Re: cameras

Ian (virus@mad.scientist.com)
Tue, 19 May 1998 11:45:07 -0600


At 11:39 AM 5/18/98 -0400, Andrew Vander Molen wrote:
>I have two questions:
>
>1) In the past the connectix VC was NOT recommended by some people.
>Why? and was this for both the USB and parallel version?

IMHO, both Connectix cameras are flaky.
Not so much the parallel as the USB version. For the parallel version
you need to plug the camera into your keyboard port for power or buy an
additional power supply sessory from connectix (
http://www.connectix.com/html/adapter_for_quickcam.html ). This is well
worth the money for base stationed cameras instead of dealing with the
random keyboard problems that most of the people on this list are
experiencing. The parallel interface is well supported and compatible with
most anything.

As for the USB version....
Microsoft can't get its USB drivers to work with many USB based devices.
USB isn't something I would want to invest in because it will never replace
the good ole RS-232 port. Though motherboard manufacturers had good
intentions by integrating USB into their chipsets, it isn't catching on.
Currently USB is going down - from what I've heard. Apple's Firewire
(i-link) will be integrated into motherboards in the near future to take
the place of USB. Firewire is already integreted in Sony, Panasonic, and
Phillip's digital video cameras and VCRs (Popular Science had a field day
with this one about 9 months ago). If you have one of these, you will not
need a QuickCam or a capture card - just i-link :-)

Got this info from http://www.motherboards.org/chipset.html :
USB Universal Serial Bus to (mis)use a familiar acronym, USB is a
"peripheral connection interface" for external devices. To describe
it is also to imply that it is known in the industry as "vaporware."
There just aren't many devices that use USB for it to be a serious
technology yet. Its speed is a staggering 24 MHz (12 Mb/sec), making
a run for the i-link, IEEE-1394 (Apple's FireWire) market. USB is
supposed to be what you'll connect joysticks, keyboards, modems,
scanners, mice, and anything else you use today that needs a slow SCSI
or RS-232 interface. Sure, RS-232 was the hot product of the 1980's,
but hey - it still works fine for my modem. With as slow as it is
adopting USB, many people believe that the IEEE-1394 spec will blow
the doors off USB USB maxes out at a puny 12 Mbps compared to 400 Mbps
for i-link), leaving USB to a fate somehow reminiscent of the 80487.
Others see USB used for low-to-medium bandwidth products,
supplementing the high-end i-link products that may soon run at speeds
up to 1 Gbps.

>2) What is the next step up in hardware and software from the Connectix
>Color and Cuseeme ? Is there a site with this info? What I'm trying to do is
>investigate the cost /performance of video conferencing at the low to medium
>price end. I use the above and I'm also use the other end PictureTel. I've
>seen references to other products on this news group but not a clear pattern.
>TIA,
>AMV
>
These guys should help:
http://members.tripod.com/~Hidday/index.html
http://cu-seeme.cornell.edu/~WCW/