Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Mogul Moment

Remember the old Hollywood movies that always depicted producer/mogul types sitting at huge desks, with a multitude of telephones ringing simultaneously? (If you do, you're pretty old to be blogging, but so am I.)

Anyhow, last night I was sitting at my PC, more a 21st century version of the fireplace than of a huge mahogany desk, minding everybody's business, talking (for free) on my Skype headset with a friend in London. The phone (now and henceforth renamed the "land line") rang. It was my son Prowesslessnesslessness in Florida, asking for an immediate videochat, which we do with our webcams via Yahoo Messenger with Voice. It had to be immediate, because Little Bear was awake and in a Good Mood, which happens often enough, but not often during my waking hours. P doesn't use Skype because we haven't found a nice cheap wireless headset for it yet, whereas his land line works fine with a wireless headset, but it doesn't do video. Or Internet. I quickly wound up the conversation with my London friend and plugged my webcam into a USB port, opening the Messenger software. Pictures! Voice! Much waving and smiling!

As the videochat progressed, my cellphone rang...so I took a break to answer it, because I could see on the callerID that it was Little Bear's Mother's brother (Family Karma) calling; I thought maybe he wanted to conference chat. It turned out he did want some consultation on how to get his Yahoo Messenger to work with voice, having earlier completed a video-only chat with Little Bear and her family. I suspect his situation is hopeless (temporarily?), because he uses a MacIntosh, while we are merrily waving and chatting on Windows platforms, and told him this sad news. Having fielded his call and returned to a limited pantomime for my granddaughter (she's 15 months old, and vocal but just on the brink of verbal), I ignored the next ringing of my land line. Enough is enough! The scene changed from Hollywood mogul's desk to Ernestine's switchboard - remember Ernestine, the wonderful Lily Tomlin telephone operator character..."Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?" (Lily, was it you calling me at 10:30 last night?) (Boy, I am I font of entertainment memories!)

After all the family visiting was over, I sat for a moment, contemplating the array of communication devices and channels sitting on my home desk. So much power! So little influence! Samuel Goldwyn, where are you now?

16 comments:

Tan Lucy Pez said...

What a fun post! Just love it. I'm 63 and 5/6 and I love all the new tech stuff. I remember all the movie-type things you are referring to. And I love Lily Tomlin. She's da bomb!

Udge said...

Technology! gotta love it (else it takes its revenge).

Yahoo Messenger is the wrong software for his purposes, it is text-only on the Mac. There are videoconference apps for Mac OS X e.g. iChat AV, fewer for OS 9.

Savtadotty said...

TLP - Glad you enjoyed my ruminations. I wish I were not ambivalent about the new tech stuff. No ambivalence about Lily Tomlin, though.

Udge - See above. Plus a question: does iChat AV work between Macs and Windows machines?

John said...

Just reading about all of your technological activity made me tired. But I am not surprised by your techno-savvy ways, you're just 26 or was it 27?!

Udge said...

The Mac website suggests that it will connect to Windows chat-clients, and I can confirm that the non-AV text-only version does. I haven't tried the AV stuff, so I cannot confirm this. It would be pretty useless if it didn't, though, and Apple is pigheaded but not stupid.

AmyS said...

Loved this post! I can just imagine you with all your communications equipment - bells ringing and lights flashing! Funny how everyone always calls at the same time, and never when you're sitting around feeling just a little bit lonely and blue...

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