The Webcam Family Connection
This post applies to any of us who travel and miss the folks at home. First you need to travel with your computer and you need a web cam. You need a web cam on your traveling computer and whoever you want to see needs one on their computer. You can use one of the instant messaging services from Google, AOL, Microsoft etc. to power up your face to face communication. If you have little folks in your life, they can be reassured when they see their grandparents on the computer. As far as I am concerned, I need to see them. Please set this up and play with it before you go away. You’ll find it much less frustrating having it work before you need it to work.
If you haven’t used instant messaging, it is similar to email but you are talking real time. You can type into a window and get a response from your remote friend instantaneously. You both have to be at your respective computers and logged into whoever’s instant messaging you are using. You can actually talk if you both have microphones and speakers attached. Even better if you both have webcams you can see each other while you talk. It is not quite as seamless as true video conferencing but it is also way cheaper than video conferencing equipment. So you can relax in sunny Naples and you can see your grandkids latest art work as they hold it up in front of their webcam. With so many of us traveling, it is a true family connection extender.
Best deal by far that I have found is at www.buy.com for a Creative Webcam. It is $29.99 with free shipping and a $25.00 rebate. You can use the rebate on two cameras so you can get one for yourself and give one to whoever you want to share the memories with. The camera has decent reviews but for $5.00 how can you not experiment with it. I hate rebates but if you are willing to explicitly follow the directions and include everything that is asked, you should get the rebate.
Little ones grow so fast, can you afford to miss them for the three months you are in Florida. Don’t miss them, see them with a webcam and instant messaging.
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