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Using Apple's iSight with a G3 model

While a G4, a high-speed internet connection, and an iSight do make for a very solid video conferencing experience, a lot of us are still running older systems that can run OS X but not a lot of the fancy value-add applications like iChat AV.

The reason for this is slightly eccentric, but understandable. Apple makes executive decisions along the way as to what will create the best overall experience for it's users. In the case of video conferencing they have decided (and my animation classes do confirm this) that motion loses it's believability below 15 frames per second (film is 24 frames per second).

The fact of the matter is, you really do need a G4 chip to do full-screen (or nearly full screen) video on a Mac. Because of this Apple wrote in a processor check at the start of iChat to make sure your system meets these requirements. If not, you can go no further.

Enter the wonderful world of "haxies". For those who are on machines who have just fallen off the technology cliff (and are hanging onto a branch) you can download this haxie to run iChat AV with your iSight USB or Firewire camera: http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/20203.

Obviously the newer the machine the better - you'll probably have the best luck with this script if you have a PowerMac Blue & White or a PowerBook Pismo (Firewire).

If you're dropping a few dollars on the camera, why not go G4? prices are cheap (compared to new computers) and AltiVec can do wonders.

Posted by Aaron R. Deutsch on June 1, 2004 | Comments (0)