Thursday, October 9, 2008


There's two great reasons for celebrating today. You're going to need a little background for me to tell you why it's so great first. My mother and father have both gone through several computers. My dad has always loved gadgets. He also loves to read about them. One concern you can't help but reading about when you read about computers is their security. Dad's a bit concerned about loosing the hours of work he's put into the family history files he's created.

So for all of these years my parents have used the internet very little at home. I've been trying politely to change that.

Mom got a new computer. I got my opportunity. Last night, with only a little hesitation, I talked her through downloading skype. I've known for a while how simple the program was to install and use. Within 7 minutes we were webcamming each other for the first time.

Then the kids saw grandma online. Rainey climbed up onto the couch. Eliza and Daniel started talking. Pretty soon grandma had to sort through conflicting streams of conversation. I'm sure it was probably wonderfully overwhelming!

It could have been the fact that I had been up since 3 in the morning, but I felt a great weight lifted off my shoulders. I was able to let out a big sigh. Finally we can use all this technology to keep our family a bit closer together. For years we have been talking with Chrissy's parents via webcam. As parents we've watched our kids develop a close (although long distance) relationship with one set of grandparents. Naturally I've wanted to balance the scales.

Daniel can show grandma how he's learning to draw letters.
Eliza can show off her homework.
Rainey blows kisses at the screen all day long--if you'll let him.

You can do the research yourself but I'll tell you quickly why I use skype:

  • Low footprint: not a whole lot of hard disk space and you can 'call' over dialup
  • Security: each conversation/chat is 256bit encrypted
  • Cross platform: I've got computers running Linux, Windows, and OS X. Skype works on all of them
  • Add free: Unlike MSN and Yahoo Messenger which are outlets for large corporations to display their advertising, skype doesn't do that.
Thanks for skyping mom! I'm hoping we can make a habit of having meals together.

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