Creative’s Latest Webcam: Cheap and Excellent

Glad I waited to get a webcam. Strolled right into Wal-Mart and couldn’t pass up the new Creative Instant, a $21 bundle of joy.

Get the model with the cool clip-on microphone, just like the big TV folks have. Everything plugs right into your laptop.

Of course, you could go to places like Circuit City (actually, not a bad laptop place), Best Buy (a store with some of the worst, or nonexistent, sales service in retail history), or and pay $50 to $100 for a webcam, but it probably won’t be any better, and if the kids mess it up or break it, you’re not out as much.

The same axiom applies: Shop around, and you can save money, and spend that hard-earned cash on something else you might need.

Anyway, this little baby from Creative is outstanding. It has great onscreen adjustment capabilities (contrast, brightness, etc.) and the mike sound is crisp. Just like downtown.

Believe it or not, you can have a video conversation on a dial-up Internet connection, but it’s slow and cumbersome with gaps (56K doesn’t really hack it), so make sure you get a high-speed connection of some kind.

For those of you in the hinterlands, your phone company should be able to help. Others can get high-speed Internet with their cable TV (but at Comcast’s extortionate prices, I must say). Me? I’m grabbing the current $12.95 a month deal from (they just merged with SBC so they’re trying to kiss up to every customer they have).

I’m sort of glad about that since SBC was such a horrible company to its customers. Hope AT&T has gone in and cleaned up that mess, and fired most of those SBC fools.

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