Monday, April 30, 2012

What to do when you meet a bear in the woods OR my sound doesn't work...HELP!

So, your sound is crappy.  You can't hear your Net Buddy and it is beyond frustrating.  You know you need to smile at the young, hopeful person on your computer screen, but you are near ready to tear out your hair with the futility of getting your VC to work.

Does this sound familiar?

Well, I'm going to tell you a story.

A few years back when I was backpacking through Glacier National Park, there was a really bad bear problem.  Bears were being sighted everywhere and attacks against hikers were mounting.

The Park Rangers would drill us with what to do if we ran into a bear.  If we didn't answer with their memorized litany of instructions, we were taken to task and given "THE TALK" again.  "Make LOTS of noise while hiking.  Shout, sing, clap your hands as you round each bend.  If you do run into a bear, get small, back away slowly, and don't make eye contact.  If the bear continues to advance. lie on the ground in a fetal position and wrap your arms around your head to blunt the trauma of the attack."

Saying, "Well, I've never run into a bear so far and I don't like making noise in the forest" would get you a withering stare and THE TALK again.

So, I'm about to give you the Infinite Family version of the Park Ranger TALK.

If you run into sound problems, make sure you are using a WIRED CONNECTION and a headset with a microphone.  DO NOT use a wireless connection or connect via your 3G or your phone.  DO NOT use the speakers on your computer or the mic that comes with your webcam.

AND yes, we understand you don't always have time to plug into a wired connection and that sometimes it works fine.  And YES, we understand that you have always gotten away without using a headset and that it has worked in the past...
But the reality is, eventually, you ARE going to run into a sound problem...and THE TALK will keep you from ripping out all your hair in frustration.

Just like the rangers said to me, if you don't take the precautions, you are highly likely to run into a bear along the path.  And quite frankly, I'd rather sing a little off tune Beatles to the bear in the woods than lie down amongst the roots and rocks watching my life flash before my eyes.

So, take the precautions.  ALWAYS use a wired connection and a headset with a mic.  That way, those big bad sound problems will stay off the path of your next VC.  

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