There is a tiny bit of gear that has been in my briefcase for almost two years now. It has nothing to do with lighting design, but it's become absolutely essential. It's my Logitech QuickCam® for Notebooks Deluxe. I can honestly say this is the first piece of technology that has truly improved my life. I've been using computers since about 1984, and while it's nice that I can do my banking online and communicate via e-mail, there were other ways to do that before. However, since my daughter Sophia was born, it has hands-down been the best way to communicate with her while I'm on the road, which lately has been way too much. As any parent will tell you, the three-and-under set don't get the telephone. With the Webcam, we have one or two videoconferences a day using SKYPE (or before SKYPE was video-enabled, we used SKYPE with Festoon). I've used it from all over the world. SKYPE works better than other videoconference software I have tried, plus it's the right price — free. The cameras continue to drop in price, now around $35 or less. She gets to see and talk to me, and I get to see what she's wearing to school, what new word she's learned to spell, or what artwork she made that day. Now that she's five, she totally operates it by herself (with my wife Arlene's permission, of course). “Mommy, please can I SKYPE Daddy?” Often she'll ask to see what's on stage and says hello to the programmer, my assistant, an electrician, or whomever else happens to be nearby, and then says, ”Daddy, please make the stage pink.'' When we turn the entire stage pink, the reaction I get to see on the computer screen is better than anything else computers have ever been able to do.