April 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Westside Gadget Guy

Make Free Calls Over the Internet

I used to enjoy making the tin-can phones when I was a kid. You simply poked a hole in the end of two tin cans, pulled a string through each can and Voila! If you kept the string taught, you could talk and be heard from one can to the other. Come to think of it, who needs Verizon or Sprint to make phone calls?

Let’s go back to buying Campbell’s Soup cans. It’s much more cost effective, and you can even recycle the cans when you want a phone upgrade. But for those of you who are looking to find a very simple and free (or almost free) way to make calls over the internet, I invite you to read on.

For the rest of you, I’ll meet you at Whole Foods and we’ll get the soup cans. Using the internet to make phone calls is simple and your options are plentiful. You can utilize a company called Skype by visiting their webpage at www.skype.com and downloading the latest version of their program. (Download means to get something that is not on your computer and put it there) You will be greeted by a friendly page reminding you to “Take a deep breath†. I always find this refreshing (especially after the exhale) because for a lot of people, computers can be very intimidating, and they really do remind you, hey, relax, it’s just a computer.

Skype’s web page is smart, meaning it will know if you are visiting it from a Windows PC machine, an Apple MAC, IMAC, etc.

Once you click the download button, it takes less time to get the program than it does to order and drink a grande double half caff espresso cappuccino latte mocha frappicino. If you have friends or family that are as tech savvy as you are now, and they are Skype users too, you can look
them up on the Skype directory and talk to them over the internet 100% free. What is amazing is if you have one of those little cameras attached to your computer (not by duct tape!) you can SEE and HEAR them too.

Wait, you mean you don’t know anybody who uses Skype? Nobody at all? Not a single person anywhere in the entire United States or Canada? Well worry not, because Skype is still there for you. For a measly $29.95 for a YEAR – you can use your new Skype program to call ANY phone number (landline or cell phone) in the United States or Canada. No limits, no blackouts, no minimums, no maximums.

You sit, you dial and it calls. The people you call will have no idea you are calling while sitting at your computer. If you really want to go nuts, you can call internationally too and the rates are amazing there too.

By now I know what you’re thinking. The mere thought of having to sit at your computer to make a phone call is giving you a cramp in your side. I feel your pain, I sit at a computer pretty much my entire work day too, so to get up and do something else, anything else, is great. So can we use this concept of Skype calling and not have to sit at a computer to do it?

All I can say is, yeah baby! When I was at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January in Las Vegas, they had prototypes of phones that would work with Skype that did not need to be anywhere near a computer. Sounds like a dream come true! There were several models being shown, most notably the Netgear Skype Phone SPH101. It’s the size of a typical pretty cell phone, with a color screen, and you simply dial out on it like any other phone. However, instead of using Verizon, Sprint, AT&T etc, you’re connecting over the internet. As you can imagine, I had to wipe the drool off my mouth at least half a dozen times….be still my heart. Anywhere there is a wireless internet signal, aka WIFI (like at Starbucks, Coffee bean, your office, or home) your Skype phone will jump on board and connect itself to the internet.

If you want to find out about the different phones out there that will work
with this technology, just do a Google search (www.google.com) and enter wireless Skype phone. Additionally, you can visit a good online store located at www.brokeit.com where you can find lots of information as well as deals on these devices. Or, if you want, feel free to shoot me an email at westsidegadgetguy@westsidetoday.com with any questions,
comments, suggestions and even complaints. Don’t worry I’ve been
married 14 years, so I’m thick skinned enough to handle anything you say.

Related Posts

Bob Rosenbloom, Esteemed Owner of Bob’s Market and Community Pillar, Passes at 92

April 9, 2024

April 9, 2024

Bob Rosenbloom, the cherished proprietor of Bob’s Market on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica, passed away at his residence...

Don’t Miss Your Last Chance to Experience CORTEO by Cirque du Soleil!

April 25, 2023

April 25, 2023

The Show’s Run At The Microsoft Theater Ends On April 30  Time is running out for fans of CORTEO by...

Regulation of Short-Term Rentals in LA Failing as Enforcement Drops Significantly

April 4, 2023

April 4, 2023

Better Neighbors LA report highlights the inadequacies of enforcement measures for short-term rentals in Los Angeles, calling for increased regulation...

Non-Profit Helping Relieve Financial Burden For Cancer Patients

November 16, 2022

November 16, 2022

Cancer Cartel is helping cancer patients focus on their treatment, not the financial stress of living with a diagnosis. Learn...

100 Miles of Bus-Only Lanes Coming to L.A in Five Years?

October 17, 2022

October 17, 2022

L.A’s public transportation network is known for being slow due to traffic congestion. A new motion by L.A. City Council...

How to Wisely Manage Your Finances After a Job Layoff

October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022

Being laid off can be difficult, both emotionally and financially. It is important to manage your finances wisely during this...

Union Members Protest UC Policies in Westwood

May 3, 2022

May 3, 2022

Westwood and Wilshire protest takes place April 26 By Dolores Quintana The intersection of Wilshire and Westwood was the site...

Kale of All Kinds

March 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

Today at the Santa Monica Farmers Market we explore three different kinds of Kale from Cole Family Farms..Video sponsored by...

Name Revealed for Alice Waters’s Westwood Restaurant

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Westside Dining Scene October 21, 2021 By Dolores Quintana Esteemed chef Alice Waters’s upcoming Westwood restaurant’s and the name has...

Community Volunteer Patrol Program Brings Civilians New Insight Into Law Enforcement

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

The West LA Police Department has a community patrol program bridging the gap between civilians and law enforcement. Video brought...

Police Seek Man Wanted for Sexually Assaulting Sleeping UCLA Student

September 2, 2021

September 2, 2021

Police are searching for a man wanted for sexually assaulting a female UCLA student while she slept. According to the...

Final Weekend of Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series With New Movies Added

August 28, 2021

August 28, 2021

WHERE: Marina del Rey Boat Launch Ramp, 13477 Fiji Way at Parking Lot #2 COST: $20 per vehicle, per movie...

UCLA Admits Most Accomplished Class in Its History

July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021

New freshman and transfer cohorts are also among university’s most ethnically diverse By Ricardo Vazquez | UCLA Newsroom UCLA has...

Heritage Museum Reopens with Unique Exhibition

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

The California Heritage Museum welcomes back visitors with a unique and stunning quilt exhibition, learn more in this video brought to...