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Intro to Information Systems I Multimedia and Communications ISYS 101 Glenn Booker Multimedia World Multimedia presentations go beyond the vu-graph mode of presentation applications to blend graphics, animation, video, and sound Metaphor becomes theater instead of a podium presentation

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Intro to Information Systems I

Multimedia and Communications

ISYS 101

Glenn Booker

Lecture #3

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Multimedia World

  • Multimedia presentations go beyond the vu-graph mode of presentation applications to blend graphics, animation, video, and sound

  • Metaphor becomes theater instead of a podium presentation

  • Many multimedia tools are designed for the Web

Lecture #3

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  • A major feature of multimedia presentations can be the use of interactive elements – where the viewer chooses their path through the presentation instead of seeing a fixed series of events

  • Normal web pages achieve interactivity through hyperlinks

Lecture #3

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Multimedia Hardware

  • Basic input and output hardware for multimedia include a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, sound card, and speakers (all now standard on personal computers)

  • Optional equipment includes a microphone, graphics tablet, digital camera, and a TV video adapter

Lecture #3

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Multimedia Hardware

  • Faster video cards and 3-5 speakers instead of just one or two (e.g. adding a subwoofer or going for surround sound or theater-grade THX sound) help too

Lecture #3

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Multimedia Uses

  • Multimedia is used increasingly for

    • Computer based training (CBT) or education (CBE)

    • Livening up reference materials (encyclopedias)

    • Creating stand-alone sales or information kiosks, playing a loop of information

    • Even art is starting to use multimedia

Lecture #3

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Big Files Need Compression

  • Multimedia takes a lot more disk space than text, so compression techniques are important

  • Algorithms are used to calculate how data can be compressed – these algorithms are called “codecs” (for compression/ decompression)

Lecture #3

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Compression Types

  • Compression techniques can be lossless or lossy

    • Lossless techniques retain every bit of original data (literally!)

    • Lossy techniques sacrifice some low level data detail to produce higher levels of compression

Lecture #3

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Graphics Compression Formats

  • GIF (like “gift” without the ‘t’) allows a maximum of 256 colors (8-bit), uses lossless compression, and is often used for simpler Web graphics

  • JPEG allows up to 16.7 million colors (24-bit), is lossy, and often used for photos or other complex images on the Web

Lecture #3

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Graphics Compression Formats

  • PNG is a new format like GIF, but isn’t proprietary (you have to pay royalties to be able to create GIF images)

  • Bitmap (BMP) is the Windows standard for primitive graphics – is often without compression, so bitmaps are huge

    • A bitmap describes every pixel’s color

Lecture #3

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Graphics Software

  • Graphics software programs tend to fall into three types for working with a single image

    • Paint programs, which use bit-mapped or raster graphics

    • Drawing programs, which use vector graphics

    • Image editors, for modifying existing photos

Lecture #3

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Paint Programs

  • Paint programs are designed to create images at the pixel level

  • Easy to create stuff this way, but harder to edit, and harder to keep smooth

  • Examples: Fractal Design Painter, Paint Shop Pro, Corel Painter

Lecture #3

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Drawing Programs

  • Drawing programs use vector graphics – each line is described by a math formula

  • Draw and shape lines, then fill in colors and textures among them

  • Creates smoother images, which can be scaled to any size

Lecture #3

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Drawing Programs

  • Saves documents in EPS format, which some printers understand

    • But EPS isn’t Web friendly

  • Examples: Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, CorelDRAW

Lecture #3

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Image Editors

  • Image editors are for manipulating existing pictures (e.g. photos)

  • Allow you to resize, crop, merge and add special effects to the images

  • Examples: Adobe Photoshop and PhotoDeluxe

Lecture #3

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Moving Picture Software

  • Programs for working with moving pictures include:

    • 3-D rendering programs, for adding 3-D effects to graphics (lighting, shadows, etc.)

    • Animation programs, for creating the illusion of moving pictures through graphics

    • Video editors, for creating and editing digital videos

Lecture #3

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3-D Rendering Programs

  • Rendering programs account for specific light sources, and determine shadows, transparency, and other effects

  • Used to require a supercomputer to do this

  • Ray tracing is one technique they use

  • Examples: Renderman, AutoCAD, 3D Studio MAX

Lecture #3

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Animation Programs

  • Animation is based on presenting still images rapidly in succession

    • A movie uses 24 frames per second

  • Computer animation uses the same idea with GIF images

  • Some programs recognize background images versus those elements which move

Lecture #3

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Animation Programs

  • Examples: Adobe LiveMotion, Macromedia Flash, and Softimage XSI

  • Some high end ($$$) programs combine animation with 3D rendering, such as Discreet combustion, Maya Complete, and Newtek Lightwave

Lecture #3

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Video Editors

  • Video editors take input from a digital video camera, and allow it to be rearranged, add sound, etc.

