Tutorial for join.me
The next sections are a short introduction to join.me, how to set it up, and how to use it. Ten items from the join.me FAQ have been combined into a single PDF file (join.me FAQ.pdf) that provides additional information as well as views of the various screens mentioned below. The entire FAQ is also on the join.me website under Help>FAQ.
NOTE: Users with Norton Anti-Virus installed on their computers have reported receiving a warning about installing Join.me. However, the technical staff of Join.me has told us that their software and the parent web site have no viruses.
Download join.me, Join or Share?
There are two methods to join a conference on a PC: going to the join.me website or starting the join.me program after you’ve installed it. There is no need to install the join.me program if all you want to do is watch a RUG presentation. Installing the program is necessary if you want to originate a meeting or to contribute to one by originating a portion of an ongoing meeting or talking to one or more of the other persons viewing the meeting. On the ‘Let’s talk’ window click the ‘Call via internet’ link.
To simply observe a meeting, use your browser and enter https://join.me in the address line and then press Enter. When the home page comes up, join.me will present two options: to share your screen or to join an ongoing meeting. Choose the join option, entering the code you have been given (by email to members ahead of time) and clicking on the large green arrow.
If you feel you may want to originate or contribute to a meeting, you should use the join.me program. When you start the program you will see the share and join options in a small window. In all cases, for simply viewing RUG meetings, you should use the join option, entering the code provided by RUG in an email before the meeting.
In this case you will need to have installed the join.me program. After bringing up the home page of the join.me website (see above), click the red share button. A download progress window will appear and then close. The join.me installation program, join.me.exe, will be downloaded to your computer. Its size is approximately 5 Kb. Depending on which browser you use, the installation of the program will either start immediately or require you to click on the download box when the download is complete. Installing this program will allow you either to be the host or to join a conference in the future without using your browser to get started.
To join a RUG presentation (which uses the professional version of join.me), you simply enter the private code (that will be passed to active members before each meeting) in the ‘join’ link of your own screen. The RUG laptop uses the professional version because the limit for the number of people who can join a conference is 250 rather than 10 for the free version.
Function of the five icons
At the top of your screen you will see the join.me toolbar, a set of five icons, and the meeting identifier above them. You will also see the desktop of the host.
The five icons, from left to right, are: a phone, a conversation bubble (like those you see in comic strips), a magnifying glass with a plus sign inside it, a person, and an arrow.
The left icon (the one with a phone) is a Conference access button that allows you to set up an audio connection to the conference.
Finally, there are two ways to participate in the meeting: Internet and Phone.
If you click on the “Call via internet” line, you will see “Audio Settings” so click on it. This window allows you to select the microphone and speaker/headphone settings from a drop-down list. You may have more than one on your computer system. Next, click the green CONNECT bar. Say something and watch the slider next to the microphone show as a green bar as you speak. Make sure that your audio settings are for the correct microphone/speaker type. You can click the microphone icon to mute it. If your microphone or speaker doesn't appear to be working, check the microphone/speaker type in the window using the pull down at the right end of that window. You will not be able to hear or speak unless you click on the green CONNECT bar.
Join.me suggests that it is best to use a headset when joining via the internet – headsets pick up less background noise and help prevent echo and feedback. At this time there is no need to buy a microphone to connect to the RUG meetings. The meetings are run in ‘Presentation’ mode and you only need to listen.
There may be one or more microphones that you can choose from. If the system still doesn't work, then find out why and fix it. Click the green arrow (if you are not the presenter) below the speaker icon and hear a ring tone like a telephone ringing. Both the microphone and speakers have a volume slider to adjust the sound levels. Probably early during the conference there should be a ‘sound check’ and adjustment from each member attending.
TIP: If you are using a headphone set, it may be necessary to mute it and then unmute it to get the audio working properly.
You may also be able to listen to the meeting on your computer’s onboard speaker, but you might need to set it up properly or adjust it. To “talk”, use the Chat function described later.
Then click on “Exit settings”.
TIP: If you have a problem with hearing the sound from the RUG join.me meeting, you should test your system with an outside source. One of the best is Pandora (http://www.pandora.com). If you can hear the music, the sound from the Internet is getting through.
If you don’t have a headphone set (usually the case when you’re using an iPad or other smart phone), you can try to join the conference via “Call by phone”. If you click on the “Call by phone” line, you will see a Conference number and Conference ID. You can phone the Conference number and then enter the Conference ID. You should then be connected via voice and hear what is going on.
CAUTION: Unless your phone plan has unlimited calls, you may be charged for the minutes that you are connected.
Then exit settings. Exit the connection window by clicking the ‘x’ in the upper right corner. You can always get back to this screen by clicking the icon with a phone on it.
