Monday, April 18, 2011

A new tool saves time & money with my writing

I use a Mac laptop to write, and I have a wifi interface in my home to connect me to the Internet. My screenwriting partner, Ed Harris, has the same Mac/wifi setup in his house in San Francisco, which is thirty miles away. In the past, I always drove into the city and spent the day working at his house, then of course drove home.

Driving time = 2 ½ hr round trip,
Gas = 4 gallons = $17 dollars at today’s prices,
Bridge Toll = $5,
Foul mood after fighting traffic = priceless.

Enter FaceTime, a Skype-like product -- runs on Macs, iPhones and iPads -- that lets me make calls over the Internet and see the caller who also has the FaceTime software.

Now, instead of meeting once a week because of the hassle and expense of driving to the city, my writing partner and I meet three times per week, he in his home office and me in mine. This video conferencing is FREE. We just downloaded the software onto our Macs, entered each other’s email address, and we were good to go.

We can have a number of documents open on our screen, and then in one corner of my screen is a window with Ed talking to me. It’s as if we are sitting across the table from each other. We are 10 times as productive as we were the old way.

I can’t tell you how much I love this product. Anyone who has a Mac can install this software in minutes, and carry on free long distance conversations, Mac to Mac, or Mac to iPad, or iPad to iPhone. It’s fantastic.

If you purchase this software at the online Apple Store , it costs 99 cents. I however did a google search on “Facetime Free Download” and found a site with free downloads.

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