The future is now

With a recent spat of computer purchases in the family, we’ve finally gotten around to trying video chatting with Apple’s iChat, and using the AOL/AIM connection. First it was between my brother, myself, and one of our cousins, MrJumbo. Then last night, I was the odd cousin out with Papa Bradstein joining in. However, we just couldn’t get it to work. He dug through his modem and router, and ended up calling Apple a few times.

Finally, tonight Papa Bradstein and I were able to chat, though we were not able to make it into a full 3 way video conference. Still, it is a big step up. Before all this, the most I had done was a few audio only chats, or a random one way video chat, which as the person on camera was a little uncomfortable.

One thing I noticed, is that on a one way video chat, when we were both set at 500 kbps speeds, I was sending out twice as many bits per second as I was receiving. So either one of our settings was off, or my connection was sending my picture twice. Or the information was being lost somewhere, but in no way were we maxing out my download connection, but we were approaching the limit of my upload connection.

The primary motivation here is to show off Baby Boy Bradstein to his grandmother and other assorted family members. Now that video chatting is approaching grandmother usability (I hope), this will hopefully spur further home bandwith expansion. After all, why should we watch each other at home, if the connection is small and stutters?

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