“A network graphical conferencing system” by O’Brien

  • ©Michael T. O'Brien




    A network graphical conferencing system



    A network-oriented color graphical conferencing system is being built by the Information Sciences Dept. of the Rand Corporation. This system is designed to allow several people to confer simultaneously over a network. Users share a common display, which is divided into sections: an individual section (or “window”) for each user, and a common graphical “blackboard” window where the users may take turns sketching out and modifying a graphical display in full color. The display uses bit-map color raster-scan technology. Each user’s private window is identified with that user’s name and location. Text typed by a user appears in his window as he types it. Several users may be typing text simultaneously. A special symbol appears in the window of a user who is sketching to indicate who is drawing the picture. Several conferences may be going on at the same time; users may request a menu page showing who is participating in which conferences. Conferences may be “locked” to prevent others from joining. The system makes use of other Rand-developed utilities for the design and display of arbitrary characters, as well as Rand’s Virtual Terminal UNIX (TM) operating system.

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