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iSight testimonial

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  • Elizabeth Hanson-Smith
    Hi Webheads-- Here s a testimonial from David Pogue, NY Times, on iSight, a video/voice combo that I have been eyeballing. --Elizabeth ===================
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 4, 2003
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      Hi Webheads--
      Here's a testimonial from David Pogue, NY Times, on iSight, a video/voice
      combo that I have been eyeballing.

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      Forum: David Pogue's Columns
      Share your own heartwarming experiences with technology on the feedback
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      Read "10 Steps to Finding the Right Car for You" and learn how to calculate=

      all the costs of ownership, research your options, prepare for the buying c=
      and more. Learn more at autos.nytimes.com today. Thursday, December 4,

      When Technology Is Heartwarming

      I took last Thursday off from writing this column, and you took last Thursd=
      ay off
      from reading it. But I have a Thanksgiving thought to share, even though it=
      about something that happened two weeks ago.

      I was in London at a computer conference. I was jet lagged, on the verge of=
      cold and — after nearly a week away — missing my wife and two young

      Following a talk, I asked some stragglers in the auditorium if there was
      anywhere I could get online to check my e-mail.

      A young man named Tim Haigh offered to show me to a coffee shop a few
      blocks away that had wireless Internet access. Tim and I paid our $8 for th=
      hour, bought fizzy lemon sodas, popped open our PowerBooks and began to
      surf. As we chatted, he mentioned that he often sat in this very coffee sho=
      and conducted video chats with a buddy in the States, using an Apple iSight=

      The iSight is a compact, tubular, high-quality video camera, about the size=
      a Hostess Ho-Ho. It has a built-in microphone and lens cover. It has no pow=
      cord of its own; it connects to a Macintosh with a single FireWire cable. A=
      long as you both have broadband Internet connections, you and another
      iSight (or camcorder) owner can conduct a videoconference.

      The quality is excellent: smooth motion, full screen if you like and very l=
      delay. It's absolutely nothing like the crude, jerky, stuttering, massively=

      delayed video you may have tried with cheap Web cams.

      In any case, I perked right up when Tim mentioned his video chats, because =
      had an iSight, too, perched on my screen back home. I had no idea you could=

      use it across the Atlantic.

      Indeed you can, Tim said — in fact, he carries his iSight around with him. =

      "You mean you have it with you right now?" I exclaimed. "Can I borrow it?" =

      It was about 5:30 p.m., meaning that it was 12:30 p.m. at home. On the chan=
      that my wife was at her computer, I fired off an e-mail to her, suggesting =
      we try out an intercontinental video call.

      It took a few minutes for me to explain to her, by furious back-and-forth e=
      messages, how to open iChat and start up the video link. (Most of the time =

      was spent with me, a color-blind husband, imploring her to click the "orang=
      camcorder icon," which turns out to be green.)

      And then, suddenly, there it was: My wife Jennifer's live image and her voi=
      transmitted in real time 3,500 miles across the globe — instantly, crystal =
      and, by the way, free. I paraded around the coffee shop with my laptop and =

      the iSight, showing her the local ambiance. (Jennifer, grinning: "Hey, buy =
      one of those chocolate croissants!")

      Maybe I was just overtired and sentimental, but it was an almost
      overwhelming experience.

      She rounded up the kids. They didn't seem to grasp the full scope of the
      technological miracle before them, which I found tremendously reassuring; I=

      could see for myself that none of the traveling dad's worst nightmares had =

      come true.

      We caught up for awhile; I told a silly bedtime story to the kids; we showe=
      each other how it was dark out in England, but still bright at home. Finall=
      after about 20 minutes, we "hung up."

      There's a lot of junk in technology, a lot of hassle and frustration, a lot=
      disappointment. But this moment was like a TV commercial. It was an
      emotional, powerful, simple, perfect example of how technology can change a=

      moment, solve a problem, and despite the gulf of time and distance, bring y=
      face to face with the people you love.

      Visit David Pogue on the Web at DavidPogue.com.
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