Saturday, January 24, 2009

Video conferencing

Monday morning the office staff gathered in the Conference room and joined people from many places in the world, some of which I don't know, but including BYU, Church Headquarters in SLC, Area office in Moscow (that's Russia, not Idaho). The BYU students represented 100 students who form the global service desk to help offices throughout the world with computer program problems.

We were seated around the conference table and there is a camera on us, and on each of the other 12-13 groups. The meeting was conducted in Russian (the BYU students were all returned missionaries from Russia (or Russian-speaking countries). We had one of our young Russian-speaking elders translating for us. There is a capability of 16 groups (and maybe more), each in a square on the TV screen. So, everyone can see everyone else at the same time.

At the end there was Q&A and we were told to wave our hands in an exaggerated fashion if we had a question or comment. It looked a little strange to see someone suddenly begin waving their hands/arms in front of their camera. I think people felt a little silly doing it, but it was the best way of getting the attention of the moderator.

Computer technology is amazing!

Then yesterday I answered the phone and it was someone from the Area office in Moscow, asking if someone here could help him perform a test on the equipment in preparation for a conference to be held this morning between the Baltic Mission and the Armenian Mission. I following the step-by-step instructions and there I was on the screen, and I could see the Area office man in Moscow. The Armenian segment was having a problem and they were trouble-shooting so it would work this morning.

It's our preparation day so we don't know if it worked this morning or not.

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