NetMeeting video is still unbeaten. Trying to video conference with a guy in Melbourne today, MSN was on the cards but sucked even in a LAN environment, Skype was tried and looked awesome fullscreen and in a LAN environment, but bombed out pretty badly for web-cam support at the Melbourne end and in terms of bandwidth — you can’t even scale the video! — and NetMeeting was great in terms of reliability and decent quality over both LAN and Internet connections (and yes, it let you scale. Last update, 1996. Or whenver. A while ago!).
Unfortunately, NetMeeting is too difficult to use, and one end (or both ends… our end I’m 99% sure is working fine as I write this) had routing difficulties because, obviously, NetMeeting doesn’t use some crappy central directory server unless you select the “Microsoft, please steal my information” checkbox. Which, unlike the latest MSN Messenger install, isn’t ticked by default.
PC software makers suck. Earlier this week I… had an encounter with Tori’s laptop, featuring no less than 188 individual specimins of spyware: A new record for me. I started trying to dis-infect but eventually pronounced it vaguely beyond repair. The spyware was such that it was blocking sockets for all applications EXCEPT I.E. (presumably because it can control Internet Explorer infinitely better than it can anything else – more than a couple of sites were blocked, too), so I couldn’t even update the anti-spyware definitions. It’d also broken Windows Update. Yar, this be re-install territory. Caused, probably in no small part, by “ticked by default” junk.