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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Miracles Of New Technology

On-Line BFF has recently up-graded her old clunker of a computer to a shiny slick, all-bells-and-whistles new Mac. Although we keep in touch almost daily through "chat", in all the years we've known each other, I believe we've only spoken together once or twice by 'phone, and we've certainly never spoken over a live web cam link before.

I logged on to chat, as per usual:-

She: Hey, click on the smiley icon, I've got a web cam!

Me: No way, you're not seeing me, I've got my flies undone with my belly hanging out, besides, my hair is sopping wet.

She: Do them up, who cares if your hair is wet?

Me: No. Give me five mins.

(Logging off.)

Me, re-booted (hair fluffed, flies done up, and a slap of make up freshly applied): Where's the smiley icon??

One hour later..

She: Ooh, I can see you!

Me (slightly paranoid): How come I still can't see you.. ?

She: Am I not there?

Me: No.. hang on, what does this button do - ?

(Yikes, a loud ring-tone explodes over the speaker.)

Me (talking loudly, instead of typing now): Hello?????

She (answering verbally, too): Hello??? How did you do that?

Me (big, wide grin) : I dunno', but it's cool, isn't it?

She: You dial my number?

Me: No, I don't have your number logged on the computer, not your land line. Hey, can you see me still? (Waving.)

She: Uh-huh, I can see AND hear you now.

Me: Oh, wait a min, I think I need to use this request thingie to see you..

She: Ah, okay, I've accepted it..

And there she was! Amazing, we were talking face to face, from right across the time zone. It was almost as if we were in the same room together, well, better really, 'cos it isn't in smell-a-vision (wink). I even got the hound to bay over a hello to her, I'm telling you, folks, this is the way to go!

Alright, yes, I know, this is nothing new, my kids have been doing it since forever - but it's new to me, and I am proper impressed, I am. And here's the kicker, you can chat on the web cam from anywhere in the world, and no matter how long you are on, it's completely FREE OF CHARGE!

Wow-oh-Wow, I just lurv's it (hugging myself).

Mind you, she doesn't half have a funny accent..

So, tell me, have any of you tried this thing? If you haven't, you really should (unless you are a guy masquerading as a woman of course, because then it might not be quite such a great tool to use). If you have, come and tell me what you think of it. do you find it a pain, or is it the bonus I think it is?

45 comments:

jinksy said...

This sounds like a great idea - until I start thinking of the times I blog in the middle of the night - who'd want to see me in that state, if I pushed the wrong buttons?! LOL :)

BRUNO said...

I don't think I could behave long enough?

Besides, I tend to agree with JINKSY, on the "Candid-Camera"-type mistake...!

Fletch said...

Yup. Maria and I talk to the grandchildren using the web-cams most of the time.

Not so happy talking to adults, though. Used to talk to a guy about 'charity' things in the US, but got bored with his prattle (can't yawn or roll eyes when camera is on). Tried to get my brother and sister up on the web-cams from Oz, but he is such a technophobe that we haven't succeeded yet ...

Michelle H. said...

I just got my new netbook, and found out it had a built-in microphone. Imagine my surprise and joy over that. I am so old-fashioned. And yes, I believe it does have a web-cam too. I'm going to have to work on this...

Cedar said...

I have done this. I talk to an ex from time to time. Now I will talk in my robe in the morning with my hair sticking up, but she always looks like she stepped out of some salon. If she doesn't want to get fixed up to talk, we talk on the phone. I am still trying to figure out if she is a priss or I have no pride.

chewy said...

Video chat is a blast... and for those occasions when one's not looking at one's best, there's the audio only feature. Most times though, text chat (IM) works the best. Keeps conversations quiet and personal when other people are in the room.

You are becoming a TechnoBabe. (giggle) (looking over my shoulder) Has she been in here yet?

Jazz said...

My new MacBook Pro has a camera, thus, I suppose a webcam. The idea of actually using it to talk sorta freaks me out though. Wanna chat with Montreal?

Brian Miller said...

have not tried it yet...i am a bit scared of the camera...my fly may be undone or hair wet or something...lol.

Matt Conlon said...

I use Skype about every day for work. It serves as my phone when I call clients to troubleshoot computer issues.

I haven't yet used the video portion, however, I've received video from callers on it before. Really is neat stuff these days!

Skunkfeathers said...

No webcam, no microphone...I am best as 'anonymous', cuz when I go online, I frequently resemble the remnants of at least an F-3 tornado...

TechnoBabe said...

I use google video chat and only a couple people I know have it so there aren't many times I get to use it. I wish all my family would sign up for it. It is so easy and like you say, you sit there looking the person in the face in real time and it doesn't matter what part of the world they are. Glad you tried it. My one friend will call me on the video chat when I get on the computer at 6 am with my first cup of coffee and hair uncombed but I don't care.

dykewife said...

i used to chat all the time. i'd yak on irc with groups of people, do private chats, do peer-to-peer chats. then when things like yahoo chat and google chat came along i'd chat on them with people. but i was using them less than i'd used irc.

now, though i have chat programs, including skype, loaded onto my computer i don't use them. i never seem to have much to say.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

oh wow..that's cool...

