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How It Works

One of the most interesting aspects of the Groove platform is that it is based upon a peer-to-peer architecture using technology based on extensible markup language (XML). The platform acts as a client-side or “personal” portal. End users download and install the Groove client on their desktops and are able to create their own “shared spaces” and invite others to join. They can select from a variety of tool sets, such as a calendar, contact manager, discussion, files, notepad, or Web browser, to place into the shared space. A conversation tool allows end users to engage in live voice chat, which runs over their standard IP network connection. Joint activity tools allow cobrowsing of PowerPoint presentations and coediting of Microsoft Word documents. The Groove software also tracks who is online and who is active within a shared space.

Figure 13-1 shows the Groove Project Toolset Space and the voice chat controls in the lower-left corner. Once your colleagues are online and active in your space, you can chat with them on the Internet by simply clicking on the Hold-To-Talk button. This button works like a walkie-talkie. You hold it down to speak, and then release it to hear your colleagues respond. If you want to talk for an extended period of time, you can click the Lock option next to the Hold-To-Talk button. The options for live talking include a default one-to-all setting where the user who presses the Hold-To-Talk button first can speak to everyone, and a conference mode that allows all users to talk simultaneously. You can adjust speaker volume via the control below the Hold-To-Talk button. An audio tuning wizard helps you to adjust your speaker and microphone volume to their optimum settings for your equipment.


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