Re: Repeated request: Snappy+CUDoodle = happy marriage (?)

Si Ballenger (
Sun, 25 Aug 1996 23:37:16 -0400 (EDT)

At 11:05 PM 8/24/96 -0400, you wrote:
>Hello there,

>But my question: Did anyone try using the Snappy together with CUDoodle
>to use CU-SeeMe? From what I understand all you do is run the Snappy
>still-frame grabber program which shows you the live-picture preview in
>a 160x120 B&W window. You then run CUDoodle and move the Snappy preview
>window to the area on your screen that CUDoodle snaps.

I've got both a quick cam and a snappy and have done some testing using
cudoodle. Cudoodle works ok with the snappy, but there are a couple quirks
with the snappy
that you have to deal with:

1. The preview frames with the snappy don't update as quickley as the quick
cam does. I think this has to do with the speed/memory of the machine. The
snappy frame rate slows as you load your machine down (I've got a 486-66
with 16 meg). The frame rate from the snappy is faster when playing a B/W
tape than when using a live color feed from a camcorder (Rock n' Roll
Wrestling Women Vs. the Aztec Mummy moves along quite nicely!).

2. The image is sharper and you have a lot more flexability with the
camcorder than with the quick cam.

3. The slower frame rate seems to help the perceived speed of the
transmission. This could be because the cuseeme software isn't seeing a lot
of changes that it has to think about. Viewers have commented that they wish
they had a T-1 connection like me! ;-)

4. The snappy preview setup has a couple of things that are a hassle. The
preview screen has to be "the" high lited program on your screen for it to
work. If you click your curser anywhere else, the preview screen goes into
the "sleep" mode. This is a hassle if you want to type some chat(there are
some work arounds). The preview mode will go into the sleep mode after it
determines that there is no activity for about a minute. This seems to be
defeated if the curser is left inside the snappy preview box.
This all seems to be built in to save the 9v battery. Snappy has said it
could be powered externally, but I don't think they support this yet (I'll
do some testing later). I have heard that wal-warts may induce noise into
the high res. snaps.

5. You have to watch where the cuseeme video boxes pop up, and remember that
anything that lands in the cudoodle frame will be transmitted. If another
frame lands on the cudoodle frame and you click and drag it off, the preview
box goes in to the sleep mode (sigh!).
I got my snappy last summer when they came out and soon after wrote snappy
about the potential for using the preview screen for video conference stuff.
They wrote back saying "shhhh, we're working on it". It seems the cudoodle
guy is far ahead of them!
It seems that the "sleep" mode could be easily defeated with a patch if
they wanted to make the effort. Note that snappy doesn't have any email
addresses on their web site for suggestions, etc.. It would be interesting
to see if the preview frame speed would be faster using a B/W camera. Using
Ecuseeme, I've managed to get setup to switch between the snappy and the
quick cam while on a refleector (as the Great Wizard said, "don't pay any
attention to the old man behind the curtain"). Si B.