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Before you can start videoconferencing, you'll need to give your program some information about yourself and your Internet connection. White Pine CU-SeeMe and NetMeeting have Setup Wizards that guide you through the process. With iVisit and the freeware CU-SeeMe, you must enter your settings through the Preferences dialog box.

Videoconferencing programs need the following information:

  • Your name and email address Enter your first name, last name, a nickname, and your email address. This information tells other people who you are when you call or join a conference.

  • Your Internet Locator Service (ILS) For people to be able to contact you, you'll need to list your information with an ILS. White Pine CU-SeeMe, NetMeeting, and iVisit all host ILS servers and also provide a list of other popular ILS servers you can choose from. If you videoconference from your office, you should also check with your network administrator to see if he or she has set up a special ILS for you and your coworkers.

    ILS preferences

    Depending on your videoconferencing program, you'll be asked whether you want to "advertise" or "publish" your information. Both terms refer to listing your information with an ILS. Unfortunately, the freeware version of CU-SeeMe does not support ILS. Instead, you have to know the person or chat room's IP address (a long and nasty set of numbers that points to the location of a specific computer on the Internet).

  • Your Internet connection You'll also need to tell your videoconferencing program how you connect to the Internet (i.e., with a modem and dial-up account or through a network at school or work), and your connection speed (28.8 Kbps, 56.6 Kbps, or ISDN).

  • Your audio and video source If you have more than one cam or microphone hooked up to your computer, you'll need to specify the ones that you want to use for videoconferencing.

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