Clicking the conversation bubble icon to the right of the Connection access (telephone) icon opens a Chat window. You type in the space below the line, then press your enter key when you are finished typing. You can use this function for indicating you have a problem with your sound not working. Or you can use it to ask questions during a RUG meeting when join.me is being used at that time. Click the Chat icon again to close the window or the ‘x’ in the upper right corner of the Chat history window.
Set Zoom Ratio
The center button has a magnifying glass icon with a plus sign inside it. Click on this button to use as a zoom function that you can use either to have a Full-screen view or Fit-to-screen view of the host’s desktop. There is a slider that lets you adjust the size of the screen in either of those views. You can choose the area of the screen for the zoom by using the small inset that appears in the upper right corner of your screen when you adjust the slider. Just click in the area of the inset you want to enlarge and move the slider. Since it is a normal Windows window, you can put your cursor on any edge or corner and move it in order to resize that window.
The next button, the second from the right, has a person icon. Click on this button to show a list of Participants who are connected to the conference; the number of participants shows on the button itself. Clicking the button shows the participants by name.
NOTE: When you enter the meeting for the first time from that particular computer or laptop or smart phone, you are given a generic name like Viewer 1, Viewer 2, etc. Your Viewer number (first time) or name is at the top of the list. Click on your Viewer number and enter/edit your real name. Alternatively, you can enter your first name and member number, e.g., Mike9999. That will distinguish one Mike from another and let us know that only RUG members are connecting.
Otherwise, identify yourself, and you and others should see that information in the Chat window.
The icon for the host has one of its arms extended and has the name Host if the presenter has not changed it. Close by clicking the Participants icon again.
The last button is an arrow icon. It allows you to request control of the presenter’s screen. When you click the Mouse icon that appears, the presenter must give you permission before you can operate the mouse on the presenter’s screen. A small window showing the message to that effect will appear in the presenter’s screen; it may be accepted or denied by the presenter. This may not be quite as useful for RUG meetings.
There is also a Send file icon next to the Mouse icon on the line with your name. You can only send files to the presenter and to no one else. The presenter can accept or deny your request to transfer a file. When he or she does give permission, the file is transferred and the presenter has a chance to file it in a location that he or she chooses.
NOTE: If your Join.me tool bar is an orange color, you are the Host/Presenter, that is, you used the “Request control” function.
To hand the presenter role back or to someone else who has requested it, click the Participants button. Then click the “Participant swap” icon next to any viewer you would like to hand it off to. This icon looks like a person who has raised a hand.
Leaving the Conference
You can exit the conference by clicking the asterisk on the right of the join.me tool bar. Although you leave the conference, join.me remains active. If you click the ‘x’ above the asterisk, you will leave the conference and exit join.me too; however, you will be asked if you want to keep join.me on your desktop. Click the checkbox and exit.
Currently, one thing that is missing from join.me that would be useful to have is the capability to record the conference. Both Dick and Clyde found ways to record a trial run, but others have not heard those recordings yet.
You’re Now Ready for join.me!
All the above procedures are set-up procedures. Once they are completed, you have the training that you need to operate join.me and thus you can participate in any kind of meeting using the join.me application. From this point forward, the RUG (or RUG EC) meeting will be handled just like it normally is.
For regular RUG meetings, since everyone can see the presenter’s screen, either slides from a PowerPoint presentation or actual screens from any application (normally TMG or possibly Second Site – maybe others) are there for all to see.
If you happen to drop out of the meeting, simply input the meeting identifier that you have been given to join the meeting and you will be reconnected if the 250-person maximum has not been exceeded.
It Works on Macs and Smart Phones too!
Some TMG users use an Apple Mac with a PC emulator program in order to execute PC programs, including TMG. There should be no problem using join.me on a Mac either. Simply follow the instructions above.
It should also be noted that join.me works on Android smart phones as long as the mobile app is loaded. You cannot originate but you can watch (and presumably hear).
Also, join.me works on iPads/iPhones and Androids too, but with some limitations. Download the appropriate app from join.me. User experience indicates that you have to enable the audio via the app’s “phone” icon as the default appears to be no source selected. The two options are Internet and Telephone. If you choose Internet, audio should then come alive.
Try to download and setup join.me before the meeting. If you have a problem, use email and/or Skype to contact one of us for assistance. If you have two computers near each other, you can set up join.me on each of them. Use one as the Host and the other as the Viewer. Just don’t get confused talking to yourself. :-) Also be aware that the sound from the two computers in close proximity may result in an echo and/or feedback. Muting one of the microphones should eliminate the problem.
NOTE: This join.me tutorial is in response to a RUG Executive Committee Action Item that was assigned to Mike Nolen, Clyde Roby, and Dick Cleaveland in September 2012 to conduct a join.me test. They spent about 90 minutes over two evenings learning and checking out the capabilities of join.me. It seems to have a better sound connection than Skype and they experienced no dropouts.