Millions of people (48 million and counting, in fact) have opted for Skype, which uses peer-to-peer (P2P) technology to turn any PC, Mac, or Pocket PC into a telephone. Skype offers free calls between computers and extremely cheap calls to "old-fashioned" phone numbers (landlines and mobile phones). The sound quality is excellent, and end-to-end encryption means the connection is private and secure.
But if you really know what you're doing, Skype can accomplish a whole lot more than that. Software developer and author Andrew Sheppard recently converted his entire house to Skype and uses it for all his personal and business calls, even when he's traveling. In "Skype Hacks, he shows you how to do things with the technology that even the engineers at Skype probably never intended.
"Skype Hacks shows you how to:
Get started with Skype
Figure out how much money you're saving and maximize your savings
Cut the ties to your old phone company
Optimize your Skype configuration
Integrate Skype with desktop tools like Microsoft Office and your web browser
Set up a Skype-based call center
The book offers ideas for creating and organizing a contacts list, using Skype to transfer files, taking advantage of chat and voicemail capabilities, turning a PDA into a mobile phone, and automatingSkype for even greater efficiency. So whether you'd simply like to give Skype a trial run, you want new Skype ring tones and fun on-hold music, or you're considering wiring your home with Skype to get rid of "regular" phone service altogether, "Skype Hacks is your ideal guide.
Credits Preface Chapter 1. Start Using Skype 1. Make Your First Skype Call 2. Chat Using Skype 3. Set Up and Make a Conference Call 4. Try SkypeOut, Risk Free 5. Try SkypeIn, Risk Free 6. Try Skype Voicemail, Risk Free 7. Roam the World with Skype Zones 8. Transfer a File Using Skype 9. Make Toll-Free Calls 10. Forward Calls 11. Dial Like a Wizard 12. Troubleshoot Skype Chapter 2. Save Money with Skype 13. Back-of-the-Envelope Estimate of Skype Savings 14. Avoid Falling Foul of the Taxman 15. Avoid Problems Paying for Services 16. Claim Your Money Back 17. Avoid Higher SkypeOut Rates 18. Avoid Additional Mobile Phone Charges 19. Make Money with Skype 20. Make Money with the Skype API 21. Avoid Forfeiting SkypeOut Credits 22. Get the Best Deal for VoIP Telephony 23. Round Call Time to Your Advantage 24. Manage Bandwidth Costs Chapter 3. Configure Skype 25. Test Your Sound System 26. Test Call Sound Quality (echo123) 27. Choose and Configure a Microphone and Speakers 28. Choose and Configure a USB Handset or Headset 29. Choose and Configure a Bluetooth Headset 30. Configure Skype to Use Regular Phones 31. Configure Skype on a Laptop 32. Configure Skype on a Pocket PC 33. Test Your Internet Connection Bandwidth 34. Test Your Internet Connection Latency 35. Build a Skype Server 36. Make Skype Work with Personal Firewalls 37. Set Up Multiple Phone Lines 38. Test Your Connection for Skype Friendliness 39. Eliminate Echo and Noise 40. Reset Your Skype Configuration 41. Run Skype Based on Time of Day 42. Schedule When Skype Runs the Mac Way Chapter 4. Tweak and Tune Skype 43. Make Calls from Your Web Browser 44. Accelerate Skype Using Your Keyboard 45. Tweak Skype by Editing config.xml 46. Run Skype from the Command Line 47. Display the Technical Details of a Call 48. Remove Unused Names from the Login List 49. Add Fast-Dial Shortcuts to Your Menu or Desktop 50. Fix Windows Wireless 51. Fix Badly Behaving Routers Chapter 5. Skype at Work 52. Automate Skype Installation 53. Set Up a Toll-Free Number for SkypeIn 54. Set Up a Call Center 55. Integrate Skype with Microsoft Office 56. Record and Archive Conversations 57. Transfer Files Among Diverse Machines 58. Disable Skype File Transfer 59. Improve Service Quality Chapter 6. Mobile Skype 60. Make Cheap Long-Distance or International Calls from Your Mobile Phone 61. Communicate Using Skype, Even When Bandwidth Is Low 62. Give Your Mobile Phone an International Dial-In Number 63. Run Skype from a USB Memory Stick 64. Make Free Calls While on the Move Chapter 7. Skype Fun and Play 65. Fun with Ringtones 66. Band Together with Skype 67. Stop Incoming Calls from Interrupting Game Play 68. Learn to Speak a Foreign Language 69. Build Skype CommunitiesChapter 8. Skype Chat and Voicemail 70. Log Chat Sessions Outside of Skype 71. Automatically Forward Voicemail 72. Listen to Voicemail Using a USB Handset 73. Run Commands Remotely Using Chat Chapter 9. Security and Privacy 74. Manage Your Skype Privacy Settings 75. Scan Files Received via Skype for Viruses 76. Manage (or Delete) Your Skype Public Profile 77. Avoid Skype "Spammers" 78. Choose the Right Username to Avoid Being Harassed Chapter 10. Quirks, Gotchas, and Workarounds 79. Avoid Problems with Interactive Telephone Services 80. Find a Fax Alternative 81. Workarounds for 911 Emergency Service 82. Workarounds for 411 Directory 83. Workarounds for Home Alarm System Monitoring 84. Transfer Folders, Not Just Individual Files 85. Dial with More Than Just Digits Chapter 11. Skype Add-Ons and Tools 86. Control Skype Using Spoken Commands 87. Add Video Conferencing to Skype 88. Show Your Online Status in a Web Page 89. Send Skype Chat Directly from Your Browser 90. Manage Add-On Access Control Chapter 12. Automate Skype 91. Hot-Switch Among Sound Devices 92. Automate Chat 93. Automate Your Interactions with Telephone Systems 94. Schedule Calls and Chat Using iCal on the Mac 95. Send Email and SMS Notification of New Voicemail 96. Convert Your Friends List to Fast-Dial Shortcuts 97. Make Chat Talk Out Loud 98. Erase a Skype User Account 99. Spy on Skype API Messages 100. Disable the Skype API Index
After earning a first-class honor's degree in astrophysics, Andrew made the mistake of going on to earn higher degrees: a master's in astronomical technology at Edinburgh University (UK) and a master's in business administration at the London Business School (UK). This period of time and that which followed was punctuated with work as a scientific researcher at Oxford University, as a software developer, and later, as a "Rocket Scientist" at Bankers Trust Company in the financial square mile of the city of London, as well as in New York and Tokyo. A lot of heartache and financial anguish could have been avoided throughout had he become what is clearly the optimal career choice for anyone anywhere: a master plumber. Nowhere on the planet is there a poor or unemployed master plumber! Too late to correct past follies, Andrew now makes his living writing software, books, and magazine articles.
"Overall I like the variety of hacks in this book and recommend it if you're set on using Skype. It contains lots of food for thought in possible configurations that will reduce your dependency on, and perhaps even eliminate, your fixed line voice services." - Mike Smith, news@UK, June 2006