Instructions for using "e-meeting"
Internet meeting software from Centranow in online
1. General Comments: Centra offers several
levels of software for online meetings. "Symposium"
is a more sophisticated software which users pay
for and license. "E-meeting" is also
an online meeting software which can be purcased,
but Centra also makes it available on a free trial
basis. We use this version in most of our online
study groups. There is no software to download
to create and participate in online meetings with
Centranow's e-meeting. The software runs on the
Centra server. Only a few small temporary files
are downloaded to the user's computer, and this
normally takes only a minute or less when the
user enters a meeting.
2. Operating Systems: Centra software
can run on Windows but not with the Mac operating
systems. It may run on a Mac which has a Virtual
PC feature, but I do not have experience with
3. Creating and attending meetings: To
create a meeting, the user must have registered
with Centra and selected a password. To attend
a meeting, a participant does not have to register
with Centra. He/she only needs to have the meeting
ID number which is supplied by the person who
creates a meeting. After reading the rest of
the instructions in this memo, you should go to
the Centra web site and set up a meeting, enter
the meeting room and get familiar with all of
the features so that when you enter a real meeting
as a participant, you will already know these
4. To attend a meeting created by someone
else: Follow the instructions below.
5. Features of the meeting room: If you are
able to enter the meeting room, see the notes below
for a description of the features.
- Go to http://www.centranow.com.
I recommend using Internet Explorer as a browser
if possible. I have had some problems using
Netscape, but it may work fine for you.
- Scroll down to the link in the center of the
page, Attend Meeting. Click on this link.
in the following information in the boxes provided:
Meeting ID# (you must have gotten thisfrom the
person who set up the meeting), First Name,
Last Name, e-mail address.
- Click on Attend below the boxes.
- As some temporary files are downloading, you
will be asked some security questions. Answer
Yes if you are using Internet Explorer,
and answer Grant if you are using Netscape.
- If all goes well, you will enter the meeting
room within a minute or so. See the instructions
below for features of the meeting room.
- If you get an error message instead of entering
the meeting room, there could be a problem with
your computer or the software on it. Centra's
e-meeting requires a recent version of Java.
In this case follow the instructions below:
- Print or write down your error message for later
reference. If it gives you instructions for
downloading a more recent version of Java, follow
- You should then run a system check which will
check your computer for software needed. You
can do this by going to:
- The latest version of Java, as of this date,
is 1.3.0. You can tell what version of Java
you have by clicking on your start button, going
to Programs and DOS. At the DOS prompt,
java -version. Note, there is a space after
java, but no space between the - and version.
Press enter after typing this command. The
version of java you have should be displayed.
- To download the latest version of Java, go
to www.microsoft.com/java and download the
file: msjavx86.exe to your desktop. Then install
it. Note: Always close all other applications
before installing any software.
- If this does not allow you to enter a meeting,
I recommend that you contact Centranow's customer
layout: You should see a column on the left
side of the screen with a number of icons and
two white rectangles. The top rectangle will
give the name of the presenter who set up the
meeting, and the bottom rectangle will give
the names of the participants in the meeting.
You will see a white board which covers the
major part of the screen. A "Welcome"
message will be displayed on the white board,
but this can be replaced during the course of
the meeting by a blank screen or other images.
Above the white board you will see a number
of buttons which are used with the whiteboard.
- Talk button: In the upper left corner
of the screen, you will see a Talk button. If
the presenter has given you Talk privileges
(you will see a microphone icon to the left
of your name), you can click on this button
to talk to the other participants. Note, you
must have a microphone plugged into the sound
card of your computer in order to talk. When
you finish talking, you must click on the talk
button again to free up the microphone. Only
one person can talk at a time.
- Alternate talk button: You can also
activate the talk button by pressing the control
key on your keyboard. This is really more convenient,
because the talk button is released when you
lift the control key. While you or someone else
is talking, you will see the volume bars light
up in the window to the right of the talk button.
- Audio Wizard: To the right of the
talk button window is the audio wizard button.
You can use this button to turn your microphone
the talk button is a hand button. Participants
who do not have microphone privileges can click
on this button to get the attention of the presenter.
and No buttons: Below the talk button are
two buttons, marked with a green check mark
for yes, and a red cross for no. Participants
can use these buttons to give a yes or no answer
to a question from the presenter.
the right of the yes/no buttons is the text
chat icon. The presenter and the participants
can click on this icon to open a chat window
to send text messages to the other people in
- This is how the text chat window looks like:
- Below these windows is the window with the
name of the presenter.
- Below the presenter window is a row of icons
related to the participants.
- Below these icons is the participant window
that shows the participants in the meeting
the presenter and participant windows and is
a row of clear buttons which the presenter can
use to clear the parameters from the participants.
