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Q. I don't find an installer for Agora. What is wrong?
A. Nothing. As a normal user you don't have to install any software. It will be installed automatically when you click on the meeting link.


Q. Can I use Agora in Linux?
A. So far no, but we are working on it. We have tried Agora successfully in Linux and we need to adapt the deployment process.


Q. Can I use Agora on a Mac?
A. Yes with one restriction: you cannot send your own video stream. Everybody can hear you but not see you. If you're having a bad hair day this could be seen as a bonus! You can view everybody else's video and hear them. You can also use the shared desktop, whiteboard, movie caster and chat tools.


Q. Does Agora work with Windows Vista?
A. Yes. So far we have done two tests. One with an upgraded Windows XP Business edition and Logitech Pro 5000. In that case we have problems. The second test has been with Windows Vista Enterprise edition and the same webcam. In that case, Agora worked without any problem. Therefore we recommend use Agora only in clean (non upgraded) installations of Vista.


Q. Does Agora work on older versions of Windows?
A. We have some users with Windows 2000 and Agora is working fine on their computers. We did not test on Windows 98 SE or older so we don't know if Agora will work.


Q. What kind of software do I need for running Agora?
A. A brief list:

  • Operating system: Windows or Mac (we are working on making it available for Linux).
  • Java 1.5 or above.
  • If you have webcam, you need to install the drivers.

Q. What kind of computer do I need for running the Agora client?
A. The minimum requirement for a conference with multiple participants (around 5) is a Intel Pentium IV 1.8Ghz or equivalent. Agora works fine with 512MB of memory. Also you will need a Webcam if you want to transmit your image and it is highly recommended a headphone set with microphone for audio. If you just want to see and listen the participants in a conference you don't need either a webcam or audio devices.


Q. What kind of Internet connection I need for running the Agora client?
A. We recommend ADSL or equivalent with a bandwidth of 512Kbits/s download and 256 Kbits/s upload.


Q. Do I need any special Webcam?
A. Agora works with normal webcams. We tested many different webcams with Agora and we were able to use all of them. Not all the webcams are the same and it is really difficult by just reading the box of a webcam, to know whether it is any good or not. Almost all webcams support 30 frames per second and resolutions over 640x480 but these two parameters are not as important as many people think. The difference between a good and bad webcam is how it works when there is poor light in the room(or very bright). Factors like white balance, contrast, sharpness of the image are all important. A rule that normally works is more expensive, more quality. We tested cameras between £20 (30¿ or 40$) and £60 (90¿ 120$) and the difference is apparent.

Here's a short list of cameras we recommend:

  • Logitech Quickcam Pro 4000
  • Logitech Quickcam Pro 5000
  • Logitech Quickcam Communicate STX
  • Creative Instant
  • Logitech Notebook Pro

Note: Agora uses as much as 22 frames per second and a resolution of 352x288.


Q. Can I use more than one webcam in a single computer?
A. Sorry, no.


Q. How can I see my own camera?
A. To see your own camera you have to go to Tools and Devices -> My camera and microphone....


Q. Can I move the panel of one participant to any position in my screen?
A. Yes, it is possible. If you want to do this you have to click on the detach button at the top right of the panel. Once you have clicked on it, the participant's video panel will be in an independent window that you can move and resize. To move this window back to the original position just close or minimize it.


Q. I have changed my webcam. Do I have to do something in Agora?
A. Yes, you do. Agora has a file where the current hardware configuration is written. If you change your hardware you have to tell Agora to scan for new devices. In order to do that you have to click on the menu: Tools and Devices -> Have you installed new hardware?. Answer Yes. Agora will need to be restarted in order to detect the new hardware configuration.


Q. How many shared desktop can be present in a meeting session?
A. Just one, but despite an unfixed bug it could be possible in some cases to have two. If more than one user start to share his/her desktop then it could be a mixed image of the desktops that are being shared. We are working in order to solve these problems.


Q. How the shared desktop works?. Does it always transmit the full-screen?
A. The shared desktop only transmits those parts of the screen that change with the time. Through this we save CPU use and bandwidth.


Q. What kind of files can I moviecast?
A. The moviecasting feature admits AVI, MOV and MPEG files. But, inside those formats, there are many subformats that the moviecaster is not able to cope with. We will try to increase the number of supported formats. Potential users should be aware that this is one of the less mature features of Agora.


Q. The moviecasting uses lots of CPU. Why?
A. The moviecasting takes the file at it is, and it tries to broadcast with the original size and framerate. The only transformation is to convert the file in something called H263/RTP. If the resolution of the movie is high and it has lots of frames per second, then the transmission will use lot of CPU and bandwidth. As was mentioned, this is one of the less mature features of Agora.


Q. Does Agora has any security in the communications?
A. No. In this first version, Agora has not got secured or encrypted communications.


Q. Is Agora Server only available for Sakai?
A. Yes.


Q. Do you intend to adapt Agora Server for other platforms?
A. Not at the moment although there has been interest. All of the Agora components communicate via web service calls so there's no reason why not.


Q. What ports are used by Agora Server
A. By default Agora uses these UDP ports: 4000,4001,4002,4003. Also TCP ports: 4004


Q. Do I need to change my firewall configuration?
A. Yes, you need to open the used ports in your firewall. Otherwise the Agora clients will not be able to communicate with each other.


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  1. Q. Does Agora work in a clustered (i.e. load balanced) Sakai environment?

    1. A. Yes. We are using a previous version of Agora (beta) in a cluster environment at UFP. We load balance two tomcats for Sakai (with Agora client) and one tomcat to the Agora service.