Then I saw her face… now I’m a believer..

…as the Monkees would say.

Today I had a high-quality video conversation with a friend in California. Here’s how I did it:

I plugged a camera into my Mac. (A camcorder, in my case, but almost any Firewire camera will work and quite a few USB ones.) A camera icon appeared in my instant message window. I noticed that my friend also had one, so I double-clicked on it. And there we were, smiling at each other.

Now get this – I had done NO previous configuration. I hadn’t told my Mac I was about to connect a camera. I hadn’t installed any drivers. I had only just bought the camera and hadn’t plugged it in before. I hadn’t configured any bandwidth options or considered the fact that I was behind a firewall. It just worked. This is why I love Apple.

A Mac with an iSight camera costs less than an ISDN video conferencing solution did a few years ago, and it’s a darnSight easier to use.

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© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser