|by Flemming Funch|
Another Internet technology that mysteriously didn't quite happen when it was expected to is video conferencing. 5 years ago I was frequently hanging out in video chat rooms with groups of other people, all of whom I could see live video of. And that was when I had a dial-up connection and a computer that had about 20 times less capacity than what I use today. And yet, today, I don't really know anybody who's using their cameras for anything. At the time I was using CU-SeeMe for the software. And when I now research it a little bit, it turns out that nothing much better has replaced it, and it still appears to be the most easily available video conferencing program that will work on different platforms. Even though no new versions have been developed for quite some time.
If any of you have previously been using CU-SeeMe, or if you're in the mood for experimenting, I've set up a "reflector" on my server. A reflector is a server program that allows a whole bunch of people to see each other at the same time. You all connect with the reflector, and it distributes the video streams to everybody else. The NCN reflector is on IP 188.8.131.52
There is a text chat program that goes with it, so one can chat while seeing eachother's pictures. One can also speak, with the audio portion, but that is more tricky to get to work well if one doesn't have a fast connection.
If you haven't used a program like that before, it might take a bit of tinkering to get it to work right, just to warn you.