mLab

Starting a Skype videoconference in the mLab

Typically, mLab staff will help on our end.  But here's how, in case you need to do it on your own.  You'll use the computer in the corner that's hooked up to the camera and projector. These instructions are for using MacOS. And in case you need to start from scratch, here's how to set up the equipment.

1. Open Skype by clicking the Skype icon Skype icon in the Dock.

2. Log in to the mLab account with:
username: mlabteam
password: <posted in the mLab>

3. In your contacts list, double-click on an account name to initiate a videoconference. Your contact should use the contactmlab account, which appears automatically in the contacts list. Our inbound docs describe this process for them; they should have the URL, which is http://www.reed.edu/cis/mlab/skypeinbound.html

Note: If your contact is using a different username you can search for it and add it to the contacts list, then use it. But since managing contacts is often the most annoying part of using Skype, we've set up these accounts. Using them as described here is simplest.  

After you double-click on the username a chat window will appear.  In the upper left corner of the chat window, there will be a green call button call button.  After pressing this button, you will hear a ring, and your contact will be able to answer. The audio portion of the conference is now connected. The Phoenix mic/speaker has a volume control on it; you should set the volume on the computer and in Skype both to near or at the maximum, and control volume on the Phoenix.  If the audio sounds distorted you can try lowering the computer volume a little bit.  The audio is always on both ways unless you mute the Phoenix mic; when muted, the lights will flash. To mute, press the power button briefly. To turn it off, press and hold the power button for a few seconds.

To start the video portion of the conference, click on the small blue video icon video button in the top left-hand corner of the computer screen. This will connect the camera to the call and allow the outside participants to see you.


To make the video fill the projection screen, click on the fullscreen icon fullscreen button in the top right-hand corner of the computer screen. In fullscreen mode, you will see a floating toolbar:

toolbar


You can click on the rightmost icon in the toolbar at any time to exit fullscreen mode. The toolbar will disappear after a few moments, but it will reappear if you briefly scroll your mouse over the screen.

If there are any technical difficulties with Skype during the conference, you can use the Phoenix mic as a conference phone.

When you are finished, click the red phone icon hang up button in the top right-hand corner to end the call. (If you are in fullscreen mode, click on the phone icon in the floating toolbar.)

Quit Skype by selecting Quit Skype from the Skype menu at the top of the screen.