So, being in a long-distance relationship is not easy, but it isn't exactly the life crushing experience that evening news specials make it out to be. Yes, you miss not being around each other, but you don't spend your days moping around in grayscale.
You do, however, run up massive phone bills.
Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to the point: Skype rocks! At the end of last semester, some friends and I were sitting in the Forum when Jenny started a video chat with someone on Skype. I know that this technology has been around for a while, but I was jumping around like we'd just been hailed by the Vulcans. I didn't think computers could surprise me any more, but I was sorely mistaken.
Skip forward a month. It's Christmas, and what does my wonderful girlfriend give me but an awesome little webcam from ThinkGeek. Not only is it a webcam / mic combo, but it's all housed in a little poseable robot with light-up eyes! The eyes are hooked up to a photoresistor, so when it's too dark, the eyes actually illuminate you.
Now, instead of racking up tremendous phone bills every month, we call each other on Skype for free. It's amazing what being able to see the other person adds to a conversation - and I think it's going to make living 160 miles apart a helluva lot easier this semester.
The best thing? It runs perfectly well in Linux!