Meeting Minutes
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  • Meeting with client
  • Jan 18th, 2001
  • 8am-9:15am
  • Lab on 1st floor in Dey Hall
  • All members but Sam (out of country) present
  • "Simple GUI for a simple computer user" is the essence


  • Currently Happening/Current Status of this project:
    • Education is a supply/demand model too. There is the new CCI delivering hardware, but now we need some software to make the technology useful. 
    • Editors don't necessarily speak the language that they are editing with, so the Professor needs to provide the translation typed already.
    • http://www.unc.edu/FLRC use Onyen login
    • Secure/password protected content helps with copyright infringement issues. University lawyer capable of support copyright suits. 
    • Some of the pages are old style, but in revision currently. There are some formatting problems fitting the current web pages to standard resolution monitors, and this needs to be fixed.
    • CIT is currently working on a manner to automatically scroll the text document so that it follows the music automatically.
    • Some of the lessons are multiple pages, including instructors' notes and potentially quizzes. Becoming more complex.
    • Recently, upgraded Real Media server and aliases, which led to problems, but works now. (Use this as foresight: Allow easy changes in parameters such as default location to save items on server so that if the server changes, the application can be modified and still work.)

  • Production Process Outline:
    • Audio/Audio-Visual files need to be produced.      
      • 1/3 or 1/2 instructors use lab for a/v creation; others need a system to work by on their personal computers. 
      • suggested model: [CD] to [.wav]  done by professor;  [.wav] to [.rm] real media (Real Producer) done by editor
      • need different quality [.rm] files for students using different connections (broadband vs. modem dialup)
    • Language translation/transcription and English transcription needs to be typed into a template ( [.doc] Microsoft Word template suggested)
      • Uniform naming system to make files easy identifiable for editors that convert to web files
    • See Also "Technical Notes (for preparing a single-page oral text web page lesson)" (copied and given to each group member)

  • Requirements desired and Issues Addressed
    • Standards for volume levels: some songs too loud, others too quiet. May be caused by external audio sources plugged into the sound card directly, or user selection of volume.
    • Issue to remember: file quality vs. file size issues
    • [.mp3] provides good size, but not very streamable yet. Takes too long for students to download music over slow connection. [.mp3]s  are less portable, and give less quality of [.wav]
    • digital audio extraction is readily available, but the appropriate application must be selected (example given: Nero to rip CDs)
    • must create an archive of all original works (ie. [.wav] files or other high quality) for future usage
    • Professor doesn't have time to learn how to use 5 applications, or read 15 pages of instructions; They are very busy running at 110-200% capacity. Need a neat little package that does the hard stuff, just makes an easy step by step process. Currently hundreds of emails daily from Professors to editors and webmasters to communicate how to use 3rd party software in order to make the process happen. Big Buttons are good.
    • There should be two interfaces, one for the ordinary user, one for the advanced/administrative user that can change the default values.
    • Don't ask the professor for file names, help them follow naming requirements by suggesting names.
    • If a user needs help, have built in way to email tech support.

  • Future:
    • HTML will go to XML, which will construct web pages on the fly from databases
    • Oracle Database or similar software will be the future

  • Suggestions from client
    • This is not a "do or die" project. Just do what we can.
    • Don't be too far ahead of the masses. Technology will not be successful if it is too far ahead of the understanding of the public.
    • Business Engineer/Consultant experience
    • Seek help/suggestions from University resources, such as Ibiblio and CIT that may have solutions ready for programming problems/needs. Often free and unused resources can prove helpful at little cost.
    • Visual Basic would be a good language to use.
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