Videophone software fraud?

Roel Vertegaal (
Mon, 24 Apr 1995 18:18:14 +0200

(Open Letter to the Editors of Tidbits)
CC: Cornell University CUSeeMe Consortium

Dear Sirs,

I have recently found an archive on info-mac called Videophone:


This software is a $30 shareware internet videoconferencing product, written by

This software is, to my best knowledge, complete and utter fraud! It is a
carbon copy of Cornell's copyrighted CUSEEME software. Mister Kahan's
efforts comprise the changing of icons and menu titles into something
barely comprehensible, and the removal of some setup functionality. This
way, he tries to make easy money via the internet. I would like you to ask
you if you could investigate this further, and publish about this case in
the next Tidbits issue, in order to achieve the removal of Mr. Kahan's
fraudulent software from the internet archives. I also think legal
prosecution should be considered by the Cornell University CUSeeMe

The readme of VideoPhone is enclosed.


Roel Vertegaal


Welcome to the world of Video Communications

VideoPhone 1.0.3 Demo

The VideoPhone is a method of communication which utilizes both audio and
video to allow individuals to see and hear each other. By utilizing a
computer system with audio and video capabilities connected to a standard
telephone system or TCP/IP network, a resource known as video-conferencing
can be obtained. This multimedia communications tool has the versatility
to be used as a standalone modem-to-modem device or as an Internet
communications tool. Utilizing the VideoPhone over the Internet will
provide the user with access to an unlimited worldwide communications
network at a fraction of the cost of a similar telephone call. VideoPhone
has been developed to provide the average computer owner with the first low
cost, high quality, modem-to-modem video-conferencing capability, known.
VideoPhone is also the First video-communications software which is
available in a special administrator format to provide restricted set-up
and control for User's under the supervision of a Network System

One unique aspect of the VideoPhone is that it utilizes minimum hardware
(i.e. just a CCD camera) with the standard computer peripherals (i.e. modem
and microphone) to provide Audio & Video (A/V) communications. The second
and most important aspect of the VideoPhone is that it's primary function
is to operate between two modems over standard telephone lines with
Internet capabilities provided to add versatility. All digital video and
audio compression is handled by the computer hardware and software. All
communications is handled by the modem, computer software, standard
telephone networks, and the Internet (if applicable). These unique aspects
provide the user with a wide range of communications selections in which to
utilize the VideoPhone technology.

VideoPhone 1.0.3 Demo is a special version of VideoPhone which can be
freely distributed for demonstration purposes only. This application
provides all functionality of the VideoPhone, but with restricted control
and set-up. VideoPhone 1.0.3 Demo can be used to view special events or
try it with a QuickCam camera.

VideoPhone is Shareware: $30 for a single user and $125 for a 5 user
Network System Administrator package. (Other package rates are available)

VideoPhone is copyrighted © 1995 by Joseph Kahan, all rights reserved. It
is illegal to copy, duplicate, or distribute the program (VideoPhone 1.0.3
Demo) without prior express written consent of the author. This program is
not freeware. Registered users will be sent a full version of VideoPhone
and will be notified when new releases become available. Please send US
checks or money orders to:

Joseph Kahan
P.O. Box 590341
Houston, TX 77259-0341

Please don't forget to include your name, address, E-mail address (if
applicable), and who or where did you receive a copy of the VideoPhone

What is restricted in VideoPhone 1.0.3 Demo:

1) Set-up - under the Edit menu
2) Video Data Rates - on the local video window
3) Video Compression - on the local video window
4) Audio selection - on the local video window


The idea for the VideoPhone was developed in August 1994 by Joseph Kahan.
The idea was to provide video-conferencing capabilities to the average
computer owner. By utilizing standard telephone services known as Plain
Old Telephone System (POTS) to communicate with family, friends, and
businesses, the VideoPhone would provide the personal touch that a
telephone does not. For Joseph Kahan, who's parents lived 825 miles from
his home and who also owned a Macintosh computer, the project had special
rewards. The challenge for this project was to develop a standalone
application which could perform point-to-point connections with or without
the service provided by Internet, provide at least the same quality video
and audio as the AT&T version of the VideoPhone, and to do all of this for
less than a couple hundred dollars. By the end of January 1995, with the
use of his father's computer, the first two-way VideoPhone
video-conference was achieved. The result is what you see.

