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He's not mine
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've never used Skype. Really have no imagined reason to do so at this point in my life. But, I've bought my Mom a new computer and she was telling me about how Facebook (gack) was the only way she knew to stay in touch with distant relatives other than the telephone. She added that she really didn't like Facebook though. She's old, not dumb.

Anyway, I'm looking for your thoughts on Skype. I know it is possible to do video, voice and text chatting ... just from reading about its features on wikipedia.

It seems to me that this might be an improvement over her less than satisfactory Facebook experience. Though I'd have to add a webcam to her Mother''s Day gift for her to do the videophone bit.

I assume her intended coorespondents would have to also have both a webcam and have Skype installed on their computers, not to mention an internet connection capable of videoconferencing to use that feature. But, even with slower connections, it can be used for voice and text chatting, correct?

But, she's expressed an interest in instant messaging, or text chatting. Skype allows this too, I gather.

Just looking for feedback from users. Do you think a bright old lady would find this a alternative, perhaps an improvement over Facebook? Thoughts? Better alternatives?

Oh yeah, I'd have to learn to use it too in order to teach her the ropes, LOL.

Footnote: I know people don't like to read long posts like this, sorry. FWIW, I actually bought two computers, same model and equally configured. One of them is for me, an upgrade to my current desktop. They're refurbished Dell Precision 490 workstations, dual Xeon quad core processors with 16 GB or RAM and Win7Pro. Clock is only 2.66 Ghz, but for the price I think they'll get the job done.
 

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Skype got bought by Microsoft and has changed. No surprise there. I use it at least once a week to keep in touch with our granddaughters. you can also use it as a VOIP phone without the video.

My anti tech wife uses it and uses her kindle to use it. Go for it.
 

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To the XCAPEPOD!
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I haven't used the messaging part of Skype, but I've used it for one-on-one and group video calls as wells as a VoIP phone to call land lines. Some of these features are not available in the free version.

For work, I deployed Skype workstations (large format all-in-one touch screen PCs with webcams) across our field offices to be used in public computer centers and made available to anyone that comes into our offices, mostly for job seeking work (remote interviewing, etc.) and they have been positively received.

I don't think you'll have any issues.
 

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He's not mine
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks y'all. It's a go for a tryout. Even if I don't use it myself it will be a good thing for me to play with some unfamiliar program. Hope she likes it. :)

Hmm. I just went to the page for the item on Amazon. Looks like I cleaned out that particular offering. And, they've just been delivered, yippie!
 

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My wife uses it almost daily to talk to our daughter in North Carolina. I've watched them cook together with the laptops propped up on the counter next to the stove. When our daughter's husband was in Iraq, our daughter would fall asleep with Skype on so she wouldn't be alone. I've skyped my parents and brother. Try it, you might like it.
 

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He's not mine
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the re-enforcement Stretch. I just have no need for it myself. Just as I have no need for a cell phone. I guess I'm just a loner.

I can appreciate its utility for those in need to keep in touch though.
 

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He's not mine
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Discussion Starter #7
A footnote on these computers I bought. The video card appears to be an Nvidia Quadro NVS 285. It is intended for dual monitor DVI. Well, I have a DVI monitor, but will need an adapter to use it. So will my Mom. I guess it's off to Best Buy in the morning, with fingers crossed. The vendor didn't include a dual monitor cable, nor indicate one was needed in his ad.

Actually, it may be more cost effective to buy video cards more appropriate to the monitors in use. <sigh> Still, even with the delay and inconvenience, I think these are worthy PCs.

For my own use, I've been thinking of buying a 4K capable card and monitor upgrade.
 

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I have Skype on my computers and on my Android phone (my iPhone is a company phone, so I don't put personal apps there). Messaging/chat works well. Voice works well. Video call will depend on the speed of your Internet connection, but the worst I've had is 'fair' video. I was at a wedding where there was a laptop to one side with a video connection to relatives in Israel. They got to join the reception and family and friends would stop by and say hello.

So, it is multi-platform and well established. For business purposes, you can certainly select from a range of upgrades. For the more casual user, it is a good tool. Since it is platform neutral, it can move with you (your mother) vs. an iPhone-only app. So, get a copy of Skype for Dummies (if it exists) and Skype for Seniors (if it exists) and get creative.
 

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Speaking of DVI adapters, if you're not already familiar with them, here's a quick plug for monoprice.com for cables and adapters of all kinds for very reasonable prices, especially in volume. Of course, you have to order and wait for it, but the $ difference is staggering on some items. We use them for many things at work.
 

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Skype, A-OK... I use Skype every day Voice & Video & Message... I spent 3 hours straight non stop with my buddy last night doing voice only while playing BF2...
 

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My wife uses it almost daily to talk to our daughter in North Carolina. I've watched them cook together with the laptops propped up on the counter next to the stove. When our daughter's husband was in Iraq, our daughter would fall asleep with Skype on so she wouldn't be alone. I've skyped my parents and brother. Try it, you might like it.
yeah, my wife does the same -- she used to skype with the girls every day from Korea when we were there. In the states they text each other a lot with their cell phones. I resisted getting a smart phone for a long time, but I do use it now that I have it. I got a great weather app (which comes in handy living in tornado alley!), and I use it to check the traffic, and check my e-mail on the fly.
 
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