Update QuickCam/Mac sw (was: Powerbook 5300c vs Cu-seeme)

Michael Sattler (msattler@jungle.com)
Fri, 15 Dec 1995 04:39:28 -0800


At 8:29 PM 12/14/95, is@leverkusen.netsurf.de wrote:

>I use a Connectix Quickcam (Version 1.0)...

Well,then the first thing you'll want to do is run over and pick up
Connectix's latest software updater to bring you into a current
configuration. Find it at:

<http://www.pcworld.com/connectix/files/QuickCam_1.0.3_Updater.hqx>

Enjoy.

* * * The "Read Me First (1.0.3) document * * *

QuickCam Read Me

Release 1.0.3: 4/19/95

Please Read This!
Certain QuickMovie features will not work unless you use Apple's QuickTime
patch, an extension named Multimedia Tuner. Multimedia Tuner is installed
automatically by the QuickCam installer. Without Multimedia Tuner, the post
compression, time lapse, and frame-at-a-time functions in QuickMovie
generate incorrect movie frames due to improper handling of 4-bit grayscale
images by QuickTime. Make sure that you do not disable this important
extension. Apple Multimedia Tuner is currently available on AppleLink and
eWorld. It is also on the CD-ROM that you will receive when you complete
and mail in your registration card.

About the Updater
This updater will update the following QuickCam software:
* QuickFrame version 1.0 and 1.0.1 -> version 1.0.3
* QuickMovie versions 1.0, 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 -> version 1.0.3
* QuickPICT versions 1.0, 1.0.1, 1.0.2 and 1.0.2a -> version 1.0.3
* ~QuickCamMic versions 1.0, 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 -> version 1.0.3
* ~QuickCamVideo versions 1.0, 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 -> version 1.0.3

To run the updater, double click the "QuickCam 1.0.3 Updater." The updater
will ask you to locate the files listed above. The "~QuickCamMic" and
"~QuickCamVideo" files are system extensions can found in the "Extensions"
folder of your system folder. The updater will update the files in place,
so be sure to make a backup of the original files. You must restart after
updating the "~QuickCamMic" and "~QuickCamVideo" extensions in order for
the changes to take effect. To complete the update, copy the "QuickFrame
Mattes" folder included with the updater to the same folder in which the
QuickFrame application resides.

NOTE: In version 1.0 of the QuickCam software, the QuickCam video and sound
digitizers were named "QuickCamVideo" and "QuickCamMic" (without "~"). In
order to load properly under system software prior to System 7.1, these
extensions should be named "~QuickCamVideo" and "~QuickCamMic." The updater
will not change the names of these files so you must change them manually.

Known Problems
* If you record a movie using a Built-In Microphone and then try to play
back the movie, you may not hear sound from the movie. Why? Because
QuickTime turns the speaker off to prevent feedback, but doesn't turn it
back on for playback. Solution: Record using the Built-In Mic, but select
"QuickCam Mic" on the Settings menu when you play back the movie.

Note: On some Performa and Quadra models QuickTime will turn off the
speaker when you select the "Built-In" microphone from the Settings menu
even if you do not record a sound. Select "QuickCam Mic" to turn the
speaker back on.

* If you get a picture with colored "speckles" when you paste into
QuickFrame from QuickPICT, check to see what other applications are
running. For example, older versions of Now Contact change the System
palette to include colors where grays are normally located. Quit the other
application that is changing the System palette and try capturing the
picture again. You may also get a picture with colored "speckles" if your
monitor is set to 16 colors or less. Set your monitor to greater than 16
colors.

* If you copy a picture to the clipboard from QuickPICT and then
immediately attempt to paste that PICT into a QuickMovie, you'll generate a
error.

* FaxSTF and other modem software lock down ports, so just physically
unplugging your modem is not enough, you must also disable the modem
software configured for the port you're trying to use QuickCam on.

* Some PowerBook 5xx models have marginal power available on the serial
port, especially when being run from battery. Neither QuickPICT nor
QuickMovie will appear to work if there is not enough power available. If
you experience this problem on your PowerBook 5xx contact Connectix
technical support--you will most likely need a supplemental power cable
(draws power off the ADB port), which we can send to you for a $9.95
shipping and handling charge.

* All PowerBooks automatically spin down the hard disk drive if you use the
PowerBook's built-in microphone. This is a "feature" Apple built into the
PowerBook ROM. To record a QuickMovie with sound we suggest using
QuickCam's microphone.

