Phone bridges at DESY

Most of the DESY meeting rooms now have wonderful speaker phones with fixed phone numbers which allow remote participants to merely dial in to join the conference. No PIN numbers, no prior setup necessary, and you can dial in whenever you want: extremely convenient! For the meeting-moderators at DESY, the instructions for how to start the phone conference are provided on plasticized cards attached to the speaker phones in each room.

Room Phone number
1b/3 +49 40 8998 1306
1b/3a +49 40 8998 1307
1b/4a or 1b/4ab +49 40 8998 1308
1b/4b +49 40 8998 1309
1b/5 +49 40 8998 1310
7/7a +49 40 8998 1313
Main Auditorium +49 40 89700 781
HERMES phone
(not room-specific)
+49 40 8998 1317
1/1, 2/2, 36/11, 7/7b, ...
no phone in room, we will
use the HERMES phone
whenever possible
+49 40 8998 1317

Dial-in vs EVO

We will broadcast all of our principal meetings both with the phone bridge and over EVO. The phone bridge provides good audio. The EVO option provides both audio and video: we will normally have a web-camera set up to transmit images of the screen so that you can see which slide is currently up and thus follow the talks more easily. It also offers text-messaging with the meeting moderator and other EVO participants. Here are some notes about your choice of audio stream. Your choice is especially important if you wish to speak at the meeting rather than simply listen.

Finally, no matter which audio-stream you select, please do everything you can to avoid background noise from your side. It has proven to be quite disruptive (e.g. people speaking in the background at your end, or even breathing too heavily into the phone ;-)). The best solution is to simply keep your audio input muted until you wish to speak. To do this over landline you'll need a telephone with a mute button; from within EVO, just use the mute-microphone button in the Koala control window.

Posting and accessing slides

Speakers should post their slides to the web before their talks.


How to use the EVO web-conferencing system

EVO is a web-conference system developed at CERN which offers audio and video feeds as well as desktop-sharing for any number of participants. Access to EVO is at this web link:
EVO Main Page (You should bookmark it!)
Or, if only interested in audio, via normal telephone line (see below). To use EVOvia the web, there are only two steps:
  1. You have to register with some unique username which you will use hereafter to connect to the system.
  2. You connect via this same web site for each scheduled meeting. (Or you can schedule meetings yourself! :-))
To accomplish this, simply go to the EVO web page, click on their Documentation button, and follow the straightforward steps. The documentation is pretty good, and brief, but there are a few missing points. These are described below; they follow the structure of the EVO documentation, so it's probably easiest to have both side-by-side as you go through.

(1) Registration

After completing the registration steps, you must also wait for an validation email to be sent to you by the system. It only takes a few minutes. When you receive it, go to the URL that was sent to you, and then you will be authorized to use your account.

(2) Participating in an EVO Meeting

If only interested in audio, you can also just dial into the meeting via regular phone. Several notes are missing from this part of the EVO documentation.

  1. Starting the Koala application
    When you click the 'Start' button to enter the EVO system, it will start up a java program called Koala. Specifically, a file called koala.jnlp (or something similar) will be downloaded to your machine and java will be called to activate it. If your browser gives you a choice for what to do with this file, select the java option (e.g. "run with javaws" on Linux systems ... simply saving the file to disk will not work). Next, for Koala to run, you must have a sufficiently up-to-date version of java on your system. Note: we are not keeping the version numbers above up-to-date, they are from 2007. Suffice it to say that you need a current version of java.

  2. Installation of conferencing software
    The first time you run Koala, you may also be prompted to install video conferencing tools like RAT or H.323. If given a selection, choose "EVO Tools" and install those (ViEVO, JRAT, WB).

  3. Joining the HERMES Community
    Once Koala has started, join the HERMES Community. The EVO documentation says that an entry "Other EVO Communities" will appear in Koala's bottom-left frame, but Koala has been updated ... now you must click on a button in the bottom-left corner: the one showing a silhouette of many people. There you will see the group "High Energy Physics": click on the box with the + sign to expand it, and therein you will find HERMES. Click on HERMES, then click the right arrow at the top-middle of the selection window to add HERMES to your "Subscribed Communities". If requested, give in the HERMES subscription key, which is "monkshood2013". Finally click the OK button. A HERMES tab will now appear at the top of the bottom-right frame in Koala, and clicking on it will put you in the HERMES chat room. (You can type messages to anyone else in the room. :-))

  4. Configuring your Videoconference Client
    At the top of the Koala window is a menu called Configuration, and under that is an entry called "Videoconference Client". In general, your best bet is to select EVO Tools (in the left-hand frame) rather than EVO H.323. If you have problems when you join a meeting (or if EVO Tools is not available), you can try the other options, but first read the section about Alternate EVO Tools below.

  5. Joining a meeting
    To join any HERMES meeting, click the HERMES tab at the top-left of the upper frame in Koala. There, you'll see a list of reserved or active meetings within the HERMES community. Click on the meeting title to join. Two things will then happen:

  6. The Vievo meeting window
    The video part of the meeting revolves around the "Vievo" window, which looks like this:

    The EVO documentation fails to describe how to use this window, so let's take care of that problem right now:

  7. Sharing your Desktop
    By sharing your desktop in the manner described above, you can present your talk from a remote machine entirely over EVO: everyone connected will see what's displayed on your desktop. However, screen resolution is an issue as EVO is only able to transmit a limited screen size: please adjust your display to 1024x768 (XGA) size before you share your desktop, otherwise only the top-left portion of your screen will be transmitted. This might be enough to display a plot in a window, but will not be sufficient if you wish to deliver a presentation in full-screen mode.

(3) Alternate EVO Tools and other Audio/Video issues

Only once you have joined an EVO meeting can you test your audio and/or video feeds. Here is a list of suggestions for what to do if you encounter problems.

(4) Joining an EVO Meeting via Phone

EVO meetings can also be joined (audio only) via regular phone. For that dedicated phone numbers are available which are provided at time of booking of an EVO meeting. As the dial-in numbers rarely change they are also listed here (valid as of Dec. 2008):

Country Evo phone number
Germany (DESY, Hamburg) +49 40 8998 1340
Slovakia (UPJS, Kosice) +421 55 234 2420
Switzerland (CERN, Geneva) +41 22 76 71400
USA (BNL, Upton, NY) +1 631 344 6100
USA (Caltech, Pasadena, CA) +1 626 395 2112

You need to provide a meeting ID, as well as a PIN. These are provided in the booking confirmation for each meeting and usually posted on our meeting schedule.

(5) Setting up an EVO meeting in 1/1 (or other not supported seminar rooms) at DESY

Unfortunately, EVO is not officially supported by DESY IT in all of the DESY seminar rooms. In particular, seminar room 1/1 is a larger one often available and used for meetings but one without the necessary equipment. Nevertheless, one can still use EVO for a A/V conference, e.g., by using following setup:
Suggestions or tips? All are appreciated! Please send them along to makins@uiuc.edu.