Re: Cu-SeeMe and the LAN

Jason Williams (streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu)
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 16:43:31 -0500 (CDT)


On Mon, 27 Jul 1998, Robert D Prociak wrote:
> They call Cu-SeeMe"Desktop video conferencing software" .
> One problem it won't work on most desktops connected to a LAN.

I don't buy this..I've used it on a few LANs on campus and it works fine.
I believe your problem with using it on a LAN is using it on a LAN that's
a firewall or has a limited number of IPs.

> Though if you have 300 computers you may not want 300 ips so you may
> have a proxy server on your LAN with private IP address.

And there's your problem..your assumption here is that most LANs in
existence today have private IP addresses. I don't believe this to be the
case, but my only experience with that is from observing what the
University does and what Bill Woodland's office does.

The age old problem of CU not working with proxies is the fact that each
client is also a server which embeds its IP into not only the IP packet
headers but into the CU headers as well. Brian Godette's Enhanced
Reflector notifies the participant when the two IPs differ. It's not just
a problem with CU as I believe a few of the other videoconferencing
programs have the same problem (I know iVisit does at this point).

> So Cu-SeeMe will not work on the majority of desktop computers out
> there.

Again..your assumption is that most desktop computers are on LANs with
private IPs behind a proxy. I don't believe that's the case.

I also talked to a guy (got him on my ICQ list in fact) that uses the
Microsoft Proxy with the White Pine version of CU. He opened up the right
ports and it worked.

> Cu-SeeMe is video confercing software Net meeting is not.

Netmeeting isn't videoconferencing? What is it then?
Netmeeting is more than videoconferencing as it does Whiteboarding and
application sharing.

> Cu-SeeMe is better.

Agreed. :)

> Ways to Workaround this problem with Cu-SeeMe on the LAN usually revolve
> around putting a Cu-SeeMe reflector were it can see both the Internet and
> LAN. You can't call out that way but if you have a fast connection you can
> get pretty good communications. Unfortunately the best reflector for the job
> is also lot of money.

I dunno about that... Brian Godette's Enhanced Reflector
(http://www.dimensional.com/~bgodette) seem to work pretty well given the
bandwidth for it.

> >Pricing is as follows: MeetingPoint Server (10 user) - $3,995
> >> Maintenance & Support - $998.75
> >> (includes 10 copies of CUSeeMe vers 3.1)

Hmmph...and here Gary got ticked at me for quoting a $4000 price for MPCS.
:) $1000 support? geeze.

> uses it). Brian's Eref seems to be a very good reflector but I have never
> been able to get it to work on two IPs at once.

If you don't include a HOST command, it will bind to all IPs (INADDR_ANY I
believe). Unless you have specific interfaces you DON'T want it to bind
to, this would work fine.

> There is another reflector port to NT . The UCSC Reflector. It will
> bind to multiple IPs but is limited in some of the other features as
> compared to Brian's Eref.

Yucky...The UCSC reflector is also based on VERY old reflector code (2.0 I
believe) which doesn't even support aux-data at all (no chat window). It
may be a port of the 3.0b3 code..I'm not sure. It's been a few years
since I've looked into that. I doubt it has code to bind to specific
interfaces. More than likely, it binds to all of them. (The direct ports
of the Cornell reflector don't allow you to choose interfaces to bind
to..That was added by White Pine and Brian).

> I really did not like some of the things that Frank had done with the
> program like recording people's chat logs. The cgi scripting and web
> interface aside I was imprest with the reflectors executable's performance
> and the fact that it could bind to two IPs at once but it sure seems like
> Eref in the way it works.

If it looks like an Eref..if it runs like an Eref..if it has the exact
same commandset as an Eref..if it has the same debugging comments as an
Eref...it's an Eref. :)

> Except it binds to two IPs.?

