May 2003 Archives

Desktop Activity Monitor


Couple of weeks ago I was sent a copy of Screenweaver by the guys at Rubberduck (thank you so much!), read some docs, saw a couple of samples, and today after work, I was able to put together this little gadget that you can see now on the left side of the top page of my blog.

On Chapter 6 of Collaborative Virtual Environments, under the title of "All that is solid melts into software" , Andrew McGrath and Wolfgang Prinz, point out the importance of mutual awareness of the activities individuals are engaged into when sharing the same physical environment.

Say for example I'm at the office, and doing some research on Informational Diagrams, I decide to see what we have in the bookshelf here so I move towards that area. If there's someone already standing infront of the Data Visualization section, I will inevitably ask them for a recommendation. Later I need to do some scans so I move to the scanning station. Say someone comes over, since scanning is probably just a click and wait thing, we will probably get engaged in a random conversation. But as soon as I go sit back at my desk and everyone noticing that I'm working, chances of someone showing up talking about the weather are really low. Most probably my neighbour will tap me in the shoulder with sporadically questions about work, and I will probably forward the question to the guy on the other side who will stand up, and come over to have a quick meeting infront of my neighbour's monitor where we will share ideas, point to the images in the screen, etc. until we reach consensus.

Well in this chapter, they talk about an application, "Forum", which basically logs you into an online multi user environment which will keep track of your activities and through analysis of what is currently your focus of attention, will move your Avatar towards the areas of interest. For example If I open a text file and write a bunch of lines of ActionScript over there, the system will automatically move my avatar towards the ActionScript area, where I will join all the other users working on ActionScript at that time. Later I move onto a XML document, and my Avatar will automatically be moved into the XML area. I suddenly need some advice on that, so I can try text Chatting with one of the persons over there, maybe upgrading into a video chat later if it is needed.

So I decided to give it a shot, and that's what you can see now here. Well yeah, this little app is only one-way at the moment (only YOU can see what I'm up to) and there's not a lot of visualization, except the lill stats, but if people out there are interested, maybe I could extend this so that I can support several users and pump it up a little bit more to a real app.

The way it works is very simple: basically I have a desktop app which registers what am I currently working on, and before posting that to FlashComm, it filters the results through a white list of applications I gave clearance to. Well, yeah, sometimes I maybe working on some super-secret documents which I may not want everyone know about right?

Maybe the guys working at the Together project maybe interested in such a tool?

Well yeah, worry now about big brother...

wow, got heavilly linked during the weekend!


Better behave myself, feels weird beeing watched like that;P
Thanks everyone for the hookup!

Dialtones : a telesymphony

| No Comments

Dialtones was a concert performed entirelly though the audience's cell phones ringing tones held back in 2001. On entering the theatre, each atendant would give their phone number, which was inputed in a database. In exchange, participants where given a prearanged seat number and a particular ring-tone was automatically donwloaded to their handsets. Because the audience?fs positions and sounds where known to the Dialtones computer system, the performers could create spatially-distributed melodies and chords.

Although maybe a little chaotic, It'll be really nice if somehow the participants got to really interact with the performers through their cells.
I really want to see what this people are up to these days.