Video Conferencing & Collaborative SW...slick stuff!

Ernest Retzel 1535 49118 ernest at visna.med.umn.edu
Sat Mar 6 14:30:15 EST 1993

David Mathog sez...

> I've got really mixed feelings about this one.
> On the one hand, this video-conferencing would clearly be very useful.
> On the other hand, if one had to actually buy the bandwidth from ATT, MCI,
> Sprint, etc. it would likely be prohibitively expensive, at least for the
> video part, although the rest of it doesn't sound too data dense.  Dr.
> Retzl seems to be implying that this data channel is free, and that may be
> a fair approximation for his local LAN.  However, if he's referring to the
> Internet, the statement isn't correct - we pay for Internet bandwidth
> indirectly through our government. 

Well, I had been hoping for a response a little closer to that which 
Gopher got ... this one surprised me more than a little ...

The only thing that I can really think of to compare David's argument to
is that the Interstate Highway System would really be better
off if we didn't use it, particularly for trucks, since they
wear it out faster than cars do...or if we do keep that system, we
should really put it in the hands of the private sector...

There are things such as infrastructure which are necessary to the 
overall good of the country, which can and should be the province of
government.  They may be one of the few things that government is good

On the other hand, I was equally surprised, but pleasantly, by the response 
of our local Telecommunications people, whom I had expected to go through 
the roof when I told them I would be doing video-conferencing on a routine 
basis.  Their response was that they had been gearing up for this for a long 
time, and were glad to finally have a prototype to watch to see where they 
will have to move in order to accommodate it when the scale increases.

This was, by the way, acquired mostly for the purposes of collaboration
with off-site folks, particularly at Michigan State and at Centers for
Disease Control in Atlanta, so, yes, we will be exercising the net.
What we won't be doing is acquiring as many Frequent Flier miles.....

Somehow, I get the feeling that I am missing something here, but maybe

But then, we don't write tty interfaces for our programs, either....8^)

Ernie Retzel
ernest at lenti.med.umn.edu

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