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Quote of the Day - I've been to one world's fair, a picnic and a rodeo and that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard come over a set of headphones. - Major Kong (Slim Pickins) in Dr. Strangelove
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From PicturePhone To VideoPhone, A World Of Difference

Yes, I was there in 1964. Age 7. You do the math.

It was the 1964/65 New York World's Fair, and in case you didn't know, it was unsanctioned by the World's Fair governing body. And just in case you're wondering, the next World's Fair will be held in Achi, Japan, just 58 days from now - if you missed the show in New York and want to take one in. Better hurry to get your ticket.

My family had a good time at the one in New York, and it generated one our touchstone sayings. My younger (middle) brother was getting tired at the end of the day and looked up to my father and said, "Dad, can you carry me? My feet just ran out of gas." So, now that I've thrown you off the track completely, let's get to it.

Yes, I know it's a long and involved intro, but then you're still reading, aren't you? Where am I going with all this? Before I let that cat out of the bag, please indulge me one more time.

It's the PicturePhone. First invented in 1956, it made its debut to the public at the 1964 World's Fair.

Now, we've got a videophone that actually works. Not just one, but also another from Motorola, the Ojo, and a third one from Packet 8.

Now MIPTC isn't on the testing list and we don't have a budget like Consumer Reports, so you're going to have to tune in to the links above to get the full skinny. But, from what I've read, the D-Link is good for group discussions but not the greatest quality, and the other two work very well for individual video conversations. PC Magazine liked the Packet 8 the best, and of the three, it was priced in the middle at $500, plus a $30/month service fee. It's even better with a $250 rebate (limited time offer).

I've gotten much older since the 1964 World's Fair, and telephones (excuse me, videophones) have gotten a lot newer.

Here's looking at you.

Podcast 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, January 27, 2005 at 00:21 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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