Instant China

My friend Wendie is in China on business. She has been sending emails to a group of people, emails I’ll continue to compile and then host when she returns.

She doesn’t think there’s anything special in the writing. Maybe so. Maybe I’m more impressed that I get to hear what’s going on in nearly real time.

Tonight, after getting an email, I quickly replied and said I was on Instant Messenger. She had no IM client on the laptop she was using (and, it being a work laptop, couldn’t install one). I suggested AIM Express.

I’m not sure how I found out about this little program, but it allows you to use AOL Instant Messenger from any computer, just by using your web browser. Ingenious.

A few seconds later, Wendie was on live from Beijing.

It’s not like there was earth shattering news to discuss. She told me how polluted and dirty Beijing is and some of the things that were going on. I told her how a hillside in Laguna Beach, CA gave way this morning.

We didn’t chat long, but it was one of those high tech moments when the world seems a little smaller.

I’m naive here, aren’t I? This technology is used by others in just this way, every single day.

I’m sure there are students at Yale, just down the street from where I work, having Instant Messenger conversations back to Asia (or wherever) every hour of every day. To them it’s commonplace. To me it’s cool and new.

You’ve got to keep up with this technology or be swept under by others who do.

2 thoughts on “Instant China”

  1. I’m not at all surprised that you’re just a little excited about Instant Messaging your friend in China. Let me relate this story, which happened on Wednesday, May 4th. We were at my son Sean’s first of season Little League baseball game. The Assistant Coach, Steve, was very dissapointed that he could not attend this game, because he was away on business. After all, what parent would want to miss his or her kid’s opening game of the season? So, he called us from his cell phone. He was having breakfast, in Bejing, and we were sending him pictures of the players from our phones. We also put him on the speaker phone, and he was giving the kids tips on their stances. The kids loved it, that their coach was helping them from China!!!! The parents loved it, too!

  2. Even as a techie, I continue to be surprised and excited by the often cheap and easy application of technology. Sometimes, especially when the application is new, there is knowledge required to do these little tricks. Luckily, over time, what was alchemy becomes a simple turnkey operation.

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