Thursday, March 06, 2008

Keeping Up With Technology...

I know I'm a little behind the times, but I finally got Skype. And?

I think it's great!!!

A couple of months ago, my 70-something dad asked me why I don't have Skype. I think I responded with something like: "Why? Do YOU have it?" Surprise...SURPRISE!!! He did.

So in order to climb up to my dad's rung on the technology ladder, I decided to download Skype after I bought our new MacBook. Hell, my Mac already had a camera and microphone built in, so why not?

My assessment: I think the sound quality is excellent, the video quality is good, and (best of all) it's FREE!!! Also, I think it's a great way to "stick it" to Swisscom.

Really, Swisscom's overseas calling rates aren't too bad at all. But I think their local calls and land line to mobile phone rates are ridiculous. Calling one's next-door-neighbor here in Basel costs pretty much the same as calling overseas. Calling from home to somebody's mobile phone costs MUCH more than an overseas call.

I guess that's what happens when there's no competition!

I've really been enjoying making these video calls. I've spoken with my mom and dad in Florida several times, the mass free-for-all that is talking with my nieces and nephew all at the same time, my sister during calmer times when the kids are all in school, and friends.

It's all been great, but I'll really be excited when I'm able to start making FREE video calls from my computer to mobile phones. Then I'll really "stick it" to Swisscom!


Greg said...

Skype is okay. The video stuff is kinda cool. But the app is pretty heavyweight and you can't use it without your computer. That said, I usually have it up and running.

I also use a SIP provider, SIPPhone, who provides a client called "The Gizmo Project". But what's cool about SIP, is that I have a Siemens C450IP handset that taps right into my ethernet hub. With this phone I can call out using the SIP provider and receive calls without having to have my iMac or PC running.

I use the router to turn off the network to the phone overnight, so folks don't call my Seattle number when it's late here and daytime there.

The Big Finn said...

Greg is awarded today's "Nerd Alert" because I have no idea what he's talking about!

CanadianSwiss said...

Uhm. I second your comment, TBF. Do you need a number in Seattle for that?? (just kiddin')

And btw, we use it for most callsto Holland. I still can't figure out why it's more expensive calling there with Swisscom/Tele2/Sunrise, etc. that calling to Canada....

Anonymous said...

haha thats me

Greg said...

Sorry. :)

I use a real phone without a computer that can plug into the network the computer would. Then the phone works like skype to deal with calls. I turn my firewall on during the day so calls can get to the phone, and turn it off at night so I can sleep.

The Big Finn said...

Fiona - Yes, you ARE truly a nerd!

Greg - Mrs. TBF just said: "DOUBLE NERD ALERT!!!"

islandgirl4ever2 said...

I agree with your comment to Greg and I am pretty computer savy myself... Glad you got Skype up... it's great to call those (friends and fam) back home who have it and see them while talking.. If you plug some headphones (regular walkman type) into the left side of your macbook, you will hear about 1 millions times better and you just talk normally... the micro is in your macbook... try it out and let me know if you notice the difference... have a nice WE... -Leesa