by Ron Riesenbach

September 01, 1993

This is number 3 in a series of electronic newsletters for participants of the Ontario Telepresence Project

1) A site has been found for the Ottawa Engineering Group (Morris Goldberg, Maciek Kozlowski, Ross Jacobs and the new hires). They will be located at 2670 Queensview Drive in an HP-owned building. HP Canada (through Rick Schwartz) is contributing the space and a sizable portion of the fit-up costs to the project. They will be located next to Dave Thomas, Brian Barry and our other friends at OTI (who are also leasing space in the building). The contractors are working on fitting up our space with a conference room with a connected equipment room so that they can do rear-screen projection and other goodies. Move-in is anticipated early in September.

2) We've had several new people join the project in the last few months. Gale Moore will head the Social Science research component of the project. Gale can be contacted at (416) 978-1977, Tracy Narine is working with Bill Buxton and Tom Milligan as a research programmer. Tracy can be contacted at (416) 978-1976, We've also hired a new permanent half-time Administrative Assistant - Barbara Whitmer. Barbara reports to Ron R. and will assist Ron in administrative and public outreach activities. Her will work from 1:00-5:00 out of the University of Toronto office (Sandford Fleming, Rm. 2002). Her number is 978-0778 and e-mail is Welcome aboard Gale, Tracy and Barbara!

Joan Allen, who has been working as a temporary Administrative Assistant, will be moving to other responsibilities in the deptartment starting September 1st. Rosanna Reid, who helped immensely in getting things set up in the early days of the project, returns to her main duties with ITRC. Thanks for everything, Joan and Rosanna.

3) The CODECs have been ordered! Our friends at ADCOM Canada (Alan Ferguson, Marianne Flahaut) and PICTEL (Rich Baker) have arranged a generous deal for us. We have ordered one for UofT, one for the Ottawa Engineering Group and one for Carleton. In addition, ITRC's Waterloo site and TRIO's Ottawa office will also receive one each. ITRC and TRIO have offered themselves as candidates for field studies for Gale Moore and crew. Delivery of the CODECs is anticipated in mid-September.

4) Now that we will finally be connected to each other, the first order of business is to get our activities better coordinated. We are going to institute a series of monthly videoconference meetings for the participants in the Telepresence project starting in the fall. We will have the ability to meet at UofT, Carleton and Ottawa Engineering Group (Queensview Dr.) as well as BNR and Bell Canada sites.

The first general meeting for all TP people be held October 1 (preferably in the morning). An hour and a half should do it; agenda will be set later. If anyone has a time conflict that day, please send me the information so that I can schedule a time (if I don't hear from you, I'll pick a time arbitrarily). We'll have these general meetings once-a-month. There will be more frequent working group meetings (soon to be scheduled) and of course the system is there for spontaneous tele-working. Morris Goldberg will have his Eurecom office similarly equipped and will soon be able to join in these meetings from France.

5) As a major deliverable this year, we are going to create a set of specification documents detailing the design history and implementation are as follows:

Those of you who are involved in these activities can count on being contacted over the next few weeks by one of the coordinators for a meeting...

6) The contract with Bell Canada is in it's final stages. Mel Thompson and Ron R. and busy dotting i's and crossing t's. Besides a cash contribution, Bell Canada will dedicate a portion of Ron DePippo's time and another as yet unnamed person sitting in Toronto working with Dave Cox. These individuals will equip and connect themselves fully to our systems and participate actively in the research. This is an excellent opportunity to get us working out-of-house with industry collaborators. More on this as it develops.

7) The European "memorandum of understanding" is moving along nicely. There is a meeting in mid-October where the final touches will be put to the document. Following that, there will be a meeting of the heads of the 5-regions to (hopefully) ratify the agreement. So, by mid-November I hope to receive notification that we have met all the constraint in our main contract with the province (fingers crossed....).

8) Our two main supporting organizations, ITRC and TRIO, have received extended funding under the Province of Ontario Centres of Excellence program. ITRC's new 5-year funding is $36,250,000 and TRIO will get $29,000,000. The new money starts flowing on Jan. 1, 1993. ITRC will soon send a "request for applications" to qualifying researchers for the 2-year research cycle beginning April 1, 1993.

9) Calendar of Events:


10,11 - Telepresence Executive Committee meetings (Morris, Bill and Ron). 21,22 - DEC visit to UofT 28 - Rosh Hashana


1 - TP General Meeting 7 - Yom Kippur 17 - UofT Day (TP demonstration)


1-4 - CSCW '92 5,6 - International Telepresence Project Technical & Scientific Cmty meeting-Toronto 9,10 - IBM CAS conference (TP demo), Science Centre 11-13 - IBM CAS conference workshops

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