peter n. hein (phein@DESIRE.WRIGHT.EDU)
Tue, 2 Aug 1994 12:29:29 -0400

Cu-SeeMe Cookbook v1.0 (A CU-SeeMe FAQ)

Peter Hein Helen Kourous
* Parts taken from the CU-SeeMe FAQ v7.6 and the CU-SeeMe ReadMe files.

Please send changes or suggestions to

CU-SeeMe, a Macintosh and PC videoconferencing program, is available free
from Cornell University under copyright of Cornell and its collaborators.
CU-SeeMe version 0.70 for the Macintosh and version 0.60 for the PC,
provides a one-to-one connection, or by use of a
reflector, a one-to-many, a several-to-several, or a several-to-many
conference depending on user needs and hardware capabilities. It displays
4-bit grayscale video windows at 160x120 pixels or at double that diameter,
and the Macintosh version now includes audio. So far as we know, CU-SeeMe
was the first and may still be the only software available for the Macintosh
which supports real-time multi-party videoconferencing on the Internet.

CU-SeeMe is intended to provide useful conferencing at minimal cost.
Receiving requires only a Mac or a PC with a screen capable of displaying 16
grays and a connection to the Internet. Sending requires the same plus a
and a video digitzing board.

At this time CU-SeeMe runs on the Macintosh (with audio) and the PC
(without audio) using an IP network connection. With CU-SeeMe each
can decide to be a sender, a receiver, or both. WARNING: Although being
improved with each version, CU-SeeMe is not a mature software product -- USE
limits set down under 100kbps, or less if you share limited bandwidth with
others. Many, many folks connected to the Internet can use CU-SeeMe with
default settings and cause no problem to anyone else; but unfortunately,
not everyone. If you don't know whether using CU-SeeMe will mess up the
network for someone else, CHECK IT OUT first, please.

CU-SeeMe was initially written for the Macintosh by Tim Dorcey with design
assistance and sponsorship by Richard Cogger of the Advanced Technology
group in the Network Resources division of Cornell University's Information
Technology department (CIT). Important early contributions came from:
Cornell University Medical Colleges (CUMC), Scott Brim, and John Lynn.

Since Oct. 1, 1993, the CU-SeeMe Project receives funding from the
National Science Foundation. A very significant collaborative effort at
Cornell University Medical Colleges (CUMC) is contributing substantial
expertise and code.

Development contributers to CU-SeeMe0.70: Cornell: Richard Cogger (Project
Director/PI), Tim Dorcey, Scott Brim (Co-PI), John Lynn, Larry Chace; CUMC:
Steve Erde, Aaron Freimark, Aaron Giles.

This material is partially based on work sponsored by the National
Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. NCR-9318337. The
Government has certain rights in this material.

1.0 What is Cu-SeeMe?
1.1 Where can I get a copy of Cu-SeeMe?

2.0 On what machines does Cu-SeeMe run?
2.1 Is there an X-based version of CU-SeeMe?
2.2 I have heard rumors that CU-SeeMe would be ported to UNIX, is this
2.3 What are the requirements to receive video?
2.4 What are the requirements to send video?
2.5 Can I use Cu-SeeMe from my home computer with a modem?

3.0 What is a refelctor?
3.1 What do I need to run a reflector?
3.2 If I don't have a reflecctor, are there any public reflectors?
3.3 Where are these public reflectors?
3.4 Can I set up a reflector on a PC?

4.0 Cu-SeeMe Etiquette

5.0 A list of sites with CU-SeeMe information.

1.0 What is CUSeeMe?
CU-SeeMe was developed at Cornell University for distance learning.
CU-SeeMe is video conferencing software for the PC and Macintosh on
the Internet.

1.1 Where do I get it?
Both the Macintosh and PC versions are available through anonymouse
ftp at

The Macintosh version:
To obtain CU-SeeMe version for the Macintosh use anonymous ftp to Download CU-SeeMe using a binary
transfer. It is not compressed and can be run as soon as it is
downloaded. Download the ReadMe file with the latest date in text mode.

