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

Bill Woodland (
Tue, 26 Dec 1995 13:57:15 -0600

If anyone here disagrees with any of my answers, or has a better answer,
copy them to me, and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong :-)

>From: Michael Reno <>

>I'm a relatively computer (and 'net) literate user that just started using
>CUSM several days ago. I've spent hours surfing around trying to find
>answers to the questions I've listed below, but (obviously) haven't had much
>luck. I even bought "the book", but found it mostly contained simple basics.
> I then subscribed to this list on Saturday, December 22. Over a holiday
>weekend I got 67 messages! I subsequently surmise that it won't be long
>before you all UNSUB, so I thought I'd get my questions in quick! I also
>tried to consolidate the list rather then submit numerous messages, so pardon
>the length.

Yes, and some of us just hang around here to answer questions for folks like
you, so don't worry about this list disappearing. I appreciate you putting
them all in one message.

>If I can get some good answers I'll gladly post a page on the Web answering
>this stuff!

There are already several web pages devoted to CU-SeeMe. Check out some of
these URLs: Streak's CU-Seeme Info Page White Pines CU-SeeMe Info Page CSUSM Windows World Michael
Sattler's CU-SeeMe Desktop Videoconferencing John Lauer's CU-SeeMe
Event Guide John Lauer's People Pages Busbey's CUSM Friends Hubble's CU-SeeMe Page CU-SeeMe E-Zine CU-SeeMe at NCSU CU-SeeMe Schools CU-SeeMe Video Conferencing
Experiments Jher's CU-SeeMe Page NASA Television on CU-SeeMe Susan Warshauer's English
Class CU-SeeMe Session The "Un" Un-Official CU-SeeMe Home Page The Undernet IRC #CU-SeeMe Channel Home Page

>From: Michael Reno <>
>BACKGROUND: 486-DX2, 66mhz, 12 MB RAM, 28.8 USR Sportster (w/ True
>QuickCam, WFW 3.11
>1) I read in
>I should "keep MAX K/Sec < 100 kbps and the Change Threshold < 20". Then, in
> I found agreement on the
>MAX K/Sec, but was told "DON'T set change threshold below 20". Aside from
>contradictory, these seem directed at MAC users; are there any Windows
>suggestions? (Aside from the typical MACuser response: Buy a MAC!).

As far as the Max transmission setting goes, keep in mind that your modem
can only handle 28k, so setting it to 100k won't do you any good. You will
end up losing packets. I set my transmit to 10k and my receive to 14k,
since I want to SEE more than I want to SEND, and my 28.8 almost always
conencts at 24400. This seems to work very well for me. (PC user)

>2) Does anyone know of a resource that provides a meaningful discussion on the
>CUSM settings? I've tried "playing" with the Transmission Settings (which
>to be the same as the Compression settings) and the Reception Settings to
>optimum performance. I can't seem to find the right balance. If using a 28.8
>modem, for example, would it make sense split the bandwidth by adjusting
the MAX
>settings for send and receive to 14? Also, what affect do the MIN settings
> Why wouldn't you simply want to leave them at 0 in order to send (or receive)
>any scrap of data?

On the PC version the compression settings don't work yet, and yes, they
seem to be tied to the transmit settings, so don't bother with them. Yes,
split the bandwidth, as I mentioned above. I'm not really sure yet what the
min settings are for. Perhaps someone else here can answer that part for
you and I both.

>3) I seem to "lose" messages sent by other users, and they seem to lose
>sent by me. Is this the result of incorrect SEND/RECEIVE settings?

This all has to do with the send/rec settings. If you have them set too
high then you will miss packets, and the chat text is sent using UDP just
ike the video is. Sometimes the chat window gets fouled up and won't send
or receive text. Close the chat window and reopen it to fix it.
>4) Does pausing the video help to increase reception rates? For example,
when a
>new sender enters a reflector and their window appears would it make sense to
>temporarily pause my video in order to receive their initial video, than
>my video once the reflector is only sending me delta video?

I don't bother. If you split the bandwidth like I said, it should work ok.
Also, I have mine set so it doesn't automatically open new windows, since
I'm only at 28.8

>5) How do the Session ID's work? When connecting to public reflectors I've
>generally left it at the default of zero. If trying to establish a private
>conference could all participants simply select another session in an
effort to
>achieve (pseudo) privacy?

I PUBLIC reflector is one with a conference ID of zero. Private reflector
sites have a different conference ID, and you have to get in with the right
people to get access.

>6) I've tried limiting the viewing windows to 1 or 2 in an effort to improve
>performance. Sometimes, however, a random sender name will appear in my
>"showing" participants list. I cannot see the sender, nor is any window
>displayed. If I try to click on the name the CU-SeeMe program reports "NULL
>ASSERTION() FILE=c:\e\cuseeme\ro84\core\video02.c Line 424". I am unable to
>get rid of them until they leave the reflector.

this is caused by a bug in the Participants list code, which is being
totally re-written. For now, you will just have to put up with this, altho
you still receive data from them and can't see it, so it slows down the
other windows.

>7) If I click on my options (settings) button the Local Video window is
>to allow modifications to the settings. I've found, however, that a bug
>apparently will cause it to be extended an additional 4 or 5 times it's
>length. I suspect that it happens when new participants join the conference
>while the options extension is visible. I can then click on the options
>to make the settings reappear, but the Local Video window remains extended for
>the duration of the session. Doesn't seem to cause any problems aside from
>irritating! Any suggestions?

I have that problem too, and it is also associated with the bugs in the
Participants list.

>8) Does disabling the audio features (mic and speaker) of CU-SeeMe improve
>performance beyond simply not using the features?


>9) Does keeping the chat window open degrade performance?

Sure, but look at the small amount of data that comes across compared to the
amount of data in a video window. The chat window doesn't take up that much
room in the data stream.
>10) When I look at the stats in a sender's window I never see anything but
>in the received column. Does this mean that they are not receiving my video?
>Also, I've watched the KBS number jump around in the senders window, but the
>stats numbers never seem to match. How do these relate to the stats that
are in
>my local video window? Do the stats actually work in the Windows version?

When you get your settings right, you will get different results, here. Try
it out, then come back. The numbers in the senders windows are for how much
data YOU received from them, not the other way around.

>11) Does anyone have knowledge of a program that will determine your IP if
it is
>dynamically assigned at login? I know you can send E-Mail, but there's got
to be
>a quicker and easier way (CinVideos incorporates it in their software).

That's why we use reflectors to get together. Once you meet with your
friend on a reflector, you can exchange IP addresses and direct connect.

>12) QuickCam Users: Does setting checking the AUTO button for brightness
seem to
>degrade your CPU performance? I leave it at manual, but just read that it
>make sense to keep it on automatic because it might help to reduce the
amount of
>change in the Local Video and subsequently increase transmission performance.
>Any suggestions? Also, does anyone know if keeping Print Manger enabled
>performance (I use it to reroute printouts to our Novell Network)? I don't
>notice any difference. Connetix Tech support wasn't much help (1st Tech
>suggested reinstalling the software; 2nd Tech suggested contacting my printer
>manufacturer!, 3rd Tech said to run MST (sic - meant MSD) before starting each
>Windows session).

Unless you are using a really SLOW pc, checking AUTO won't slow anything
down, it's just for the camera driver to adjust when the brightness changes.

Print manager will only degrade things if there is any print for it to deal
with. I run a Novell LAN and don't use the print manager at all, since the
LAN has its own print queues. Print manager is basically just another
buffer, so you might as well just let the application program send the print
straight to the LAN.

Bill Woodland (
Squeek on Undernet IRC
Channel Manager #CU-SeeMe