Sunday, November 19, 2006

Charlotte Reaching Out Through Cyberspace

How very 2006. A screenshot taken from my computer showing my face (via webcam) both locally and on my brother's computer in Boston, being touched by his daughter Charlotte. Whew!

Colin says that the sitcom Dinosaurs got it right with Baby Sinclair saying "Again!" over and over. This is probably Charlotte Request To Be Upside Down # 317.

Charlotte, recovering after a successful Charlotte Request To Be Upside Down # 1203.

Charlotte, apparently checking to see if I'm really a floating head.
(The correct answer may surprise you.)

Colin, Charlotte, and Uncle Brian, brought together by consumer-grade videoconferencing technology (either that or masterful Photoshop skills.)

Webcam-ing with Charlotte & Colin is becoming a weekly ritual. This week we tried using SightSpeed, an alternative cross-platform video chat program. (Apple's iChat works great between Macs, but when talking to PCs, the absurdly crappy AOL AIM software launches up, making the PC user image the size of a postage stamp and forcing him to choose between seeing them and seeing himself. Get with it, AOL. Pathetic. Or better yet, Apple should make a version of iChat for the PC.)

Overall, SightSpeed is MUCH better, though the sound is a tad echoey from my end (might be my sound card setup). On Colin's end, my image was higher resolution. On my end, their image seemed a little blockier than from iChat, but it was good enough.

I hope Charlotte isn't totally confused when we see each other in person over Thanksgiving.

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posted by Brian at 10:42 AM


Blogger Kelly Love said...

what a cutie! i am filled with webcam envy, but fortunately i get to see all of the above pictured people soon. :-) have you tried skype? i'm curious how it measures up - we've used it to chat with my cousins using their mac and my pc.
- Charlotte's Aunt Kelly

November 20, 2006  
Blogger the sightspeed guy said...

ah, the echo. can be totally eliminated with a headset. for those situations where charlotte just can't put on a headset, have the end where she's at bet a mic, go into mic settings and choose the sound card-mic. then turn echo cancellation on, and move the mic sensitivity down to a little less than half.

add me to your sightspeed contact list if you have any questions:



November 21, 2006  
Blogger Brian said...

Skype works great with voice (even without a headset, somehow?), but the version I have does not support video. I tried using the upgrade button and it said I had the latest version (huh?)

Perhaps we'll try that next time, though SightSpeed exceeded my expectations so far.

November 21, 2006  
Blogger Stephan said...

Thanks for the pointer—I am preparing for this exact use case (mixed Mac/PC videoconference to share the baby with family), except with me being in Colin's place. The next generation will be comfortable with video conferencing, that's for sure!

iChat never has an echo, but I've experienced it with Skype.

November 24, 2006  

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