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Can I try Spool for free?

Absolutely, sign up to our 7 day free trial.

Can I invite my friends and colleagues?

Yes, we can help you with that, when you’re logged in you can create new contacts and if they are not already a Spool user you will have the option to send a personal invite. 

We will only contact people if you ask us to. They won’t receive any marketing or any other communication from us and we will never pass on your or your connections’ contact details to a third party.

Do I need to install or download anything to start using Spool?

No, Spool is a browser-based application (sometimes referred to as a ‘Web App’), capable of running on all popular browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari) and consequently requires no downloads or installations. This means no intrusive pops ups as you start your computer.

What is a cloud desktop?

It’s a VM or virtual machine, which means it can be accessed from any physical computer via the web.

I already have a computer, why would I want a cloud desktop?

Here are some reasons why having a cloud desktop is a great idea:

1. New, clean and fast: run an operating system in a browser window on your desktop that behaves like a full, separate computer. This is a brand new, fresh machine with more than enough power to keep operations fast.

2. Safe and fun: create and delete cloud desktops as often as you like. This means a new, clean and fast machine whenever you need it. Play around with different operating systems, run software your main operating system can’t, and try out apps in a safe, sandboxed environment.

3. Work with confidence: Spool’s snapshot backup system enables you to take regular backups of your cloud desktop’s virtual hard drive. If something goes wrong you can return the state of the cloud desktop back to the time the snapshot was taken.

4. Work anywhere: use your cloud desktop on any physical machine. This means if something happens to your physical computer (lost, damaged) your cloud desktop is still there, protected and unharmed, with everything as you left it so you can carry on working from any computer. Because you can access your cloud desktop anywhere, this also means your software licences are essentially portable and not tied to a physical machine (many software packages tie a license key to a hard drive ID). They are instead tied to the virtual hard drive of your cloud desktop, which you can access from any computer.

5. Control the environment and expansion: for organisations adopting Spool, working on a cloud desktop provides the means to centrally manage the assets. All your cloud desktops can be managed from one location (data resource, capacity). With the infrastructure in place, it’s simply a matter of deploying a new cloud desktop and configuring. If you need more computing power this can be provided.

6. Supports legacy hardware: As hardware evolves and operating systems become obsolete, it’s harder to find hardware and software that are compatible. Virtualizing these machines eliminates the operating system compatibility problems.

7. Use of thin clients: Using a thin client machine is as easy as powering on the new unit and accessing your cloud desktop. Conversely, with a physical machine you’re stuck with re-imaging or building a replacement from scratch.

8. Eco-friendly and cost saving: Working on cloud desktops can mean significant cost savings whilst also forming an important part of an organisation meeting their environmental commitments. If an organisation does not need to provide new hardware and existing hardware can be made productive by accessing a cloud desktop, or existing hardware does not need to be upgraded then this means less hardware waste and a reduction in an organisation’s carbon footprint. With all your cloud desktops running on a server cluster you need less physical hardware and so you can maximise your physical machine’s potential via the cloud.

9. Collaboration: You can pick up your cloud desktop and take it into the Spool workspace where you can choose to share it with all your colleagues either in view only or interactive mode. Let’s work together!

10. Family: You can access multiple cloud desktops from the same computer. Family members can each have a whole computer, configured for their needs.

What operating systems can I choose for my cloud desktops?

Here at Spool we embrace the opensource culture and all the advantages that can bring individuals and business. Having researched extensively the various Linux distribution operating systems we have chosen the latest Ubuntu OS (20.04) as the cloud desktop for Spool. It’s very well established and we just love it. 

For those that need a Microsoft or Apple machine you can create a Windows 10 cloud computer and we’re developing a macOS option.

Can I install software on my cloud desktop?

Yes. Just as you would start to customise a physical computer after you have unboxed it you will want to spend some time making sure you have got everything you need on your cloud desktop. Use the browser or Software Centre to download software and applications.

Can I access the files saved on my physical computer from the cloud desktop?

On the cloud desktop you create you will have a browser to access the internet (feel free to download your favourite browser – make the cloud desktop your own). You can move work to and from your physical machine using your preferred cloud storage services.

How do I create a cloud desktop?

At Spool we’ve tried to make everything really easy to do (even if the tech is complex) as this means you can just concentrate on working and learning together. Creating a cloud desktop is a great example of this approach in action because we don’t present you with a bewildering set of questions and requirements, in fact we only ask you to give your cloud desktop a name. It’s that easy. You’ll have a whole cloud desktop in seconds. 

What if I want an even more powerful cloud desktop?

The cloud desktop you will create comes with an enhanced technical specification as follows: 8 RAM | 8 CPU | 50 GB Disk Space. If you need to increase this please contact Team Spool.

How much storage do I have on the cloud desktop?

Each cloud desktop will give you 50 GB Disk Space. If you need more just get in touch with Team Spool.

Can I use Spool outside of the U.K.?

