Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

Talking to my PC: calling and recording

I've always been uncomfortable sitting at my desk, talking to my PC via a headset; it just hasn't felt like making a phone call unless I have a phone clutched in my hand or tucked under my jaw. While I'm sitting in the comfy chair with my leg up to rest my knee and working on a laptop (or two - I miss the multiscreen thing), I've found it much easier to use a headset with a mobile phone or the DECT phone from Simon's desk. I'm set up to record from the phone on my desk onto a tablet PC or a digital recorder, which doesn't work from the mobile phone. How could I get the recording and the headset to make it easier to take notes and record the interview I had to do today? Mark Anderson of SNS is one of the smart people I get to enjoy talking to and I didn't want to miss anything I couldn't type fast enough. And how could I keep the cost of a transatlantic call down? Simon suggested Skype, and the Skype voucher we'd picked up at a recent conference and the handy Skylook software he found which records to MP3 and saves the recordings as an Outlook message (and adds all the Skype dialling options to Outlook). At first I thought that was a bit gimicky and wished it recorded into OneNote. I'd still like to record it into OneNote but having it in Outlook and therefore on any PC I use will actually be pretty handy. And I'm very impressed with the sound quality - using the standard microphone socket on a Toshiba Portege R100, it's very clear and there were maybe two three-second sections of the conversation where I heard any distortion. I shall do this again. But I may not hand out my Skype numebr widely; I'd rather have a handset to pick up to see who's calling than a pop-up cluttering my screen.
Tags: future in review, gadget, headset, im, mp3, outlook, phone, skylook, skype, technology

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