Cu-Seeme x iVisit

Fabio Augusto (augusto@iqm.unicamp.br)
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 11:42:50 -0400


Just after recent postings from some members of this list, I dowloaded and
installed iVisit, and I've been using it for some days, along with
Cu-Seeme. My general impression is that, when compared with 3.X versions of
Cu-Seeme, iVisit is a "cleaner" software, that needs a bit less hardware
power to run. I'm running it in a machine much less "potent" than the
minimum specified by Boxtop (486 DLC-80 with 8Mb RAM, no sound board and
LAN connection). Although the speed is pretty slow with this hardware, I
can use iVisit without major problems. The same doesn't ocuur with Cu-Seeme
3.X: all times i tried to use it, the speed was disperatelly slow, with
frequent crashes - in few words, impossible to run it. I can use Cu-Seeme
2.1.1 in this machine, but also have incidental crashes (specially when I
try to send MPEG color vid). The iVisit interface is also simpler than that
of Cu-Seeme 3.X, although I think it could be improved.

The great problem with iVisit is, in my mind, its "no reflector"
filosophy. When you start the program, you automatically are connected to a
Directory Server located at Boxtop, which lists all users logged in and
some multi-user conferences (users are alowed to create new conferences,
both open acessable or password protected). In this fashion, iVisit seems
to be more adequate to be a person-to-person communication product. This
is, in my opinion, a negative drawback. When using Cu-Seeme, as soon as
you're connected to a reflector, you have access to vids of up to 25
persons, and (hopefully) have an easy way to meet and contact new people.
With iVisit, most of time one have to demand personal connections with
people in the Directory List - most of time "in the dark", posing you just
know the nicknames of the people you're connectiong. During the few time
I've been using this soft, I had most of these connections refused, and
almost all persons that tried to connect me where male homosexuals trying
to do or to have some "show". I'm not homophobic, but sometimes I felt a
bit harrassed by this type of behaviour. The public conferences (the only
way to use iVisit as multi-user videioconferencing soft) in the list where
empty almost all time. And, anyway, never found more than 60 persons
availble in Directory List - some of them Boxtop employees aparently
testing the software (or may be just connected to "fill up" the list and
give users the impression that there are more persons really using iVisit
than it really does).

To conclude, in my opinion although iVisit is a very nice and well-written
software when compared to Cu-Seeme, it will need changes in the program
concepts to face Cu-Seeme as a popular videoconferencing product. Perhaps,
when use of the program grows up new Directory Servers will be availble,
with some fashions resembling the present reflectors (for example, "Adult"
Directories, Tech Directories and so on). I really hope that - White Pine
needs some concorrents in the market...