Updated: 2 Nov 2020

This page has been cobbled together to help family and friends prepare for Virtual Family Gatherings. It may change as we learn and go, so you may want to check in before joining a scheduled function. Send Tom P a note if you have ideas to simplify any of this!


At this point, we plan on using Zoom video conferencing for larger family get-togethers. It's popular, works world-wide, supports a lot of participants and devices and doesn't require participants signup or login to join. The Zoom Help Resources for participants may be of use for first time users. There are also a lot of Video Tutorials on the Zoom Resources page or just search YouTube, it's popular.


You will need a device with a camera & microphone to join in - Computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. I tested on Apple Mac, iPads/iPhones, Android tablets/phones and a Windows laptop. If you have something else or struggle with the instructions below call or write and I'll help get it working.

If you haven’t done a zoom call, Follow instruction on this page to setup and test the device you plan on using (phone, tablet, computer, etc). You don’t need to have a zoom account but it will still take a few minutes to set things up, so plan ahead.

If you are a computer geek, impatient or simply don’t like to following instructions, you can go directly to http://zoom.us/test and stumble your way through the setup. You may not even need to install zoom if you are on a desktop browser and select "Join Using Browser".

Considerations, Tips & Tricks

  1. Please DO A TEST before the call
    Host will have his hands full and won't have time to set things up during the call

  2. Make sure you select Join Using Computer Audio when you first join the call
    It is unlikely that we
    will use a phone number for family calls

  3. Know how to Mute/UnMute so others can hear you (or not!)
    On large calls, you will be Mute'd by default. Visit
    Zoom article on Attendee Controls

  4. Play with Gallery View! It may be fun to see ALL participants
    It works
    a little differently on various devices, typically the "View" icon or button