Thursday, April 9, 2009

Using Skype instead of the telephone...


A few of you have commented in response to my enthusiasm for Skype that you don't actually know what Skype is. I thought I'd take a minute to tell you what it is, so that you, too, will share my enthusiasm for Skype. My nearest family is 1300 miles away and we miss them terribly. Skype, however, is making that distance feel a little less, well, distant! Skype is a FREE program that allows you to talk to and see people anywhere in the world via your internet connection. It works for both Windows and Apple computers. You do not use your phone, you use Skype contact names and you can keep your contact list as locked down as you like (think: unlisted number--Skype searchers don't see me). For example, the way I have my contact list set up, when I want to Skype my sister, I just click on her contact name and the computer "dials" her. If her Skype is up (even if it is inactive), she will here a tone on her computer letter her know I'm initiating a call. If she is there and available, she accepts the call. If she's not there, or just not available, she doesn't answer. It is that simple.

You also can have more than one person on the call at a time and not everyone needs to have the same technical capabilities. For example: my downstairs computer didn't have a mic or a camera for a little while, so I could hear and see my sister (and my son in the dorms - we did a conference call!), but I could type my answers to the conversation. I was able to participate, listen to them chatting, and still be part of the call. One $30 lap top camera and I'm fully participating from this computer.

Now that I have my sister and my son on Skype, I'm working to get my dad and my sweet sister-in-law. I love it...no long distance charges and you can see the person you're talking with. You can hold up fabrics, art pieces, paint chips, you can even pull your children in front of the computer and make them do tricks, really, just about anything. How fun is that?For more details about Skype, head to Skype.com and check it out yourself. (Do you think I put enough links to Skype in this post for you?) That is how much I love Skype...even if my sister and my son are both unavailable while I type this--grrrr.

4 comments:

DarcyLee said...

Erin,
I wanted to let you know that I have a bloggy award for you over at my blog. Have a great weekend!

Erin said...

Wow! Thanks!

Clark said...

Skype has really worked out well for us. We had tried some video confrencing before that was not very good. The picture quality and refresh rate left a lot to be desired. It is close enough to real time that it doesn't distract you.

Darla~SassyHomemaker said...

I've been using skype for a while to chat but I've used it a few times to literally talk. It's ok, it's kind of a RAM hog.