i-Skype with Mum!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Gosh, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. Gosh macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2006
    To cut a long story short my Mum is very special (you'd love her) and disabled.

    It would be great to video chat when I can't be there.

    I have iMac/MacBook and I thought about getting hold of an iMac G4 which has an ideal footprint and angle-poise function for her.

    Basically in conjunction with a video-cam (plus Skype 2.0 as Apple require mutual dotMac membership for iChat), wireless dongle (which I have spare), a robust ergonomic wireless mouse and maybe Miglia TV mini - she can use it for video chat, music, and TV.

    G4 is before my time - any advice please on spec to cater for the above?
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Apple doesn't require .mac membership to use iChat. iChat also works with any AIM account, which is free.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Skype is very nice, even though iChat is also free. It seems Skype doesn't post any specific requirements above and beyond a G4/800 to run its software. This should put most iMac G4's in your target range. Any computer at or above that speed level will also do video chat on iChatAV. So you can play around with two options, at least (a third is Yahoo Messenger). I'd basically recommend trying to get as much RAM in it as possible. Also it needs to run Panther or Tiger (and, really, you might as well...).
  4. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    iChat is completely free, and uses the AIM protocol. Video chatting is completely free, between Macs and between Macs and PCs. .Mac has nothing to do with it. Hell, even if you want a name@mac.com account, it's free as well (just get a trial. The username won't expire when the other stuff does).
  5. Gosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2006
    G4 spec

    So a few options on free video chat then is good news!

    So G4 spec what else should I look for? Will USB wireless dongle be ok? Does it have bluetooth for wireless mouse? I believe it would cope with TV Mini! Any recommended webcam? :apple:
  6. redwin11 macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2006
    Skype only works with 10.3 and above, so make sure you don't get one with an old OSX.
  7. Cybix macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2006
    Western Australia
    I found Skype (latest beta) would not work on anything below 10.3.9 (for me)

    I use skype to video chat with my fam and friends all the time. MSN sucks, iChat is very good too...
  8. andrewmulligan macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Skype is extremely reliable when it comes to video conferencing but it can't do three/four way conferences like iChat can do. I've found that iChat frequently gives me errors with certain friends... I've found that it's been their routers and other networking items. I've also found that Skype can be a little more clear with less bandwidth than iChat is.
  9. Gosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 14, 2006

    Thought this had died a death! Skype it is - now just need to find a decent G4!

    Bid for a nice condition one on eBay but glad I didn't win - only later models have USB 2.0.
  10. grafikat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2003
    To make it easier on your mum, maybe a refurbished macbook? Mine was about $800, and has the mic and camera already built in....
  11. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    You know that you only need to sign up for the free trial of .Mac to get a .Mac username for iChat.
  12. andrewmulligan macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2006
    or just use an AIM name. :)
    but having the @mac.com address always available for AIM and always reserved for purchase is a plus ;-)

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