January 08, 2009


Everything in life is circular. In the 1970's bell bottoms were in, then they were out, then they were in again. Well, the same holds true for person-to-person communications in an odd sort of way. When phones were first developed, there were not near enough lines for every caller, resulting in party lines where multiple callers could be on the same call. Then technology brought us the rotary dial phone, then push button, analog cellular phones, and now digital. Nowadays, rather than picking up a phone, folks would rather email or text a message. Or they may log into an instant messenger and "chat" with them.

Many are familiar with "chatting". My wife and I met initially this way, chatting with each other long distance. Popular applications include
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Yahoo! Instant Messenger, and Google Talk. But now, these companies are taking things a step further and offering the option for audio and video chat. We have been dabbling with this technology recently using AIM and Skype. Of course, video chat requires a web cam, but using a microphone or USB phone, users can "call" each other via their "chat" program. And as long as the caller and the recipient of the call both have the same application running, there is typically no cost for the calls. So rather than being concerned about the cost of calling California, you can call via Skype and talk as long as you want for no charge.

I found a deal online for a VOIP phone for $6.99 with a $3.00 discount and free shipping at a website called eforcity. So I am anxious to test this technology further.