Yes you can but our launch is U.K. based so you’ll have the smoothest experience if you’re based here. This is because the Spool computers which hold the cloud desktops are all in a U.K. data centre. The further away you are the less able we are to ensure you get a great experience on Spool. Spool is a global product and we will get there but right now we want the U.K. market to love Spool.  

Can my organisation create a cloud dektop template?

Yes. Organisations can create customised cloud desktops for their team. Onboarding new employees, apprenticeships, contract workers and consultants can all be managed easily as the organisations ‘super admins’ can grant access to systems in a way that can be controlled, monitored and which is scalable.

Can I backup my cloud desktops?

Spool’s Snapshot feature ensures everything on the virtual hard drive of your cloud desktop is regularly backed up. Take a snapshot and work with confidence, knowing that you can always restore your cloud desktop.

What is a workspace?

Spool workspaces are rooms where you meet, work and learn together. A space where you can guide, support and help each other in a way that is real.

Create a room where it’s possible to see everyone’s cloud desktop in multiscreen view. Each person can easily toggle between simple video conference to sharing their cloud desktop in ‘view only’ mode to sharing in ‘interactive’ mode.

Set your mode to ‘interactive’ and your team can help, guide and support you on your cloud desktop. You can work together all accessing one machine. This transforms any app, tool or platform into a collaborative version. Use this for mentoring, demonstrating, training or to work jointly on a project that requires real, substantive collaboration from multiple persons. This is safe and secure sharing as you will always see all actions on your cloud computer and you remain in complete control to toggle back to view only mode.

Seamlessly move between working together on one of your team’s cloud desktops to another. Either stay in multiscreen view to see all your team or create your own bespoke view by pinning as many of the key members of the meeting as you like. Any team member can be made full screen at any time.

Spool also has traditional screen share which means you have all options to share your entire screen, so anything on your physical machine can also be shared. Screen share isn’t just limited to one member of the workspace, in Spool everyone can share their cloud desktop or their entire screen at the same time. It’s then your choice what to view.

What is view mode sharing?

View mode is when you share your cloud desktop so that it becomes visible to other active members in that workspace. In other words it’s like screen sharing, only that everyone in the room can do it at the same time so you can see all users’ live cloud desktops in a multiscreen view.

What is interactive mode sharing?

Interactive mode is when you share your cloud desktop so that you and other active members in that workspace can interact. It means members of your project team can help and contribute by working together on each other’s cloud desktops. Or you can conduct hands on mentoring or training.

This means that you can transform any software, any application, any tool into a collaborative, interactive version where multiple people can work together at the same time.

Does Interactive mode mean other people are 'in' my computer?

No, don’t worry. There is no access to your physical computer. There is only access to interact on the cloud desktop you are sharing whilst you have selected ‘interactive’ mode. It is very prominently displayed to all users that a cloud desktop is in ‘interactive’ mode as the user’s box is illuminated with a blue edging. You can switch to ‘view’ mode or stop sharing your cloud desktop at the click of a button instantly. Any actions on the screen whilst the desktop is in interactive mode will be visible to all, there is nothing that can be done that is hidden from the view that all users will have.

How can I let the members of a workspace know that I want to work together?

Every workspace has a ‘Call to Workspace’ button where any member of that workspace can trigger a pop up with a personalised message to notify an intention to meet in the workspace.

There is also the Spool Calendar where you can set workspace events and integrate these with your Google Calendar.

When you create a workspace Spool will automatically create a chat channel for you with all the members of that workspace invited. You can access all your chat groups from anywhere on Spool so you can always communicate with any of your connections. You can use chat to notify your team that you would like to meet in a workspace.

What if I want someone to join a workspace who isn’t a spool user?

Invite them to become one of your Spool connections. We are also developing a guest account for organisations to securely bring in someone to a workspace. This will be useful for training and interviewing for example. 

Is there a limit on how many times I can delete and create workspaces?

Absolutely not. You can create up to 24 workspaces at any one time but you are free to delete and create new ones as many times as you need to. As the creator of a workspace you can also add or remove members and rename your existing workspaces at any time.

There is no limit to the number of workspaces you can be invited to join.

Can I use my own pictures / images for the workspaces?

At the moment any workspace you create or are invited to join will appear on your hub as one of the Spool original artwork images (created by the brilliant Melanie Johnsson just for Spool).

We are working on giving the creator of the workspace the option to assign one of your own images to customise your hub. Please get in touch to let us know what you think about this idea.

Can I use Spool just for video conference?

Yes, there is no requirement that you must share your cloud desktop in the workspace. We also have screen share so if you need to share something outside your cloud desktop you can and because of the layout of the Spool workspaces all members can share screen at the same time. You can decide which user window you would like to see full screen.

Can Spool help wellbeing?

Banishing the isolation of remote working is a real ambition for Spool.

