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.



6 responses

17 08 2007
Steve Harrington

Skype has always said not to disconnect your landline in place of purely using Skype. Why do people complain about the first ever day Skype got a problem?

Windows designed a DOS based operating system over the years that was so unstable, corruptible, but a money spinner system that won the market and business world, yet no-one really complains of a widely accepted Windows system.

I am still using my 1994 model RISC OS computer (remember the old Acorn computers?) in my classroom and it was designed not to fail or give trouble like the new XP Windows elsewhere around the school.

I think it is very amusing in these Skype blogs to so many negative comments and concerns in our world of Windows lovers who accept the problems of MS as a standard feature.

17 08 2007

Skype is wonderful and they are working to solve the problem. This is the first time they are down.

If “Holding the phone handset to your ear for that long really makes your ear sore and you get a crick in your neck” why don’t you buy a headset for your phone? I did a very long time ago.

17 08 2007

Steve: Totally agree about Windows! If it was a car, we’d have demanded our money back years ago. And don’t get me started on fighting Microsoft Word’s auto numbering ‘feature’ that those who don’t know anything else insist on using, then want people like me to fix it. As if.

Ivan: I have three headsets – but they’re all computer headsets, not for the phone. I don’t want to buy ANOTHER headset just for the phone. And I can’t find an adaptor that goes from my USB headset into the phone handpiece jack (not here in Australia anyway). So my choices are: use the landline’s handpiece, or use Skype and my USB headset. Skype’s a no brainer for anything longer than a few minutes.

18 08 2007
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18 08 2007
15 minutes of fame « At Random

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23 08 2007
Good customer service « At Random

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