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December 16th, 2008:

Mikogo Over Skype

Yesterday I discovered Mikogo, a Net meeting/remote desktop technology that would be a lot like VNC and the others I’ve played with, except that it can be configured to piggyback on Skype. There is a Mikogo Skype “extra” (what Skype calls its plug-ins) and I will be using it to give a remote lecture on Carl & Jerry to the Southwest Ohio Digital and Technical Symposium on January 10, with the help of Jay Slough K4ZLE.

Jay and I gave it a spin yesterday to make sure we could connect during the Symposium in January, and in addition to working well, Mikogo was mighty cool. You install the extra from the Skype Extras menu, and it comes down the same way that other Skype extras do. Once installed, you can create a 1-to-1 or 1-to-many connection with anybody else who has the Mikogo Skype extra running. Skype handles the audio, and where the connection is between two machines, the “presenter” (the machine that provides a screen echo to the other) can be switched back and forth at any time. Mikogo has a simple whiteboard feature that allows the presenter to draw lines in various thicknesses, colors, and shapes on the screen. It also has the option of remote control, so that the non-presenter can use the mouse and keyboard on the presenter’s machine. Pete Albrecht and I plan to try using Mikogo over Skype to allow me to control Pete’s big Meade telescope from here in Colorado, at least when it stops raining in Orange County.

I don’t have a great deal of experience with the Mikogo system yet, but after an hour or so of solid connections with Jay and with Pete, I can say that it’s well worth trying if you have any use for that sort of thing.