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Sample Collaborating Session on Collage

Logging In

I log on to the matisse machine at matisse.vis.colostate.edu. This is where my executables collage and ="CO_server are located. (This is very important! See Installing Collage for more details.) I type in collage and get a small welcome window that leaves after a few seconds as well as a main window (which stays throughout the session).

Making a Connection

In the main window, I will click on Collaborate/Begin Session since I know that a good friend and trusted ally of mine, Mary, is going to share this particular collage session with me. When the Begin Session window prompts me for a Server Port Number, I just pick an arbitrary number between 2048 and 65535, namely 4567. I have to let Mary know, either by talk, e-mail, or the telephone the port number and the server I am using. Once she knows, it is easy for her to begin her own collage session. To join me in my adventures, though, she must open the Join Session window, and enter in the appropriate Host and Port Number, in this case that would be matisse and 4567. If we have the Show Participants option (under Collaborate in the main window) working, then you should see:

Opening a File

I will work on a sample set, called test1.hdf. To open this, I'll click on the File button in the main window, and choose the Open option. This opens the file browser, Figure 10.

This will not automatically bring up the image. I must first go through the HDF Browser to choose the style. Be warned: the Help option on this window in this version of Collage is empty. Once I have chosen a style, I click on Transport/ Send Selection to open the window. Finally, I can see my testing window (Figure 12). But can Mary?

Publicizing

To let Mary in on all the fun I will be having with the nonsense image, all I need to do is click on the File/Publish button in the upper left hand corner. Her main window then will show some sort of atomic explosion in the square to the left, and then the window will open for her. Now that we both have the window, I think it is time to tell her about it. I could of course, just write in the window with the option, but the backspace doesn't work. That alone convinces me there has to be a better way. Instead, I will open a Chat Box using the Tools button on the main window. Once I have entered in my message in the Input box at the bottom, Mary will have a Chat Box appear on her terminal with my message and identification in it. So either of us can initiate the chatting, or close our own boxes, but if we have something to say, then everyone else that is on the collaboration session will see what we have to say. So know your collaborators, or be nice. Or both.

Other Tools

Once the window is made public, everything I do is seen by Mary, if she happens to be paying attention. There are many different manipulation tools available to use with the file. First, there is the Make Spreadsheet option under File. This will, as it claims to, make a spreadsheet (Figure 13) of my data set, test1.hdf.

There are many different ways to emphasize what points you think are right or wrong or strange. I have a few of them in Figure 13, namely the arrow and the circle and square. Once again there is a text button that will enable you to write on the page. If you make a mistake, then there is an erase icon, for either a small space or a large area. If the whole thing is a mistake, then you can use the Clear Overlay option available under Edit. This will leave the original image and delete any marks you might have made. The small space that has been highlighted in black indicated the region you wish to see graphed as a histogram. To highlight, use the button on the left and hold the mouse button down while you drag diagonally over the area.

If you have any further questions about Collage, then you can open a URL to:
http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/SDG/Software/XCollage/collage.html

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