Consulting Set-up and Assistance:

Joseph Kahan, the designer and developer of the VideoPhone, has over a
decade of experience working as an engineer responsible for developing and
integrating Audio, Video, and Data Systems. If you or your company wish to
integrate a network system which utilizes the VideoPhone technology with
or without Video Reflectors, you can contact Joseph Kahan at

Minimum System Requirements:

Macintosh 68020 @ 16 MHz or Higher (A minimum of a 68040 @ 25 Mhz is
required for a FULL robust system with Audio, Video, and Data capability)
System 7 or later
3 M Bytes or more of free RAM
.5 M Bytes of free Hard Drive space
2 free serial ports
Asynchronous audio capability
VideoPhone has been specially designed to work with a Connectix -
QuickCam, other cameras and video boards may work.
28.8 K modem for passing Audio data (14.4 K works great for two-way
data-line connections)

Required Applications, Control Panels, & Extensions:

VideoPhone - A/V Communications application
1.0.3 Demo
MacTCP - TCP Network packet generator (control panel), provided by Apple for
most Macintosh or PowerPC computers.
Sound - Microphone & output sound generator (control panel), provided
by Apple
for all Macintosh or PowerPC computers.
Sound Manager - To control Audio input, not required for receive only

Special Features:

Data Line -
The VideoPhone provides a data line field for transmitting and receiving
letter commands from the keyboard. This feature provides the user with the
ability to communicate in the event that the user is hearing impaired or if
needed audio hardware/software provisions are missing from the computer
system at either end. The data line capability is automatically enabled
when two-video users are connected. By simply typing letters on the
keyboard, the user at the receiving end can see every letter and respond if

Two-Stage Quick Keys -
To aid the user while operating the VideoPhone, quick keys have been
installed. Like most Macintosh applications, these commands provide the
user with a quick method for initiating selected menu commands. These
commands are executed with a "cmd-key" plus a selected letter. In order to
prevent users from dropping a connection before a connection has been
established, the quick-key function is disabled until the connection is
established and the user utilizes the pull-down menu, at least once after
the connection is established.

Automatic Answering -
The VideoPhone provides the capability for the user to define how video
callers will connect. By selecting the appropriate boxes within the
VideoPhone Set-up window, found under the "Edit" pull-down menu, users
will either connect automatically or by a request message which initiates
when a remote user is connecting.

Video Reflector connections -
The VideoPhone provides the capability for a user to connect to any
CU-SeeMe Video Reflector site. The VideoPhone is fully compatible and has
the latest features necessary to interact with even the "newest" CU-SeeMe
Reflector software version.

Hardware Set-up (if you own a QuickCam):

The QuickCam camera must be connected to the modem serial port with the
modem connected to the printer port. If your system has a printer
connected to the printer port, the purchase of a Din-8 A/B switch is

Video boards may be used with VideoPhone. If your Macintosh has the
correct video extensions, VideoPhone will automatically see them and
utilize their functionality.

Software Set-up:

Nothing... Just open VideoPhone 1.0.3 Demo and your ready to connect to
your first video reflector or another VideoPhone user. Go to the "Connect
To:" under the Connections & Windows pull down menu and enter the IP
address of the location you wish to connect with. It's that easy!!!

Understanding Platform capabilities:

Limited Video refers to the number of frames per second the computer can
process. Degraded Audio refers to the speed for which the computer can
process the required Audio data packets over a network or modem.

Macintosh II -
Limited Video, data line, & Audio receiving / Limited Video & data line
sending only (Frame Rate limited)

Macintosh Performa 405 - 450 Series -
Limited Video, data line, & Audio receiving, & / Limited Video & data line
sending with degraded Audio (Frame Rate limited)

Macintosh Ci -
Limited Video, Audio, & data line receiving / Limited Video & data line
sending with degraded Audio (Frame Rate limited)

Macintosh Cx -
Limited Video, Audio, & data line receiving / Limited Video, data line, &
Audio sending (Frame Rate limited & audio delays)

Macintosh IIfx -
Video, Audio, & data line receiving / Video & Data line sending only

PowerBooks -
Dual Serial Port capable - Video, Audio, & data line receiving / Video &
data line sending only (Frame Rate limited); Single Serial Port capable -
Video, Audio, & data line receive only

Centra & Quadra 610 & higher -
FULLY FUNCTIONAL - Video, Audio, & data line receiving / Video, data
line, & Audio sending

Any PowerPC -
FULLY FUNCTIONAL - Video, Audio, & data line receiving / Video, data
line, & Audio sending

About Pull-down Windows and Control Buttons:

Pull-down Menus - (All shaded selection commands are disabled)

File -

Open - Not used at this time, enabled for future tool set modifications.

