Chapter 3. Troubleshooting

This chapter contains information to help you with problems that may occur while you're using InPerson.

Summary of Troubleshooting Topics

This chapter contains:

Having Trouble Calling People

This section describes problems you might have when you're trying to call people. It contains:

The Person Is Not Running InPerson

If a person is not running InPerson, you won't be able to call him or her. If this occurs, you see a notifier that says “Not running InPerson.” Ask the person to run InPerson, then try calling again.

If you receive this message, and the person is already running InPerson, try calling back later or ask the person to quit InPerson and start it again. The phone might be temporarily inaccessible. If the problem persists, contact your support provider.

Another User Is Running InPerson on the System

This message means one of several things:

  • Another user is running InPerson on that system. For example, suppose you call [email protected]. InPerson is running on bedrock but is being run by another user. Ask the person you are calling to quit and restart InPerson as himself. Or, if necessary, logout and log in again.

  • The user you specified does not have an account on that system. Check the spelling of the user's name; perhaps you typed it incorrectly.

You Specified an Incorrect Address

To call people, you can drag and drop user icons, or you can type the user name and system name in the calling window. If you type the name incorrectly, you receive a message saying the user you specified is unknown.

If you receive this message:

  • Check the user's name. Make sure you have spelled it correctly.

  • Check the system name. Make sure you have included it and have spelled it correctly.

  • Make sure the format of the address is correct. For example, if you are calling someone named fred on a system named bedrock, type [email protected].

  • If the system you are calling is in a different domain, include the domain name. For example, if you are calling a system named bedrock, and it is part of a domain named bldg2, type: bedrock.bldg2

  • If you typed a group name, choose “List Groups” from the Group menu on the calling window. Make sure the name you entered appears in the List Groups window and is spelled correctly.

Unable to Make Connection

When you make a call, InPerson tries to contact the system you specified. If InPerson can't contact the system within a specified amount of time, it gives up and displays an error message. This occurs in the following circumstances:

  • The system you are calling is shut down or turned off.

  • The system you are calling is busy with other tasks so it's taking longer than expected to respond to your call.

  • The network is congested.

  • The network path to the system you are calling is taking longer than expected to traverse.

You can change the number of seconds that InPerson waits before saying it's unable to contact the system. To do so:

  1. Edit the file .desktop-<hostname>/InPerson in your home directory.

  2. Add a new line to the file. The line should begin with *rpcPortMapperTimeout: and end with the number of seconds. For example, to have InPerson wait for 25 seconds, add:

    *rpcPortMapperTimeout: 25

Note: To make this change apply to all users on the system, change the line in the file /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/InPerson instead of in your local InPerson file.

Problems With Video Quality

This section contains:

Outgoing Video

Choose from:

Improving Outgoing Video

See “Improving the Video Quality” for tips on improving the video that you see in your vanity view and that you send out to other participants.

Video Quality Changes During a Call

Your outgoing video quality may change during a call for the following reasons:

Your Video Settings Aren't Taking Affect

A few things may be occurring:

  • Is there someone in your conference that is using a 1.x version of InPerson? For compatibility reasons, InPerson automatically switches to a compression scheme called HDCC when a 1.x user joins in a conference with a 2.x user. In this situation, you will not be able to make any changes to the video settings.

  • Are you using the right control panel? If you are trying to make changes during a call, you must use the Call Control Panel, which you bring up from the conference window. If you are trying to set changes for future calls, you must use the Call Preferences Panel, which you bring up from the phone or calling window.

  • The network may be congested. If you try to increase the network bandwidth limit while a call is congested, the increase will not take affect until the call becomes uncongested. See “Monitoring Network Congestion” for information on evaluating and addressing network congestion.

Incoming Video

The video settings that you make with the Call Control or Preference panels only apply to your outgoing video (and your vanity view). Each participant's controls are limited to their own outgoing video settings; so you cannot change the quality of the incoming video.

Therefore, if you are unsatisfied with the quality of the incoming video, ask other participants to make adjustments to improve their outgoing video quality (they should refer to “Improving the Video Quality” for suggestions).

Reducing Echoes

An echo occurs when you hear your words repeated. You speak into the microphone; your words are broadcast from another participant's speakers; that person's microphone picks up your voice and sends it back to you. To reduce such echoes, try the following:

  • Have all conference participants use headphones. For example, headphones from a portable cassette player might work with your Silicon Graphics system.

  • Move the microphone away from the loudspeaker.

  • Open the Audio Panel; then have conference participants try different audio input and output levels.

When Someone Is Running an Earlier Version of InPerson

When someone in a conference is running a 1.x version of InPerson, you may both notice unexpected issues arise with:

  • 3D models on the whiteboard

    If someone in the conference is running a 1.x version of InPerson, they will not be able to view 3D models in InPerson. If someone running a 1.x version started the conference, you will not be able to import 3D objects at all.

  • text

    For compatibility reasons, if someone in your conference is running a 1.x version of InPerson, your text blocks will appear as a single line to them. The symbol <CR> will appear in place of any line breaks. See Table 3-1 for a summary of this scenario.

    Table 3-1. When 2.x User Starts Conference with 1.x User


    What 2.x user sees

    What 1.x user sees

    2.x user types text

    Text appears in multi-line blocks

    Text appears as one line, where the symbol <CR> stands in place of any line breaks

    1.x user types text

    Each line is a new text block

    Each line is a new text block

    If someone running a pre-2.0 version of InPerson started the conference, you will not be able to create multi-line text blocks. In other words, when you hit <Enter>, a new text block is created. See Table 3-2 for a summary of this scenario

    Table 3-2. When 1. x User Starts Conference with 2.x User


    What all users see

    2.x user types text

    Each line is a new text block

    1.x user types text

    Each line is a new text block

  • video

    If you are experiencing video problems, see “Video Quality Changes During a Call” and “Your Video Settings Aren't Taking Affect.”

  • whiteboard

    If there is a 1.x-version user with a low-resolution monitor in the conference, a dotted line appears along the edges of the whiteboard page. This marks the area of the page that is visible on their monitor.

Understanding Why You Don't See or Hear Other Participants

When you're in a conference with more than two people, InPerson sends the audio and video data across the network as multicast packets. You won't hear any audio or see any video if a person's network does not support multicasting. If this occurs, refer your network administrator to “Preparing Your Network for Multiway Conferences.”

Additionally, by default, multicast packets are only sent across your primary network interface. If you have more than one interface and there are no multicast routers running between the networks, you won't see any audio or video when you place a call using the secondary interface.

Problems Unique to 8-bit Systems

The number of colors your screen can display depends on the number of bitplanes your system has. If you have an 8-bitplane system, your color choices are limited. As a result, you might have a problem with the whiteboard colors.

The color palette in the whiteboard lets you choose one of nine colors—blue, green, orange, red, magenta, yellow, black, white, and gray. See Figure 3-1.

Figure 3-1. Colors available in the color palette.

Figure 3-1 Colors available in the color palette.

If you have an 8-bit system, these colors may change. For example, orange may appear yellow and green may appear black. This happens if other applications are using all the available colors. To fix the problem, quit from other colorful applications, then hang up and try the call again.