11.9.06

Cheap Peeps

It's been a while since I posted but wanted to write a bit about most recent forray into Internet Telephony. I bought a usb to rj11 adapter a few months ago to try fax or data over Skype with my Dish Network receiver. I figured it would be a fun experiment, and there seems to be so much debate about whether or not data over voip is possible. Some Google searches say so using VOIP providers, but Skype is a bit different as I understand. Regardless, it did take up an afternoon of fiddling, and satisfied my curiosity. I put the adapter back on the shelf thinking it might come in handy sometime (even though we didn't own a regular phone). Sure enough, Eva found a use for it. After a couple of $200+ cell phone bills calling friends back in the midwest, I rigged up an inexpensive 900mhz phone with one of our workstations and taught her to dial out. With Skypes free skypeOut for the US and Canada until the end of the year, she should be able to save at least minutes, if not money (I hardly use my cell phone at all). I expect to try some international dialing to keep her connected to Paraguay as well. Don't expect the same quality using phone>adapter>wi-fi>internet. It appears to be too latent for good quality. So it hangs off of my wired desktop for the time being.

That got me thinking: wouldn't an always on thin client be the perfect application for this? My Netvista 8364 NUS has been gathering dust waiting for a nice touchscreen monitor to mate with it, so it might serve a better purpose serving Skype calls than just looking cool. There is some question as to if it has enough horsepower to not only run Fedora, but to keep skype going, but tinkering is what has got me this far. So, soon I will purchase a 1gb compact flash card and reference this guide to install Fedora Core 3, which apparently is the only linux that skypemate will install and work on.