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Have never used one...you are obviously waaaaaay too cool for me ;-) So computer savvy, you are! Sounds like fun, though! I'm thrilled for you!! Love, Janine XO

Matty said...

I've heard of this technology, but I haven't used it yet. It sure does sound like a neat thing to use.

SJ said...

Welcome to the 1990s !

The Blue Zoo said...

It sounds great! But I know my boys would be all over me trying to get in on it too!

Shrinky said...

Haha, oh Jinsky, you won't, I promise, it has to be requested, then confirmed by you, before you can hook up on the camera with anyone..

Bruno, it does tend to show if you pick your nose or scratch your bum, this is true (laughing)!

Fletch, I can really get it now, especially if, as with you, your grandkiddies don't live nearby, you gain so much more being able to communicate visually as well as vocally. But I do think it's not something you'd want to use with everyone, just close friends or family.

Michelle, it's a blast! You really, really should go for it, I guarantee it'll place the widest of wide smiles across your face (er, AFTER you finally get it up and running, 'cos that can be a wee bit of a challenge, if you are anything like me)!

Haha, Cedar, what you've just described is exactly how our call went - she had just got up, bed-head n' all, and there was I, running off to find my lippie.. (blush).

Hi Chewy, yup, she's here - wave her a hi! Yeah, I agree, these vid-chats are fine so long as you're not multi-tasking at the same time, something most of us tend to do when we are on the 'phone. My kids are always miming stuff or poking at me for something when I'm talking down the line.

It's is kinda' freaky, Jazz, but sooooo much fun, and um, yeah, it would be a hoot to hook up..get yourself connected, girl!

Teehee, I sooo get what you mean, Brian.. (wink).

Matt, I can believe someone as computer savvy as you would automatically use it most days, although I definitely understand you not wanting a face-to-face with every single client you have!

Aw Skunk, in that case you darn well owe it to your fans out here to give us all that good laugh!

TechnoBabe, I kind of suspected (with the name you have) this might be something you are up and running with. It's a valid point though, that it's limited insofar you need two to play, and not everyone is comfortable using it. My big sis' doesn't live nearby, I'd love to persuade her to hook up to this.

Wow, Dykewife, you are waaay ahead in this game compared to me.. but maybe it is a bit of a novelty factor at first, perhaps once the newness wears down I might feel the same?

It sure is, Yellowdog - you should give it a try (grin)!

Oh Janine, you film, edit and post the most professional of videos on-line, I wouldn't have a clue where to even begin with half of the stuff you make look so effortless to produce! I'm genuinely surprised you haven't got all this under your hat already - but with the busy life you lead, I can understand your time is precious enough as it is.

Go for it, Matty, if I can do it, believe me, it's definitely idiot-proof!

Aw SJ, you young-'un's.. tut, tut, no respect!

Blue Zoo, that might not be such a bad thing, especially when they grow to their teens, and spend half their life on the phone - just think of the bills you'll save..

laughingwolf said...

sounds like a great way to visit... and stay home!

i'm not set up for that, my mac's not online as yet

Shrinky said...

It is, Laughingwolf, and being the house hermit I am, it kind of encapulates the best of both worlds, y'know? You may get around to it at some point, heck, I'm guessing everyone will!

JennyMac said...

with my fam on the opposite coast, we love video chat with Skype. LOVE it.

Jay said...

I'm a bit of a coward, really. I always think I look crap, so it's not encouraging to be letting people see me online. LOL!

It is a great thing though, isn't it? Just think - if your kids move to another country, you can see see and hear them. We must be the first generation to be able to do that! And free of charge, too!

Sunshine said...

Web cam is the best way to see each other at night heheheh when you dont get a chance to see them as much as you wanted to be.

cool....

Shrinky said...

Hi JennyMac, how lovely of you to stop by! Ah, I know I am late getting into this thing, but I can understand why you are a total convert now.

Hi Sunshine, (smiling) I think you may be on to something there!

Fen said...

YES! I use skype and sometimes the chat thing that comes with msn and i love them! It's so very good to be able to have a "face to face" chat with someone on the other side of the world.... for them to be able to show you around their new house etc. Half the time I don't care what I look like, people are used to be being ultra scruffy!!!

Shrinky said...

Hey Jay (oops, I'm a poet and don't know it, giggle), there is no way on God's green earth you look anything but super trendy and uber cool, always! But I think you have hit your finger on the button, I mean, you can hardly photoshop the wrinkles out (personally speaking, my mate gets frustrated with any photo's she sees of me, claiming she hasn't a clue as to what I REALY look like, and she's probably right)! Well, up until today, that is, and um, well, she still seems to want to talk to me, so guess the paranoia can rest now...

