One of my co-workers asked a favor tonight. Her brother is in Iraq and she just found out they could have video chats using Yahoo! Messenger (there are other ways, but he was already on Yahoo!).
She asked me what camera to get? I’m a bargain kinda guy, but she had that ‘tonight’ look. I sent her to Circuit City.
She came back with a little Creative camera that slipped over the display on her laptop. It set her back $60, which she viewed as a good value.
I took out the disk and installed the drivers. I can’t remember an install taking this long and installing this many inidividual pieces of software. You do what you can to hold back driver creep, but there’s stuff there we’ll never identify.
The camera itself is sweet. The video is sharp and though all webcam video is jerky, this was no more jerky than any other.
I think this is a good thing, a loved one talking with their soldier halfway around the world. There’s also a potential downside. This technology can bringing unwanted stress or create conflict that snail mail can not.
When my dad was in the Navy, back in WWII, he and my mom traded letters back and forth. The conversation was disjointed, with questions and answers passing each other as he crossed the ocean. Now the conversation is realtime.
How does the military looks at this? Good for morale… or bad? Good for discipline or bad?
As I hooked up the camera, I wondered why this was technology I wasn’t using? I’ve got cameras and have hooked them up. Long term use never seems convenient or necessary.