Camera for video-conferencing

* A few years ago, a Microsoft employee told me that within three years every new PC would come with a built-in camera for video-conferencing. It may not have happened, but the price of webcams has plunged and you can now buy models costing less than pound;30 each. Companies such as Creative, Sony and Philips produce models that are not only compact but also easy to install; just plug the webcam into your computer's USB port. Some webcams are even detachable, allowing you to use them as digital cameras. If you use Windows XP, you already have NetMeeting video-conferencing software built into your PC, so it's even simpler to use a webcam.

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