Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Winner for third-world Skyping: OLPC!

New Picture: Me in my normal Skype environment (wireless!).

It occured to me the other day that at my fingertips were two options for wanting to talk to the US from over here in Asia:

Option 1: Desktop computer, external monitor, wireless receiver, Uninteruppted Power Supply (UPS) backup battery
Option 2: OLPC XO laptop (built in wireless, monitor, battery (UPS))

Option 1: Full desktop setup (UPS was faulty so it was removed [and I lost the first version of this blog posting due to a power outage!])

Option 2: OLPC XO Laptop (Cup of chai optional)

Now to either of the above lists I just add a standard headset with microphone and chat away! (In fact, if the conditions are perfect, don't even add the headset to the OLPC, just use the Built in microhphone, speakers, and webcam!)

For the audiophiles out there, it turns out that the XO laptop gives way better filtering of background noise (I'm in a 20' x 30' concrete room)! Way to go OLPC team! (I would have thought it would be standard due to both computers running Skype brand software, but there is a repeatable difference!)

The official page for installing Skype on the OLPC laptops can be found here, but I used an amalgamation of help forums, etc. because I installed it a while back (and/or didn't see the main page... :-) )

(Now looking into the status of Google Talk on the OLPC (Seems like might have to use a third-party for billing to call to non-computers at the other end). -- suggestions welcome!)