  • Examples: Adobe Premiere

Lecture #3

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Video Formats

  • Videos are usually in one of three formats

    • MPEG is the standard for full motion video, such as DVD’s

    • QuickTime is an Apple standard for high quality video and audio

    • AVI (formally Video for Windows) tend to be fairly low quality

Lecture #3

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Streaming Video

  • One way to get video across the Internet quickly is to use streaming video

  • A small bit of video is sent continuously to the viewer

    • Hence the viewer doesn’t need to download the entire video before watching it

    • But the viewer also never has a copy of the video either

Lecture #3

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Audio Software

  • Audio software has improved to where most professional recording studios don’t bother with magnetic tape for recording – they use computers instead

  • Sound uses can range from simple background music to original compositions

Lecture #3

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Audio Formats

  • Audio is digitized at 44.1 kHz for CD’s

  • Raw audio files are very large, hence compression is important

    • MP3 is the most common format, can be compressed up to 1/12th of original size

    • AU format is used on Sun workstations

    • WAV files are used in Windows, aren’t compressed

Lecture #3

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Audio Software

  • Musical instruments use MIDI language to speak to computers

  • Audio applications include

    • Notation programs to write music

    • Recording and editing programs

    • Mixers and synchronizers to coordinate many musical parts into one piece

Lecture #3

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Putting it all together

  • Authoring software is used for assembling multimedia presentations from all of its parts (sound, graphics, video, animation)

  • Uses a scripting language to coordinate activities

  • Example: Macromedia Director

Lecture #3

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Virtual Environments

  • Massive improvements in multimedia have led to the concept of creating virtual environments

  • Hardware like head-mounted displays make it possible to present a realistic fake environment

Lecture #3

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Virtual Formats

  • VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) is a front-runner in providing a virtual environment via the Internet

  • Used for games, training, and data visualization

  • One common game environment is the Multi-User Dungeon (MUD)

Lecture #3

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  • Some aspects of computer networking depend on the existing telecommunications infrastructure

  • Most home users use analog telephone lines for their modem connection to the Internet

  • Telecom is moving from analog signals on copper wires to digital signals

Lecture #3

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  • Analog wires can go up to T1 speed (1.5 Mb/s) or 24 voice signals

  • Digital signals may be sent across fiber optic cables, or beamed using microwaves

  • Fiber optics can go up to T3 speed (43 Mb/s) or 672 voice signals using pulses of light

Lecture #3

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Telecom Standards

  • Telecom standards are defined by the ITU, a branch of the United Nations

  • Telecom is a vital service for safety, so it is heavily regulated to ensure service to unprofitable regions

  • Private or leased lines can be used for communication too

Lecture #3

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  • Modems modulate and demodulate signals

  • That converts a digital signal to analog, and back again at the other end

  • Modem speeds evolved from 300 bits/sec (circa 1970’s) to the theoretical limit of 56,000 bps

Lecture #3

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Modem Standards

  • The current limit is defined by the V.90 standard (56 kbps)

  • Earlier standards were V.34 (28.8 kbps) and V.32 (14.4 kbps)

  • Modems negotiate the fastest connection both sides can handle

  • Faxes can also be sent, generally at 9.6 kbps

Lecture #3

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Need for Speed

  • Bandwidth, or the speed at which data can be sent and received, is critical for emerging applications

    • Video conferencing needs 10 Mbps

    • High definition TV (HDTV) needs 11 Mbps

  • Broadband refers to digital telecom at speeds of 1.5 Mbps and up (T1 or better)

Lecture #3

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Broadband Options

  • ISDN is the most common broadband service

    • Basic ISDN goes up to 128 kbps

    • Primary ISDN goes up to 1.5 Mbps (T1)

    • Broadband ISDN doesn’t exist yet; claims up to 622 Mbps

Lecture #3

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Broadband Options

  • Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) is still rare

    • Some versions are asymmetric (you can have much slower upload speed than download)

    • Range from 128 kbps to 9.1 Mbps speeds

    • Speed varies depending on how far you are from the provider

  • SONET is a future possibility; range from 52 Mbps to 1 Gbps

Lecture #3

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Cable Modems

  • Cable modems use coaxial cable from your TV cable provider to feed Internet access

  • Cable bandwidth is shared among the users in the local area – more users online means slower speeds for each user

  • Speed can range from 100 kbps to over 2000 kbps

Lecture #3

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Power Lines?