High five, Fen! Yup, this little gismo has oodles of possibilities, I'm completely with you here (grin).

Akelamalu said...

Ooooh I like the sound of that but unfortunately I haven't got a webcam. :(

secret agent woman said...

No - I've done skype but I don't have a webcam. But how cool!

Shrinky said...

Ah, Akelamalu, that's what they all say.. (wink)!

Shrinky said...

Um, well, thing is, Secret Agent, it's probably just as well in your case, isn't it? I mean, erm, you'd not be very secret if you did, would you? (Teehee!)

Sling said...

I've been doing this camera talky thing for years,and I still find it amazing!

billy pilgrim said...

when i got my new netbook the first thing i did was put a piece of tape over the webcam. decades of acting like an idiot taught me a few things.

how much do i like the pogues?
i named my son shane.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm pretty sure my Mac has this feature but I have no idea how to use it-- and I'm a bit scared to find out! I like not always pulling myself together and being online. I'm afraid if my friends saw me face to face they'd go running and screaming from their computers :-)

Glad YOU figured it out.
Cheers,
jj

Elly Lou said...

I'm all about Skype. I talk to my rents with it all the time. Sadly, their vision isn't so great so they can't focus their camera. It's like watching a movie without my glasses. It only gets worse with wine.

Scott from Oregon said...

But I slouch while on the pewter...

I'd have to sit up all proper and all it there were a pretty woman on the other side...

Shrinky said...

Sling, I'm still gobsmacked my pewter knows how to find the number to ring without being told.. magic really does exist!

Haha, oh Billy, not that you're in the least bit paranoid, right? You named your kid Shane? Say, that was my dog's name - high five!

Joanna, I suspect this watch as you talk gismo is best strictly reserved for use only with those who know and love you unconditionally - ? (Wink)

Elly, I can blur my camera?? Woohoo, I'm all for a bit of soft focus.. what buttons do I push?

Scott, look on the bright side, at least you don't have to suck your belly in anymore!

Jay said...

You are too kind! Deluded, but I'm not complaining! LOL!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Just stopping by to send you my love, and to wish you a wonderful week! ~Janine XO

Land of shimp said...

Hey Shrinky :-) No, I've never tried it, in fact, I don't even do text chat. I know how to, but I've never been much of a multi-tasker, and tend to focus best when I'm doing one thing at a time.

I do have a webcam, and live in fear that the bloody thing will simply turn on one day, when I'm completely unaware. Me, frizzy-haired, not even a hint of makeup, eating my morning yogurt. This is a sight I spare people, as I tend to like most people ;-)

Isn't it astounding though? Think back to being eighteen. If someone had told you, "When your children are this age, you will carry a tiny phone with you wherever you go. Your car will be able to give you directions in a pleasant voice, no matter where you are and you'll simply click a button to chat with a friend miles away...as you do seven other things at once."

Wouldn't it have sounded like the Jettisons to you? It would have to me. I know we don't have flying cars or food synthesizers yet, but we've certainly got a lot of technological miracles in our every day lives.

Donna Hole said...

Oh I know how you feel. Every time I learn something new from my computer I jump for joy like I just won the lottery.

And if tomorrow I still remember how to do it all by myself - well, you can imagine it's party central. At least in my mind.

Great job! Congratulations! This was such a cute post.

..........dhole

tattytiara said...

I'm a fan of webcams - for other people. I'm a looker not a be seener.

Suldog said...

But... If I use this new thing, I won't be able to tell everyone I'm 6 foot 5 with long flowing hair like Thor and muscles to match. I'll have to admit to being 5 foot 10, no hair like Kojak, and a belly to match.

Oops! I think I just did. Damn it.

Maddy said...

Now I have a new mac myself I have a legitimate excuse to hang about in the Apple store. I still don't know how half the whistles and buttons work.

Shrinky said...

Not deluded Jay, just honest!

Hi there Janine, aww, thanks hon, I had a lovely relaxing facial, a complimentary freebie from my local salon, this morning, so the day is going well (smile). Hope your week is getting off to a great start, too!

Shimp, I couldn't have said it better myself, it's mind boggling how far technology has come in the space of a couple of decades! And for the record, not only do I not know how to text, I'm still stubbornly refusing to carry a cell phone (much to my family's chagrin) with me, too. I figure, as they all have theirs, I know how to reach them when I need to, that's good enough for me..

Hey Donna, how nice of you to stop by! I am truly technologically challenged at the best of times, so this is a big step forward to me - it's brilliant!

So you are a voyeur, are you, Tatty (hmmmmn, teehee)??

Oh Maddy, I gave up long ago, on trying to fathom what half the buttons on this thing are meant for (sheepish smile)!

Mojo said...

Mmm... If you're a fan of the late night Creature Feature flicks I might attempt it. Otherwise, the shock could be fatal.