A few months ago, I wrote about the possibility of connecting my grandmother via Skype to my mother, who is wintering in Arizona. These past couple of weeks, Mom has had visitors: her brother (my uncle, Nana’s son) and sister-in-law. We figured this would be the perfect time to get Nana hooked up so she could see two of her children at once.

Well, it turned out to be more difficult than expected. Nana doesn’t have Wi-Fi, so we planned to tether a laptop to Junkii’s iPhone and use his rather substantial data plan for the connection. But his old Mac laptop uses an old operating system that isn’t compatible with the iPhone tether. And our little netbook wasn’t nearly powerful enough to secure a smooth video feed. Clearly we need a new gadget!

In the end, we had to resort to using my own iPhone4. It worked perfectly and Nana was able to engage in her first video call – which was pretty impressive for the 92-year-old lady. It’s definitely something we’ll try again soon and it might be a good way for her to see her great-grandkids in Texas.

Our only concern was that we had never tried this before, and so we had no concept of how much data a Skype call would use. Since my own data package is more limited than Junkii’s plan, we kept the call short for fear of racking up untold charges from my provider. But in the end, the call only used about 50 MB – nowhere near my 1GB limit – so we can do this again and maybe have a little longer conversation.

The tethering issue might be resolved soon anyway. Remember that gadget we need? We’re both on board for picking up an iPad when the new ones arrive in stores…or at least once we pay off our trip.


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