December 24th, 2006

monkey pirate


So, as some of you may know, I got a skype phone. In particular, I picked up the Linksys CIT200. The phone itself is about $60, and if all you want to do is use Skype, there's no further charge. But, you can get SkypeOut and SkypeIn - which lets you call regular non-Skype phone numbers and have your own landline number, respectively. SkypOut is $15 a year for unlimited calling anywhere in the country, and SkypeIn is about $30 a year. So, all told my annual phone bill is $45 dollars for unlimited calling with no long-distance charges.

It's VOIP (Voice Over IP, for the un-nerdly of you) and because Skype is a British company, all calls originate there, technically - which means you do have to add the country code to call anyone, even your local number. On the other hand, the voicemail has a sultry English lady asking people to leave me a message. I feel like I have my own personal Moneypenny.

The call quality is variable - sometimes it's crystal clear, and sometimes it's a little crackly. It does require a broadband internet connection and a computer running Skype to work, but whenever I'm home, the computer is on anyway - so no big deal at all, really. It took a bit of fiddling to get set up and working correctly - mostly because Skype tries to send ALL audio, out and in, through the hand-set by default. I figured it out with a minimum of fuss though, and now it's working swimmingly. To some extent, you can even pick your own phone number, so the easiest one I could get to remember is (310) YAY-PETS. Sadly, (310) PYR-ATE and (310) YAY-LOTR were taken.

Skype. All the cool nerds are doing it!
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