An Architect's View

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An Architect's View

Entries Tagged as connect

Charlie Arehart on Breeze and CFUGs

September 29, 2006 ·

Great post from Charlie on the many benefits of using Breeze for user group presentations. I'm biased, of course, because I'm part of the team that is responsible for the hosted Breeze service and I think it's wonderful! And I'm very excited about our upcoming new offering, Adobe Acrobat Connect, backed by ColdFusion-powered web services. Charlie has also done a great job pulling together a fairly extensive listing of all the recorded Breeze presentations out there - see his User Group Television section.

Tags: adobe · connect · saas

Adobe Acrobat Connect

September 17, 2006 ·

Adobe Acrobat Connect. Always-on personal meeting rooms available soon, initially as a free trial, with a $39/month subscription service available in early 2007. See the press release. That's the official announcement of the new product line for which I've been working on some of the back end systems. More details in due course.

Tags: adobe · connect · saas

A small Breeze success story

May 14, 2006 ·

I like Breeze. A lot. My current team is responsible for the hosted Breeze service (now on acrobat.com) but I was a big fan of Breeze even before I joined this team. My wife's mom'n'dad were in town last week and my wife was keeping them occupied while I was at work. Their hotel had free wifi so my wife installed MSN Messenger on dad's laptop so she could IM me at work and let me know what the plans were for the evening. Unfortunately, MSN's default install sets it to start at Windows startup and so once dad went back to Denver, every time he logged on (to AOL), MSN would kick my wife off chat. Now, dad's not a computer expert so trying to talk him through the MSN preferences to reset the start at boot time flag would have been hard. Doubly so, since he uses Windows and we use Macs, and we use Adium and Fire instead of MSN! Breeze to the rescue! I sent him a Breeze link on AIM and he was able to log on as a guest easily enough. I made him a presenter and he installed the Breeze add-in and rejoined the room. I got him to share his desktop and then let me request control of his system. He sat and watched while I located MSN, located the preference and disabled it and quit MSN. Quite painless. He was very impressed with how easy it was - and admitted that he found it pretty strange to watch his computer doing things without touching the keyboard! Breeze. Remote technical support made easy.

Tags: adobe · connect · saas

My New Role At Adobe

March 02, 2006 ·

If you've been following my blog, you'll have seen that I have recently been in the process of changing roles at Adobe. My role has been somewhat fluid since the middle of last year in fact and I've worked with a number of teams since then in a somewhat unofficial capacity (for example: helping with QA on the ActionScript 3 compiler / VM, project managing CFEclipse - and a number of other things that I can't talk about... maybe some day!). Since the acquisition closed, I've been looking at a variety of new roles here and I recently accepted one that I officially started yesterday. I am now part of Adobe's Hosted Services group. I'm a "Senior Computer Scientist" now (finally my grey hairs count for something) and will be continuing my architecture focus, likely in a much more hands on manner. So what does the Hosted Services group do? Well, we "own" Breeze ASP (hosted) and a variety of PDF services, including Create Adobe PDF Online. My role will focus on the software infrastructure behind the services. It's a very interesting space to be in as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is gaining increasing traction across the industry. I won't be able to talk about what we have planned for the future (for obvious reasons) but I expect to be talking about a broader range of Adobe products and services over time. It will mean that I won't be as active in the ColdFusion community as I have been in recent years - fewer user group talks and much less involvement in most mailing lists - but I intend to remain very active with Model-Glue, ColdSpring, Reactor and CFEclipse - as well as continuing to work on Fusebox 5! I hope you'll all keep reading, despite the slight change of focus here!

Tags: adobe · coldfusion · connect · personal · saas

Breeze Presenter Tips

February 24, 2006 ·

As part of the preparation for CFUNITED 2006, Michael Smith is planning to run a series of "CFLive" events (like last year) where speakers give a short overview of their conference presentations, as a teaser to encourage more attendees and to help folks decide which talks to go to. I responded to the speakers' mailing list with some tips for using Breeze effectively and figured that it would be good to share them more broadly in a somewhat more generic form. Tip #1: Use a dual monitor setup - put the Breeze meeting up on the second screen with preview mode enabled so you can see what your audience sees (and the chat pod!) and share your primary screen. This allows you to watch the chat so you know instantly if your audience are having problems and you can also take questions during your presentation. Tip #2: Make sure you run through the audio configuration wizard in Breeze with the exact audio setup you plan to use in advance of the meeting. This will figure out the background silence levels and the sensitivity of your microphone. Go to Meeting > Audio Setup Wizard... once you're in Breeze. Keep your head/mouth at a consistent distance from microphone during the configuration and during your talk! Some folks have a tendency to rock back and forth in their chairs while they present - this creates a bad audio experience for your listeners as you move closer and further from the mic! Update: Dave Watts suggested using a headset microphone and recommended USB headsets from Logitech and Plantronics. Also make sure you have a quiet, private environment to broadcast from (cube farms are not a good environment for this, nor are most homes with kids and pets running loose!). Tip #3: Create an effective presentation slide deck. Well, duh! This isn't just about Breeze but it's worth repeating anyway. Most presenters speak for 1-2 minutes per slide so bear that in mind when you're creating a presentation. If you have more than about 35 slides, you probably won't get through them all in a 50 minute presentation and you won't leave any time for Q&A! Think about the structure. Most (effective) presentations typically have this sort of structure:
  • Title slide (presentation title, your name, company, maybe email address).
  • Goals of the talk - "what is this talk about?" - tell your audience why they are here and what they will (hopefully) learn
  • Introduce yourself - "who am I and why should I be talking about this topic?" - establish your credentials but don't brag!
  • Agenda - explain the structure of the talk - it's often a good idea to drop the agenda slide in between each major section of the talk so the audience know where they are and highlight the relevant part of the agenda slide each time.
  • The meat of your talk... blah, blah, blah!
  • Summary slide(s) - recap your main points and remind your audience of what they (should have) learned during the talk and this should probably mirror the earlier goals slide.
  • Resources slide(s) - pull together all the books / links that your talk references and list them here so your audience can find them easily in the handouts or online later.
  • Repeat title slide with full contact information - this is often easier with a regular slide layout than the graphical "title" layout used for the first slide.
I hope that is useful. Feel free to share your presenting tips in comments - or offer up things not to do when presenting!

Tags: connect · personal · saas