See, I really was scared!

How good, when my brother finally had some interesting news, that he could show me all about it in our webcam video-conference.

See, I really was scared!

My younger brother flies a passenger plane in Australia’s Top End, between Kununurra and Darwin via the Lake Argyle Diamond Mine. He tells me that the other day, his co-pilot pointed out that a warning light had lit up on his dashboard.

It was glowing only dimly, and in the half-light of sunset was difficult to see. While he and the co-pilot were discussing whether the engine might actually be on fire, a series of alarms went off, waking and scaring the sh-t out of everyone in the plane. It turned out the alarm had been raised by a loose wire on a sensor, but it was certainly an exciting “day at the office” for him.

Now the memorable thing about this is he gave me all this news via a video conference. Both of us have a broadband internet connection, have downloaded the Skype internet phone software, and plugged in a web cam. The cost of this video conference was a $69-a-month internet connection and a $49.95 webcam.

I compare this to a traditional video conferencing system. I am told it costs about $170 to apply to have a link set up, then thousands of dollars to actually run it. A detective friend suggested it’s usually cheaper to fly someone to Australia to give evidence than it is to use video.

Anyway, the link with my brother wasn’t perfect. However, it cost virtually nothing and accurately conveyed all his feelings. He could also pick up his webcam and show me the colour of his undies, so to speak.

It was strange to have a video conference with him, because normally we don’t have much to say. Normally it’s: Hi. Hi. Nothing new here. Nothing new here either. Oh well, bye. Bye. However, the one time he did have something to say, it was fantastic. It’s occurred to me that it would be a great service solution. Most of the time it would be useless, but that one time in 100, where someone could actually show you the part that’s broken.

It would be a clear differentiator of my business.

Skype can be downloaded at and the camera I am using is a Logitech QuickCam Family.

To read more Brendan Lewis blogs, click here.


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