- Below the participant window is a window showing
the title of the slide showing on the white
board. When the meeting starts, this slide is
the "Welcome" slide that alerts the
particpants to some main features of the meeting
- To the right of the column on the left is
the whiteboard that covers most of the screen.
To replace the Welcome slide, the presenter
could upload power point slides or click on
a whiteboard button.
- Above the whiteboard are the buttons that
participants and the presenter can use in drawing
on the whiteboard. The first time user can experiment
with these buttons to learn their function.
- Scroll bars on the whiteboard. Participants
can click on the square in the upper right corner
of the screen to get scroll bars or to get a
movable screen. First time users should experiment
with this feature.
- These are the major features available to
the meeting participants.
6. To create a meeting: Follow the instructions below.
- Go to http://www.centranow.com.
Use Internet Explorer as a browser if possible.
on the link in the middle of the screen, Register
for a free trial.
- Fill in the information requested. When you
select your password, write it down in a secure
place, so you will remember it on future visits
to the site.
- Click on the Submit button.
- You will then get the My CentraNow page.
From this page you can attend meetings someone
else sets up or create your own meetings. You
can see all meetings that have already been
scheduled on this page.
- To create a meeting, follow the instructions
given on the page. But before, please select
your time zone.
- If you are living in California, choose Pacific
Standard Time (PST) or Pacific Daylight Time
(PDT). The name depends on the time of a year:
- Then choose a month and a day:
- Change the view to 'Full Day' if the time
you are going to reserve lies out of the offered
- Click on blocks to reserve the time. Each
block stands for 30 minutes duration of the
session. If you want to create a 2 hours long
session, reserve 4 successive blocks.
- Click on 'Create' button in the bottom of
the page to reserve the time and create your
- You will then get the meeting scheduling
- You will be given the meeting ID. You should
write this ID down or use Edit/Copy and Edit/Paste
to copy it to another location so you can transmit
it to the people you are inviting to the meeting.
- Enter the Meeting Topic
- If you want to send e-mail announcements
to the participants in your meeting, you can
enter their e-mail addresses below. If you want
to notify them in another way, just give them
the Meeting ID and the instructions above for
attending a meeting.
- Click on 'Start Now' to start the meeting
immediately or scroll down and click on "Create"
to create the meeting room.
- If you get to 'My CentraNow' page after you
have scheduled a meeting, you will see it reserved:
If you click on 'Lead' you will enter the meeting
room, all the other links could help you to
modify, move, copy or remove your meeting.
- When you are in the meeting room as the presenter,
you will notice some buttons in the lower left
corner of the screen under 'Agenda' that you
do not see as a participant. The most important
button is Import button.
- Import: Click on this button to import
Power Point presentations. You will get a browse
window that will let you select your Power Point
- Shared applications: With this feature,
you can open an application, such as an Excel
spread sheet and allow the participants to control
it, i.e, change numbers and formulas. Here are
the steps to follow:
- Open the application(s) you want to share.
- Click on the Share button.
- Click on the Host button.
- In the Select Applications to Host window,
check all the applications that will be
shared, and click on OK. The host may select
multiple applications to share.
- Click on the drop-down arrow next to
Host being viewed, and select your name.
- Bring forward the application that is
being shared (click on the application icon
at the bottom of your screen so it appears
on the screen over top of the Centra screen.)
The shared application will not appear in
the host's CentraNow media window (whiteboard),
but it will appear in the whiteboard of
the participants. You may want to use your
mouse to resize the application, so you
can see part of the Centra screen.
- The host can now grant other participants
the ability to control the application by
granting the participants microphones. When
someone else is controlling the application,
a box will appear around the person's microphone
- The host of the application takes precedence
of control over anyone else, (even if the
host is not the presenter/co-presenter).
- For any participant besides the host,
the controller's name will appear next to
the mouse pointer/cursor, but the host will
not see his/her name next to the mouse pointer/cursor.
- The meeting presenter and co-presenter
may choose another person to host an application.
First, the participant will need to click
on the Host button and select the application,
which he/she will share. Then the meeting
presenter/co-presenter may select the next
host's name from the Host being viewed drop-down
menu. If the next host did not click on
Host and select an application, his/her
name will not appear in the drop-down menu.
- Hosts will need to have the applications
that they want to share already open before
clicking on the Host button to select the
- Making a participant a co-presenter:
You can grant presenter priviliges to a participant
by right clicking on that participants name
and selecting "make participant a co-presenter".
You can only have one co-presenter, and you
need to demote a co-presenter before selecting
- Microphone priviliges: Before the
participants can speak the presenter must grant
them microphone priviliges by clicking on the
microphone icon and then clicking to the left
of their names.
- If you encounter trouble with Centranow,
reread these instructions, consult with your
classmates, then, if you still have trouble,
contact Centranow's customer support: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Good luck!