Sunday, October 07, 2007

One more thing my kids won't remember that they didn't used to have

So we got Teh Skype.

Internet telephony has come a long way since we first experimented with the big bad hand-held microphone and the green-text-on-black-screen interface of Freetel, lo this long decade ago.

Bought the $4 clip-on mike this week, along with a $20 monitor-top VideoCAM Eye. Downloaded Skype and gave my Dad a call.

The video transfer is about what you'd expect - quality is meh, and movement is blurry and choppy. But it'll be enough to thrill the kids, and we've already figured out that you can pick the thing up and point it at something you want to show the other person - your monitor, for instance, to compare notes on the Skype interface, or the camera's User Manual (no mirror handy and they wondered what the thing looked like), or the view out the window, or the mess on the table behind me, or a nearby parrot.

But the voice quality is better than many of the phone calls we've settled for in the past. Figuring the price was right (¢9/min), we would put up with choppy calls or the occasional delayed transmission, to say nothing of the pain in the arse of actually managing to get through in the first place.

Well, all that is in the past now. Onwards and upwards to free hour-long calls any time. The kids won't be in bed when they hear their stories anymore (hey Mom - once you get a camera, you can show them the pictures...), but I think we can all live with that.

Note to Lisa: You should go back and look at how much you've been spending on your calls to the girls. I wonder if the cost of your calls plus the cost of your dialup might not get you someplace in the general vicinity of the cost of a high speed connection?

5 comments:

pidomon October 07, 2007 7:57 PM  

I got teh "Skype" becasue Blue Gal and Liss did some talking as opposed some typing stuff
But I never figured it out so I deleted it

Phydeaux Speaks October 07, 2007 8:29 PM  

Skype is Teh Bomb!

I just got done with my bi-weekly hour-long call with my Dad via our computers. It's great!

I also talk to my nephew in Beijing on a regular basis, and he says our computer connection is better than the phone lines in China.

I also use SkypeOut to call "regular" phones and I am quite pleased with that as well.

(oh, and your blog is worth way more than mine, no matter what Technorati says)

lisa October 08, 2007 6:00 AM  

Well, that's the first thing that popped into mind when I got Mom's e-mail about the Skype call (teh? huh?), which I read right before reading this. I know it would break Scott's heart to get high-speed. Maybe it's time to look into it....

Jennifer October 08, 2007 7:04 AM  

Teh. It's a geek thing.

Adding it to a word that shouldn't even have "the" in front of it in the first place is an additional in-joke. Go to Wikipedia and look up "The Google" (in quotes) and it takes you straight here.

Kit October 08, 2007 7:19 AM  

So my dyslexic typing of teh all teh time is a geek thing? can I stop correcting it now?

WE moved to Skype ages ago and it's great but our connection isn't quite fast enough to give a good picture, it keeps breaking up. Still it's brilliant for messaging and sending files and voice calls.

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