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December 13, 2005

Skype Hacks: Save and Have Fun with Your Phone Service

Sebastopol, CA--Tired of dealing with your old phone system? Turn to Skype and begin to save money, have fun, and customize with innovative ideas. Author Andrew Sheppard, calls Skype "a technology that is limited only by your imagination." Though the savings of switching to Skype from your traditional phone system--like saving from free calls all over the world--can be considerable, saving money is just the beginning. For example, you can have your phone calls follow you wherever you go, and you can send free text messages from a web browser on a computer that doesn't even have Skype installed.

However, the Skype program offers very little documentation, which can make it difficult for the beginner. Skype Hacks (Sheppard, O'Reilly, $24.95 US) functions as a how-to guide and like a road map to Skype's features and benefits. This practical, hands-on book shows the novice how to get started and expands the technical repertoire of the hardcore Skyper. Skype is a technology that encourages experimentation. The 100 hacks in this book equip the reader with the mindset and the tool set. Each hack stands alone and all are rated for level of difficulty.

Beginners will learn how to:

  • Use Skype on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and Pocket PC
  • Maximize Savings
  • Set up a SkypeServer
  • Put Skype shortcuts on the desktop
  • Manage security
  • Avoid Skype spammers
  • Find alternatives to 911 and 411 service
  • More experienced Skypers can learn to:

  • Configure, tweak, and customize Skype
  • Integrate Skype into web pages
  • Write scripts to automate Skype
  • Use chat, voicemail, instant messaging, file transfer, conferencing, and video
  • Solve performance and quality problems
  • Replace your home phone system with Skype
  • For Andrew Sheppard, this book was born from his rebellion against the traditional phone system with its ever-increasing fixed charges and taxes. By changing his home phone system to Skype, he cut his phone bill by 82%, and discovered how Skype can do things no regular phone system can do. Educated in astrophysics and astronomical technology and equipped with an MBA, he has worked as a scientific researcher, software developer, and "rocket scientist" for financial companies in London, New York, and Tokyo. He currently publishes two online electronic magazines: Elpis's Skype Power User Magazine and Elpis's Skype API Developer Magazine. Intellectual and practical, his motto is "Knowledge + Tools = Empowerment."

    If you want to eliminate your land line, make free calls to friends all over the world, pick up calls when you're not home, or many other fun and useful things, Skype is for you, and Skype Hacks will give you all the tips and tools you need for setting up a far more advanced and rewarding phone service.

    Additional Resources:

    Skype Hacks
    Andrew Sheppard
    ISBN: 0-596-10189-9, 321 pages, $24.95 US
    order@oreilly.com
    1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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