So will the Enhanced Ref...just don't include a HOST command and it binds
to all...actually, an excert from "Frank's" hacked up config file:
"; ; ; ; ; ; LOCAL-BIND-IP 190.190.190.2
; ; LOCAL-BIND-IP 190.190.190.1
;
; NOTE! not workin comlpletelly right yet !........................
"

So I doubt it does what you think it does. :)

> I've read on the list that Frank allegedly plagiarized Brian's earlier
> version of Eref source code. I'm fairly new to Cu-SeeMe and never saw an
> earlier version of Eref. Can anyone tell me if a port to NT ever exited
> (binary executable) ?

The Win95/NT port of the Enhanced Reflector has always existed as far back
as I can remember (to 1.04 I believe). Go to the above URL and you can
grab it.

> Can anyone tell me if it did ever exist can it still
> be obtained ? Brian? I would love to get a copy of the executable to test
> for binding to two IPs.

See above. :)

> The other problem with Cu-SeeMe from the desktop is you can't call the
> Internet just your reflector on your LAN/Internet (Will Call You).

Again..a problem with using Proxies and limited numbers of IPs.

> Data supplied to us suggest that cable modems, or ASDL service will be
> available to a full 2/3 of American households within 1-2 years.

That seems rather high..They also said in the 1960's that "videophones
would be in every living room within 10 years"..or something like that.
As far as how accurate ADSL and cable modems are.. Texas is a pretty big
state and I only know of El Paso which has cable modem access with Austin
due by November. ADSL exists, but at $200/month for just the phone line,
it's not quite practical.

> Videoconfercing with Cu-SeeMe over cable modems was capable in our test
> of up to 15-32 frames a sec video.

That also depends on the cable modem..how much it's being used at the
time, etc. I've heard some Bellsouth cablemodem users complain that they
weren't getting any more than 30kbps. If 2/3 of the US DOES get
cablemodems or ADSL, you gotta think about oversubscription of services.
Look at AOL for a prime example of what can go wrong when all of America
tunes in. :)

> With Intel DVI 32 kb audio sound is very life like, average frame rates
> varies with number of participants and your desire to really burn up
> your cable companies ATM network.

Intel DVI rocks.. :) I wish I had the bandwidth for it. Given bandwidth,
CU flies (as does every other net app).

> With Color video cameras capture kits going for $69.95 the availability of
> cable modems /asl and sound cards going for $19.95 there is no reason not to
> believe that true cheep video conferencining for the masses may be just
> around the corner.

Keep in mind a recent post by Jamie Erbes about the misconception of
people using videoconferencing as an extended telephone to call people
they know. In reality, it's being used for sex. Does that mean 2/3rds of
the US will be intending to use videoconferencing for sex? No..more than
likely, most of the 2/3rds of the US will be using the cable modem to the
usual..surfing web pages, etc. You have to keep in mind that just because
the technology is available doesn't mean people will use it at all.

> I was just thinking about who's software was going to be on the desktop on
> millions of LAN connected computers out there?

More than likely that would be Netmeeting seeing as how it's sold with
Win95 i believe (or IE4...)..definitely sold with Win98.

> ///////////////////////
> Disclaimer :All software mention is copyrighted by there respective owners.
> I do not speak on behalf of anyone but myself I do not speak on behalf of
> any Computer company including any I may have or currently work for. No
> offer is made to sell products or provide a service. Mention of the
> consideration or evaluation of various software pack ages does not
> constitute an offer to purchase any products at this time. No guaranty is
> made that any service will ever be offered and if subsequently offered will
> not constitute a requirement that said service will be as described here.
>
> Cu-seeme reflectors mentioned here are currently for closed private
> evaluation. No Public access is permitted at this time.

Whew..now THAT is a disclaimer :)

--
streak@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu    * Jason Williams -- Austin, Tx.  |     |
streak@mail.utexas.edu       * University of Texas at Austin  | ___ |
streak@cs.utexas.edu         * BS Computer Science             \_|_/
*************** http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~streak/ **************|