02 March 2006
Keeping Skype simple
I recently started using the fantastic VOIP programme Skype. My girlfriend, whom I met at graduate school in the USA, and I are separated by the Atlantic Ocean and long conversations can be extremely expensive. However, this service allowed us to talk for free just by both downloading it. Initially I just plugged an old pair of headphones into the microphone socket in the back of the computer and listened through the speakers. In my eagerness to make better use of the product I purchased the Bluetooth Motorola Wireless Internet Calling Kit and the Logitech Quick Cam. However, after installing both devices the quality of connection became terrible and I was unable to hear anything my girlfriend was saying (and she was unable to hear me). There was a lot of static and it kept cutting out. I figured maybe it was just a bad connection but the next day it was still awful. Eventually in frustration I unplugged both devices and instantly the sound quality returned to near perfect. I have now returned the Bluetooth headset and the quality is once again superb using simple appliances. Be warned about expensive, hasty purchases - sometimes the cheapest devices are the most effective.