The PC version:
Download the file in binary mode and unzip using
PKUNZIP.EXE. If you don't have a copy of the ZIP compression utilities
you can download them from in the pub/dos/util
directory as pkz204g.exe. Then execute this file to extract the zip

2.0 On what computers will CU-SeeMe run?
CU-SeeMe will run on a Macintosh with a 68020 processor or higher
running Apple Mac System 7.x. It will also run on a PC with a 386SX
processor or higher running Windows 3.1

2.1 Is there a X based version of CU-SeeMe?
At this date, an X-based version of CU-SeeMe is not available.

2.2 I heard rumors that CU-SeeMe would be ported to UNIX - is this true?
We don't have anyone working on it now. One problem with Unix, at
this point, is that the frame-grabber boards are either expensive or
slow (or both) compared to those for Mac's and PC's; hence the notion
of a port to BSDI is attractive as a means to get access to fast
inexpensive video boards. CU-SeeMe encoder and decoder routines for
nv are available, but the packet headers are incompatible. We should
have some interoperability worked out by fall.

2.3 What do I need to recieve video?
A Macintosh requires the following:
- Macintosh platform with a 68020 processor or higher
- System 7 or higher operating system
(it "may" run on system 6.0.7 and above)
- Ability to display 16-level-grayscale (e.g. any color Mac)
- an IP network connection
- MacTCP
- CU-SeeMe software

A PC requires the following:
- 386SX processor or higher.
- Windows 3.1 running in Enhanced Mode.
- Windows Sockets compliant TCP/IP stack.
- A 256 color (8 bit) video driver at any resolution (640x480,
800x600, 1024x768, or higher).

2.4 What do I need to send, as well as, receive video?
The Macintosh requires the following send video:
- The specifications to receive video mentioned above
- A video digitizing card, such as the SuperMac VideoSpigot or
an AV Macintosh.
- A camera with NTSC 1vpp output (like a camcorder) and a
RCA cable.
- Quicktime software installed (requires approximately 2mb RAM)

The PC requires the following to send video:
- 386SX processor or higher.
- Windows 3.1 running in Enhanced Mode.
- Windows Sockets compliant TCP/IP stack.
- A 256 color (8 bit) video driver at any resolution (640x480,
800x600, 1024x768, or higher).
- Video capture board that supports Microsoft Video For Windows.
- A video camera to plug into the video capture board.

2.5 Can I use CU-SeeMe from a computer, modem, and SLIPP/PPP?
If you have a high-speed (14.4) modem, a TCP stack, a serial interface
protocol such as PPP or SLIP, and an Internet host (T1 or better) to
you can connect directly (via worksite, or network provider), you can
theoretically use CU from home.

PPP is the Internet Standard for transmission serial lines and
supports async and sync lines.

The principle enhancement in 0.70 versions is the inclusion of
Audio, based on Charlie Kline's Maven code. It works with the new
reflector and supports multiparty operation. **Now Hear This**

I know it would be great if it did, but it just doesn't. You need at
least 32K bits/sec just for the audio (when speaking or listening) and
modems only do 14.4K. So, a 14.4K modem will only allow you to recieve
about half of the packets, so most of the sound will be intelligible.

3.0 What is a reflector?
Reflector is a UNIX program which allows multiple people to view and
send video and audio. As of this document, the Reflector has been
tested on the Sun Sparc workstations and on a RS-6000, some have run
it on a Silicon Graphics and DECstations. If you are not familiar with
UNIX,and/or IP networks, ask your system administrator for help in
setting and operating a CU-SeeMe Reflector. Without a reflector, only
point-to-point connections between two CU-SeeMe users are possible at
this time.

3.1 What do I need to set up a reflector?
You need to download the reflector .tar file from ftp://gated.cornell.
edu/pub/video/Relfector. You will also need a UNIX computer and an
IP connnection.

3.2 If I don't have a reflector, are there any public reflectors?
Yes, but you have to use a public reflector (someone else's reflector).

