This page has some practical instructions for first-time OpenQwaq users at teleXLR8.
These instructions cover (only) the very basic things that you need to know to participate in a teleXLR8 talk, and address some actual problems that other teleXLR8 users have had in the past.
To run OpenQwaq you need an average (or better) PC (or Mac) with an average (or better) graphics card, and an average (or better) Internet connection. If your system is less than 3 years old, you can probably run OpenQwaq without any problem. If you only wish to listen to others, these are the only requirements. If you also wish to speak, you need a properly set microphone, and if you have a webcam you can also let others see you in realtime.
New users invited to OpenQwaq receive an email (similar to this), sent automatically by the system, with instructions and links to create an account and download / install the OpenQwaq client. If you know that you have been invited but don’t find the invitation email, perhaps it is in your spam folder.
Download client (Windows and Mac): http://qwaq.3dicc.com/client
Note: OpenQwaq is not a website, but an application (OpenQwaq client) that installs on your computer. The software is available for Windows and MacOSX systems. You cannot access OpenQwaq with a browser, but you need to install and launch the OpenQwaq client. The first two screens after launching the OpenQwaq client are shown in the image below (click to enlarge).
After launching the OpenQwaq client (imagine above, left), use Host = qwaq.3dicc.com (default), Organization = teleXLR8, and your userid (your email) and password. If you lost your password you can get another one by entering your email in the username and pressing the “Forgot Password” button. This will change your password and send you another one. Once you sign into OpenQWaq you can change your password by selecting: menu – Extras – Change Password. Once in the “Lobby” (image above, right), choose teleXLR8 Main Conference Hall and press “Enter Forum”.
When you enter you will see that OpenQwaq is a 3D virtual environment, where you are represented by a character that you can move around. You can choose first person or third person point of view with menu – View. We recommend that newcomers switch to third person point of view (choose “Normal” in menu – View), because navigation is easier and more intuitive in third person.
Use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the wasd keys to move your character. The horizontal arrows or the ad keys rotate your character, and the vertical arrows or the ws keys move it forth and back. Click on a chair to sit on it. When you are sitting, the horizontal arrows (or the ad keys) rotate your point of view and the vertical arrows (or the ws keys) zoom. To stand up, click the stand up icon in the bottom bar or click the chair again. If you sit in the auditorium, your point of view will zoom automatically on the main presentation screen, but you can adjust it with manual zoom (arrows and/or wasd keys).
An OpenQwaq meeting place is full of display panels and screens, used to display static or interactive documents (images, video feeds, web sites, text documents, Word or Excel documents, Power Point, slide shows etc.). To zoom on the content of a screen, click the top bar of the screen. Move back to zoom out.
Of course you can communicate with others via private or public text chat (menu – Tools – Text Chat), but one of the best features of OpenQwaq is the ability to communicate with others via realtime voice and video.
The realtime webcam videos feeds of all users who have switched their webcam on are shown in a resizable bottom bar. Dragging a realtime video feed on a screen makes it immediately visible to everyone. To switch your own webcam on, click the webcam icon in the bottom bar (right-click the webcam icon to change the quality settings). Please remember to switch your webcam off again when you don’t need it anymore, to save bandwidth for everyone.
In most cases, audio works well immediately with the default settings. If you have audio problems, adjust the speakers and microphone settings in menu – Tools – Sound. If your system supports different microphones, in the Sound tool you can also choose which microphone to use. Note: sound problems are the most annoying problems for first-time users. If sound does not work well immediately with the default settings, adjusting it to optimal quality for both speaking and listening may take some minutes of trials. Depending on your system configuration, you may need to close other applications which access the microphone.
The Windows OpenQwaq client has built-in echo cancellation, but the MacOSX client does not have it yet. This means that if you don’t use headphones and have your microphone switched on, others will hear an echo. We recommend that you use headphones, and switch your microphone off when others are talking (remember to switch it on when you want to say something).
The basic functions of OpenQwaq are also visually explained in the video below.
This video without audio shows the basic functions of OpenQwaq @ teleXLR8: starting and logging in, choosing a forum, movement and camera control, changing the avatar’s look, activating the microphone and the webcam. After watching this video all users should be able to participate in a teleXLR8 talk. This video does not cover the more advanced functions of OpenQwaq.
Watch the video on blip.tv:
You can also take a look at the other videos at http://telexlr8.blip.tv for examples of actual OpenQwaq talks and meetings.