Re: QuickCam for Windows availability

Michael Sattler (
Mon, 21 Aug 1995 12:30:03 -0700

At 6:28 8/21/95, Tim Belcher wrote a flame-a-thon that gives credence to
his last name. Other than that one jab, the rest of this message should be
informative :-)

>I have ordered (and presumably paid for) two PC QuickCams from...

Mail-order places will gladly take your money anytime you present them with
a credit card (although some places don't actually run the charge until
they ship). The presence of an advertisment in a mail-order catalog should
in no way, shape, or form be construed to be a notice of public
availability. Catalogs are printed up months in advance of when they
arrive in your mailbox. It is the estimated ship date at the time of
printing that determines what adverts appear.

>...they should be here today (according to ...

Mail-order houses will, in general, tell you anything you want to hear. In
my experience, the ONLY thing worth asking is "do you have this product in

>I have seen advertisements in every major publication I receive
>and several I do not about the new PC QuickCam from Connectix.
>I refuse to believe that this is some type of conspiracy against
>Connectix, by some over-anxious vendors....

The lead time for magazines is as much as three months as well. Think
about that. When MacUser and Macworld write about a new release of Foobar,
due out this week, they wrote it three months ago. If you've ever been
involved in the development/release process for commercial software you'd
know that three months is several lifetimes.

>Not one advertisement says this product is still in testing and
>will not be released for another month.

As we learned in basic business contract law, an advertisment, even with a
price, does not constitute an offer to sell to you. These advertisments
are designed to educate you about an upcoming product, so you can make your
next quarter's business plans (and budgets) with this new frob in mind.
That's the only reason they're there.

>Who do you think you are?- Microsoft?

A good question. Let's see. Microsoft releases software that's late,
bloated, and with dozens of bugs that half-competent testing would have
found. (I say this because dozens of bugs were found in MS Word 6/Mac by
half-competent end-users; my quality assurance staff would have sniffed
most of these out in a few days of testing, given a month or two we would
have found all of them.) After stone-walling for months, Microsoft
released a bug fix that was available only from Microsoft and had a long
fulfillment delay.

Connectix releases software, perhaps a bit late, that for the most part
works better than advertised. When bugs are noted and posted to
comp.sys.mac.*, it's been my experience that Connectix has generated an
updater that is immediately sent to all the on-line services and the
Info-Mac and UMich software archives. Perhaps Connectix's turn-around time
isn't phenomenal, but it's measured in weeks, not quarters.

I make this comparison based upon Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word,
Microsoft Office and Connectix RAM Doubler, Connectix PowerBook Utilities,
and the Connectix QuickCam software.

> Second: My original question was whether or not the camera will
> support CU-SeeMe. You did not answer.

You didn't do your homework. That, and the insulting and juevenile tone of
your mail, is probably why you're not getting people to work extra hard to
answer your questions. I'm betting that you're just getting used to the
on-line world, so I'll answer:

Connectix has said many times that it only develops QuickCam software to
one standard: Apple's QuickTime API. Any and all software that properly
speaks QuickTime will work with QuickCam. Any and all software that
doesn't, won't. Connectix has on this mailing list noted times when Apple
itself doesn't follow its own specs.

(This, by the way, is why Dr. Tim Mulkey started the CU-SeeMe discussion
list archives - so that you could search what's been said before.)

Let's look once again at what Connectix said to you:

>On Fri, 18 Aug 1995 15:45:20 -0400 Tim Belcher wrote:
>>But has anyone received and connected the new connectix quickcam
>>for the pc and sent video over CU-SeeMe? I have two arriving
>>Monday on an assumption it will work... Any response would
>> be MOST appreciative!
>What vendor are you buying the Quickcam for Windows from? The QuickCam is due
>to ship in mid-September. We are looking for the vendors who are promising it
>before they get it. We don't like angry customers. Please reply to me with
>this information so we can straighten things out.

Hmmmm. This seems pretty straight-forward to me. You aren't getting the
cameras on Monday because Connectix isn't shipping them anytime before

>The QuickCam for Windows product is due to ship in mid-September. We are
>currently under final testing.

Hmmmm. It is "due" to ship. A quick glance at my dictionary helps me
interpret this to mean "QuickCam for Win will ship in mid-Sept if no
unforseen mishaps cause a delay".

>An angry customer,

If you must spew your vitriol at anyone, it should be the manager of the
mail-order droid that promised them to you on Monday (today). By the way,
if this is you at your most appreciative, I don't want to see you on a bad

Michael Sattler <> |
I'll be writing my next book on the islands of Ibiza and Gran Canaria |
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