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 Post subject: Powerpoint records w/o apparent microphone?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 6:16 pm 
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Location: Seattle
A friend of mine told me that where she works a computer started putting out audio of what they had been saying in the office about twenty minutes earlier.
None of them know much about Powerpoint at this time except the name. One of the young women is supposed to learn more about it and was just sort of playing around with it at that time. She can't remember how she got it to do that. They didn't have time, or want to spend much time on it at that time, as their supervisor was around. They thought they wanted to find out more when she goes on her lunch break Wednesday. She happened to be out of the room when this happened. This just happened Friday afternoon.
She is adamant that there is no microphone plugged into that computer. She gets a little pissed if I ask her too many times, "Are you sure there is no microphone plugged into the back of the machine?"
She told me: I am not that dumb. We all looked. It didn't take much to see there was no microphone. It played my voice clear as a bell and I was on the other side of the room at the time. We stopped talking and made quiet shushing sounds and gestures for awhile.

I never did think of her as a young woman who makes things up. If she was going to make something up, it would be about who is pregnant by whom; or that kind of stuff. Not computer stuff. I want to believe her, but I don't know what to make of it. I told her there has to be a microphone inside the computer.
There has to be a microphone. But she doesn't want to take the cover off of that machine at work. Also if someone is recording them, why would the audio be available to apparently anyone who sits down at the machine? I can see that the girl who was messing with it could have started it recording, but where is the microphone? Do some of these office type computers have built in microphones? (she thinks its a Bell, or something like that :P She knows it is not a Mac like they had at school)
Now she's got me paranoid. Does my computer have a microphone?
Also you can see that I know squat about Powerpoint.
What do you think? Help me out here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:01 pm 
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no... computers dont come with built in mic cuz the sound of the system would be picked up even any minor vibration would be picked up if it was attached to the computer case.... many monitors have built in mics.... even (very few) speakers have them built in.... tell her to look if there are is a pin sized hole on the front of her monitor

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:36 pm 
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Yes, Powerpoint does have a "Narration" feature, that could probably be triggered by accident. It's buried in the Slide Show menu's somewhere, if I remember correctly.

But yeah, there's obviously a mic attached somewhere. It is a tower or a laptop? If it is a fairly new laptop there's a pretty good chance that there's an onboard mic already built-in. Would be pretty rare for a desktop though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 8:42 pm 
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btw has anyone used any of those new mic thigs that have 2 mics in it and "triangulate" your voice and get rid of back round noise... some newer motherboard come with them

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 11:14 pm 
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Location: UK
our Packard Bell (what this is perhaps?) nigh 10 years ago had a mic built into the monitor. I'm willing to bet theres a small hole top centre of the monitor. and that theres a cable from the monitor.. into the mic socket of the motherboard/sound card.
theres no miracles at work. never trust an answer about computers from someone who doesn't know how to use powerpoint. just b/c they can't *see* a mic (or it doesn't manifest itself in the way they expect) doesn't mean there isn't one.
i once spent an age trying to remotely troubleshoot a great aunt who was plugging in a usb printer into her lan port. it was the only one that fitted, and fitted snugly.. of course it was the right one. never-mind the little flap on the back of the laptop with the rest of the ports.. </rant>

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:39 pm 
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.....and then they tried to remove the computer from the office and it said "YOU'D BETTER BE NICE TO ME!"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:03 pm 
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Ive seen mics built into monitors, speakers, and even a keyboard once. But the easy way to tell is look at the inputs on the back of the computer and see if something is wired into the mic jack, then follow the cord and see where it goes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 5:33 pm 
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Aren't there USB microphones? Then you'd be able to put a mike into a keyboard or a mouse without needing a separate audio plug.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2007 6:18 am 
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Yeah, if nothing goes into the sound card mic-in, check the USB stuff.


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