By Darren MurphPosted 08.11.2011 at 11:01 am 4 Comments
The most affordable way to stay connected is to rely on Wi-Fi to make calls and get online. If you’re stuck in a hotel, plug a $99 AirPort Express into the wall to turn an Ethernet connection into your own personal Wi-Fi network so you can use your smartphone and other devices.
Last week, Skype released a client for the iPhone, and the whole world -- or at least 50 million iPhone users -- can rejoice. With free calls to other Skype users, the new app (available free from the Apple app store or from Skype)is ground-breaking, because it means you can place Internet calls without having to use AT&T carrier service. And, iPod Touch users now have a reliable VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) tool that is a real game-changer. Essentially, Skype turns the iPod Touch into a cell phone, without any carrier service.
Does the client really work? I tested the service over the past week, and found that it is very reliable in specific conditions, for both local calls and international chats. Skype for iPhone does have a few hang-ups though, and not the kind you'd normally hope for from a phone.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but cutting down on clutter has its place too
By Gregory MonePosted 01.28.2008 at 12:09 pm 2 Comments
There's no word on a U.S. date yet, but this October, in Japan, Buffalo is going to release a new keyboard with a built-in Skype phone. The photo grabbed me at first—and not just because the person holding the handset seems to have an alien-like hand, suggesting that this could be extra-galactic technology.
I knew when H20-wiz Dave Prochnow suggested a $75 PC project that it'd be popular, but I had no idea how popular. My failure to get the promised "more info" online before the article hit newsstands has resulted in a flood of letters from readers eager to get started. Nothing makes a DIY editor happier, so I'm glad to say the info is now online, with some extra details from Dave, as well as some new sources for the parts. It seems we'd driven so many people to the original sources that they sold out. In the article, we also asked people what they'd do with a cheap PC and have gotten several great responses, which I'll post up here this week. Here's one from reader Mike Creamer:
I bought all the parts you listed ($62 because I bought a couple of parts used on eBay). I have a hinged wooden box—a pretty lacquered thing—in which I'll assemble the PC. This is going to be exclusively for Skype. I'll attach a USB handset and use it to call my sister in Tennessee for free. I gave her the software and a handset for a gift, and we use the Skype software to keep in touch, but talking in front of my computer is a drag. With this setup, I can keep the tiny Skype PC in the living room and talk to her in comfort. Thanks for the inspiration!
Another reader wrote to remind us that Puppy Linux is a fine alternative to the Damn Small Linux OS we recommended in the article.
Have a cool use for the cheap PC, or a way to make it better or cheaper? Let us know in the comments below. —Mike Haney
By Michael MyserPosted 06.01.2006 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
Forget AT&T and the like. The only phone company you need is Skype, which routes your calls over the Internet and, as of May 15, 2006, costs nothing for outgoing calls made by users in the U.S. and Canada. And now you can almost forget your cellphone provider too-with this new Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gear, you can make calls using Skype (or Vonage, another VoIP provider) from just about anywhere.