Re: White Pine Support

Ross Binnie (
Sat, 25 Oct 1997 21:23:24 -0400

Ahh, I just love these circular arguments!


> From: Andrew Clarke <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: White Pine Support
> Date: Saturday, October 25, 1997 8:09 PM
> ** Reply to note from Sat, 25 Oct 1997 00:08:42
> [Jason Williams and Gary Deitz said in part:]
> > Jason said:
> >
> > >isn't out to market CU-SeeMe to current users of the program but to
> > >users who are on higher speed lines. While White Pine may listen to
> > >current userbase, they continue developing the program for corporate
> > >users. It then turns to money since corporate users have the
> > >(either on a LAN, or high speed internet connection) and the money for
> > >It just seems to me White Pine has shifted from the home users who
> > >up White Pine (for the means of getting color support primarily) to
> > >corporate users to sustain their position.
> >
> > Gary replies:
> >
> > This is not correct, not at all Jason. Not at all. We are not
> > any user group. But even if you *were* correct, would it be *wrong*
for a
> > *publicly traded company* to try and make money in the richest possible

> > markets?
> >
> > We are aiming at different markets than the past. But, as the market
> > changes, so must we. If we were "JasonCo" and we continued to target
> > same market as the past two years, we'd be out of business quickly (but

> > have a year or two of very happy customers who paid nothing).
> For once I agree with Gary (a first! :), Jason and I are supporters of
the free
> software ethos (and I presume the 'if it isn't broke, don't fix it' ethos
> The *only* reason I use CU 2.1.x is because of the colour support, and
3.x simply
> has nothing that remotely interests me enough to put up with it. There
are several
> people I know of who are investigating the creation of a colour-capable
CU client
> that will meet the needs of those of us who aren't interested in the
direction WP
> is taking CU. More on this later.
> > Jason said:
> >
> > >If you could stick some of 3.X's improvements onto the
> > >interface of 2.1.1/2.1.1, you'd make a LOT of people happy.
> >
> > Gary replies:
> >
> > My Mom is way happier with 3.1 then 2.11.
> >
> > Here's some very conservative numbers, highly debatable, but I hope you
> > my point:
> >
> > a. Jason Williamses of the world = ~2,000,000 (high, educated guess)
> > b. Jason Williamses of the world on the net = .5*(a)
> > c. Jason Williamses of the world on the net who will pay for CU-SeeMe
> > .2*(b)
> >
> > d. Moms of the world, US market = ~40,000,000 (guess)
> > e. Moms of the world on the net, work or home = .05*(d)
> > f. Moms of the world on the net, willing to pay for CU-SeeMe and
> > services
> > if marketed the correct way = .5*(e)
> >
> > This is just one comparison, it may not be very close, but you get the
> Figure (b) is directly effected by 'our' (the CU old timers') opinion of
3.x. My
> opinion is that 3.x is still slow, is still buggy, is still damned ugly,
and is
> still an ergonomic mess. We 'Williamses' *don't* like the dumbed-down
> which replaces one click with seven requiring 4 leaps of logic to achieve
the same
> thing. We *don't* like the SDI interface, we *don't* like the
show-stopping bugs
> and that *does* adversely effect our purchasing plans. It's not about us
> not wanting to pay for things, it's about us techies not wanting to pay
for things
> we don't think are up to the job.
> My estimate for figure (d) is an order of magnitude less than yours, and
I still
> don't wholly believe they think the interface is more intuative. I know
your mother
> does, but I've talked people new to CU through very simple tasks in 3.0
which when
> they tried the same in 2.x (on my advice) they found to be much much
simpler. And
> I still get people asking me for locations where they can get 2.x because
> don't like 3.x; they aren't corporate users because I don't deal with
> users, but in the world of home users that I'm in, 2.x is still king of
the hill as
> far as these people are concerned (because it supports colour).
> So putting the 3.x guts in a 2.x interface will generate more sales than
3.x on
> it's own. As I have said in private email, making 3.x configurable
enough to get
> *very* close to the 2.x interface can only help because I for one will
buy it, and
> more importantly will start recommending others do the same (assuming of
course the
> bugs are taken care of).
> > Jason said:
> >
> > >Stockholders = those with money to invest = not your average home user

> > >connected up to the Internet through an ISP.
> > >
> > >White Pine is doing its best at expanding who can use CU-SeeMe but it
> > >seems to me it's at the expense of those that have watched the
> > >department at White Pine grow and expand.
> >
> > Gary replies:
> >
> > Jason has brought out the first direct curse from me. I hope this
> > start a flame, but here it goes Jason... Your last statement is
> Maybe, maybe not.
> > First of all, "average home users connected to the Internet though an
> > are stock holders of many types of companies. Second of all, people at

> > home with ISP's also have jobs, where they may decide to use technology

> > from home (or vice versa). Third of all, I didn't say we were
marketing to
> > rich people, I said we were a public company with an obligation to make
> > profit, thus targeting most profitable areas.
> To briefly go back to your 'Moms on the net' argument above; I can only
speak about
> the UK internet marketplace (even if we do have the largest number of
> users per capita (from some survey I read a while ago)) but the majority
of people
> who are on the internet in the UK are twenty- to thirty-something men who
> computer literate. Since I run a UK reflector I meet lots of UK and
European CU
> users, and because we have to pay to use the phone over here we tend to
be somewhat
> better off than average, and I don't see that 3.x is viewed any better
than I have
> outlined above.
> I'm currently working for a very large petrochemicals company, and they
> settled on Intel Proshare for their videoconferencing needs. If I was in
> position of selecting technology for them I could not, hand on heart,
recommend a
> White Pine solution; not because of the reflector software, which I like
a lot, but
> because of the buggy/confusing client which I would view as a technical
> problem waiting to happen. You're getting there, 3.1 Preview is faster
than 3.0
> and it no longer causes NT to blue screen, but it does crash with
> regularity (based on my experience, it would crash 10-15 times an hour)
and the
> user interface is still (IMHO) utterly non-intuative.
> But on the bright side, it's better than NetMeeting :)
> --
> Andrew Clarke
> PGP Public Key available on request
> "Having your nuts nibbled off by a Laplander, that's a way to die."