Saturday, December 29, 2007

Technology today

When I first began living far from home, international phone calls were still rare, major events. I think I spoke to my family on the phone only twice during my year in Kenya, and equally sparsely during my first years in Costa Rica.

Fortunately, the days of the semi-annual $40 phone call are over. I'm actually paying about three times as much as necessary on my ¢9/min callback plan, but we don't use it enough to bother switching.

Anyway, Alex was out of town for much of our first week here, so we didn't hear from him at all at first. He called when he got back home on Christmas Eve and talked to all three of us for quite a while. He called again on Christmas day so the girls could talk to his parents. They were already looking at the photos I had posted earlier in the day.

I was kind of surprised to hear from him again a day or so later, but happy to pass the phone to the girls for another little chat. When I got it back, I discovered the true motive behind the call, as he had me walk him through finding the scanner software on my computer and sending an icon to the desktop for next time.

Robin is at Mom & Dad's house (about 150 miles away) so we've spoken with her a few times this week as well. Last night, Dad called to say Alex had his parents up at our house and wanted them to talk to Robin on Skype. They had connected the call easily enough, but were having trouble with the webcam at the Costa Rica end. I told Dad where Alex needed to plug it in, but that had already been tried and it was decided that I should speak with Alex directly.

When he called (from 1500 miles away), I picked up the phone and immediately heard Robin in the background.


splord December 29, 2007 6:24 PM  

Pretty cool, huh? I've been part of family conference calls with participants in NC, MN and Beijing. Not to mention friendly calls to the Island!

Oh, and btw, I am tagging you! ;)

Anonymous December 29, 2007 9:21 PM  

Duplication of technology continues: As she explains, I told Alex that Jennifer wanted him to call her so she could walk him thorugh the camera setup. I then waited for him to do that.

Moments later our phone rang, and, when I answered, it was Alex, who accidentally called OUR house looking for Jennifer, instead of calling Lisa's house where Jennifer actually was.

Whereupon I found myself talking with Alex both through Skype and via an international telephone call - simulaneously.

Steve December 29, 2007 10:47 PM  

Jens Dad the multitasker!:)

The Cunning Runt December 30, 2007 12:09 AM  

This technology is a real gift to those who have it (and know how to use it!)

It's great to see it making a positive difference in Actual People's lives :)

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