An example of a device that has come a long way is the webcam. Originally, these devices were highly priced, slow and complicated to operate, but today webcams are easy to use, efficient and inexpensive. In some models, laptops even have a webcam built in. If you want to use a webcam to chat with family or friends, you don't have to be technically savvy. By following several simple steps, you'll be on your way to having fun with your webcam.
Plug your webcam's USB cable into a USB port and turn on your computer. Once the computer's operating system finds the camera, it will ask you if you want to install the driver. Click on "Yes" or "Install" and insert the installation disc that came with your camera when prompted. Wait for your webcam's software to finish installing. Access your webcam's settings once it's installed. Click on its icon on your desktop or access it through where it was installed in your computer. Adjust your webcam's settings by customizing the camera's resolution, speaker and microphone to your liking. This process will vary depending on your webcam, but usually you can access these settings through the "settings" menu. Other functions include being able to take still photos, recording "motion pictures" as well as doing audio captures. These settings will be displayed by obvious icons on the webcam's software menu. Features will vary depending on the type of webcam. Test the built-in microphone or use an external headphone set so you can also talk to other people via webcam. To test the microphone, simply run a "sound test." This can be accessed under the "settings" menu in the "sounds" section. Open a free account with Yahoo! Messenger, Skype, Windows Live or ICQ by going to their websites and installing the software. For instance, if you want to install Yahoo! Messenger, simply go to Yahoo.com and click on the "Messenger" link on the left side of the screen next to the "smiley face" icon, and install the software by clicking on the "Download Now" tab and following the instructions. Invite other friends to your chat. Voice over IP software services such as Yahoo! Messenger, Skype and Windows Live have integrated features that allow you to converse with other people while seeing each other through the webcam. Invite friends by opening the chat software you are using and clicking on the "add new contact" or "add" option and typing the person's email or User ID in the blank box. Wait for the other person to accept your invitation. Once you see the person listed under your contacts, right-click and select the "video call" or "video chat" option. This will vary depending on the software you are using, but the process is similar regardless of the software you decide to use. Use a Built-In Webcam
b> Open Yahoo Messenger and select "My Webcam" from the "Messenger" menu. This will bring up a window showing what your webcam sees. To invite one of your contacts to view your webcam, right-click on them in your contacts list and choose "Invite to View My Webcam" from the "More Actions" area of the pop-up menu. Your contact will receive an invitation to view your webcam. Open Skype and select a contact you'd like to call. Skype will automatically detect that you have a webcam attached to your computer and give you the option to place either a voice-only or a video call to the contact. Choose "Video call" and your contact will be able to see and hear you. Open Picasa and select the webcam icon to the right of the "Import" button. A window displaying a view from your webcam will pop up. Click the "Record" button to begin recording a video or the camera icon to take a snapshot. http://messenger.yahoo.com/download/