Susan the birthday card competition winner
I asked Susan who won our third birthday card competition a few questions about how she came in contact with Skype and what is she up to these days and what we can improve in Skype for her.
A few words about you. Who are you, where do you come from, what do you do?
I’m from the US (Virginia). Lived there for 30 years and worked in the electronic data security industry for the last seven. Then I decided I needed a change. I wanted to experience another culture – to broaden my horizons – so I left the States and went half way around the world to teach English in South Korea. I currently live in Seoul. I have been here for one year and love it. I am extending my stay for another year.
]]>How did you first come in contact with Skype?
Before embarking on my journey a friend mentioned this thing called “skype” and offered it as a solution for keeping in touch with friends and family while living abroad. I liked the idea right away because of its convenience, ease of use, and of course, because it’s free. After spreading the word to my family and helping them get setup and running a few skype call test runs using my laptop and their home computer, my family and I were set to have open and often communications from Land of the Morning Calm.
How do you use Skype daily? For work, family, friends…?
Day one in Korea was marked with a skype call from the youth hostel (using my laptop and a found wireless network that happened to be ‘open’) to family back home. We were all amazed and grateful. Nowadays, my sister skypes me anytime she sees that I’m online – even though were are thousands of miles away, we keep in touch more (with skype) than we ever did before. And I skype my mom to keep her updated on my life and health. On special occasions I surprise them by calling their landline/mobile using my skype-out.
Additionally, I use my skype-out to make local calls here in Seoul (for example, calls to the office, to friends, for pizza) because the skype-out rate is far cheaper than my cell phone rate which is approximately .50 cents USD / min! I don’t have a local landline because I don’t need it. I just pay for internet connectivity and skype takes care of the rest of my communication needs.
As a side note: I want to send SMS to friends here in Seoul (+82 number) but I get a “Number out of reach” error. I assume that I cannot “verify my mobile number” (+82 number) either for the same reason. SMS to a US mobile worked successfully. Anyway, I still love skype because i can talk to my family for free from the other side of the globe! That’s just power.
What feature do you like/use most in Skype? Is there any area where Skype could improve for you?
(1) aesthetically speaking, i love the addition of the flag icons.
(2) the feature i like the best is that with SMS messages the per minutes rate is displayed so the user knows beforehand how much it will cost to send the message. i would like to see that same feature for calling landline/mobile phones. In those cases, the rate is displayed, but not until after the start of the call. would be cool to be able to see how much the per min. rate is for a skype-out call, prior to making the call.
(3) presently, the skype-out contacts are arranged in alpha order. i’d prefer them to be in popularity order, most frequently used up at the top, least frequently used, at the bottom.
(4) i’d like the skype application to “remember” upon exiting which was the last skype-out or skype name called so that upon re-starting, the last contact called is highlighted/in focus.
(5) it would be cool if the left mouse click on the skype system tray icon automatically opened the skype window. currently the left click produces the same result as a right click, that is, a menu appears with “change status, open skype, quit”. Left click could automatically open skype; right click can remain the same.
(6) i’d like to be able to “verify my mobile number” so that when i SMS friends in the US, they will see the originating mobile number.
Next Skype adventure: trying out the video.