Friday, October 14, 2005

Skype and webcam era

Last night I went to the Media Markt, a large shop in consumer electronics and bought myself a webcam. I had been pressed to do so by my Finnish friend Cai. He was nice in the message, but basically told me that I was old fashioned with just e-mail. I should get telecom software Skype and get a webcam.
Problem with those gadgets is that you have to install it and get it configured. And as I am notorious for misconfiguring I rather avoid these actions. But given the many international calls, installing a webcam with microphone should be an investment easily earned.

So the installation of the webcam went without a hitch. So I have an electronic mrror now and can see myself onscreen. Great. This works so far. After that it, downloading Skype was the next action. Also the configuration of this was no problem. I sent out a message to my international friends and told them my Skype name. After that it was just sitting back, waiting till the first call was made. And yes, before midnight Dutch time, Kresimir from Croatia called. He was the first caller in my short Skype history. We had a nice talk and we had good lines. So Skype was working.

After the first call, I wanted to try out calling someone myself. I saw that my Belgian friend Rudi was still up and working. He accepted the call and we were talking about his World Summit Award celebration within two weeks. During the celebration the national entries will get an award with a diamond, promoting Belgium as diamond country or better Antwerp as diamond town. The call was broken off once and in a second instance the sounds faded away. However we could complete the call without any problem.

So at last I am catching up. Now that I think of it. I had a Sony Vaio with a built-in webcam, which I have used only as a photocamera. A beautifull almost lady purse with camera. I never used it as a webcam to exchange video images or have a live video call. Skype is another feature in my history of communication; a live webcam call will follow soon.

1952: saw my first tv broadcast of the crowning of queen Elisabeth
1955: my first telephone call
1956: my first photo camera
1967: worked with an IBM golfball typewriter with 1k correction memory
1968: my first 8 mm movie
1970: my first contact with a mini computer
1977: my first online experience at a demonstration of Kluwer’s legal database
1978: my first videotext experience
1980: Teletekst, the Dutch Ceefax service
1980: my first e-mail via US service The Source
1980: opening of the Dutch videotext service Viditel
1980: heard my first audio CD
1980: my first PC: Superbrain
1983: my first portable PC Zenith Model 100 (still operational)
1984: launch of the first daily online newsletter for the computing industry IDB Online
1984: saw for the first time a CD-ROM at Philips in Eindhoven
1986: finished my first professional CD-ROM production
1987: finished the Kluwer legal database CD-ROM trial production
1993: my first CD-I player
1995: got my first mobile
1999: bought a Sony Vaio PC with a webcam, which I used as photo camera
2003: my first digital photo and movie camera
2004: made my first MMS picture in Athens
2005: made my first Skype call using the microphone of the new webcam

A picture of me made with the new webcam

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