Re: new to the list -- with questions

John Ingham (johningh@tafe.sa.edu.au)
Thu, 28 Aug 1997 17:20:35 +0930


Dave Mason recently asked...

>My primary aim is to use it for video conferencing with my parents. I live
>in Germany and have an Apple PowerBook 165 (33MHz, 28.8 modem). <snip>

I don't know the particular features of your model of Powerbook but some
only have one serial (ie printer/network/modem) port. This is a bummer
unless you plan to use the built-in modem because you'll need the serial
port to plug your QuickCam into.

>I saw in a recent message on the CU-SeeMe list that White Pine's
>commercial version is the way to go since it provides better compression
>for audio and video. My parents and I, though, have limited funds (getting
>them the PowerMac was a huge investment) so I need to be careful with
>money. <snip>

White Pine's CU-SeeMe is really not very expensive - less than $100 US, and
does offer color - however as you have already purchased grey-scale
QuickCams there is probably no point in going out and buying it - its
improved performance is only for color video.

I'd recommend you get "PowWow" from Tribal - something like WWW.tribal.com
- it is a free non-video conferencing client with MUCH better sound than
CU-SeeMe. By running the two applications at the same time you'll be
better off by far than using CU-SeeMe's audio,
1. because PowWow's audio is better anyway, and
2. because in my experience with 2 datastreams running in parallel your
total through-put will be better than trying to squeeze video + audio into
1 data stream. Rarely have I been bandwidth-limited by my own modem
connection, it's usually somewhere else in the internet, so running 2 data
streams gives you two bites of the cherry!

Another advantage of PowWow is that, unlike CU-SeeMe, you don't need to
know the IP number of your other party in order to connect - just their
e-mail address. So you establish a connection first using PowWow (which by
the way will provide the other parties IP - just click on the bar
seperating the PowWow Chat windows) and then call them on CU-SeeMe.

One thing though, at 28,800 bps you'll find that you'll usually have to
freeze your camera when speaking because 28,000 bps is not enough to
support picture and sound at the same time.

>I, too, will have to service their machine from Germany (using
>probably Timbuktu Remote, which I've never seen) since they are novices
>with computers.
>
Timbuktu is great - we use it for Mac to Mac and Mac to PC here at my work
and I heartily recommend it. But if the worst comes to the worst and you
have to talk them through some set-up via the telephone, being a Mac
they'll have less trouble than with some other computers I could mention!

John Ingham
Supervisor, Technical Operations, CALS (Centre for Applied Learning Systems)
Adelaide Institute of TAFE (Training and Further Education)
GPO Box 1872 Adelaide South Australia 5001
Ph: +61 8 8207 8550 Fax: +61 8 8207 8552
Email: johningh@tafe.sa.edu.au
Web Site: http://www.tafe.sa.edu.au/video-conf/
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