Webcam musings

I’ve started using a webcam to keep in touch with my girlfriend (no, not like that, you sickos), since we’re located far away from each other right now. It’s really nice in some ways, but also frustrating in others.
For Christmas, we got eachotherLogitech NX Pro webcams, which we had researched and figured out were both fairly cheap and fairly high quality. They’ve worked like a charm so far, delivering reasonably high quality images (Mine, however, doesn’t do a wonderful job with auto-exposure settings due to the placement of lights in my room, so I have to set the exposure manually). It’s really, really nice to be able to actually see the other person while you, say, talk to them on the phone.

It’s one of those things you only notice when it’s gone, the extent to which facial expressions and other cues (like hand gestures) really impart a sense of interaction and make you feel closer to the other person. Of course, the framerate isn’t always very good, so I’m practicing my slow-motion gestures… It’s kind of fun to try to clap or shrug in slow-motion.

We’ve been using Yahoo Messanger to support our webcams, though some router or firewall somewhere along the line is preventing a direct connection… I hope we can work that out, since a direct connection would be much higher quality picture and framerate.

So, any comments, advice, condemnations or accolades? Meep!

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