* When Apple designed Quadra 63x TV card, they assumed that there would
never be any other video input source besides the TV/AV card on these Macs.
As a consequence, their software does not bother to decide which video
source to use - it simply uses the first one it finds. This source often
happens to be the QuickCam driver. Since this problem is not specific to
QuickCam (this would happen with any additional video driver) we can not
fix it. Apple needs to update its software so that the user can either
select the video source (if there are multiple drivers available) or so
that the software only uses a specific driver. One workaround is to open
QuickPICT and leave it running before launching Apple TV Tuner. Otherwise,
you will need to disable the QuickCam extensions at startup.

If you find any additional problems with this release, please send email to
support@connectix.com with a full description of the sequence that caused
the problem.

Produce Movie
QuickCam does not flatten movies when you save (just like Premiere).
Flattening means that all the data used by the movie is placed in that
movie file, not just references to the data. Normally, when you copy clips
between QuickTime movie files, the actual data is not copied (this could
increase storage requirements, since you would now have two actual copies
of the data, which can be many megabytes in size). Instead, QuickTime uses
a technique similar to aliasing, recording only a pointer to the actual
movie data. That means that if you send a movie file to someone else (via
the network or on a floppy), they won't get the actual movie data if you
copied it from other files. In order to produce a movie that is guaranteed
to have all of the movie data in it, select Produce Movie from the File
menu. It functions just like Save As, except that it flattens the movie to
guarantee that all data is self-contained in the resulting file.

If you never copy clips between movies or delete parts of your movie, you
do not have to use Produce Movie.

Other Things You Should Know
* If your QuickCam is installed to the Printer Port and you are not
connected to an AppleTalk device, AppleTalk needs to be inactive in order
to make the port available for QuickCam to use. The same applies if your
QuickCam is installed on a PowerBook with one serial port and the modem is
set to compatible.

* When you're actually recording a movie, your on-screen frame rate will
appear to drop. Don't worry, this is because QuickTime and QuickMovie are
making sure that you get the full rate saved to disk first; screen updates
are secondary to captured frame rates. When you play back your saved movie,
you'll see the full frame rate captured by QuickMovie.

* When recording audio with your computer's built-in microphone
capabilities, you may need to adjust the recording gain. You do this by
selecting Audio Other from the Settings menu and adjusting the Gain slider.
The default gain is fairly low, so you might want to automatically adjust
it higher. Note: you can only adjust Audio settings when you are in the
Record mode (the icon in lower left corner is a camera). Note: we recommend
you use the computer's built-in microphone rather than the one in QuickCam,
since you'll get better audio quality and faster video refresh (QuickCam
includes a microphone so that Macintosh II, Macintosh IIci, Macintosh IIcx,
Macintosh IIx, Macintosh IIfx, and SE/30 users can record movies with
audio).

* You can see how good your visual brightness adjustment really was by
examining a QuickPICT image you captured in Photoshop. First, make sure
that you're looking at the image with the correct, undithered palette.
Select Indexed Mode with 4-bit Exact Palette. Next, select Histogram.
You'll see a chart of the various grays that appear in your image. Assuming
a normal image (e.g., not a picture of a white cat on a white sofa in a
white room drinking milk), you should see relatively even bars across the
histogram. If you are missing bars at the black end, you are adjusting the
camera too bright. If you are missing bars at the white end, you are
adjusting the camera too dark. If you have some pixels at all spots across
the histogram, and the bars are evenly distributed, you have adjusted the
camera correctly. Tip: Caucasian faces should not be white, they should be
a light gray value.

* QuickCam was optimized for indoor use. However, it is possible to get
usable pictures outdoors. If you find that doing so puts the Brightness
slider to the extreme left of the window, try using a neutral density
filter in front of the lens (we've needed between 2 and 6 stops of neutral
density outdoors). In typical California sunlight with a PowerBook 520C we
are able to get excellent results with a 3-stop ND filter. (Of course, the
biggest problem won't be adjusting the QuickCam's brightness level, but
seeing the PowerBook's screen in such situations!) ND filters in a wide
range of values are available in glass and gel form from most serious photo
stores. Gel form is the easiest to use with QuickCam.

* If you copy a clip from one movie into another movie recorded in a larger
window, QuickMovie pastes the smaller size window into the larger window
leaving white space around the right and bottom edges. Currently QuickMovie
won't ask you if you would like to scale the small movie, as described in
the manual. This will be changed in a future release of QuickMovie to match
the manual's description of the process.

