Last weekend Kym decided enough was enough and she would have to procure her own Laptop seeing as she wasn’t having much luck getting keyboard time on our communal desktop. So off to town we went with credit-card in hand, in to Smiths Dicks to browse the dozens of laptops on offer, eventually striking up a conversation with an informative-but-too-not-pushy salesman who ended up flogging us an entry level ASUS (or ANUS as Kym calls it) machine.
Back home with the box, Kym unpacked it carefully, I kept a safe distance as I was on no uncertain terms banned from any contact with said device. The machine was fired up, and I watched with trepidation as Vista appeared on the screen and began to engrain itself on the silicon and liquid crystal. Some casual input from me over Kym’s shoulder eventually got HER laptop onto our home network and out onto the Internet.
The Lappy was mostly provisioned with the tools Kym is going to need out of the box, and the only thing I dared suggest I might install was a copy of Skype. This was agreed to with a look of suspicion, but I was not to install anything else, and not until the new owner had taken some time to play with the new toy.
So it was a couple of days later I thought I’d take advantage of her Ladyships absence to install Skype. Plugged in my USB stick, copied the installer over, setup a profile for her, and made a test call to the automated Skype service. I wanted to check out the built-in web camera and although I could make a call to the upstairs desktop but there’d be no one on the other end and only other living creature in the house was the Cat so how would that work……. unless…. I called the Cat…
Yes that was it, tilt the laptop screen down so the web cam was aimed at the cat on the sofa, place a call to my account logged in on the desktop upstairs, run upstairs and answer it and see if the cat appears. Which of course he did. So much for the visual image but how about some actual communication???
Our cat Kola is anti-social at the best of times but he does respond to a mouse-like squeak sound that I make by drawing air in between pursed lips, so I let rip with this squeeky sound over the Skype connection. He immediately sat bolt up-right on the sofa with a startled look on his face, glanced nervously around the room, looked suspiciously at the laptop, then settled back down on the sofa.
I figured its gotta be worth repeating the “squeak” just to make sure it wasn’t a one-off. Sure enough Kola responded instantly, but this time looked straight at the laptop, he knew it was coming from the machine, and he didn’t like it. By this stage I’m laughing to myself in the office upstairs, delighted that I had achieved a crude form of inter-species Skype communication. Now all I have to do is train him to place a call.