Independence Day ’08 – FREEDOM FROM DISTANCE!

Now, this is why I really am in love with technology. About 2 years ago, I founded a little group on the internet, with the sole purpose of uniting long lost school friends of mine (who had passed school in the year 1994). It is called the “Class of Ninetyfour” or CONF for short.

Slowly and gradually, within the first couple of months, we were able to find most of our classmates and it has been a great experience getting back in touch and knowning that we have all done well for ourselves in life.

Barring a few, whom we haven’t been able to locate and a handful of others who have chosen to stay out of this gig, we more or less have everyone on-board.

But then as they say, more than the initiation, it is the continuation that is tough. And as expected, participation levels started to fizzle out after the first couple of ‘in-person’ meets and people once again began to slip back into their ho-hum lives of being parents, spouses, employees, etc.

This time a very exciting thought struck me! Being a ‘family guy’ myself, I fully appreciate the demands that are put on one and how difficult it can get to actually make time for something like an old-school buddies reunion. I thought why not harness the power of technology, which is anyway there for the asking (AND IT IS ALSO FREE…er, most if it!). So I shot an email, with a faint flicker of faith, that lets meetup “online” on the Indian Independence Day (August 15, 2008). And chat away toglory. I was actually expecting some flaming that I have really gone crazy or some such stuff. But the response was really encouraging.

We did have 4 people online at the said time and man, this is the greatest use of technology@home – We had Me in Bangalore; Richa, from Paris; Anil, from Dubai and Jimmy from New Delhi. Fairly spaced out corners of the world, I’d say. But we were all right there looking at each other and chatting at the same time. It was a very happy monent for me.

And in the process, we also got to truly see for ourselves the pros and the cons of the various software. Yahoo Messenger, for one, was very dissappointing in this endevor. It kept crashing for some and the webcam service just could not keep up with the load.

After a while, Jimmy and I switched to Skype and had a ball! This is too good I must say.

And I only hope that the next time around, we have more from our gang (and the best part is that no one needs to even step out of their homes).

So this was a REAL Independence Day – FREEDOM From DISTANCE!!!

Aint that great???

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