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Technological solutions for when you're out and about


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Hey all,

 

Just thought I'd share a couple cool little things I recently set up in preparation of bringing home my CAG.

 

1) LogMeIn

LogMeIn is a service that lets you log into your computer remotely from another computer or many mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, and many Android devices). I'm planning on utilizing this to play media content for my guys when I'm gone at school or work. The advantage here is I can maintain a wide variety of selection, and I don't have to have it just playing all day or not at all.

 

LogMeIn is a paid service for many features, but they do have a free version which is perfectly suited for this situation, which is what i'll be using. No audio from the remote computer, but thats ok. The iPhone/iPad app is a little pricey at $29, but it works great and is definitely one of the best ones out there for this type of thing. Works on both PC and Mac.

 

2) Private Skype account

 

My previous room-mate used to chat with his fiancé via Skype the nights of the week she was away at school. Their B&G understood that it was momma, but never quite got why she was so small or disappeared when she turned sideways.

 

This one wasn't as straight forward and took a little knowledge of features Skype has but aren't necessarily on the surface. I'll walk you through it for those interested

 

1- Created a new Skype account for your birds

 

2- In your Skype preferences,

• Under general make sure "automatically accept incoming files" is unchecked.

• Under privacy set all options to "contacts." Ex: Allow calls from = Contacts.

- This keeps it private. Only those you've added can call this account. Important for the next step.

• Under Calls set "Incoming Calls" to "Answer Automatically." Make sure "Start video automatically at the beginning of a call" is checked.

- This lets Skype answer a video call without anyone having to be at the computer. This is why it was important to set everything to "contacts only" in the previous step. You don't want strangers or spam-bots calling you automatically.

 

3- Under your Profile (click on the little blue mystery man or the profile picture you chose, alternatively it should also be found under File>Edit Profile)

• This section is optional, but there are a few more options able to be set for privacy

- I have "show i have X contacts" unchecked, and no information filled out.

- Underneath the picture I also have "Visible to my contacts" chosen.

 

4- Add your main Skype account, or any skype accounts you wish to be able to call your birds.

• Keep in mind these accounts will be able to essentially turn on your webcam whenever they want (provided your computer is awake).

 

*Disclaimer*

Be careful who you're adding to this. I do not claim to be an expert in all the ins and outs of Skype. I've listed here everything I can find in it that regards to privacy and making it as hidden as possible. The goal being to make a "private number" to call home. If you're ever unsure or in doubt, simply log out of this account or close Skype. I thought there was an option somewhere to set who can even search for you in the Skype directory, but couldn't find it again. I anyone has any further suggestions please feel free to add them.

 

By using LogMeIn to wake up/unlock my computer I can now video call my little guys at home whenever I want from another computer, or more commonly my iPhone.

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Update: This has actually been working pretty great! I was originally using my iPhone, but now have an iPad and its even better. I'll use LogMeIn to wake up the computer so Gandalf can see me on his display (sometimes make his view of me fullscreen). I've also been using LogMeIn to play videos periodically off of YouTube. This weeks selection is classic videos off of Sesame Street's channel.

 

It's great because with the combination allows me to observe how he's reacting to the videos i play in my "absence." It's been an invaluable tool since he's not even been home a week in combination with the laundry detergent incident (and the resulting irritation, medication, and stress) I've been able to check in and see if he's playing with toys active as opposed to sleeping all day (indicating hhis health might be at risk).

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