3.3 Where are these public reflectors?
If you are just starting to use CU-SeeMe and are not able to set up
your own reflector, a number of reflector sites have announced that
they accept connections for CU-SeeMe demos and testing. These
reflectors are not really "public" but are private facilities operated
by organizations for their own use and generously offered to the
public as reflector test sites.

Organization Reflector IP# Contact person email address

NYSERNET Jean Armour Polly

CORNELL Dick Cogger
PENN Dan Updegrove
CNIDR Jane Dunlap Smith
QMS James Hill
GTE Alan R. Bugos
U ofM Med Mike Lee
CORNELL II Dick Cogger
CORNELL I Dick Cogger
NYSERNET Jean Armour Polly
UPENN Dan Updegrove
CNIDR Jane Dunlap Smith
QMS James Hill
GTE LABS Alan R. Bugos
DHHALDEN (Norw) Barre Ludvigsen
DHHALDEN (Norw) (used for special events only)
NASA SELECT Michael Baldizzi
NASA SELECT (Eur) Barre Ludvigsen
UNIL Marc-Andre Schenk
HAWAII U Craig Miller
NCSU Scott Callicutt
NUS (Singapore) K C Lun
UL (Lisbon) Carlos Picoto
WEIZMANN (Israel) Morton F. Taragin
Phoenix Data Systems
Northern Ireland193.61.189.162

This list is not complete; it contiues to grow everyday.

3.3 Can I set up a refelctor on a PC?
Yes it is possible to setup a reflector on a PC if it is running the
Linux operating system.

The tar file of the Linux-compatible reflector binary is now available
via anonymous FTP://
LINUX.tar.z. We will continue to place updates of the binary for Linux
patches of the reflector in this directory (with the LINUX tag in the
file name) as new reflector versions are released from the CU-SeeMe
development team. We will also upload them to sunsite's FTP site for
their Linux distribution area. [source:LSMULKY@SCIFAC.INDSTATE.EDU,
Timothy Mulkey, Assoc. Prof. ,Indiana state U, in a posting to CU

4.0 What is good reflector etiquette?
In consideration for those who operate reflectors, please observe the
following practices when connecting to someone else's reflector:

1. DO email the contact person for each reflector to clarify your use
of the reflector and how you are planning to use the connection and
for (approximately) how long.

2. DON'T stay connected for extended periods (hours) unless invited
to do so. "Hanging out" is something to do on your own reflector.

3. DON'T leave a transmission going with a still image (or worse) with
a message crawling. It uses bandwidth on the net and capacity on
the reflector.

4. DON'T play a VCR tape. CU-SeeMe opens up ready access to LIVE
video. Canned video typically uses more bandwidth as well as
conveying *only* old information better transmitted in another

5. In general, DON'T select high resolution (240x320), since you'll
be sending a lot more data. If you want to fool with hi-res, keep
it confined to your own facilities.

6. DON'T set your Maxkbps (cap) above 100 kbps. DON'T set change
threshold below 20, preferably just use the defaults.

7. DON'T send or let anyone send "inappropriate" pictures.
Gradeschool kids connect to these reflectors frequently. This
works the other way too: Kids need to know that adults hook to
these reflectors -- Somebody's parent may be watching!

8. DON'T hang around on a reflector if you see folks trying to run an
orgainzed conference.

9. DON'T stay connected using a real slow connection, like a modem,
you will be dragging down everyone's cap with your loss reports.
Open just one window. Check the loss shown with the stats button.

5.0 Where can I find more information about CU-SeeMe?
The following are some other sites where you can find information
about CU-SeeMe:
It contains information on:
- CU-SeeMe FTP site
- Etiquette
- Information and Answers
- Reflector list
- Maillist How to subscribe and unsubscribe.
-will contain this document (curently under construction, due
to be done by 10 August 1994)
-Links to other sites with CU-SeeMe information

Peter Hein
Wright State University
CaTS Network Services