Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Swanzey, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    1,707
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Voice communication sources?

    I have a couple of old friends that I would like to be able to communicate with via voice, but NOT via phone services. Years ago there were several free applications which allowed you to dial a phone # that was PC specific and speak to the other party using a microphone and speakers at no cost. Well, as I said, it has been years since I've done this and I'm quite certain things have changed drastically since that time. So, is there such a thing nowadays with the following qualifications:

    1. Preferably free, of course.
    2. Works with Vista
    3. Works with OS X (one of my buddies uses Apple OS X)

    Thanks!
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    Do you mean something like Skype?

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    12,107
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    I've never used any of these things, Jeff but Skype - official website has been talked about here in The Lounge on more than one occasion. Not completely free either.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    There is no charge for using Skype purely for VOIP to another Skype user - you only pay if you call a landline or mobile.

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Swanzey, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    1,707
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    Thanks to both.... I'll do some reading on the Skype website to get acquainted with it and perhaps if it looks promising, I might give it a try.

    Addendum: After doing a little reading it appears there may be some prohibitive issues, e.g., one guy uses dialup and I'm on a satellite system, although it is the newer Ka band with a 3 watt uplink transmitter. I'm assuming dialup users generally can't use Skype, correct?
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  6. #6
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    5,016
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    I can only speak for cable internet, but I use it frequently and it works very well. I have a VOIP USB handset (~AU$20) which comes with its own drivers. You can also use/ toggle to speakers. Totally free to use between computers.

    Alan

  7. #7
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,594
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    You can use several IM programs to make PC-to-PC calls.

    Joe
    Joe

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Swanzey, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    1,707
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    Joe,

    So I have heard..... but again, there is that issue of dialup which I am assuming would make voice communication prohibitive, correct?
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    14,010
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    By prohibitive - do you mean cost or practicality? If the person being called is local, there would probably be no benefit in using a PC in the first place. If long-distance or international, I would have thought dial-up costs would be lower.

    However, I don't think VOIP would work - let alone be recommended - on dial-up (i.e. under 256K connection speed).

  10. #10
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Swanzey, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    1,707
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    Leif,

    I mean practically... i.e., such communication being incompatible with a dialup connection. I'm thinking it doesn't matter whether it is VOIP or IM, unless I am wrong, both work on the same principle.
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  11. #11
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    23,594
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 1,059 Times in 928 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    If the person on dialup has a Windows PC he likely has a Microsoft IM product already installed. If he/she has a microphone and headset it is easy to try and doesn't cost anything but time. Your bigger issue will be finding something the will work in both the OSX and Windows environment.

    Joe
    Joe

  12. #12
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,450
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    What you and your friends really need is some hardware of a certain age (or run your present hardware in compatibility mode) and the software to go with it.

    I have both Microsoft Phone Version 1.0 for Windows 95 (if I can find the disk) and Symantec Talkworks Pro Voice & Fax Message System, Version 2.0 for Windows 98, Windows 95, and Windows NT. Yes, Microsoft itself marketed such a product, in 1995. The Symantec software is 1998.

    You had to have a faxmodem with voice, or at least a voice-capable modem, which meant dial-up, and in the TalkWorks case the fax capability if you wanted to use it. Basically it meant using your computer as an answering-machine/fax/telephone, and it was pretty slick for its day. The speakerphone capability is an added complication, but my setup is capable of that as well.

    Free it was not, since you had to have the hardware and the software and pay the phone bill, all of which were more expensive then than now, but your memory is correct about using your computer as a telephone. You can do that much anyway now with no complications, in that there is an input for dial-up and an output beside it that you can connect an ordinary telephone to, and you can use your Contacts to dial the phone for you.

    My dial-up is a 56K voice/fax modem but I never use it, since I also have ADSL. I did have it set up to do the telephone/fax/mike-and-speakerphone trick at one time.

  13. #13
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    9,508
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

    Re: Voice communication sources?

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by JohnBF on 09-Oct-07 08:36. )</P>I know nothing about it and have not used it, but recently ran across Google Gtalk.

    Edit: sorry, GTalk appears to primarily be an XMPP chat room, though it has voice support.
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
    UTC -7ąDS

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •