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 (www.smc.com) retails for $200 and seems to get the job done.
If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at email@example.com or see my column on the Internet at http://www.santabarbaraproperties.com or call me at (805) 729-0910
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