  • Internet connections can be passed over power lines too

  • Still experimental

  • Not likely to work in the US

Lecture #3

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Phone, TV, and Internet Merge

  • Some appliances can let a normal TV show the Internet (WebTV)

  • Phone service and Internet service can share the same lines, and some computer applications handle phone and fax functions over normal phone lines

  • The lines of distinction are blurring

Lecture #3

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Computer Networking

  • Networking allows computers to communicate with each other, and share resources (e.g. printers)

  • Networks range in size from global to consumer

  • Networks are much faster than just using telecom equipment

Lecture #3

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Types of Networks

  • A single building or group of buildings might use a Local Area Network (LAN)

  • Several related sets of facilities might use a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)

  • Global corporations use a Wide Area Network (WAN)

  • Networks can be public or private

Lecture #3

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  • Networks control the flow of data using switching

  • Two major types of switching

    • Circuit switching changes the circuit to produce a physically direct connection; is very fast

    • Packet switching sends packets of data which get reassembled at the other end to produce the message; is much cheaper than circuit

Lecture #3

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  • Network protocols are the language spoken across the network

    • TCP/IP is the language of the Internet

    • NetBEUI is a Windows networking protocol

    • AppleTalk is an Apple networking protocol

    • IPX is a Novell protocol

Lecture #3

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Network Layers

  • Networks function by taking data and adding various pieces of information to it in order to help it get to its destination

  • The layers of the network describe what that information is and how it is used

  • The OSI reference model is the most common system for networking

Lecture #3

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Network Hardware

  • Networks rely on each computer having a network interface card (NIC) to allow them to be connected to the network

    • Like a modem allows connection to the Internet

  • Most NIC’s are for Ethernet networks

  • Ethernet speeds include 10, 100, and 1000 Mbps (the last one is Gigabit Ethernet)

Lecture #3

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Network Hardware

  • Most networks still use cables

    • Thick, thin, or 10base-T Ethernet cables

    • Token Ring cables

    • Coaxial cable

    • Fiber-optic cable

  • Infrared and radio signals are used for wireless networks

Lecture #3

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Network Hardware

  • Other network hardware might include:

    • Switches, to control where data may go

    • Router, to convert one language into another

    • Hubs, to connect computers which speak the same language (protocol)

    • Bridges, to connect major parts of the network together

Lecture #3

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Network Terminology

  • Every device on a network (computer, printer, etc.) is a “node”

  • Peer to peer networks work well for small offices and home; allow sharing of files, printers, and Internet connection

  • Client/server networks use servers to manage the network, and control access to different nodes

Lecture #3

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Network Operating System

  • Normal operating systems routinely include software to allow peer to peer networking

  • Client/Server networks require a networking operating system (NOS)

    • Windows Servers (NT, 2000, etc.)

    • Novell NetWare

    • Unix

Lecture #3

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Network Topology

  • Network topology is the layout of a network, like a street map to show where roads go

  • The “bus” topology connects everything along a line (like a bus route) – good for peer to peer networks

Lecture #3

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Network Topology

  • A “star” topology puts a hub in the middle, and everything connects to it

  • A “ring” topology passes information in a circle, and every computer either passes it along or uses it (e.g. IBM’s Token Ring)

  • More complex topologies are variants on these basic structures

Lecture #3

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WAN Structure

  • WAN’s are essentially a group of networks which are connected by a “backbone” (generally a very fast dedicated connection)

    • Most use circuit switching, not packet

  • Each local network connects to the WAN via a POP (point of presence), similar to how you connect to the Internet

Lecture #3

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WAN Protocols

  • Special protocols are used for WANs

    • X.25 is for phone line connections, goes up to 64 kbps (like MAC machines)

    • ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) goes up to 155 Mbps

Lecture #3

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Why WAN?

  • Most WANs are used for sharing files and email across a large organization

  • Some also handle transactions (e.g. credit card authorization)

  • Specific business-to-business transactions can be done securely using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standards

Lecture #3