Meaningful Questions (or "This ain't no love letter!")

Michael Reno (AllWork@gnn.com)
Mon, 25 Dec 1995 09:57:24


I=92m a relatively computer (and =91net) literate user that just started =
using=20
CUSM several days ago. I=92ve spent hours surfing around trying to find=20
answers to the questions I=92ve listed below, but (obviously) haven=92t h=
ad much=20
luck. I even bought "the book", but found it mostly contained simple bas=
ics.=20
I then subscribed to this list on Saturday, December 22. Over a holiday=
=20
weekend I got 67 messages! I subsequently surmise that it won=92t be lon=
g=20
before you all UNSUB, so I thought I=92d get my questions in quick! I al=
so=20
tried to consolidate the list rather then submit numerous messages, so pa=
rdon=20
the length.

If I can get some good answers I=92ll gladly post a page on the Web answe=
ring=20
this stuff!

____________________________

BACKGROUND: 486-DX2, 66mhz, 12 MB RAM, 28.8 USR Sportster (w/ True v.34/=
V.FC),=20
QuickCam, WFW 3.11
____________________________

QUESTIONS:

1) I read in=20
http://www.indstate.edu/msattler/sci-tech/comp/CU-SeeMe/faq-reflectors.ht=
ml that=20
I should "keep MAX K/Sec < 100 kbps and the Change Threshold < 20". Then,=
in=20
ftp://gated.cornell.edu/pub/video/CU-SeeMe.FAQ/-6.txt I found agreement o=
n the=20
MAX K/Sec, but was told "DON=92T set change threshold below 20". Aside f=
rom being=20
contradictory, these seem directed at MAC users; are there any Windows=20
suggestions? (Aside from the typical MACuser response: Buy a MAC!).
=20
2) Does anyone know of a resource that provides a meaningful discussion o=
n the=20
CUSM settings? I=92ve tried "playing" with the Transmission Settings (wh=
ich seem=20
to be the same as the Compression settings) and the Reception Settings to=
achieve=20
optimum performance. I can=92t seem to find the right balance. If using=
a 28.8=20
modem, for example, would it make sense split the bandwidth by adjusting =
the MAX=20
settings for send and receive to 14? Also, what affect do the MIN settin=
gs have?=20
Why wouldn=92t you simply want to leave them at 0 in order to send (or r=
eceive)=20
any scrap of data?
=20
3) I seem to "lose" messages sent by other users, and they seem to lose m=
essages=20
sent by me. Is this the result of incorrect SEND/RECEIVE settings?
=20
4) Does pausing the video help to increase reception rates? For example,=
when a=20
new sender enters a reflector and their window appears would it make sens=
e to=20
temporarily pause my video in order to receive their initial video, than =
restart=20
my video once the reflector is only sending me delta video?
=20
5) How do the Session ID=92s work? When connecting to public reflectors =
I=92ve=20
generally left it at the default of zero. If trying to establish a priva=
te=20
conference could all participants simply select another session in an eff=
ort to=20
achieve (pseudo) privacy?
=20
6) I=92ve tried limiting the viewing windows to 1 or 2 in an effort to im=
prove=20
performance. Sometimes, however, a random sender name will appear in my=20
"showing" participants list. I cannot see the sender, nor is any window=20
displayed. If I try to click on the name the CU-SeeMe program reports "N=
ULL=20
ASSERTION() FILE=3Dc:\e\cuseeme\ro84\core\video02.c Line 424". I am un=
able to=20
get rid of them until they leave the reflector.
=20
7) If I click on my options (settings) button the Local Video window is e=
xtended=20
to allow modifications to the settings. I=92ve found, however, that a bu=
g=20
apparently will cause it to be extended an additional 4 or 5 times it=92s=
original=20
length. I suspect that it happens when new participants join the confere=
nce=20
while the options extension is visible. I can then click on the options =
button=20
to make the settings reappear, but the Local Video window remains extende=
d for=20
the duration of the session. Doesn=92t seem to cause any problems aside =
from being=20
irritating! Any suggestions?
=20
8) Does disabling the audio features (mic and speaker) of CU-SeeMe improv=
e=20
performance beyond simply not using the features?
=20
9) Does keeping the chat window open degrade performance?
=20
10) When I look at the stats in a sender=92s window I never see anything =
but zero=92s=20
in the received column. Does this mean that they are not receiving my vi=
deo? =20
Also, I=92ve watched the KBS number jump around in the senders window, b=
ut the=20
stats numbers never seem to match. How do these relate to the stats that=
are in=20
my local video window? Do the stats actually work in the Windows version=
?
=20
11) Does anyone have knowledge of a program that will determine your IP i=
f it is=20
dynamically assigned at login? I know you can send E-Mail, but there=92s=
got to be=20
a quicker and easier way (CinVideos incorporates it in their software).
=20
12) QuickCam Users: Does setting checking the AUTO button for brightness=
seem to=20
degrade your CPU performance? I leave it at manual, but just read that i=
t might=20
make sense to keep it on automatic because it might help to reduce the am=
ount of=20
change in the Local Video and subsequently increase transmission performa=
nce. =20
Any suggestions? Also, does anyone know if keeping Print Manger enabled =
affects=20
performance (I use it to reroute printouts to our Novell Network)? I don=
=92t=20
notice any difference. Connetix Tech support wasn=92t much help (1st Tec=
h=20
suggested reinstalling the software; 2nd Tech suggested contacting my pri=
nter=20
manufacturer!, 3rd Tech said to run MST (sic - meant MSD) before starting=
each=20
Windows session).

A few discoveries I made during my exploration:

A) I=92ve been using the =91net extensively over the past several months.=
I did what=20
most people probably do; bought a modem, signed on with an internet acces=
s=20
provider, and installed their software (GNN, in this case). CUSM, howeve=
r, is=20
(obviously) a bandwidth hungry app. I started searching the =91net and f=
ound that=20
I should have the COMMxFIFO and COMMxBUFFER instructions in the SYSTEM.IN=
I file. =20
There was never any mention of this in the modem docs or the ISP help. A=
lso,=20
there is an updated SERIAL.386 system file available from Microsoft. Che=
ck out=20
http://www.teleport.com/~curt/modems.html for a very COMPLETE discussion.=
These=20
changes made substantial improvements in COMM speed. (I=92m sure all of =
the MAC=20
users are now smirking! Please note, however, that I still love having t=
housands=20
of choices for hardware and software!)
=20
B) To those using GNN (and maybe AOL, Compuserve, etc.). You probably al=
ready=20
know that you MUST use the WINSOCK.DLL provided by these on-line companie=
s in=20
order to connect to their servers. Note that you can simply copy that fi=
le into=20
your CUSM directory. Then, simply launch CUSM. The dialer will then be=20
automatically launched and find the DNS. This will save substantial syst=
em=20
resources (esp heaps) and seemed to make CUSM run better on my system.
=20