All Geek to Me

December 13, 2006

Talk is Cheap

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 6:44 pm

The house we are renting in Northern California did not have an active phone number. Since we have mobile phones, there seemed to be little point in taking on the additional expense of a phone or adding it to the cable bill. The only problem with using mobiles is the prohibitive cost of making international calls. Obviously, I want to make calls home. The solution is to use Skype. I can call a UK landline for a little over 2c a minute, which is excellent value. Since we have a fast Internet connection, we have ample bandwidth.

Rather than use the PC speakers and a microphone to place the calls, which forces one to be at the keyboard while making calls, we have purchased a Skype compatible DECT handset that can be carried around the house like a regular phone. The quality on the calls placed so far is at least as good as regular international calls. The charging station does not connect to the PC, so it can be placed in a more convenient location that my already cluttered office desk.

My only complaint is that installing the device caused all sound on the PC to be routed via the handsetĀ and not just phonecalls. Using Control Panel to fix the problem is not difficult. The manual for the phone acknowledges the problem, but incorrectly describes the fix.

Geek Score = 7.5/10


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