Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Tried doing video/webcam chat with some family back home, both of us via a built-in webcam in our notebook computers and both via the video chat built into GMails Google Talk (the web client, not the downloadable desktop client).

It worked great the first 2 times.

But yesterday when we started the video chat session, their image was .... a bizarre (and somewhat creepy) white cat whose eyes and mouth are animated to look like it is doing the talking. I wish I had caught a screen capture.

Anyway, regardless as to whether I started the chat, or whether they started it, it was the same. They saw my image just fine, but they too saw the cat in the mini picture-in-picture that shows you how you are centered on the camera.

So... what on earth was going on? I tried to Google around, but Googling for anything with the word "cat" in it turns up half of the internet.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is actually a webcam effect from a program included with the person's webcam software. I think both Dell and HP (not limited to these, just an example) come with programs that allow that cat image, along with a variety of others, such as UFOs, mirror-imaging, border effects, and the like.

(Click on the pictures for a better view)

share|improve this answer
    
That is totally the cat I saw. Strange that it defaulted to that after working normally previously - I am certain my dad didn't poke around his settings (very much not tech savvy) –  Matt Aug 25 '10 at 15:45
    
Any idea what the software is called? And where did you find those images? –  Matt Aug 25 '10 at 15:46
    
If he isn't the kind that would download a program, than more than likely it was pre-included software on his PC, which should make it easy to find the name of the program. Where did your dad get his computer from? –  Corey Aug 25 '10 at 15:51
    
It looks like CyberLink YouCam. It came preinstalled on my HP laptop. –  BillP3rd Aug 25 '10 at 15:56
    
Actually, your dad's PC is probably a Dell (correct me if I'm mistaken) because 1) I remember my friend using that same effect and 2) it's the first result for "Dell webcam effect" on Google. Dell computers usually come with a Webcam Center that pops up on the screen anytime the webcam is accessed. It's quite annoying actually. –  Corey Aug 25 '10 at 16:00

Are you using Skype? They have a cat as an avatar. I have heard of people somehow having Skype switch to the avatar. Looking in your settings.

share|improve this answer
    
I definitely was not on Skype (it's not even installed). Who knows what my father had installed, but I seriously doubt he has skype installed (I tried walking him through Dropbox today, and after about 2 mins he quit because it was too complicated). We were both on the video chat inside GMail. –  Matt Aug 25 '10 at 15:25

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.