If you love Skype but hate the fact that it isn't open and standards-based, you'll be right at home with Gizmo.
Gizmo Project, sponsored by SIPphone Inc. (http://www.sipphone.com/), seeks to create a free, peer-to-peer softphone with instant messaging à la Skype, but without the proprietary hindrances of Skype. In this regard, Gizmo does an excellent job. Its features are the same on Mac, Windows, and Linux, too—which means no more waiting two months for Windows only features to show up in the Mac and Linux clients, something Skype users are accustomed to. Another cool plus that Gizmo brings to the table is free voicemail, something Skype has yet to offer.
To get started with Gizmo, hook up your headset and microphone, and download and install the client for your platform from http://www.gizmoproject.com/. Launch the Gizmo app, and register for your Gizmo name from the login screen. This name is both your login ID and the name that other Gizmo callers will use to call you. Once you're logged in, set up your user profile, as in Figure 2-3.
Figure 2-3. Gizmo's profile dialog
Don't forget to check the "List my profile in the White Pages for public searches" checkbox if you'd like to hear from other Gizmo users. Otherwise, they won't be able to find you when searching Gizmo Project's central user database. If you'd like to search for some buddies ...