March 15, 2009

I consider myself pretty technically proficient. I’m no savant, nor is my mastery gained through some dedicated program of study and research. My knowledge is practical and learned through application. This makes my current situation even more frustrating, because the on the spot troubleshooting skills and forum hunting that has served me so well in the past has completely stumped me on getting a webcam working. Is it a crime to want the people I skype or instant message with to see me? It’s narcissistic, probably, but not a crime.

I know it is a crime to pay for tech support… well, at least it’s embarrasing for me, which is the same thing. When your masculinity is measured not by your sports trivia or knowledge of cars, you better be darn good at whatever else abilities you have, especially since helping other people with technology is my niche.

I had an old webcam. Several years old. According to Logitech, it’s still supported, and it worked on my old computer, but this new desktop I built with Vista is ornery when it comes to anything more than a year old. It was a Logitech Quickcam IM. I’d lost the stand for it, and the clip for the monitor, so it sat on a improvised stand that involved duct tape and a Wii stand I don’t use. It worked.

Until a month ago, that is. So the final answer? I bought a new one. The QuickCam Communicate MP. It has a microphone in it and a makes a much better picture. Was I giving in? No, I didn’t count this as a defeat. Instead, it’s like I escalated the Cold War Arms race, and I’m just keeping up with Vista.  The right answer was to upgrade in the first place.

I’m sure there’s some greater moral about patience, stubborness, not placing my worth in my reputation, and the law of diminishing returns, but I’ll worry about that later. For now, I’m making funny faces and trying to catch myself looking at the camera.


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