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ways to use Skype
Logitech webcam on Amazon
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voice-over-internet-protocol and messaging service, was written and
first released in 2003 by two Danes named Janus Friis and Niklas
Zennstrom, but sold to Microsoft in 2011. Many users with relatives in
far away places prefer Skype to telephones. Anyone can set up an
account and use Skype to communicate with other account holders free of
charge, from one computer to another, Macintosh or Windows, provided
both computer systems include microphones. If both systems also include
webcams, video telecommunication is included, also for free. There are
a host of other Skype services that are not expensive and that are
charged via a debit-based user account system.
Skype is easy to set up. Most laptops sold these days have an
integrated microphone and webcam and even have Skype preloaded and
ready to go. All that's needed is to establish a Skype account using
either a Microsoft Account (part of the landscape with Windows 8 and
8.1), a Facebook account, or by setting up a Skype-only account. The
trick is to browse to skype.com and click the Get Started link there.
You'll be asked to identify yourself as to name, email address, country
and language. You'll also be asked to set up a profile of yourself, but
that part is optional. Folks with Microsoft or Facebook accounts can
set up and log in with the details of those accounts instead.
It's easy to add the required mic and webcam to a desktop computer,
too. Newer USB webcams generally include the microphone. Logitech makes
nice ones that sell on Amazon.com for around $30. The first step is to
plug the unit into a USB port and wait a moment for Windows to
recognize and install suitable audio and video drivers. Next, start
Skype and click Tools in the menubar, and then click Options... On the
left you'll see a menu that includes Audio settings and Video settings.
When you click Audio settings, you'll see a sound meter labeled
Microphone that will show you how well the mic is picking up sounds.
Skype automatically adjusts your microphone settings. When you click
Video settings, Skype shows you in a live video window what you'll look
like to folks you call. You can use this window to aim the cam at your
face, and you'll see a link that will allow you to optionally take a
picture of yourself that will be added to your profile so people will
know who is calling when their Skype rings and announces your call.
Other, for-fee Skype
Skype's other features include the following:
- Calls to
mobiles and landlines: call anyone around the world at low rates
- Group calls:
get a group together on one call; even add up to 25 people
- Skype number:
get a phone number just like with a regular phone service and folks can
call you at your computer; you pick up with Skype wherever you are in
calls: in case you're not online, Skype can forward your calls
to any phone you choose
In case this seems daunting to you, John is ready to help you
get started. He awaits your call.
April 2, 2014