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Reviews, Rants & Things That Make You Scream The place for you to submit reviews of all those applications you use with Fedora. The Devs probably aren't listening, but some times you've just GOT to blow off steam or sing its praises.

View Poll Results: What are your thoughts on Skype?
I haven't tried it 8 38.10%
I think it is very good 12 57.14%
I don't like proprietry applications 4 19.05%
I use Gnome Meeting 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 23rd February 2005, 10:59 AM
ghenry Offline
Retired Community Manager
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Scotland
Age: 36
Posts: 1,019
Thumbs up Skype - Internet Telephony.

Dear all,

Yesterday, I was introduced to the world of VoIP via Skype (http://www.skype.com) and I must say, I am very, very impressed.

A bit about Skype:

"Skype is free Internet telephony
that just works.

Skype is for calling other people on their computers or phones. Download Skype and start calling for free all over the world."

Yes, it's free to call someone else who has Skype running. The voice quality is unbelievable. I am using the skype-1.0.0.7-fc3.i586.rpm for FC3 and I am running it on a PII600 desktop, AMD 2000+ dekstop and a PIII600 laptop.

All you need is a headset or some kind of microphone/speakers and a 3.3k dial-up, yes dial-up. I monitored my broadband connection, and the bandwidth never went above 3.3k/s during a 20min free call.

It is available for all platforms:

http://www.skype.com/products/skype/linux/

Here are some Linux screenshots from their site:

http://www.skype.com/products/screenshots.html?os=linux

Mine are attached.

There are two things that I think are lacking:

1. Although you call call land lines for only 1.1p/cents (via SkypeOout - http://www.skype.com/products/skypeout/rates/) per minute, you can't create conference calls like you can between other Sykpe members.
2. You can't be called from a land line.

That's not to say they are not working on these features now.

Assessment on the installation out of 5: 5 (Just install the RPM)
Assessment of the ease of use out of 5: 5 (My Grandad uses it ;-) )
Assessment of the features out of 5: 4 (see above)
Assessment on the quality of the program out of 5: 5 (I haven't found any bugs yet)
An overall assessment out of 10: 9.5

I know it's a commercial app, but the only GPL/OSS version I know of is Gnome Meeting, and I haven't tested it yet.

Would someone like to review it?

Gavin.
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  #2  
Old 23rd February 2005, 12:22 PM
OberonKenObi Offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Oberon AU
Age: 49
Posts: 75
Hi yas all

I use software called Teamspeak 2
There is Linux Client and Server (RC2) version: 2.0.32.60. AND
Windows Client and Server (RC2) version: 2.0.32.60. Not sure of Mac sorry

To download it go to Team Speak

I have used both Win32 and Linux versions, there is a Features
page.
Differences between it and Skype. And this by no means exhaustive.

Negative ones...
Can't call a landline.
Can't be called by a land line.
You need to either host one yourself (this easy to do in either platform), or have access to a Clan server.

Positive ones...
Free for personal use.
License encompasses free Clan self served servers to massive hosted servers attracting a fee for customers. See Pricing for more info.
Access to many different codecs, (I have 56k dial up and can host 3 clients and still have resonable quality). If I had more friends I could test if more works!! Just Kidding, 4 or more degrades quality (at 56k at least). I have been online with 11 people at a time on our shared server that uses 512kb ADSL, great connectivity, you can have seperate channels, passwords to protect access and admins can boot/block those that fail to follow the simple rules that you formulate (see features above).

Ease of use
Many many help pages and a Forum for problems.
Since I cant get my parents to use Linux, (any version!!) the fact that it is not Microsoft shows that even the little "non Microsoft or proprietry movement" is still making great software. There is hope yet...

Regards
Allan
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  #3  
Old 23rd February 2005, 06:15 PM
micha Offline
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: France
Age: 36
Posts: 533
I use Skype for "regular" phone calls, and TeamSpeak while playing games with friends.
Skype has an excellent sound quality, a very low latency, communications are encrypted and it works through NATs and firewalls. But don't forget it's a P2P application, so your computer is used as a node for the Skype network...
TeamSpeak has a variable sound quality, a higher latency, and several channels. Just excellent for gaming !

Last edited by micha; 24th February 2005 at 11:46 AM.
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  #4  
Old 24th February 2005, 12:35 AM
Dog-One Offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NORTHCOM
Posts: 813
I have to agree with micha. Teamspeak is really THE "push-to-talk" voice application for Linux and Windows. Just plain works for that.