Home working is the reality for many of us, either part time if we have a hybrid working life split between the office and the home office, or full time. The greater flexibility and the opportunity for a much improved balance to our lives (as well as the reduced carbon footprint) created by more remote working is a real positive but the impact of being less connected with our team is a significant loss. At Spool we strongly believe that remote working can be done so much better than it currently is and endless video calls cannot continue. With Spool and the revolution of sharing desktops not just screens, so that all work and learning can become interactive, we can bring that vital feeling that we are part of something that is active and real and is happening.

Spool connects your team in a way that is live and human, which can help improve wellbeing and enable more effective and productive work.

What supplier software does Spool use?

Spool is powered by DaDesktop Technology and Jitsi video conferencing. There is no other third party software as the application is entirely web browser based.

Can I integrate other apps with Spool?

We don’t want to limit your options. Spool hasn’t been created to tie you to be integrated with one technology or specific other apps or products. Spool is all about creating choice.  Once you have your cloud desktop the freedom is there to use the tools you need.

Can you give some examples of use cases for Spool?

If your daily life involves meetings as a team on projects, where you draw together the different skills in your project team and where, to be effective, you need to have an understanding and awareness of what others are doing and be able to actually work together collaboratively then Spool is definitely for you. 

Spool is for all teams, across all industries, who need to share work, collaborate and be dynamic in their interaction to be most productive. If you are fatigued by constant video conferencing and yet still find yourself left with a feeling of remote isolation when the time comes to actually get the work done then Spool is definitely for you. 

If you would rather work together in real time, with multiple people, in preference to single screen share or sending documents for review by email or trying to keep up with which is the latest version of a file on a shared drive then Spool is definitely for you. 

Industries that rely on collaboration and require truly connected working practices to be effective will benefit from Spool. Creative, Research and Engineering teams are already harnessing its potential to increase engagement and productivity. 

For leaders Spool can ensure all of your team have the computing power needed to work remotely. Because of the way it facilitates connected working Spool tackles the issues of isolation, it can increase your teams wellbeing whilst also increasing motivation as team members are able to demonstrate (and be recognised for) their output which becomes much more visible.

Integrate new or temporary team members easily. Review and assess effectiveness and connect them in a practical way with the support of their team. Access can be switched off when the contract ends.

Monitoring activity on the cloud computer can be as extensive as required.

Highly interactive, remote training is also a perfect use for Spool.

Interactive interviews, presentations, board meetings – because of the flexibility of how you use the workspace you will discover what works best for your needs. Bring in consultants, work in a connected way with multiple stakeholders and present the findings all within Spool.

Onboarding a new wave of employees or supporting apprenticeships you will benefit from the instant scalability, control and monitoring of the cloud desktops. The workspaces are perfect for peer to peer connection and support as well as the necessary hands on mentoring and guidance from the leadership team. Repurpose a workspace for presentations and assessments throughout the apprenticeship.

Can Spool be used by schools / academies / colleges / universities?

Whilst there is a minimum age of 18 for an individual subscription Spool is absolutely open to all educational institutions. Please contact us to discuss a discounted education rate.  Spool can be configured to meet the needs of schools, enabling learning leaders to create an environment for learners that is stimulating, intuitive, rich in content but also controlled (for example, limiting or even disabling internet access). 

Having real time tutorials in a workspace, where students can have teaching and solutions modelled on their own cloud desktop just as they would in a physical classroom, is a use of Spool we are excited to develop.

Is Spool safe and secure?

The safety of your data and the security of your communications whilst using Spool is of paramount importance. We want you to concentrate on working together successfully and feel confident that your data is protected against unauthorised and unwanted use.

Our Software Services Agreement sets out our data centre security details and the application security industry commercially acceptable processes. These are deployed to keep your organisation safe from cyber threats.

Is there any downtime for maintenance?

Maintenance, repairs and upgrades will be performed outside hosted working hours 08:00 to 20:00hrs UK time.

What’s the difference between public cloud and private cloud?

We offer the free 7 day trial and the professional subscription service on the dedicated Spool public cloud. This means that the Spool hardware hosts the service for all these users. The enterprise subscription offers Spool via a private cloud. This means there is a dedicated server(s) for only your organisation and no other organisation will use the hardware. This can either be located in a data centre provisioned by Spool or in premises chosen by you.

The artwork is awesome, can I get it on a t-shirt?

We’re glad you asked this. We love the Spool logo and the artwork. We also love loungewear, baggy 80’s sweatshirts and baggy t-shirts. We think the original Spool artwork shouldn’t be confined to the screen. Let us know what you think about a Spool shop 🙂

I have a question that hasn’t been answered.

Please get in touch with Team Spool via the contact page or email direct team@spoolme.com. We really appreciate your views and opinions on Spool.

Spool now!

Spool spaces are great for regular meetings or to use as a virtual office for connections to drop in and work with or alongside you but Spool now! is what you need for those impromptu meets, those quick catch ups and chats that solve all our little challenges throughout the day.