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VIDEOCONFERENCING PILOT PROJECT

SAN DIEGO COMPUTER SOCIETY
in coordination with

ASSOCIATION OF PERSONAL COMPUTER USER GROUPS

The Videoconferencing Pilot Project is a study designed to investigate what are the best ways to use videoconferencing and other video transmission technologies within a computer user group environment. Most of the investigation will be done by actual videoconferencing using different videoconferencing methods and formats. The Project is lead by the San Diego Computer Society, and is done in conjuntion with the Association of Personal Computer User Groups. Participating in the Project are 54 computer user groups; 52 in the United States, one in Canada, and one in Australia. The results of the project will be distributed via the Association of Personal Computer User Groups.

BACKGROUND

Since 1993, two of the San Diego Computer Society's affiliated groups, the Internet Special Interest Group of the San Diego Computer Society and the San Diego Macintosh User Group, have been experimenting with videoconferencing. Some of this has been in association with the University of California at San Diego. It has taken the form of individual to individual, individual to individuals, group to individuals, and group to group(s). Both the Internet and ISDN have been used as link the videoconferencing sites. With the interest growing about videoconferencing in the computer user group community and its own experience and expertise in the field, the San Diego Computer Society chose to lead a project to further investigate uses of videoconferencing withing the computer user group community. This decision was made even easier because of access to the new Joe Rindone Regional Technology Center, a new state of the art educational technology center. The Society also asked and has received the assistance of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups. Organization for the Project began in the Summer of 1997.

METHODOLOGY

The previous experience of the San Diego Computer Society has lead the belief that when a presentation is made, it is best to have a live audience at the physical location where the presentation is made. This proposition is being tested during the study. Initially, the presentation has been made with one of the participating computer user groups physically hosting the presentation. The groups that are linked to the presentation via videoconferencing will see the presentation and opportunities for feedback to the presentation site and presenter will available. Various forms of feedback will be tried. Two transmission standards for videoconferencing have been used, ISDN using the H.320 protocol set and Internet using the CU-SeeMe protocol set. Bandwidth of 100 Kbps or greater was required initially at each participating site. Lower bandwidths have been tried subsequently. One-way multicasts using Microsoft Windows Media with email feedback also has been tried, which requires low bandwidths at the receiving site than videoconferencing.

VIRTUAL LIBRARY

At the request of the computer user groups; we have recently started a listing of recorded presentations, some which have been videocast, and contact information how to get in contact who has them.

VIDEOCONFERENCING SCHEDULE

None with a Confirmed Date

PAST VIDEOCONFERENCES

PARTICIPATING COMPANIES

We wish to thank the following companies for having their presenters participate in videoconferences and/or videocasts:
If you are interested in participating in the Videoconferencing Pilot Project, email Timothy Everingham at teveringham@earthink.net .

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8/31/2004