Using Skype to Keep Tabs on your Pets
Many of you out there might not see the point in getting a web cam for your computer. Until recently I was one of those people too, but as I saw more and more people on my Skype contacts list with the video icon I started to get a little more intrigued. After all I had a few friends who were already trying out the whole video chat thing and loving it, so I figured I'd give it a try. Now the chat feature is obvious, but it wasn't until I was visiting the Skype forums and stumbled upon a thread about "home monitoring" that I realized another great use...keeping on eye on your dog!
Now keep in mind that Baxter is totally adorable (that is him on the right, and you can even see the first part of the PayPal logo on my T-shirt), and within seconds of meeting my co-workers became infinitely more liked than I could ever be, but a recent bout with allergies (and the medication that went with it) gave him an endless thirst and thus a need to "eliminate" more often. His location of choice had been the fireplace, so after some re-training things seem to be back to normal, but I still had my concerns, so I opted to keep an eye on things myself.
With the help of a trusty Apple MacBook (with built in iSight camera) and Skype video chat, I can now call my home, have the home computer auto answer, and then accept the video call. It does require creating a second Skype ID (since you can't call yourself) but it's still pretty easy. I can even call out to Baxter if he starts sniffing around his old spot. Just make sure you have the volume turned up on the home computer. So far things seem to be working, but only time will tell.
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