I was right about the set-up - it was very easy. All I had to do was plug the camera into a free USB port, install the software and I was off!
Following the instructions after the software was installed was simple; Logitech pretty much holds your hand through the whole process. I was instructed to update the software, which I did and found it now included SpotLife (which I’ll get to later). Once I had passed the testing phase for audio and video, I was ready to record video e-mails, put together my own webcam page and more.
I think the eeriest thing is when first opening QuickCam - a box appears on the left with a live video feed of me. I still find it hard to realize that’s really me “on camera.” One thing I learned - never open QuickCam first thing in the morning before you’ve had coffee.
Well, that may be the second eeriest thing. The first would be when I tried to go to a few web sites where you can chat live via video/audio with other folks. I’d heard great things about CUSeeMe, so I went to their site. I did have to download some software, which didn’t take long, and had to register. I filled in only minimal information, but you can write anything you want about yourself for others to see when you go live. I went to the “Testing” section to try out my camera and make sure it worked, but I couldn’t tell if it did or not. There are three small black boxes near the top of the pop-up window that appears. I assumed mine would be one of them so that I could see myself and test my audio as well as make sure I was sitting in front of the camera correctly. When that didn’t happen, I decided to check out a few of the rooms. This was done at 10 in the morning. I found one room which looked interesting, called SuperWomen, for women who juggle a family, career, etc. I logged into the room and the first three videos I see are all men. And they all looked creepy. Ugh. I followed what little instructions the site had, closed those three boxes, then went through the list of participants in the room and selected three new ones. This sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. And still it was only men. I think I was the only woman in there. There aren’t a lot of rooms available, but if you’re into chat (which I am not), then this might be your cup of tea.
My only regret was that I couldn’t find a friend who had a webcam to try a one-on-one video “conference.” That’s where I can see this coming in very handy - see and talk to relatives and friends who live in other states and countries, be generally goofy or conduct business.
But all in all, for $79.00, Logitech’s QuickCam Web is a steal, easy to set up and highly recommended. For more information, visit QuickCam Web
J.A. Hitchcock is a regular contributor to Compute Me. Visit her web site at jahitchcock.com.