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CU-SeeMe "Recipes"

Draft 1
Please Share Your Ideas and Comments!

General Recommendations:

  • Alert your school or district technical specialist that you will be using CU-SeeMe.
  • Find out what software and hardware are available already.
  • When you download and use the software, be patient!!! Considerable frustration often accompanies the first...second...third uses.......this is normal and it isn't any reflection on your ability to master cyberspace.
System Requirements:

For Mac OS

    Computer Requirements:
    Mac OS System 7.6 or later
    PowerPC processor (minimum 100 MHz)
    24 megabytes (MB) of RAM (32 MB or more recommended)
    10 MB of hard disk space

    Network Connections:

    Open Transport Version 1.1.2 or later
    IP connectivity
    28.8 Kbps (minimum) modem, LAN, Cable, or ISDN connection
    PPP for dial-up connection

    To Send Video:

    Digital camera (such as Connectix QuickCam) OR
    Desktop video camera and video capture card (such as Apple AV card)

    To Send Audio:


    To Receive Audio:

    Use built-in speaker, or optional external speakers or headphones

For Windows
    Computer Requirements:
    Windows 95/98 or Windows NT 4.0
    Pentium processor, 133 megahertz (MHz) minimum
    32 megabytes (MB) of RAM
    10 MB of hard disk space

    Network Connections:

    TCP/IP (Winsock compliant)
    IP address
    33.6 Kbps (minimum) modem, LAN, Cable, or ISDN connection
    PPP for dial-up connection

    To Send Video:

    Digital camera (color) or
    Desktop color video camera and video capture card

    To Send Audio:

    sound card and drivers

    To Receive Audio:

    Speakers or headphones
    sound card and drivers

Obtaining Software:
There are many choices for acquiring CU-SeeMe software.

Alternative 1. CU-SeeMe through White Pine (WP recently acquired the rights to CU-SeeMe from Cornell)

    Go to the White Pine Web Site (http://www.wpine.com/ or http://www.wpine.com/Buying/index.html) using the computer you will use for CU-SeeMe sessions. Note, this is a busy site and may take a minute or two to completely load.

    Select a CU-SeeMe product to download:

    CU-SeeMe Pro for Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0.
    CU-SeeMe Version 3.1.2 for Mac OS

    The cost of the software is $69.00

    You will be asked what format you wish. If you have a fast connection (faster than a modem), select the "buy now and download" option. If you have a modem, you may wish to "buy now (or fax) and receive packaged goods."

    If you purchase on line, the Web site will take you through a variety of pages requesting personal information (address, e-mail address, phone, etc) and credit card information (this is a secure site so releasing this information is safe). At the close of providing information, you will select "Purchase." Wait a few minutes...five or ten.

    You will receive a confirmation on the Web site and be asked to confirm that you wish the software downloaded. Select "yes". You will be asked to select a location for downloading; select the closest location, such as the Desktop. Choose "Easy" Install and accept installation. Wait some more as the software is installed on your computer.

    After you download the software, there may be additional software that needs to be installed to run CU-SeeMe. CU-SeeMe flags these needs and points to the sites where you can obtain the additional software (e.g., StuffIt to expand the downloaded software: www.aladdinsys.com). Again, be patient! Follow the instructions. Be patient some more!

    If you downloaded the software over the web, you will receive a confirmation number by e-mail from White Pine. This number is needed to register upon opening the software. The shrink-wrapped (packaged) version should contain this information within the box, as well as installation instructions.

Alternative 2. CU-SeeMe version 1.0 through Steve Stevenoski's (TEAntarctic 1995) site. (http://www.wctc.net/~ssteven/john.htm).

    This is for Windows 95/NT. A Mac version will be available in short order.

    Download the software here: Click on cu-seeme.exe to get CU SeeMe.

Using the Software:

HELP!!! A Few Alternatives:

White Pine Version of CU-SeeMe and CU-SeeMe-Pro:
Upon opening the software, you will have several options to "Visit to White Pine", "Test Your Set Up", etc. Chances are that you want to go to your own session. Select "Close" on the opening box and move to the main menu box.

Commands are duplicated in several places - which makes White Pine a little confusing. The menu bar and the top banner offer command options. We recommend you use the top banner of the CU-SeeMe window with icons for starters, but will discuss other options as well.

The box has a left panel of names and user groups. Each of these names corresponds to a site to which you can connect. We highly recommend that you and your students avoid this area - some of the sites are great, but not all are "g-rated" and there are some pretty weird people out there! You can delete the groups using the Menu-Edit->Delete option.