Skype, I'm not sure about. Seems really polished, but I have reservations about signing up for an account although there is no other way to connect to other skype users that I'm aware of. The limit of four people in a conference call puts a damper on its usage too.
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  #5  
Old 24th February 2005, 04:47 AM
james_in_denver Offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,227
Well, the account you sign up for is free, as long as it is "Skype" to "Skype" usage, for RBOC/POTS calls, some of them are subject to prepaid billing rates.

I haven't looked into their rate structure in any detail. (guess I will have to add that to my list of "Interesting Linux Things to Look at").

Though for computer to computer calling, it's free and seems pretty complete.
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Hmmm, what did I miss?
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  #6  
Old 24th February 2005, 02:00 PM
Dog-One Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NORTHCOM
Posts: 813
I went searching for ghenry online with Skype, but couldn't find him. I'm a little surprised it didn't even have Scotland listed as a country. I need to connect to someone and see about the voice quality and bandwidth usage before I can comment on that.

Another feature I may have missed that would be real handy is simple voicemail. I would think you should be able to call someone and leave a message should they not answer in a reasonable amount of time. If it's there, I sure didn't see it.

I can see a real use for it in a business environment where everyone has Pocket PCs equipped with wireless Internet. You could do a lot with just one piece of hardware in your pocket while on the road.
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  #7  
Old 24th February 2005, 04:27 PM
BandC Offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,105
I used Skype in Win and I have to say that sound quality is much better than any other voice chat program I used so far.
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  #8  
Old 24th February 2005, 04:50 PM
ghenry Offline
Retired Community Manager
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Scotland
Age: 36
Posts: 1,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dog-One
I went searching for ghenry online with Skype, but couldn't find him. I'm a little surprised it didn't even have Scotland listed as a country. I need to connect to someone and see about the voice quality and bandwidth usage before I can comment on that.

Another feature I may have missed that would be real handy is simple voicemail. I would think you should be able to call someone and leave a message should they not answer in a reasonable amount of time. If it's there, I sure didn't see it.

I can see a real use for it in a business environment where everyone has Pocket PCs equipped with wireless Internet. You could do a lot with just one piece of hardware in your pocket while on the road.
It's gchenry, but you should have found me if you searched for Gavin Henry.

I'll be online in around 3 hours.
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  #9  
Old 26th February 2005, 07:59 PM
tiberiu Offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bucharest / Romania
Age: 36
Posts: 164
Come on! The sound quality is good indeed.
You can not have from the beginning a perfect soft with lot of helpfull features but anyway it's a start and especially a free one .

I use Firestarter and I was interested to see how will firewall react... It seems that firestarter stopped a lot of "outgoing ip's on different ports" and I don't like this things... I think what micha said is very right (the computer becomes a node in Skype network). The same thing happens when I use Valknut.

Best regards,
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  #10  
Old 24th March 2005, 11:24 AM
L0t3k Offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 13
I have used both Skype and Teamspeak quite a bit. Both are (as mentioned) good for different applications. Teamspeak was great for gaming, skype is a nice tool for personal chat.

I have used skype-out. It was pretty good. When I call someone on a mobile phone they have no idea I'm using my computer. When I call someone at a landline, they say it sounds like I'm talking into a tin can. I suspect that is a result of very cheap mic (free headset+mic unit), and not the skype network itself. I think skype should eventually implement incoming call routing so people can call me from a landline, but currently its very good at what it does.

As for teamspeak, the server and client are both extraordinarily easy to install and can optionally tie up very little bandwidth. It's quite configurable if you want to tinker with it, and has been rock solid for my gaming purposes.

Both programs are really staples in their respective markets now and I would recommend them for their own purposes.

Now, which one are we going to use for the volunteer VoIP Fedora tech support line?
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  #11  
Old 27th March 2005, 04:27 PM
GodSend Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10
I suddenly can't send messages with Skype, but I can loggin to the network.
Does it have do to something with that I have installed Firestarter FireWall?
Tried to open up port 443 but without success.
Has anyone the same problem?..
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  #12  
Old 27th March 2005, 04:35 PM
Flak Pyro Offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 77
If you like teamspeak you should try out Ventrilo, it sounds way better but works just like Teamspeak, however they have not released a linux client yet, however it is in development. I hear it works on WINE.
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