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CU-SeeMe Tips

from Carolyn Sumners,
Director of Astronomy and Physics
Houston Museum of Natural Science

If you're trying CU-SeeMe for the first time, practice several days before the event. If you connect to IP: 198.64.198.250 between 10:00 and 2:00 CST, you will probably find yourself in the middle of a Challenger Center mission to the Moon. Let Chris Miller, who runs our Challenger Center, know when you are going to call in and how successful you were after the connection. He's at cmiller@hmns.mus.tx.us. He can prepare the crew for your call and can confirm that we have a mission at the time you want to call.

When you call, you'll have several screen options. LEGACY is the space craft, STATUS tells you what teams are doing, and CAPCOM is Mission Control. Open your talk window and watch the communication between teams in Mission Control. You can type a question and someone will probably answer you - although the kids may not realize that you are from somewhere beyond Houston. Please limit your conversation to relevant questions. You are probably chatting with a fifth grader.

You can then try opening more than one video window and listening for audio (LEGACY has audio). There will be no one to listen to you during these simulations unless the Flight Director in Mission Control realizes that you are on line and you've told Chris in advance. The students in the simulation are really focused on getting to the moon, but I'm sure they'll tell you what their teams are doing.

Just Before a Video Conference:

  1. Start connecting 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the conference.

  2. When signing on, get connected, compose a great shot of your group and then pause your video.

  3. Locate the source of the conference - the moderator or lecturer. Open that window.

  4. Open your talk window and type your full name, e-mail address, and set-up - including bandwidth.

  5. Keep the talk window open for future messages.Other participants may say hello in the talk window as well.

  6. Now try audio and be prepared for the worst! Do not broadcast your own audio unless asked to do so through the talk window. Leave your audio in the "push to talk" setting. Try to hear the audio from the conference presenter or moderator. Before the event, the moderator may be playing a radio or music - just to give you a continuous audio signal. Remember audio is the first thing to go when the bandwidth drops.

  7. Indicate in the talk window the status of what you are receiving: both video and audio. Let us know how quickly your video screen is refreshing.

  8. During the conference, we will type all audio in the talk window - so you can watch and read if you have an audio problem. We will type IN ALL CAPS to indicate that this is the conference. We ask that participants type in lower case. During the conference, we will pause for questions. At that time, you can type in a question or try to use your microphone. We recommend typing first and then trying the talk.

  9. Be patient, this cutting edge is still a bit rough!

  10. Contact me, Carolyn Sumners, if you have generic questions about the CU-SeeMe process and your personal trials and tribulations. My e-mail is sumners@alfven.rice.edu.

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