SEND A TALKING THING

Now that our 89 year-old aunt has an iPad, she’s thrilled to get email. She said she just received a “talking thing” from her granddaughter. So, naturally we were put on our mettle and sent her a “talking thing” too.

The talking thing is a video, of course, and to record ourselves waving and grinning, we used the webcam built into our laptop and a program called “YouCam 5,” from Cyberlink. It’s available in a free trial version at Download.com. The Download.com version also comes with free ‘TechTracker” software that lets you know which programs on your computer need updating. On our system, ten programs needed a free update. It’s a hassle to update all of these, so if you might want to uncheck the “Tech Tracker” box before proceeding with the installation.

YouCam 5 is a $35 program, once your free trial is up, but it’s fun to have. If you don’t have a laptop with a built-in web camera, you can buy a webcam separately for around $30 or less, and it comes with its own software. Add special effects and frames to your video or just email it as it is.

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