2007 JET Podcast
Some helpful hints from folks already on the JET Programme. It covers all of those very specific things that you really need to know but may have forgotten to ask or that you just couldn't find answers to. Click here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Yes. I have joined the technological revolution that takes telephony from the hands of the evil cell phone and telephone giants and puts it into the hands of the consumer.

I had my doubts about Skype. Who wouldn't, really? It's supposedly free (sarcasm) and I've found that anything that's free is free for a (usually bad) reason. But, after trying to figure out different ways in which I might call back home from Japan for as cheaply as possible, I decided it couldn't hurt to at least try out the service.

The software is free. You download it to your computer and install. Took me about 5 minutes, but I also have the slowest affordable DSL that Bellsouth (now AT&T) offers. The install was very simple and, after a few minutes of putting in information, I had my very own Skype name.

It's, tiffinjapan, by the way. Duh.

Because I don't really voice chat over the internets, I didn't have one of those handy-dandy headsets. But I did have a microphone. So, I plugged that in.

I remembered suddenly that I didn't really know anyone else who had Skype, so I had no one to call. Not to mention, that they might not have even been online at the time. But my main reason for getting it had been for the cheap calls to landlines and cell phones, so having no Skype friends didn't matter at the moment.

I saw that I had been credited 14 cents for free to make SkypeOut calls and so I called my mom's cell phone. She had taken a day off work and was downstairs. To my surprise, the call went through...

...as an unrecognizable number. So, she didn't pick up.

I told her it was me calling and called a second time. She picked up and surprisingly, it worked.

The voice came through on my speakers (no headset) and was as clear as ever. My mom said my voice was also clear.

I was impressed.

I next called my girlfriend on her cell phone. It also worked then. What sort of witchcraft is this SKYPE???

It's been less than a day since I installed it and already I've talked for 20 minutes. I purchased $10 worth of Skype credits today and I still have more than 900 talking minutes left. that's better than a cell phone contract deal!

Maybe free isn't so terrible. Expect updates. There are more, even better features for this service to be had.

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