Last time I used Skype was about six years ago. It wasn’t pretty.
Our only laptop at that time was a Dell that ran Vista (yes, that was indeed the worst tech purchase ever in the history of our household). Vista couldn’t handle email properly, let alone a video chat program. The one and only chat I ever had (with our Oldest, who had recently moved 10 hours away for college) was a disaster. No matter what I did, this is how I showed up on her screen:
After that experience, we soon discovered that Skype running constantly in the background was dragging our processing speed down to super slo-mo. We deleted the program and tried to forget the whole miserable experience.
So when I had to download Skype onto my new-ish laptop yesterday in order to do an overseas conversation with my sister in Ireland, I crossed all my fingers and toes that I would appear as myself. Or at least as a human avatar.
The download process was not exactly smooth. Having been using the easy-peasy FaceTime for chats in the last few years with our distant college kids, I was near tears trying to get Skype functional. I admit, I’m under a lot of stress and tears have been near the surface much of the time for the last couple of days. But it wasn’t just me. I am convinced that the program is designed to drive naive folks to think their only option is to use a paid Skype calling plan. After 40 minutes of fiddling around, and with some help from Middle, I finally got my account ready, created the necessary contacts, and did a successful, free test chat.
It was a nice sense of accomplishment. I have to say, though, I looked better on-screen as a kitten.