The Lenovo 3000 series N500 notebook PC was released in 2007 with a Celeron-M processor and Windows Vista as the operating system. At the time of publication, the computer is well behind the curve but still sees service as a hand-me-down laptop for students or as a gift laptop for relatives who want to keep in touch via video chatting. The notebook came with a webcam that can take 1,024-by-1,280 resolution photos (1.3 megapixels) through Windows Vista.
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Click "Start" and click "Control Panel." Double-click "Scanners and Cameras."
Double-click the icon for the webcam. A small window will appear that shows what the webcam is photographing, and you'll see the live video there.
Double-click the small video screen to enlarge it and to adjust the colour balance and motion-detection settings.
Checking That the webcam Works
Install your instant messenger program of choice, such as Skype, AOL Instant Messenger, Google Chat, Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger.
Launch your chat client. For the purposes of this example, we'll assume you're using AIM. Double-click the icon in your buddy list for someone you trust and start an instant-messenger conversation with him, typing text to him.
Click the icon that says "Allow this program to use my webcam" and walk through the steps. Your computer's webcam will broadcast to your friend. The program is effectively asking you for permission to access the output from the webcam and any microphones attached to the system. The Lenovo N500 has a condenser microphone built into the main body of the laptop to pick up your voice. Sound quality will be greatly enhanced if you use an external microphone or headset.
Using the webcam for Video Calls
Tips and warnings
- Although the webcam is theoretically capable of broadcasting at 1,280-by-1,024 resolution, no consumer-grade video-chatting service other than Skype supports "High Definition" video chatting at the time of publication; most video chatting is at 640-by-480 resolution due to bandwidth constraints.
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