Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Skype's the Limit

The DMPL is offering a free program about how to use Skype™ next Tuesday, July 26 at 6:30 PM at the Central Library. So this past weekend, I decided to get a little head start by downloading a Skype app onto my Galaxy Tablet™. And it was simple to do! I signed up for an account. And that was simple too!

Then I decided to test it out with my Oregonian daughter. I called her Skype number and she immediately answered, which was very cool! We could hear each other, but she couldn’t see me and I couldn’t see her. So I tried pushing buttons, and looking at the settings, and my daughter kept insisting that I should just click on the change settings button next to her picture.

She is a pretty typical twenty-something, sarcastically offering the suggestion to get her little sister to fix it for me! I felt like a Luddite—but after several attempts with increasingly exasperated comments from my daughter, I did a little research via Google and discovered—lo and behold--visual communication doesn’t work on the tablet__yet! (Wouldn’t it have been nice if they had mentioned that when I downloaded the app?)

So then I fired up our laptop computer and I wasn’t a Luddite after all! It worked like a charm and we had a delightful face-to-face conversation. It takes a little while to get used to keeping your face aligned with the computer’s camera but it is well worth the effort. I wish I would have tried it sooner. The best line of Sunday’s conversation was when I moved the laptop and my daughter remarked, “Gee Dad, you’ve lost a lot of weight—oh sorry, I guess I am looking at the lamp!”

We also discovered that it can drive your pets crazy to talk to them via Skype, especially when you have dogs on both ends barking and running around looking for the other pet at the other end of the line!

If you have family or friends across the country that you’d enjoy “seeing” while you talk with them, I’d like to encourage you to sign up for a free Skype account. If you’d like to learn more about Skyping, join us at a free workshop called The Skype’s the Limit on Tuesday, July 26 at 6:30 PM in the Central Library Meeting Room. Hope to see you there!

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