* Macintosh IIfx, Quadra 900, and Quadra 950 users need to use Serial
Switch in order to use QuickCam. Serial Switch is included on the CD-ROM
you will receive after you complete and send in your registration card.
Once installed, use the Serial Switch control panel to select "Compatible"
before using QuickCam. QuickCam does not work with the "Faster" serial port
mode. This mode uses DMA techniques to speed up serial transfers, but
interferes with QuickCam's software.

* If you use QuickCam on a Power Macintosh, you should make sure that you
have QuickTime Power Plug installed, since you will get better (read:
faster) results this way. QuickTime Power Plug is included on the CD-ROM
you will receive after you complete and send in your registration card.
QuickCam's installer places QuickTime Power Plug in the Extensions folder
when installing on a Power Macintosh. However, if you installed QuickCam's
software on a hard drive attached to a 680x0 machine, then connected that
hard drive to a Power Macintosh, QuickTime Power Plug would not be
installed. The same is true if you later add a Power PC upgrade card to a
680x0-based machine: you'll want to reinstall QuickCam's software to make
sure Power Plug gets installed.

If you have any comments about QuickCam, or would like to tell us how
you're using it, send email to quickcam@connectix.com.

Changes in Release 1.0.3
* Added JPEG support to QuickPICT for saved files
* Fixed problem that caused movies to be recorded in current monitor depth
instead of 16 grays.
* Fixed problem that kept QuickMovie from playing movies on locked drives
(e.g., CDs) and network servers
* Added support to make QuickCam more compatible with PowerBook 5xx models
that communicate through the port differently than expected.
* Changed audio drivers slightly to better support the full range of audio
applications.
* Updated About QuickMovie, About QuickPICT, and About QuickFrame pictures
to incorporate the new Connectix logo.

Changes in QuickPICT 1.0.2a
* Fixed problem that put TIFF images on clipboard if the last file save you
made was to TIFF format. Mac applications generally support only PICT as a
clipboard format for graphic interchange.

Changes in Release 1.0.2
* Made the software more compatible with Quadra 605, Performa 475, LC 475,
and Performa 578 machines that have a "slow" oscillator.
* Added support to use Printer port even when AppleTalk or LocalTalk is
active and Ethernet connection is being used.
* Additional port arbitration code added to device drivers.
* Fixed bug that caused software to crash when in 24-bit memory mode.
* Added TIFF support to QuickPICT for saved files (choose file format using
the PopUp menu in the Save dialog; TIFF is not supported on the clipboard).
* Added Preferences to QuickPICT so that it remembers all settings between
sessions.
* Made QuickPICT's capture time more responsive (closer to your click on
Take Picture).
* QuickPICT now saves files as 4-bit grayscale files, which saves disk space.
* QuickPICT correctly replaces file when you save over an existing PICT.
* QuickPICT auto increments the file name if a file of the same name
already exists (e.g., Untitled QuickPICT1, Untitled QuickPICT2).
* QuickMovie now keeps a PowerBook from resting when in Record mode.
* QuickFrame now supports user-created frames (you need QuickFrame Editor,
available on the CD-ROM sent to registered users).
* QuickFrame now allows you to scale and position the crop marquee for
pictures both larger and smaller than the selected frame.
* 16- and 32-bit pictures are dithered when pasted into a frame or selected
from the standard file dialog.

Changes in Release 1.0.1
* Renamed the extensions QuickCamVideo and QuickCamMic to ~QuickCamVideo
and ~QuickCamMic in order to load in the correct sequence under System
7.0.0.
* Once you selected a port using the installer, the software wouldn't let
you change ports. Fixed.
* Audio was not turned off after recording when using the QuickCam's
internal microphone. Fixed.
* Hiding QuickPICT or QuickMovie "blasted" extra frame into next
application. Fixed.
* Minimum size too small message when using Get Info on QuickPICT. Fixed.
* -43 error reported when Save As to new folder. Fixed.
* Dropped audio when using camera's microphone on some slower machines. Fixed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
Michael Sattler, Digital Jungle <mailto:msattler@jungle.com> |
San Francisco, California, USA <http://www.jungle.com/msattler/> |
|
My book "Internet TV with CU-SeeMe" (ISBN 1-57521-006-1) is available! |