J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

Latest Posts

Audio and Video IM on the Road

I've been traveling in Florida for a couple of days now (my home is in Switzerland), and I have been experimenting with audio and video IM in various places and circumstances while traveling. The results are almost all good.

December 19, 2007 by J.A. Watson


Loose Ends - Gizmo, SightSpeed

Here are just a couple of comments and wrap-ups about previous topics.The Gizmo Project - I sent a report to Customer Support about the audio device selection problem.

December 18, 2007 by J.A. Watson


The Gizmo Project

Next on my list for evaluation is The Gizmo Project. Gizmo actually comes in two (well, three) varieties - a text and audio only client (no video) for Windows, Mac and Linux; a text/audio/video client that is still in beta test, only for Windows, and a version for mobile devices that runs on various internet-enabled smart phones.

December 16, 2007 by J.A. Watson


Tech Talk - A Peek Behind the Curtain

I've spent a lot of time discussing video quality, resolution, frame rate, bandwidth and the like. But after using this information to set the video resolution, or optimize your setup to get the best possible performance, how are you going to know if it actually worked?

December 14, 2007 by J.A. Watson


Tech Talk - Video IM Tips and Tricks

As usual with my "Tech Talk", this will be a somewhat more technically detailed description of some things to do, to avoid, or to simply keep in mind to avoid problems or to find them when they arise. This one is going to concentrate on hardware, and the next will be about software.

December 13, 2007 by J.A. Watson


New Skype Release Available

A new Skype release has been made available for download. It appears to have fixed the massive Page Fault problem, and to have restored the ability to increase video resolution by editing the config.

December 12, 2007 by J.A. Watson


Addendum to the Comparison

I have received a very friendly reminder from ooVoo that their System Requirements say "Broadband connection (Cable, DSL etc..)", and I think it is only fair to repeat that again - I don't want it to sound like I am faulting them for marginal performance in an environment that they don't even claim to work in!

December 11, 2007 by J.A. Watson


Video IM - Tips, Tricks and Preparation

I am frequently asked for advice about hardware, software and connections for Video IM. I suppose this is a bit like putting the cart before the horse, since I have already written quite a lot about the major Video IM programs, but better late than never...

December 10, 2007 by J.A. Watson

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