[Solved] Video Conference Software

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oldcharlie
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[Solved] Video Conference Software

Post by oldcharlie »

All,
Hopefully this is the correct forum. I need some sort of software that will enable me to call my doctor and talk with video. This is not my choice it is being forced on me. They gave me a tablet but I can't use them. I'm an old guy and can't get the touch screen to work without my blood pressure going through the roof. Besides it was riddled with spyware, I think every app on the tablet was by google, including the keyboard. It also only connected via wireless and I do not have wireless in my house.
I need something for my desk top that doesn't connect to Microsoft or Google.
Found several with Internet search but frankly I know nothing about most of them except Skype which I definitely do not want to install on my computer and Zoom which I understand is a security nightmare.
Any suggestion would be appreciated.

I am using Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon.
Last edited by oldcharlie on Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon 4.2.4 64 bit; 4.15.0-72 Kernel; Core i5-6260U, 16GB, Intel Iris Graphics 540

rene
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Re: Video Conference Software

Post by rene »

Some custom solution your-sides will be useless if the doctor doesn't use it: you will have to adapt to him or her. I'd go buy a Wi-Fi router for the house and simply use the tablet.

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diapason
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Re: Video Conference Software

Post by diapason »

If you have a Smart phone, download an app called SIGNAL. It's similar to WhatsApp etc. but it's open source and much more secure. You can make free video calls with that as long as your doctor also has the app on his phone and I'm sure he wouldn't have a problem with that. It's a two minute download and setup job. I use it to speak regularly to a friend who is nearly 90 who thought he would never master the touch screen.

However, if you are not good with touch screens, there is a desktop version you can download to your computer but, at the moment, that only handles voice calls (video may be coming later). The only problem is that for the desktop version to work, you have to have it installed first on your smart phone because it needs your phone number to work. The only snag with Signal is that, if you don't have WiFi in the house, you would need a data package on your smart phone to be able to connect over the cellular network.

Alternatively, I recommend you have a look at Jitsi Meet which you can use from your desktop. Here is the link: https://meet.jit.si/ This would not depend on WiFi. As long as you have good broadband connection, a wired connection to your router will be fine.

This works in a similar way to Zoom but is much more secure and it is open source (goes nowhere near Google or Microsoft).
You can use it directly from your browser Firefox or Chrome. It doesn't work with Internet Explorer or Edge. You just create a meeting name then email the link to your doctor (with a password for extra security if you so wish) and he can connect and have a video call with you.

There is also a desktop version (which I prefer). You can download that here: https://github.com/jitsi/jitsi-meet-electron . Scroll down the page about 3/4 of the way to INSTALLATION and select the GNU/Linux download. It's an AppImage file so, once it is saved to your computer, just right click the file, go to properties and check the box to make it executable. Then you just need to double click the file to start the app. You can also pin a shortcut to your panel.

Again, you just create a meeting name, add a password if you wish, and email the link to your doctor. He doesn't even need to have the desktop app installed. He can connect via his computer or phone by just clicking the link which will open in his browser. The advantage of the desktop app is you can create a meeting name which is very specific to you and then, when you end the call, the link will stay on your desktop so you can reuse it.

I speak to friends all over the world using Jitsi Meet. It really is very good. If you decide to try it and have any questions feel free to message me.
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oldcharlie
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Re: Video Conference Software

Post by oldcharlie »

Rene,
Suspected that would be the case.

Diapason,
Jitsi Meet was one of the solutions that I found in my search but had never heard of it before. I’m a dinosaur who is over board on security even though I know it’s useless. I do not own a smart phone and don’t want one. I do have a old flip phone that sets on my desk – don’t carry the thing around with me. I built my own pfsense router without wireless. I use a VPN most times although I find more and more web site blocking me.
I will focus my search on Jitsi Meet and ask if I have to use the same app that the doctor uses. This is a VA doctor so it will be whatever the government mandates probably. Most likely Microsoft.

I thank you for your informative reply.
Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon 4.2.4 64 bit; 4.15.0-72 Kernel; Core i5-6260U, 16GB, Intel Iris Graphics 540

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diapason
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Re: [Solved] Video Conference Software

Post by diapason »

Gosh, Charlie, you are even more paranoid about security than me!
I take more extreme steps than most but I have had to accept that a degree of limited risk will always be inevitable if I want to enjoy the benefits of some things the modern technological world has to offer. The secret is to assess the risks and mitigate them.
Good luck finding a solution to communicating with your doctor. :)
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rene
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Re: [Solved] Video Conference Software

Post by rene »

diapason wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:09 am
I have had to accept that a degree of limited risk will always be inevitable if I want to enjoy the benefits of some things the modern technological world has to offer.
The benefits as such, and/or whenever a global pandemic and/or personal inability to relocate oneself has one forced into said "benefits".

Don't get me wrong, the implied answer doesn't change, but still felt a little uneasy at shrugging it off as quickly as all that...

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Moem
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Re: Video Conference Software

Post by Moem »

oldcharlie wrote:
Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:58 am
I will focus my search on Jitsi Meet and ask if I have to use the same app that the doctor uses.
I think the answer will be yes, for technical reasons. Those apps can generally not talk to each other if they're not using the exact same protocol
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diapason
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Re: [Solved] Video Conference Software

Post by diapason »

Agreed where Signal is concerned. Both ends need to be using Signal but Jitsi works in the browser so it should be fine as long as both ends avoid MS and Apple browsers.
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