E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

Collaboration

Absolutely Del.icio.us – Complete Tool Collection

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Anybody who has been showing a growing interest in social software, like groupware, social bookmarking or social networking tools, for instance, would probably already know by now about one of the most popular social bookmarking tools out there: del.icio.us.

Del.icio.us is one of those services that allows you to store your favourite bookmarks on the web so, regardless where you are or what computer you are using, you always have got quick access to your favourite links. And even more when you can also search and look for other people’s bookmarks. This social bookmarking tool has been around for quite some time and although my bookmarks are only starting to grow as we speak I still love the service for what it does: storing and sharing with others your favourite links.

What you may not know is that there seems to be out there a huge collection of Del.icio.us hacks that you could use to improve your own Del.icio.us experience. And over at Quick Online Tips they seem to have been doing an incredible piece of work. And if you do not believe me check out Absolutely Del.icio.us – Complete Tool Collection where you can find one of the most extensive listing of Del.icio.us hacks that you can find out there on the Web.

I am sure that there will be something in that weblog post for everyone. It would just be a matter of time and a little effort to just go through it and see which ones you would want to make use of. I am already in the process of choosing my favourites and although I am already using some of them that I have found elsewhere it is great to see what other interesting things you can get done with your own bookmarks. So go and have a look and see which one would be your favourite hack. I am sure there would be more than one but since we have got to start somewhere we might as well get going right away and dig in further. This promises to be some really good fun !

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Social Networking and Video4Skype

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

WOW ! I just couldn’t help posting another weblog entry about the latest, and awesome, plugin for Skype called Video4Skype and which I talked about yesterday. So far today I have been trying it out with a couple of friends and work colleagues and I am very much impressed not only for the quality of the image but also because of the ease of use, set up and configuration steps that need to take place in order to get it working. Literally, in less than 10 seconds after install it is all up and running. Fantastic !

For somebody like me who has always been very passionate about social networking and social software the new plugin from Skype may be the beginning of a new era where IM chats, VoIP and videoconferencing come together under a single platform that allows folks to decide which medium they would like to use to communicate depending on the level of trust they may have developed in between the different parties. So, for instance, somebody who may just be getting started to know some other person (an acquaintance, or a work colleague) may prefer to use IM chat and start the chat that way and build up from there.

However, somebody who may have had already a number of different contacts with a particular individual and feel that there is already some trust in place may venture into starting an VoIP chat and let the voice come through. And now with Video4Skype people who have got a much more comfortable level of trust, like in family, friends or close work colleagues, things can be taken into another level by allowing people to see each other at the same time that they may be having an IM chat, or exchanging files or even on an VoIP chat.

As I said, what Video4Skype enables now in Skype is the possiblity of people to break the space and timezone barriers and get closer to one another, not only to get in touch with your family or your friends but also for your day to day job, where you can now put a face to that person behind all those e-mails, phone calls or IM chats. Just fantastic !

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Skype – Free Internet Telephony That Just Works

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

How many times have you heard that sentence before ? I am sure quite a few and if that is the case you probably are, by now, one of the above 109 million people who are using Skype worldwide in order to get in touch with family, friends or work colleagues. I am sure that most of us are using one, or multiple, IM clients to just keep in touch with folks. Be it MSN, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo!, Jabber, whatever, we are mostly forced to use different IM clients in order to start chatting with one another.

And since I got tired a little bit of just using multiple IM clients or integrated IM clients like Trillian, GAIM, Miranda, etc. etc. to keep in touch with people I have decided to step over to Skype and give it a go. And ever since I have done that, a few months back now, I have been a very happy Skype user. So much so that I have managed to convert most of my friends, family members and some work colleagues into using this application.

And they all love it ! As much as I do, not only because of its ease of use, or how easy it is to set up and get it running but also because of the huge amount of $$$ they save, instead of just picking up the phone and making that phone call. Maybe at a later time I will weblog about my overall experience on Skype. However, the reason why I wanted to create this weblog entry today was basically because of a problem I have encountered quite often when trying to convert people into using Skype.

Installation and setup normally works really well and very smooth, but as soon as people start searching for me and start a conversation they can hear me very well with plenty of good quality but whenever they talk they would come to me with some very low sound, as if they were thousands of miles away. Well, after searching on the Skype Forums apparently this is a well known problem that has been documented already.

There are a couple of different instructions that people would need to carry out:

  • First, go to Skype and click on Tools > Options > Sound Devices and untick the option Enable Automating Sound Device Adjusment Settings. Then click on Save.

    After having done that people would need to follow this second set of instructions:

  • First make sure you select “Show Hidden Files” under folder options. Then go to C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Skype\SkypeUSERNAME\ and locate the file config.xml.

    Right click on it and go to Send To… and open it up with Notepad (or your default editor). Once the document is open people will be able to find a whole bunch of different entries. Just scroll down till you locate a similar entry to the following one:

    “< MicVolume >255< / MicVolume >
    255 is max volume /// 0 AND 255 = 0 = low”

    (Notice the spaces on the first line).

    After you have found that entry make sure that there is a value there which does not match 255 but something else rather smaller. My setting, for instance, is setup on 31. After that save the changes, restart Skype, and the problem will be gone. You will be able to hear and be heard with the same quality as ever before. So from now on whenever I convert one other friend, family member or work colleague I can just refer them to this weblog entry and they can follow the instructions from here. And then they say that weblogging is not powerful, huh ? Well, this tip will prove them wrong.

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