CUSeeMe Mac 0.83b3 remarks #2

Dennis J. Streveler (
Mon, 26 Feb 1996 19:27:18 -0700

SFO DJS 96/02/26 08.44

Hi Bill,

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my remarks. I appreciate it.
However, since I am on the Mac, I don't have the option (at least yet) of
using WP2.0. On a few points, below, I think your information is incorrect.

Thanks again for the speedy reply.


>>5) There should be a way to block your video from being received by one or
>>more participants. Look at it this way, now you can decide which
>>participant(s) you will RECEIVE, but you cannot decide which participant(s)
>>can RECEIVE you.
>Another nice idea, but most reflectors are PUBLIC, so if you don't want some
>people to see you, maybe you shouldn't be transmitting video in the first
>place. If you're shy, turn the camera off.

It's not a question of being shy. In a big teleconference, you might want
to have a "sidebar" (i do this on audio all the time) and not show video to
one or more participants.

>>6) You should easily be able to tell (without looking at the Disconnect
>>menu item!) to whom you are currently connected. This should be shown as
>>both a symbolic name and actual IP address. (One kludgy quick way of doing
>>this might be to change the menu bar of the "Participant list" to this
>The WP version does this.

I hope the Mac version(s) will too.

>>7) A user should be able to give some brief "finger" information -- email
>>address, location, whatever-- to be displayed along with the IP address.
>Try that thing called "the chat window".

You miss the point here. Finger is an essential ingredient in separating
signal from noise...

>>9) Color transmissions should be labeled as such. I should be able to know
>>this BEFORE I open the video window.
>INFO again tells you this in the WP version.

At least on the Mac version there doesn't appear to be any INFO which tells
you this.

>>10) High-res transmissions should be labeled as such. I should be able to
>>know this BEFORE I open the video window.
>INFO again

At least on the Mac version there doesn't appear to be any INFO which tells
you this.

>>11) When someone is "speaking" (gray bar in Participant List) it is not
>>possible to tell whether that person is speaking to you or to the world. I
>>must also say that the little black squares and little hollow squares in
>>the Participant List are not very well thought out, and not at all
>>intuitive. A kludge if ever I saw one. Let me say again that if you ever
>>want to this product to get out of techies hands and into the boardroom
>>you'd better rethink the HCI very carefully.
>No comment, since I'm a PC user and haven't sen the MAC participants list yet.

A PC user can't tell where an audio signal is coming from/has come from?

>>12) The "pause" capability is great. (I like to sneeze in private!) But I
>>should be reminded how long I have been in pause mode.
>SOME things you just have to do for yourself.

You miss the point. It is very easy to leave your video paused by mistake,
and then realize this some time later.

>>13) There should be better coordination between the "pause" button and the
>>"stop sending video" menu choice. One should be able to resume after having
>>stopped OR paused, by clicking on the pause button.
>Pause just means to freeze your picture. "Stop sending video" means that
>you are now a lurker. Big difference.

Yes, but if I "unpause" my video, shouldn't that also mean I want to
"unstop" it?

>>14) I haven't been able to figure out what the "caps" are which show in the
>>local video window information bars. They do not seem to bear much
>>relationship to reality, nor to the current transmission/reception
>This is calculated by the software based on packets actually received and
>packets lost, and is constantly adjusted for best performance.

I am sure this is the case, but it is sure black magic, and not at all
clear as to what is going on. If it is "debugging" information, great. If
it is something the user is supposed to consider, and perhaps take action
based on it, then it is not a very effective vehicle.

>>16) The most common problem with the Push to Talk button is that people
>>leave up on it too quickly, thus truncating their message. Apparently tehre
>>is some lag in digitization of your speech, and you must not leave up on
>>the button until the digitization is completed. ??
>This is something that people will have to learn on their own, similar to
>talking on a CB radio.

One thing I've noticed is how many CU users are complete neophytes in
computers. If you take this attitude, you needlessly frustrate them and
make the product less useable.

>>17) The "slide window" needs lots of work! It must evolve (quickly!) into
>>some sort of whiteboard if it is to become a "real" VC capability.
>Try the WP whiteboard.

Sorry, I'm a Mac user. I am looking forward to seeing the "whiteboard"
feature! It is a very necessary ingredient in VC.

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

Dennis J. Streveler, Ph.D.
Systems Consultant
San Francisco, California, USA
CIS: 71036,1645
My job? To send the appropriate electrons hurtling around the globe.