Save Window Positions - Used to save positions and control settings of all
displayed windows (Audio & Video)

Close Window - Used to close selected window

Quit - Used to stop the VideoPhone application

Edit -

Connection Names - Used to Save Remote User / Reflector names, IP
Address, and
connection servers for quick reference under the "Connection Selection" pull-
down command

Connection & Windows -

Connect To - Manual input of IP Address for Remote connections

Connection Selection - Used for automatic connection of saved "Connection

Disconnect - Used to disconnect an established VideoPhone connection

Start/Stop Sending - Start/Stop sending video from your location,
doesn't stop
Audio transmission or break established connection; Video data packets are
stopped and started (usually used when conferencing)

Start/Stop Receiving - Start/Stop receiving video from your location, doesn't
stop Audio transmission or break established connection (usually used when

Audio Window - Used to open the Audio control window

Viewers -

Show All - Opens all possible remote video windows (dependent on the
number of
viewers selected in the "Set-up" window

Close All - Closes all remote user video windows

This Mac's Video - Used to open the local video window

[Name of... Remote Video User/Reflector] - Automatic video window which opens
when connect is made, used to open remote user(s) video windows

Window Status, Selections, & Buttons -

Local Video Window - Known as "This Mac's Video"

Flip Video Image Button - Used to flip local real-time video image, flip
image is
not seen by remote video user

Status Window Button - Used to open/close video frame per second & maximum
frames per seconds mini-display window

Camera Pause/Resume Button - Used to pause local video data, does not break
remote connection; Image continues to be refreshed to the remote video user

Control Settings Window Button - Used to set camera lighting/contrast

Remote Video Window -

Video Receiving Status - Display Icon which indicates a one-way or two-way
video connection

Audio On/Off and Receiving Audio Status Button - Used to turn received
audio data
on/off and display incoming audio data status

Microphone Selection Button - Used to select either a broadcast or
private audio
connection during reflector conference calling

Transmission Data Status Button - Used to display correct packet and data
transmission rates & losses

IP Address Information Button - Used to display Remote user IP Address and
correct compatible version number for a CU-SeeMe reflector connections

Audio Window -

Push-to-Talk Box - Used to select Push-to-Talk (PTT) or Voice activated (VOX)
audio transfers (PTT is the preferred method)

Send Box - Used to activate / deactivate audio sending

Receive Box - Used to activate / deactivate audio receiving

Lurkers Box - Used to listen to reflector connected users

Microphone Queuing Icon -Used when PTT box is selected, used as a talk button
similar to a walkie-talkie

Voice Activity Bar - Provides the users with microphone volume levels being
sent to the remote video user

Network Configuration:

MacTCP - The manual set-up of the MacTCP control panel is not necessary.
This control panel is used to identified your IP address for user
connections. Write down this number because this number is your personal
VideoPhone phone number which must be used by connecting users to call
your Macintosh.

Network - Similar to MacTCP, this set-up is usually performed by a system
administrator and should not be modified.

Sound - Sound is adjusted by both the sending source and the receiver. If
the sound level is not sufficient, try going to the "Sound" control panel
and raising your volume level.

VideoPhone - No special set-up is required. When the application is
opened a video window of your Macintosh is displayed. This is your
indication that everything is working properly and is ready to make an
outside connection. Simply, close this video window and by using the
"Connection & Windows" pull-down menu, select the "Connect To:" or the
pre-defined "Connection Selection" commands and connect to a select IP
address. Connecting to a Reflector uses the same procedures as connecting
to a remote user.

Where to contact for Additional Help -

Internet mail service - (

VideoPhone Nondisclosure Statement-

VideoPhone is a modified version of an application called CU-SeeMe from
Cornell University. The development of the VideoPhone system represents a
significant investment of time, effort, and know-how to acheive its present
configuration. VideoPhone reserves all copyrights © 1995, in present or
modified form. Redistribution of VideoPhone 1.0.3 Demo is permitted.

The most significant enhancements to the original application are as follows:

Network System Administrator Set-up & Control software
Unique resource selection for Point -to-Point, Point-to-Internet, and
Internet-to-Internet connects
User friendly interface with two-stage quick-key controls
On-line Help information
Easy to understand color menus and interface controls
Various software deletions to improve performance and to provide a more
intuitive interface

To register your Shareware and get a full version of VideoPhone 1.0.3,
just start your application and read the information provided under the
Apple Icon.

Have fun, I know you will...

Want to make some "EASY" Extra money???

Be the first person to send me information about a server that you have
loaded VideoPhone 1.0.3 Demo on, and you will receive a 10% finder's fee
for every person who registers their application from that server site or
uses your name when registering.

It's easy, simply register your VideoPhone application and you will be
automatically eligible to receive a 10% finder's fee commission. (Checks
will be issued once a month)

Method 1:

Simply E-mail me ( with the "location" of the server,
(i.e., so I can verify it), which you have installed a copy of the
VideoPhone Demo folder and if you are the first person to claim that
server, then whenever someone mentions that server when registering
VideoPhone, you will receive a 10% finder fee.

Method 2:

If you get a friend to mention that they received the application from you,
when they register VideoPhone, you will receive a 10% finder fee.

The money could add up very fast, so be prepared!!!

So have fun with this great multimedia application, "VideoPhone" and make
money too.

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