A Network Graphical Conferencing System

by Michael T. O'Brien

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Describes design goals for a network-oriented, color graphical conferencing system that allows several people to confer simultaneously over a network. Users share a common display, divided into individual "windows" for each user, and a common graphical "blackboard" window where users sketch and modify a full-color display. The display uses bit-map color raster-scan technology. Each user's window is identified with his name and location. Text appears in the window as it is typed. Several users may type text simultaneously. A special identifying symbol appears in the window of a user who is sketching. Several simultaneous conferences can be accommodated; users may request a display showing who is participating in which conference. Conferences may be "locked" to prevent others from joining. The system uses other RAND-developed utilities for the design and display of arbitrary characters, as well as the Virtual Terminal UNIX operating system.

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