Skype Setup Skype setup consists of 3 simple steps: 1. Install Skype on your computer 2. Configure your computer to use Skype 3. Make a call to the Skype Call Testing Service to make sure everything is working Once step 1 has been completed, the Skype setup program will walk you through the remaining setup steps. Don‟t wait till the day of the workshop to go through this setup, please! The sooner you try this out, the more time we will have to work out any issues. Thanks! Hardware Notes Skype has been tested out with a wide variety of configurations, but here are a short-list of the hardware requirements for Mac and PC: 1. Mac OS X a. Mac computer with G4 800 Mhz processor or faster. b. Mac OS X v10.3.9 Panther or later. c. For higher-resolution video a faster processor (Core 2 Duo) and a broadband connection with at least 384kbps upload speeds. d. 512 MB RAM. e. 40 MB free disk space on your hard drive. f. Microphone and speakers or headset. g. Download drivers for your webcam. If you are using the built-in webcam, don‟t worry about downloading drivers, they are built into OS X. h. Internet connection (broadband is best, GPRS is not supported for voice calls, and results may vary on a satellite connection). 2. Windows 2000, XP or Vista a. PC running Windows 2000, XP or Vista. (Windows 2000 users require DirectX 9.0 for video calls). b. Internet connection (broadband is best, GPRS is not supported for voice calls, and results may vary on a satellite connection). c. Speakers and microphone – built-in or separate. d. For voice and video calls we recommend a computer with at least a 1GHz processor, 256 MB RAM and of course a webcam. e. For High Quality Video calls you will need a high quality video webcam and software, a dual-core processor computer and a fast broadband connection (384 kbps). Install Skype Point your browser to www.skype.com. You will see the main Skype web page. 1. Click on the “Download” tab. This will bring you to the (surprise!) main Download page. 2. In the right-hand sidebar of the Download page you will see options to choose your OS. Skype supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Windows Mobile. Click on the link for your OS. This will take you to your OS‟s download page. a. For Mac OS X i. Quit any running Skype application ii. Follow the Setup Wizard: Open your web browser‟s Downloads window and double-click on the blue Skype icon. If a warning dialog opens, click Continue. iii. Drag the Skype icon to your Applications folder: If you have an older version of Skype installed, you‟ll be asked whether you‟d like to replace it with the new one. Click Replace. iv. Open Skype from your Applications folder: After you‟ve ejected the Skype disk image, you can run Skype. b. For Windows XP and Vista i. Run the Skype Setup application: A window will open asking what you want to do with a file called SkypeSetup.exe. You might see a confirmation message, asking if you‟re sure you want to run this software. Click „Run‟ again. ii. Follow the Setup Wizard: When the download has finished, the Skype Setup Wizard will appear and guide you through the rest of the installation. iii. Launch Skype: After the installation has finished, you can open Skype at any time by clicking the icon on your desktop or in your system tray. 3. The setup wizards will take you through the installation, including configuring your speakers and microphone, and making a test call. 4. Skype has a set of user‟s guides at http://www.skype.com/help/guides/. These have more detailed information about configurations for sound and firewalls if the default setup doesn‟t “just work” for you. It did for me on two different computers, so best of luck. Feel free to contact me if you run into any issues: firstname.lastname@example.org. 5. VERY IMPORTANT: send me your Skype name, or the email address you used when setting up your Skype profile. 6. VERY IMPORTANT 2: add me as a Skype contact. You can do this by clicking on the word “Contacts” on the Skype menu bar, then choosing “New Contact…”. The dialog box that pops up will prompt you to enter an email address; enter email@example.com. Select my entry from the list and send me a short message. I‟ll share my contact info with you and you‟ll be all set up. Helpful Hints for using Skype 1. Use the Skype Call Testing Service each time you start Skype, just to make sure everything is working properly. The Skype Installation program will prompt you to make a test call right after installing, but you can make a test call any time by clicking on the “Echo / Sound Test Service” contact in the Contact list on the right side of the Skype window, then clicking the “Call” button in the right hand side of the window. The test call will give you a chance to hear how loud your headset/speakers are set, and also lets you record a message to see how loud your microphone is set. 2. Just in case you missed it: Use the Skype Call Testing Service each time you start Skype, just to make sure everything is working properly. This may seem redundant, but it‟s a very useful practice for solving problems before they impact your call. 3. Use headphones. The main reason for this is to avoid a feedback loop where the sound coming out of the speakers gets picked up by the microphone and sent out through the speakers, which gets picked up by the microphone, which goes… well you get the picture. This can cause a very distracting “echo” effect in the best of cases, and a very annoying and speaker damaging feedback squeal if the speaker volume is high enough. a. In a group setting, headphones are not easily used, unless you have very large headphones, and then the sound quality for those in the middle is not very good, unless the folks on the ends have plenty of empty space between their ears. So, silliness aside, it‟s much more practical for groups to use speakers and a microphone; just mute the microphone when no one in the group is speaking. 4. Make sure there is only one microphone enabled. I ran into this problem on my PC. I had a microphone plugged into the sound card, and there was a microphone built into my webcam. Another form of “echo” was the result, remaining until I unplugged my sound card microphone. 5. Mute your microphone when you‟re not talking. This will smooth out the speaker‟s sound, decrease lag time, and reduce the amount of ambient noise in the call. Getting the hang of muting and un-muting the microphone can be a bit tricky when you first get started using Skype, and even after you‟ve been using it for a while. You might find that turning on and off your microphone will add to your efforts to speak from attention. Mute your microphone by clicking on the microphone icon next to the call timer (you‟ll see it when the call is in progress). a. A corollary to this is that if you are using a headset microphone, you should be aware that a number of other, possibly unwanted, sounds may be picked up, e.g.: i. Your breathing, so don‟t position your microphone in front of your nose, or mute your microphone ii. Adjusting your headset, so mute your microphone iii. Scratching your head or your face, so mute your microphone iv. I think you get the idea b. Similarly, if your microphone is on the desktop, it will pick up noise from typing, clunking around and general fidgeting with items on your desk. (All together now: “so mute your microphone.”) 6. Groups might try to use a microphone that can be handed to the person wishing to speak, rather than relying on a stationary microphone. This will help considerably with intelligibility, as a stationary microphone will tend to pick up ambient noise as well as the speaker‟s voice. A stationary microphone will also add to the feedback loop problem. Either a wireless microphone or a microphone with a long cord will work well, although the second option is significantly less costly. 7. It‟s really helpful to use the chat feature to “raise your hand” to let Ken know you have a question. The chat box is a public chat that everyone can see, so “raising your hand” here gives everyone a view into who‟s next in line. “Raise your hand” by typing in “I have a question”, or “I have a comment”, or something similar, then pressing the “Enter” key. You can also use “emoticons” to indicate your request. You can also use the chat box to indicate you are having a problem with audio, ask questions, or make general comments. Be kind to Ken, though, and be aware of the possibility of over-using the chat feature. Chatting can be a general distraction, too, so chat from attention. What to do as Workshop time approaches About 15 minutes before the workshop is set to begin, start up Skype and do a test call to the “Echo / Sound Test Service” contact to check out your microphone and headset/speakers. Oh, yeah, I already mentioned doing the test call… sorry! Make sure your status is “Online” by clicking on the word “Skype” in the program‟s menu bar, and choosing “Online” from the “Online Status” menu pick. This will make you visible to the person initiating the call. We‟ll try and get the call going a little ahead of the time for the meeting so we can start on time.