Sore ears and neck

17 08 2007

Earlier this week I was on a 90 minute phone call to Brisbane. Man! Holding the phone handset to your ear for that long really makes your ear sore and you get a crick in your neck! And you can’t type effectively (yes, I needed to type – the other person and I were discussing the development team’s Wiki and I needed to make changes there and then). If I’d realised the call would be that long, I would’ve used Skype.

Roll on to today… I get a reminder that there’s a 2+ hour meeting/conference call on Monday, so I decide to bite the bullet and purchase some SkypeIn credits. I already use Skype-to-Skype for computer phone calls, and SkypeOut for calls from my computer to landlines. SkypeIn allows landlines to call a standard phone number which comes to me on my computer. I get a real phone number for whatever country and area code I want, and all I have to do is be online to receive the calls. The big advantage is that I can use my headset, thus freeing up my head and so solving the neck pain and the purple ear problem, and freeing up my hands to do stuff on the computer at the same time.

What should’ve been easy to set up was thwarted by Skype’s pretty big ‘outage’ over the last 24 hours or so. It’s hit all the IT media, and even though Skype has kept people up-to-date, it’s caused a lot of people who rely on Skype to become pretty angry. So much so that it appears they’ve closed off the facility to comment on their blog.

It hasn’t affected me too much as I only just signed up for SkypeIn today. But it has meant that I can’t effectively test how well it works as the people I’ve asked to test the new number haven’t been able to get through as Skype is constantly connecting and reconnecting. However, they have been able to leave a voicemail and I’ve been able to set that up with my own message, and I’ve been able to set up call forwarding to my mobile phone – and that works!

Hopefully it will be fixed on Monday when I have the 2 hour conference call, otherwise it’s back to a sore neck and ear…

I do wonder about the people who rely on technology like Skype for EVERYTHING. Hello people! It’s technology over the internet. There are SO many ways it can fail. Relying on it for all your business calls etc. is a little stupid, in my not so humble opinion.

Update 21 August: Skype is now back to normal. Here’s their explanation, and an interpretation of that explanation forwarded to me by a good friend.