Random Thoughts from the Gameless Gamer: Long Distance Connections

Filed under: by: Priestbeast

Well gamers, I often try to keep my personal life to myself, however, I could not come up with a topic that would be enlightening enough for all of you. So after talking to Andygoes, we decided upon a topic that seems technologically focused: Internet communication.

My parents were out this past week and my mom asked me if I had any stamps. "Stamps?", I asked. "You mean those little sticky things that you put on those white rectangles and stick in your mailbox once a month when the bills are due?" Of course she said yes, and I quickly replied, "Nope, don't have any."

We are in an age where the post office delivers more junk mail than relevant mail. This is also an age when we pay bills via online banking sites and buy many different things through online venues. Most critically, we are in an age where communication is switching over to the computer through various routes.

I wanted to talk to you briefly about two of these roots: iChat, for those Mac people around, and Gmail, for those of us that like a snazzy looking e-mail site with tons of storage. If I may say so, these two resources have become an integral part of my relationship with my girlfriend, who lives 8 hours away.

iChat is the AIM equivalent that is preloaded onto a Mac. The application can fish information from your AIM account, which is useful when you tend talk to people who are not on a Mac. It is a nice piece of software that provides an easy to use interfaces for talking with people. iChat even has cool little colors for the speech bubbles from your friends. Another useful feature is how easy it is to talk to someone via an audio link. I have spent countless hours on this, and other than a few Internet based goof ups, have had no major problems with it.

When using the audio chat there is sometimes a nasty feedback from the system that forces you to mute yourself momentarily, but this usually dies down after about 5 or 10 minutes. It sometimes flares up again, but it dies away with time. For those of you who are really computer savvy, there is also a video link that allows you to see the person who you are talking to. This can be nice both for work related applications where you need to have a short meeting with someone, as well as when you are talking with family and friends you do not often see.

Gmail, gmail, gmail. Provided to us by the dynasty that is Google. (Does anyone have that new phone that is Google based? I want to know how good it is). Logging into gmail is like logging into your life. Here you can do anything from Sending and receiving e-mails, filtering spam, and trashing all the junk mail that manages to sneak by. However, has anyone ever noticed that barely any junk mail ever gets into gmail? With over 7 GB of space, I wouldn't want to waste any precious piece on such a thing. (Currently my usage is at a measly 265 MB.) Recently, gmail has added a chat function that can connect with AIM. Not only can you chat with your friends when you are wasting time at home, but now you can do it at work too, all while looking like you are sending an e-mail to your co-workers scattered around the globe. There are even labels to sort your mail under, forwarding options, and so many available settings in the works at Google labs that I feel like a noob just talking about it. In fact, I am finding out more and more as I write about it.

Yes gamers, these were random thoughts this week. My brain is beginning to rot from the drought of good games available on Xbox 360. Not that there are none, it is just that I do not get to play any of them, except for when I steal the guitar from the 10 year old at Best Buy, so I can play Rock Band 2 on their 50" plasma with surround sound. Just be sure to play it on easy so that everyone in the store will think you rock. After all, everyone that knows better has already bought it and taken it home! Explore gmail people, I know its been out for a while, but there are a lot of good and new things coming out on a regular basis. And if your a Mac user like myself, consider iChat. You won't be too often disappointed.

Game on Gamers!


On November 11, 2008 at 2:30 PM , Anonymous said...

I have a G-1 (the Google phone). It's OK, nothing too special. Like the iPhone (especially the 1st gen) it lacks quite a bit in the actual phone department, but you can't have it all in a single device. To sum up, are there better smartphones, yes, but I got it for its platform (Android), not its hardware. And the platform has a lot to offer and a lot of potential for the future. And like Gmail, it will quietly take over sooner or later, I believe.
My 2Hz...