You can dial a number in several ways:

Banner-Speed Dial (dials the highlighted site in the left frame window)
Banner-Manual Dial (preferred)
Select a site in the left frame (e.g., GLACIER, NASA...)
Click on the "click here to call" option on the card in the right frame window

For Banner-Manual Dial a dialog box pops up. Type the reflector number/IP address ( and click "manual dial."

Another dialog box will pop up when you call. This will show the status of the dialing and will tell you when you have connected (a few seconds, usually). Click "Go" when you are connected (Mac Version)

You will appear in the main CU-SeeMe page. There will be several image frames on the upper right, one of which will have an image of you if you have video. Images of others with video who are on-line and at the GLACIER reflector will show up as well.

Banner-Video. Select show all to show everyone sending video. Select "send video" if you have a camera.

Banner-Customize. Permits you to set the look and feel of your window.

  • General. Turn on or off toolbars, chat boxes, etc. Sorts your lists of parcticipants.
  • Video Layout. Number of frames of video shown.
  • Chat Style. The font, size, etc. of your chat box lettering.
  • Chat Extensions. Allows you to filter out parcticipants
  • Hardware. Set bandwidth, camera, speaker, microphone source, etc. (must select "customize" rather than "use profile" to change in the session now that you are on-line).
  • Configuration. Set video and audio balance between quality and performance. Select style of audio transmittal - "hands-free." Set video to color or black and white.
Moving Around in the CU-SeeMe Window
The Left Frame has the parcticipant list. These are the "computers" and their people present at the session.

Beside each parcticipant, there is a series of icons. The camera indicates whether or not the parcticipant is sending video. The "eye" icon column indicates whether or not you are being seen by another parcticipant. The "speaker" icon indicates who is receiving audio; the "mic" icon indicates who is sending audio.

On the lower left of the screen are the mic and speaker buttons and volume controls. They can be turned on and off by clicking the icon.

The top right box has windows for viewing video of parcticipants. You can set the number of frames. You can select a parcticipant to view them by clicking and dragging their parcticipant name from the list IF they have video.

The middle box on the right is the dialog or chat window. This is where discussion from all of the parcticipants occurs.

The bottom right box is the area in which you enter text. The box must be active (click inside the box to type). A "return" will send the message to the chat box.

Banner-Hang-up. Disconnects and sends you back to the Phone Book page of your CU-SeeMe program.

Menu->File->Quit. Quits the CU-SeeMe program.

Some Advanced Features
Banner-New Card. Creates a new card for your "address book". This will pop up a dialog box that requests contact information, such as company name, IP address, etc. Create a card for GLACIER:

    IP address:
    E-mail address: glacier@smithsonite.rice.edu
    Rice University
    GLACIER / TEA Reflector

This is where we will meet for the TEA CU-SeeMe sessions. After you have completed the card, it will appear in the left window on the front page of the White Pine software. In the future, you can select the card and dial the Rice reflector directly.

Banner Bar-Call Options->Profiles. A dialog pops up (allows access to all Call Options). Can edit or delete "address card" info.

Banner Bar-Call Options->Listener. Others can call you to a CU-SeeMe session by dialing your computer. Can receive in-coming calls (yes, it rings!) even when not using CU-SeeMe.

Banner Bar-Call Options->Security. Also called "parental control." Can set password for use of CU-SeeMe, dialing privileges, changing profiles, etc.

Banner Bar-Call Options->Phone Book. Changes the look of your phone book. Also configures your CU-SeeMe for interacting with your Web browser.

Banner-Test Set-up. Test audio and video.
Video Compression: can maximize quality or performance (use default) and set to color (WhitePine MJPEG) or black and white (CU-SeeMe B&W).
Video Hardware: Can test to see if camera is jiving with the software Also displays frame rate - how choppy is the video
Audio: options to optimize quality or performance and to set outgoing volume Selection of microphone source (input) and speaker source (output) as well as incoming volume

Menu Bar-> Edit->Current Profile

  • General. Set up your CU-SeeMe name (appears on your video image or user info on-line)
  • Hardware. Select the type of connection (T1, modem speed, etc)
  • Customize allows you to set your bandwidth. Note that the defaults usually are best. Sending and receiving at an excessive bandwidth will slow the system down....."more" is not "better".......Select camera type.
  • Current Profile also allows you to edit your personal address card, take a snapshot of your self to accompany the card, etc. Remember - this is the contact information by which others view you.

