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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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My New Skype Addiction

Comments (12)

I am newly addicted to Skype. 

Several weeks ago when I was in Keystone, I had total IP phone failure.  We use a Cisco IP phone system in our office.  My house in Eldorado Springs has a T1 line connected to the office with a Cisco IP phone set up.  My house in Keystone has Comcast business Internet connected via a VPN (running on a Linux box) to our office network with a Cisco IP phone set up.  All the phones are configured exactly the same (one number, the 24 ring tone, similar presets.)

There was one problem.  Brad and Comcast apparently weren’t having a happy karma time – some of the time when I called someone I could hear them but they couldn’t hear me.  Reset, reboot, unplug.  Random but inconsistent success.

After two days of this I fired up Skype and tried it.  I hadn’t used it in Keystone and spent a few minutes setting it up with my wireless headset (that was connected to my Cisco IP phone.)  No big deal – press a button on the headset and I am on Skype; press a different button and I am in sometimes you can hear me sometimes you can’t hear me land.

24 hours after trying Skype again it was all I was using.

I’m now on a new quest to find all the happy useful important Skype plugins for people like me that run on Outlook / Exchange / Firefox as well as additional indispensable Skype software / features.  Suggestions?

  • http://www.ashimmy.com alan shimel

    Brad – I like a plug in called Pamela. I use it to record podcasts, but it does so much more!

  • Paul Sweeney

    Skype with Fring on your mobile phone is a great way to roam around the house. My other half has an Nokia N95 and uses the Fring/Skype combo to dial into conference calls and gets perfect quality.

  • http://www.proofhq.com Mat

    We wouldn't survive at ProofHQ without Skype. We have developers in the UK, US, Poland and Ireland. Ongoing group chat, plus regular calls.

    The Outlook plugin was a bit buggy, so we all ditched it. This was six months ago, so things may have improved.

    The Firefox plugin is fantastic. One click to dial from web apps is a sweet thing.

  • Jim

    Brad – I'm with Alan. I have been using Skype for my podcasts for two years. I originally used another software recorder but changed over to Pamela last year and it has been great. Skype Out and $3 per month and I can call any number in the US and Canada for no additional charge.

    We have used it for conference calls, which work well with 5 or fewer participants.

    I won a three month trial with a VoiP provider and I decided to only use it for things I could not do with Skype. I think I used the VoiP service 4 or 5o times in the three month period.

  • Randy

    Skype is all I use for my business in the last year and a half. I do remote demos all the time and long conf calls to CA. It's very rare when I've had trouble with the connection or Skype. I bought the package with Skype Out and a “physical” number so people can call me.

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    via email – Skylook addon to look for – Skylook, at http://www.skylook.biz. Great integration with Outlook and Skype. Better than the Skype toolbar from Skype, in my opinion.

  • Steve

    These are my Skype tools, most I use daily

    Desktop Conference Phone for skype (matches my MacBook Pro) , search on ” Duet PCS USB Conference Speakerphone ”

    Conferencing Service – provides a skype dialing number along with standard land lines and its cheap ” highspeedconferencing.com”

    Skype Extension for Firefox

    Skype Unyte – Desktop sharing integrated into skype

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    via email – use call burner to record calls/interviews. It records both sides on separate channels for easier editing. We use it with skype where I have a studio mic for superb quality and the inbound caller quality is “as good as it can get”. Iowa is a “one side knowing = notification so technically I can record every call. I don't.

  • coolblueskies

    A FEATURE…I'd love to be able to inject a caller ID that I can assign so that friends and strangers can read my name or #
    AN INTEGRATION with gTalk goes against the grain of some but I'd like it
    RECOMMEND Ecamm's Call Recorder w/ Quicktime Marker to set bullet points in calls

  • Peter Biro

    looking at a skype-focused call center software business called OnState – on-state.com. Very cool software, adds robo-dialer, recording, etc. to a basically free and high quality phone service… good stuff.

  • Peter Melnikov

    Anyone using skype as a PBX for business? With features like auto-attendant, call forwarding

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/alan_shimel2002 alan_shimel2002

    Brad – I like a plug in called Pamela. I use it to record podcasts, but it does so much more!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jim13991 jim13991

    Brad – I'm with Alan. I have been using Skype for my podcasts for two years. I originally used another software recorder but changed over to Pamela last year and it has been great. Skype Out and $3 per month and I can call any number in the US and Canada for no additional charge.

    We have used it for conference calls, which work well with 5 or fewer participants.

    I won a three month trial with a VoiP provider and I decided to only use it for things I could not do with Skype. I think I used the VoiP service 4 or 5o times in the three month period.

  • Paul Sweeney

    Skype with Fring on your mobile phone is a great way to roam around the house. My other half has an Nokia N95 and uses the Fring/Skype combo to dial into conference calls and gets perfect quality.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/steve14131 steve14131

    These are my Skype tools, most I use daily

    Desktop Conference Phone for skype (matches my MacBook Pro) , search on " Duet PCS USB Conference Speakerphone "

    Conferencing Service – provides a skype dialing number along with standard land lines and its cheap " highspeedconferencing.com"

    Skype Extension for Firefox

    Skype Unyte – Desktop sharing integrated into skype

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    via email – use call burner to record calls/interviews. It records both sides on separate channels for easier editing. We use it with skype where I have a studio mic for superb quality and the inbound caller quality is "as good as it can get". Iowa is a "one side knowing = notification so technically I can record every call. I don't.

  • Mat

    We wouldn't survive at ProofHQ without Skype. We have developers in the UK, US, Poland and Ireland. Ongoing group chat, plus regular calls.

    The Outlook plugin was a bit buggy, so we all ditched it. This was six months ago, so things may have improved.

    The Firefox plugin is fantastic. One click to dial from web apps is a sweet thing.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    via email – Skylook addon to look for – Skylook, at http://www.skylook.biz. Great integration with Outlook and Skype. Better than the Skype toolbar from Skype, in my opinion.

  • Randy

    Skype is all I use for my business in the last year and a half. I do remote demos all the time and long conf calls to CA. It's very rare when I've had trouble with the connection or Skype. I bought the package with Skype Out and a "physical" number so people can call me.

  • coolblueskies

    A FEATURE…I'd love to be able to inject a caller ID that I can assign so that friends and strangers can read my name or #
    AN INTEGRATION with gTalk goes against the grain of some but I'd like it
    RECOMMEND Ecamm's Call Recorder w/ Quicktime Marker to set bullet points in calls

  • Peter Biro

    looking at a skype-focused call center software business called OnState – on-state.com. Very cool software, adds robo-dialer, recording, etc. to a basically free and high quality phone service… good stuff.

  • Peter Melnikov

    Anyone using skype as a PBX for business? With features like auto-attendant, call forwarding

  • http://typhoontracker.blogspot.com/ TyphoonTracker

    I just upgraded to Skype 4. Skype really improved about a year ago. Skype to South Africa about 3 years ago was iffy at best.

    Big changes. But, for now Skype 4 is not ready for prime time. It has a crash problem when video is enabled. At least on my system.

    I’m going back to the previous version. About a week ago I was in Fry’s and relayed or shared some info I got from a Packet 8 sales rep. He said Packet 8 uses a Codec that allows their system to use only 30 KB of bandwidth off your Internet connection. This versus 80 or 90 with Magic Jack or Lingo, et al.

    But, the drug of choice is Skype when it works.

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