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There is now a plethora of video conferencing programs. But you need to use one that other people are using.
Most of the following programs can be used on
various type of hardware
and can communicate with other types of hardware. So, if you use
Skype on a PC or Mac you can communicate with people using a
Android pad, costing around £75. The one exception is Apple's
Facetime, for which you need an iPad, iPhone or other Apple product
a forward facing camera. The programs are Skype, Viber,
Tango, Zoom and Hangouts. In addition there are
programs such as Webex which enable companies to conduct international
Even free Google program, Hangouts, enables you to talk to
people, their faces appearing in small windows on your screen.
In fact one does wonder why businessment travel
thousands of miles just to be in the same room as other people (who
have done the same) when technology can help :
VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocal) For
a very useful guide to communicating economically with people (and
businesses) wherever they are, you should read the information at https://digital.com/blog/voip-business/
N.B Microsoft bought Skype from Ebay in 2011. As it does all of what MSN/Live Messenger can do, Microsoft has decided to retire MSN/Live Messenger, transferring users to Skype. So ALL references to MSN Messenger on this page are now redundant, especially as many people now communicate (more publicly) with Twitter and Facebook or similar programs
Chat3072 x 2304
people with text, video and sound. Excellent if you are deaf. You
even record what is seen and said or record you own message. It is used
people who have the same set up, anywhere in the world, at no
cost. Just broadband. With 2Mb broadband there appears to be
delay in the speech or picture drop outs or feedback even using a
with internal microphone and separate speakers. So this really does
highly. There are 3 picture sizes from full screen to tiny. With
screen there was no way to see and type text (And as a deaf person it
essential for me to have this displayed. Click the small screen icon
right. . But the picture would certainly help deaf people who lip
I have found that Skype is the BEST of all the messaging services I have tried. The sound quality is good, using speakers and there is no echo. I have even used the text portion of Skype while talking to someone on the telephone at the same time. If you get feedback (whistling) while on Skype, try using earphones or even a telephone at the same time.
Note that if you want to see the people on the other end full screen just move the cursor towards the bottom and click the full screen item. You will not be able to see the text items. To shrink the picture again, move the cursor to the top and click the appropriate text.
Here is another example of using Skype. In this case I am answering audibly but the other person is typing when I missed a few things due to deafness
In this, more recent, example my daughter is chatting from South
using an Apple computer. You can see us in the small picture below
Skype keeps changing and improving. Here is a later incarnation
Making a conference call with Skype. Several people can be invited to a call, though I find it confusing. But there are3072 x 2304 details found in Skype help at https://www.skype.com/en/features/ In this respect I think Google's Hangouts add-on is better
MsnMessenger (now called Live Messenger) has been retired in favour of Skype, which can be used in a text only fashion.
So, Get :
3072 x 2304 Skype has taken the communications industry by storm. Whilst you really need Broadband for a decent conversation on all such programs, if you just want to talk or send instant messages to your relatives in far away places for NOTHING, you should try this. The quality is excellent. Even I can hear it! Skype even has a facility for phoning ordinary telephones (at a cost). Obviously for PC to PC calls you both need a microphone and speakers or a headset, and you need to have at least Windows 2000 or XP.
Friend Dave reports that using Skype it is even possible to have a conference call with up to nine people ! Using SkypeOut it is possible to conference with up to five on ordinary land lines. To quote him "First I called Julie in Oz from my computer to her land line, then I called my daughter and my son on their land lines and invited them to the conference. The connection was as clear as a bell and it cost only 1.02 pence per minute.3072 x 2304 Only the host has to have a PC."
You can also take snapshots with Skype. Go to Options at the top, then video. If your camera is working OK you should see a picture of yourself and can take a snapshot. If you are in a call, move the cursor to the top of the screen, where you should see "take a snapshot" and "view in full screen". When you take a snap you are asked if you want to save it. It appears in a gallery of snaps. But where are they on the computer ? I eventually tracked them down to (Yourname), appdata, roaming, skype, pictures.... but you may just find them in th Pictures folder.
N.B. To prevent unwanted contacts (including sex calls) I suggest that you click Tools, Options, Privacy Settings, Allow calls from.. only people in my contacts list.3072 x 2304
Don't underestimate the use of the internet for phone calls. There are two advantages for hard of hearing people. First you will be able to hear calls via your speakers at a level of amplification set by yourself, so you can hear with BOTH ears and with hearing aids in place. Secondly, Skype reckons their calls are better than via a standard telephones, which have a very narrow frequency range. This means that high frequency sounds, such as the letters S and F at the beginning of words, are lost to the hard of hearing. Skype technology gives a much wider range of frequency, which is why I was able to hear a conversation from folks in Australia better than I could a phone call from next door.
Using the Internet for telephoning. It is now possible to
equipment that connects to your Broadband Modem or Router and enables
to connect an ordinary telephone. This makes it possible to use
Internet for phone calls even when the PC is not on. But it is
to connect via an Ethernet port rather than a USB port for this direct
system. This is not required for the Skype type program, where one can
use a headset or even a USB telephone. Another relevant service is at
Another service, which enables to get very cheap calls using the ordinary telephone can be found at http://www.call18866.co.uk/rates.php and also http://www.1899.com. After a small connection charge many calls are free or very cheap.- even for mobiles. e.g. Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico and USA calls ON A MOBILE are only 1p a minute, though if you call via a mobile you have to dial a number and wait to hear a follow on number first.
However, I would stress that to get good audio/video conferencing you really both need to be on Broadband
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