speaker icon on the Netmeeting screen - i.e., there should be a check in the box. See "Using NetMeeting, #2: audio."
3. EXTERNAL SPEAKERS ON. If you have external speakers or a headset, make sure the speakers or headphones are turned on and the volume is turned up.
4. DISCONNECT AND RECONNECT: if you don't have a mic, or if tapping didn't do the trick, simply disconnect from the classroom and reconnect again. This may bring your audio back.
5. SILENCE DETECTION: Here is a trick that can free up frozen audio. Disconnect from the classroom. In NetMeeting, go to Tools | Options | Audio, then adjust the "silence detection" with the "manual" option ("Let me do it myself") - move the slider over to the far right.
6. TUNING WIZARD: Disconnect from the classroom. Run the Tuning Wizard in the main Netmeeting screen (Go to tools|options|audio). THEN make sure the full-duplexing is unchecked (tools|options|audio)
7. FULL-DUPLEX: Disconnect from the classroom. Make sure the full-duplexing is unchecked (tools|options|audio) Do this AFTER running the Tuning Wizard, since it will automatically turn it on.
8. BANDWIDTH SETTINGS: Disconnect from the classroom. 28,800 or faster for 56K dial-up moderms. There is a special setting to use for Cable/DSL/ISDN: go to Tools | Options | General | Bandwidth.
9. DISABLE "Compact" & "Data Only": Disconnect from the classroom. Go to the main NetMeeting window (not the chat box) and then select "View" and make sure "Compact" and "Data Only" are unchecked.
10. WHITEBOARD: Turn off the Whiteboard (click the "X" in the upper right corner of the Whiteboard window if it appears) whenever possible. Sometimes a second whiteboard will appear that cannot be closed right away. Do not try to close this WB, but only minimize it. After it finishes an initialization routine, then you can shut it.
11. CAMERA OFF: If you have a camera, turn it off. Go to tools/options/video and disable (un-check) the "Automatically send video." (The camera is a bandwidth "hog," and can really interfere with audio - we never use it.)
12. 'PING' & 'DING' NOISE: To stop the irritating dings do the following. 1. Start|Control Panel (or Start|Settings|Control Panel, could be different) 2. Click "Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices" (In the classic view, it is called Sounds and Audio Devices 3. In XP, under "Pick a Task", click "Change the Sound Scheme (again, in classic view, merely click the tab marked "sounds") 4. Scroll down in the list of sounds to NetMeeting 5. Anywhere you see a sound under NetMeeting (on my computer there are four), click the drag down box, scroll to the top of the list, and click [none].
13. DSL & CABLE: If you are on a network that uses proxy IP addresses instead of real internet IP addresses you may have to call your Broadband provider and ask how to configure your computer to use Netmeeting. But first see "Note to users of DSL and Cable modems" above.
14. HOME NETWORKS: These regularly cause problems, but there are solutions. One that is a pain in the neck but that works is just to temporarily disconnect the rest of the home network and have only your NetMeeting computer on your DSL or cable box. For more indepth solutions to home network problems, I will refer you to Mr. Fritz Hinrichs, who owns and operates our NetMeeting servers, at firstname.lastname@example.org
15. MISSING BUTTONS?: If the buttons don't show up in Netmeeting, that means it is not recognizing the sound card. Check to verify the proper sound card.
16. FIREWALLS can cause problems. If you're having audio trouble, try disabling the firewall if you can till class is over. You may have to disconnect from the internet, then reconnect after disabling the firewall. There is a built-in firewall in XP you can turn on and off--see Microsoft's firewall page.
17. TEST YOUR SOUND CARD: If you still find that you are not able to get your audio to work with NetMeeting, you might have a problem in your mic or sound card. The best way to trouble shoot your audio problems is to see if you can record and play back sound using the sound recorder. You can find the recorder at Start | Programs | Accessories | Multimedia (or Entertainment) | Sound Recorder. If you can not record and playback sound with the sound recorder, your problems are not with NetMeeting but your mic or soundcard. Your mic should be in the "Mic in" hole on your sound card.
18. DISCONNECTED and CAN'T GET BACK IN? If you get disconnected from the classroom, often you won't be able to reconnect unless you shut down NetMeeting and restart it--you'll just keep getting messages saying the server won't answer. Sometimes you might need to disconnect from the internet, reconnect, then restart NetMeeting. Occasionally you'll need to completely reboot your computer--try it if the first two things don't work.
20. If after working carefully through the above (which speaks to the most common problems) you still do not have audio, you might read these suggestions and notes from various people who deal with these things:
a. A note from Mr. Hinrichs (the owner/operator of our NetMeeting servers and tutor at Escondido Tutorial Services) about highspeed connections, proxy IP addresses, and firewalls
b. Another from Dr. Lund, tutor at Oxford Classical Tutorials about the same thing
c. This letter is from a family describing their solution to a particular audio problem. It may or may not help you, but reading it might give you some ideas.
d. More questions and answers about proxy IPs, networking, ports, and firewalls.
e. Some people who could not get NetMeeting audio to work found they could run CU-SeeMe simultaneously with NetMeeting, using NM for chat and CU for sound. It's awkward but a possible solution. If you want to try this, download CU-SeeMe here and email me for a free registration code.
You will almost always have your browser open as well as your CU-SeeMe window. In order to see both easily, first close any unnecessary programs and windows (leave the main NetMeeting window open). Leave the chat window and browser open. Then right click in a blank space on the task bar at the bottom of your screen, then left click "tile windows vertically". This will evenly distribute the browser and chat windows on your desktop. Alternatively, you can hover your cursor over the border of any window and drag it to the size you want. Click on the title bar at the top of any window to drag the whole window to a different location.
Please make sure that you send me your correct email address. To make sure that your address is correct, simply send a message to yourself and see if it gets to its proper destination. If not, call your ISP to clarify your exact address. Also, to make sure that you have your "Reply to" address correct, try replying to one of your own messages and see if it comes to you.
7. Saving the class chatlog from NetMeetingThis is a very basic and necessary tool of computer use. You can copy text from any open application on your computer screen and paste it anywhere else.
NetMeeting has a way of saving the chat - at the top of the chat window, under File, the Save As option will let you save the chat to your computer. DO NOT USE THIS. It will only save the most recent portion of the chat, and since Schola chat logs are so large it will not save the first portion of class.
How to Establish NetMeeting Connections Through a Firewall