As the telegraph was to the American pioneer…
As the cell phone is to the realtor…
As the radio is to the pilot…
So Skype is to the world traveler of today.
It is truly amazing to think that with just two computers, an internet connection, and one software program, you can be having a voice-to-voice or even a “face-to-face” conversation with someone anywhere in the world. And the best thing of all is that it is completely free. It’s the perfect tool for communicating worldwide.
Skype’s usefulness during this adventure was immediately obvious. This summer I already started using Skype to communicate with Tian when she was in China. So did my family.
The only downside to Skype is that some people who aren’t as comfortable with computers can intimidated by learning how to use it. That’s why I spent time before I left setting it up and trying it out with my parents and with friends like Joan S.
Tian and I would love to talk with you on Skype. If you’re new to it, follow these steps:
- Go to Skype’s website and click the green download button at the bottom of the page.
- Install Skype on your computer
- Open the program.
- Create a user name and password.
- Add us as contacts. Search us by usernames: jephochs and tinawangtian
- Make sure you have a microphone and speakers hooked up to your computer. A video camera is nice but not essential.
- On the left, click the contact you want to call.
- Click the green phone button to make the call.
- If you have trouble, Skype has a great tutorial and help section that you can use.
Once you have Skype installed, the best way to make a call is to schedule it in advance through email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The time difference can make it harder, but it’s not too bad. 13 hours means that when it is morning in MN, it is evening in China. And when it is evening in MN, it is morning in China. So try calling me either before you go to work or before you go to bed.
The “First Skype call to Jeff in China” award goes to Jennifer O. In fact she’s already logged two. I’m looking forward to more conversations with all of you!