Skype on JDS...possibilities
By bnitz on Jul 24, 2005
Yesterday I learned that I'm an uncle again. I chatted with the proud father over skype. I also tried skype on a recent JDS3 linux build. It works! I've used IchatAV in the past and I know other messaging clients have voice capability, but what impressed me about skype is that it is freely available on Mac, Windows and Linux platforms. This helps maintain harmony in my family which is about 50% Wintel, 45% Apple and 5% other. gcclinux's JDS application list has a link to versions of skype which are compatible with JDS. I sure hope skype is ported to Solaris soon!
If government regulations don't crush peer to peer technology, Skype (and other successful Voice/Video Over IP products) present some wonderful new possibilities. It could reduce the isolation between grandparents who move to low tax areas and retirement communities and the children and grandchildren who must live where the jobs are. Retirement communities might choose to have a shared community skype box. I didn't yet test skype accessibility, but it seems that skype would be useful for people who are visually impaired. For these situations, Skype could be a cross-platform "killer application." A box dedicated to skype needn't do anything else. So why would anyone risk wrecking a good thing by running an bloated, virus-prone operating system?Here are a couple of quick tips which helped me use skype:
- The built-in microphones and speakers in powerbooks and iMacs (and probably a few high-end P.C.s) might be too close together. To avoid subjecting the callee to echo and feedback, You should consider buying a separate mike and headphones. Skype has one on offer.
- Make sure your computer isn't full of adwar, spyware, worms or viruses. One of the machines I called the other day had horrible sound quality, a similar machine at the same household was fine. I suspect the "bad" P.C. must've been running adware which created enough network latency problems to cause skype issues. (Yet another reason to run Skype on an alternative operating system whenever possible!)
- Make sure your computer is fast enough and has plenty of available RAM. My sister's G3 iMac seems to echo slightly more than my dad's dual pentium striped disk video toaster box.
Update: Well, Skype works on JDS but the Skype GUI isn't accessible. I'm not surprised that a statically linked QT/KDE application is invisible to ATK applications such as Gnopernicus. It looks like it may be possible to bridge from QT to ATK though with this.