CU SeeMe Success Report

Brian K. Dowtin (dowtin@ncat.edu)
Mon, 15 Dec 1997 11:03:48 -0500 (EST)


Hi,
This is just a people note to the technology we all love and love to
hate. After all what good is it if my mom can't use it?

Rough specs:

Last night we were successfully able to use CU-SeeMe for family
communication.

Color QC on our end
B&W QC on the other end

One Geek (me) and Spouse
2 Semi-computerate In-laws

P-II 266Mhz compaq on our end
P- 150MHz gateway Laptop on their end

Both connected to ISP's
us - in North Carolina
them - PA

Dial Tone/Meeting point: ICQ

We got QC's for all both mom's last mothers day. Been just a bit
slow in getting them set up. (they're both hours a way and not
into fiddling with computer settings).

After a bit of fiddling, and getting settings right and making sure
the quickcam was working on their end. We were able to connect.

It was priceless to see my inlaws faces and my wifes face light up
as the first frames of black and white video came across. And they
really were happy when reminded them it was free. Dad loves free.

It was even better when we switched the cam mode, and "pop" there
her daughter was in living color, moving very slowly, but there
nevertheless.

Sound worked fine. There was a bit of reecho from their end, but
not much at all. Video was great - other than my QC acting like
theres a short in the cord and hanging for a bit till we wiggled it.

For our family - thats one down, and 3 to go (one more mom and 2
siblings who we also gave QC's to) We went with the inlaws because
of the family, their probably the most computerate. (read: easist
to coach over the phone/chat to get it working)

Note:
We can explain technology to folks and tell them how awsome it is, but
until we can put it in their hands, untill they can touch it, see it for
themselves they'll never see the possibilites it holds. Its been quite an
experience gettin our families into video. They know we're young and that
I'm the computer guy, so they don't complain much, but then they aren't
very excited or interested. Its just so great to see how that all changes
when they experience using the technology, and see the potential. (They're
already thinking of how usefull it would be- Family conferences even).
I'm not one for 'dumbing down' technology so that any monkey could use
it - but I am one for making it understandable, and for educating folks
on how to use it AND how it works. This has been very rewarding for me,
and everytime I see my family from hundreds of miles away it will be
even more.

'Brian Dowtin
http://www.eng.ncat.edu/~dowtin