Is the era of the old fashioned telephone dead? Say it isn’t so. I’m not talking about cell phones either, I’m talking about a dramatic development from those crazy cats at Skype. It was just reported from a good friend of mine, Chris, AKA “dubstylee,” that outgoing calls from Skype will be free until the end of the year. So for today’s latest and greatest article I’m going to show you how to get this miraculous gizmo up and running for all to see.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Testing Your Sound Settings
Adding to Your Contact List
Making Outgoing Calls (to ANY phone number)
Adding Friends Phone Numbers to Skype Contact List
Now let’s begin the installing protocols.
Okay, so now that we’ve completed the installation phase of the Skype program, it’s time to set up our account and create the ubiquitous username and password.
As you can see, a valid e-mail address is required, and a few additional options are available to choose from at the bottom of the menu. I hate adding new spam to my e-mail so I refused to select the first box. The second box is important so you don’t have to keep entering your username and password every time you start Skype. As for the third, I recommend keeping startup programs to a minimum(only the most essential in fact) so that you don’t have to wait on an number endless programs to open up every time you startup your PC.
The final box at the bottom is a mandatory check off so that they can ensure you’re aware of their rules and regulations.
NOTE: As the following screen states, filling out these fields is optional. The information placed in here is merely to enable other users to find you on Skype.
Providing your full name is the first step. I have never felt comfortable putting my full name on anything on the internet because I feel that it unnecessarily adds more data about yourself onto the internet, a place where personal data lives on in perpetuity. So I usually choose pseudonyms unless absolutely necessary, like for things such as online banking accounts. The last three items, optional still of course, could allow others to find you based on it if they wished to find your username and contact you. The choice, once again, is yours. Lastly, by adding your e-mail address at the bottom it makes it so that others can search for you based on this info as well.
Skype greets you with “Hello” on the next screen as the process moves forward.
The next process is to test your PC’s sound settings to make sure they’re working properly.
Start by clicking on the SKYPE TEST CALL tab.
Then click on the green DIAL button. You will receive a prerecorded message from Skype saying that things are “A-OK” (all well.)
The following prompt will ask you to add contacts to your Contact List. (I’ve included a snapshot below this one so you can get a better idea of what they look like).
Select the “Add a Contact” from the “Contacts” list.
Then simply add them using either their Skype name, full name, or e-mail address as shown below.
Then, as the pictures of course show, select their icon tab and press the green telephone “dial” button.
For the advanced feature that makes this new announcement even cooler, you can now make Skype “outgoing” calls for free. To receive “incoming” calls, aside from the mere text messaging as has always been free, select the “dial” button from the tab in the middle of the screen.
Then all you have to do is dial the phone number of the soon to be amazed person that you wish to call where it states “Type Skype Name or number with country code.” They’ll think you’re either an “uber” geek who spends way too much time on the PC, as my girlfriend did when I made a practice call to her, or “uber” cool. Be sure to dial the country code “+1″ before the number you are to dial. Remember it’s only calls placed to destinations in the U.S. and Canada that are free to make. Any other countries, and that includes receiving incoming calls cost money to do so. For the rates see the Skype web site for details. This offer of free outgoing calls is a limited time offer unfortunately, and here’s a statement taken verbatim from their site, “Calling any phone within the US and Canada is free until the end of the year.”
To make a demonstration call, I typed a fake number here so that yo get an idea of what you should be seeing on your own PC. By clicking the green “dial” button when done, it will start to attempt connecting to that number entered.
Now as you can see, the call did indeed connect correctly and the verbiage has begun.
In case you want to take full advantage of free phone calls from your PC and also be able to have them stored for your convenience, I’ll go over how to do this
First start by selecting “Add a Contact” from the “Contact” tab on the top toolbar menu.
Next, click on the hyperlink ” To add a SkypeOut contact.”
Now here’s where you add your friend’s, or acquaintance’s perhaps, contact information. Skipping the top box, as we are not searching for anyone, enter the “name” followed by the “Phone Number” in the boxes below. When entered correctly, simply click “Add Number” to proceed.
Once finished adding the number, the dialogue box will close and Skype will then take you back to its main window as shown below. I’ve blacked out my other contacts to protect the innocent but, if you notice closely, dear ol’ Britney has been successfully added to our contact list.
To test it and make sure all is well, we’ll go ahead and give her a ring. By clicking on her “contact” tab an active link for her phone number will appear. Click it, of course, and Skype will automatically dial it for you.
As you can see here, it’s “connecting,” and uh, yah, she will answer it soon enough.
In short, this newly announced trial basis by that crack team of scientists at Skype has made the PC an even more important component of instant communication, perhaps even convincing some to purchase the plan at the end of the year when this trial basis expires. Either way, I have found the ability to make phone calls while doing other tasks on the PC even easier. Give it a try.
You must dial as follows > +1 (area code) phone number
EXAMPLE: Billy Joe Sue (234) 567 – 8901 = +12345678901