The Access Grid (AG) is a nation-wide internet-connected infrastructure which
enables people to participate in multi-site immsersive collaborations.
The AG consists standardized equipment and software at each AG site
(or node) and provides multiple modes of communication between nodes.
For example, multiple video streams, audio, shared applications, and
presentation material all may be simultaneusly viewed or manipulated.
The AG project was started by the
Alliance. Visit the
Access Grid Project
site for more details.
I was responsible for specing, purchasing, and assembling all of the
equipment and software required to build SDSC's AG node. I built
the cables and mounted and wired all of the components in the rack.
I installed and configured the operating systems (Linux, Windows NT, and
Windows 2000), as well as the application software, and AG software.
Finally, I ran the first dozen or so test sessions and real meetings in
in order to bring the system on-line into full production state.
I also greatfully acknowledge the help I recieved from the following
Bernard Pailthorpe (SDSC) - provided political and financial backing.
Bob Olson (ANL) - overall AG installation and configuration advice.
Mark Devenport (SDSC) - initial installation of Windows2000 on the control CPU.
Jon Meyer (SDSC) - built the external audio cables, configured the Genter G400.
Harry Ammons (SDSC) - purchased camera tripods and video cables.
Everyone Else (*@*) - the other AG sites and MUD characters for testing help.
The Access Grid node shown above was built, as much as possible, to the
ANL specifications. Some hardware and software variations were made such as:
- A small rolling rack holds all primary hardware components (ie: everything but the peripheral devices - cameras, projectors, mics, speakers).
- The LCD display and keyboard are rack mounted at heights which are usable by an operator sitting in a standard office chair.
- Two rack mounted power strips were added to enable front-access master power control over the computer systems and A/V gear.
- Microsoft's NetMeeting software is used to share slides, applications and other content during presentations.
I have added two "tabs" (spreadsheets) to ANL's original equipment list and have included the complete modified Excel file agnode-list.xls for download. The two additional sheets "PRs" and "Power" describe, respectively, the list of equipment that SDSC purchased and the power requirements for all of the equipment.