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Yipes, it's Skype!!

Yipes, It's Skype!!
by Gary Woods

I've written about Skype before but I'll do a little refresher for those of you who haven't committed all of my columns to memory. Skype is a free service that you can download to your computer and using your computer's sound card, a cheap microphone and speakers you can talk for free to any other Skype user around the world. For a small surcharge you can even dial people's phone numbers from Skype making it one of the cooler things on the planet.

The problem is that a lot of people don't want to hold onto a microphone and listen over cheesy computer speakers. The next step up the ladder is to get a USB headset with earphones and a built-in microphone, but even that can be a bit much. Headsets are nice if you're playing a game that you're really immersed in, but all you really want to do is talk on the phone which brings us to the new option, a Wi-Fi Skype phone.

With this device you can make Skype-to-Skype calls in addition to making and receiving calls from across normal phone lines without the need for a powered PC. And even better you can easily take the phone with you when you're outside the home and hook up to any Wi-Fi network that will allow you. The device I looked at, the SMC WSKP100 ( retails for $200 and seems to get the job done.

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Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc