[xmca] Skype

From: Mark deBoer <mark who-is-at ias-group.com>
Date: Thu Dec 27 2007 - 15:22:14 PST

Hey everyone,

I've been using Skype for years for our collaborative study group in
the MA so I can give a few tips on how to use it for that kind of
I apologize if anyone is proficient at using Skype. I caught Dr.
Cole's mail about 'practicing' using Skype so I thought I'd mention a
few things.

www.skype.com is the site to go and download skype for free. Once it's
installed you need to set a user name and password.
Its a good idea not to put anything other than your name and a 'user
name', your country and your language when setting up your
information. Skype is scanned by all the spam artists, if you add
mail, or a phone number then you'll get spammed.

Once you have your username and password, your colleagues will be able
to look for you under the Skype add contact and search for contact
option. When you add a contact, the contact you add has to be able to
'accept you' before starting any chats or voice/video conferencing.

When you are on-line and skype is running anyone who has you in your
contact list will be able to 'see' that you are on-line and vise versa.

To begin a chat/call with one person is easy, just click on their
name, and choose either chat or call and either begin typing or talking.

If you want to begin a chat or call with a group, you need to select
all the names using the control key and clicking with the left mouse
button or if you are on a MAC use the control key and the mouse to
select. We always open a chat first and from there begin the call.

If the host (the person who sets up the call) is a windows user, then
up to 9 (8 plus host) call be selected and called. It doesn't matter
if the receivers all have windows or macs.
If the host is a MAC user then the limit is only 5. So if you have
more than 5 in your conference call, make sure the host is a windows

If someone wants to join the call after it has already started, then
using chat, the person can contact the host and asked to be 'let in'.
The host is able to 'add someone' to the call.

Once the call has begun, make sure you are able to see the call
window. There are voice bars on the call window, which makes it easy
to see who is talking. It takes a little bit of getting use to.
Video is not available for more than two people.

The reason we open a chat window before the call, is so that we are
able to exchange documents/files by dragging them into the chat window
even while we are talking. Sometimes we reference a link to a web site
in the chat box as well. Make things really easy for sharing
information. Large files are best sent before or after talking, the
transfer is often too slow during a call.

If the reception is poor, then try calling again, or try using a
different host caller. Some nights we've tried a number of times
before getting a good connection, and other nights we've had no
problems from the start.

Audiohijack is a software program for the MAC which allows recording
of the skype calls. I'm not sure of any windows software packages, but
if anyone is a MAC user in the group, then the call can be recorded on
their computer and then distributed later on.

If all are MAC Leopard users, then I'd recommend iChat, which has
internal video and voice recording capabilities. With Skype, you are
unable to record the video. (there may be software out there that
allows it, but I haven't seen any).

My two yen.

I'd really like to contribute to these discussions on Andy's article,
it's just a little over my head at this point. I've been reading it
and following the threads so far, but sorry, there are things that I
just don't understand and well, I think this time I'll just be a


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Received on Thu Dec 27 15:27 PST 2007

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