Several announcements from 10000 km away from home

Michael Sattler (msattler@jungle.com)
Sat, 18 Nov 1995 00:10:34 +0000


Hi everyone!

I'm on a book-writing trip in Eivissa and the Canary Islands, but due to a
incredibly thin pipe to the net and an incredibly flakey Spanish ISP, I'm
temporarily not on the CU-SeeMe Discussion List. I miss your posts, but I
prefer the sand dunes and palm trees.

My book, which wound up being titled "Internet TV with CU-SeeMe", is
finished and should be on the way to bookstores that carry the full
SAMS/Macmillian line and to others which request it. I would greatly
appreciate each of you asking your local bookstores to carry it. It's
International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is 1-57521-006-1. (Thanks to
vigilant email from some of you I'am aware that it's not yet listed on
Macmillian's "Upcoming Releases" web site.)

Speaking of web sites, by now Dick should have posted an announcement about
my being hired as a consultant to the CU-SeeMe Consortium. My duties will
include revamping and maintaining Cornell's CU-SeeMe web pages, updating
the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) lists, and terminating with extreme
prejudice any "unsuscrive" posters :-)

I've been working on those web pages locally. (Ever try uploading several
megabytes of new stuff on a static-filled connection that blazes at 56
bytes per second? Grrrrr.) Besides being completely re-organized and
updated, they will include new information on cameras, usage, and future
projects (anyone from White Pine listening?).

A brand spankin' new and updated CU-SeeMe Reflector List will be up by the
middle of December. It will list a new reflector in Korea, corrected
information for several reflectors, including some that have moved. Thanks
to a swift kick in the serial port (thank you Stephen), I've been
monitoring many of the reflectors that used to exist, but seem to have been
dead for a disconcerteningly long time. (Sad to say, many of the non-USA
reflectors now fall into this category.) Having travelled through some
European areas lately, I realize how limited the bandwidth is, something I
was told many months ago by Borre and Per.

In fact, Europe seems to be far behind the USA, but making a valiant effort
to catch up. The largest-bandwidth ISP in Spain, in whose territories I now
am, connects to the rest of the world via a 128 kbps pipe. (That's how much
I have going to my bedroom.) Telefonica, the Spanish telephone company, has
*one* Cisco router through which all Spanish traffic currently flows.

That's the bad news. The good news is that ISPs here are buying bigger pipe
as fast as Telefonica makes it available, and starting early in the new
year, Spanish users will all have an ISP Point of Presence (POP) within a
local phone call.

I guess I intellectually understood the economics and effects of having
small pipes, but it's hard to *feel* when living in the bit-rich San
Francisco Bay Area. You can read an on-going trip report (as much as the
pipe lets me trickle upwards) at
<http://www.jungle.com/msattler/culture/travel/ib-gc-trip-95/>.

Lastly, I really thank the hundreds and hundreds of you who participated in
the ECash Trial. A great deal was learned about the logistical problems of
running a digital money system, the resource requirements of providing
remote shop services, and of course, the items for sale. Thank all of you
who let me know when Digicash suddenly stopped the trial without informing
the EShops. (I flamed them plenty.) The abrupt ending of the trial, I was
later informed, was due to the creation of the first gateway between ECash
and legal tender by Mark Twain Bank of St. Louis. You can now apply for a
**real** ECash account at <http://www.digicash.com/ecash/ecash-home.html>.
(Digital commerce is coming to the net, let's try and set a precedent for
reasonable retail and not horrid price-gouging. Be the first on your
block... :-)

I'll be glad to hear (and respond) to your comments, but please remember
that I'm not currently on the CU-SeeMe Discussion List. Please copy me if
you want me to read or respond.

Looking forward to seeing all your happy faces,

Michael

-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
Michael Sattler, Digital Jungle <mailto:msattler@jungle.com> |
San Francisco, California, USA <http://www.jungle.com/msattler/> |
|
My book "Internet TV with CU-SeeMe" (Sams; ISBN 1-57521-006-1) will be |
in stores by Xmas. I'm in Gran Canaria writing another book. Things at |
my Spanish ISP are *very* flaky right now, so please forgive email lag |
time. I'll return on 9 Dec 1995. Then I'll need consulting work :-)