CU-SeeMe Version 1.0 (from Steve Stevenoski's Site)
Once you have downloaded the materials, CU-SeeMe for Windows 95/NT will appear on the floppy disk or on your hard drive (depending on where you put it). Double click on the CU SeeMe icon to start it up. Make sure you're connected to the Internet before starting up the program.

Go under the "View" menu and choose preferences. Change your nickname to whatever you want in the general preference menu. The other settings are pretty much self-explanatory on the general preferences.

On the "Rate" tab at the top of the preferences window, set your send receive rates to 1 28 1 28 from top to bottom. You might have to set this lower for some reflectors. For now though, these settings will work. Some reflectors don't allow you to enter unless your settings are low.

In the "View" menu select both audio and chat. This will allow you to hear any verbal discussions and to type in the open chat windows.

In the "View" menu select preferences make sure that Open video windows automatically is selected. This will allow you to see all parcticipants that have cameras connected to their computers.

Under "conference" menu open the phone book. There is a place where you can type in an IP address. The one to start out with to connect to Arctic and Antarctic conferences is TEA/GLACIER at Rice University. Type in the window. Keep in mind that Rice University is an educational reflector and all chats and discussions over this server should be G-Rated. Leave the conference ID box to 0. Now, once you've typed in the IP address for Rice give this site a name - TEA/GLACIER. Click on the save button to save this conference address.

Click on the connect button. A window should pop up with the message of the day. This gives the rules of the reflector - under construction!

If you did not connect and it said "no response" try again or try a different conference IP address. If you did connect to the reflector then congratulations.

Now, you want to start seeing people who are in the reflector with you. Go to the left of your main CU-SeeMe window. This is the parcticipants list. Click on the one of the names under the "hidden users." Their window should now pop-up so you can see them. You should now be able to communicate with the other people in the reflector. As you get multiple video windows, you can close them using the X in the upper right corner of the screen, or place them on the bottom of your Windows screen to be opened later by clicking on the square next to the X.

To disconnect go to the "Conference" menu and select disconnect. You can now enter another conference by opening your phonebook and entering more IP addresses. Close out of the program like any other Windows 95 program.

CU-SeeMe from the Classroom

  • Prepare the students for the session. Visit the TEAs site well before the day of broadcast. Have the students investigate the project and person. To date, CU-SeeMe has been an "oh wow" toy - it can be a powerful means of dialog between the students and teachers/researchers in the field. There may be activities pertaining to the research project that you can conduct in class. Contact the TEA in the field and ask for suggestions about how to integrate the research into the classroom. All of these paths increase the meaning of interaction between students and teachers/researchers in the field.

  • Encourage your students to prepare a few thoughtful questions before the session. While "is it cold?," "how cold is it?," "have you seen any polar bears?," are appropriate questions for some age levels, they indicate a lack of preparation in the high school age group. They also become annoying to the host when they are asked several times in a session.

  • Attend the session on time! There will be some preliminary introductions.

  • When a CU-SeeMe session has 25-40 classrooms parcticipate and all use audio, "chaos" is a mild term to employ. Only the individual hosting the CU-SeeMe session from the field should use audio. This adds to the "mystique" of hearing from the poles! Have students type questions in the chat window.

  • You should be sure that your identity is clear to the session parcticipants. You may need to change your identity in your software to reflect either your name or your school name.

  • When several individuals are using the same computer, each should identify themselves by name (e.g., Tom asks how far down in the ocean do you find phytoplankton - and what are the light levels at this depth?...... Sandi wants to know if you see evidence of the direction of glacier movement?).
Hosting a CU-SeeMe Session
  • Before the session, offer a few suggestions about how teachers can help to prepare their class to maximize the impact of interaction with you. Suggest some activities, discussion points, or readings. Include these in your journal.

  • Test the equipment before the day of the session.

  • Prepare a brief paragraph of introduction - who you are, who will join you during the session, what you are doing, and why it is important. This can be your introduction.

  • Have a few points of dissuasion on hand in case things get slow. Prompt the discussion.

  • If you are hosting the CU-SeeMe session from the field station, have someone on hand to assist. This person can help field questions, type the answers while you speak, and/or keep track of questions to ensure that you answer all of them. Ask a member of your research team to join you.

  • Start the session by introducing yourself. Answer each question by responding to the questioner (e.g., Sandi, the glacier left long striations on the seafloor which tell us that the ice flowed toward the northeast.).
Good Luck!