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Skype v Gizmo August 9, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in computers.

I’ve used Skype since it started. It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac so I can talk to my students and my family with ease. But CERN and Marseille (and I think Fermilab, but I’m not sure) all forbid its use. The primary reason is a function of how Skype works: it is a large point-to-point sharing network. If you are on a high speed node anyone’s traffic may flow through your node. This is a big no-no at these large government labs.

Asking around I’ve heard Gizmo mentioned several times. How does it do? Even if I switch, I’ll probably keep using Skype because it does video. And what is this SIP thing? I’ve somehow missed it. Will I see any appreciable benefits from using it instead of Skype (I mean actual benefits — I’m aware it is an open standard vs Skype’s).


1. chip - August 9, 2007

…thought I commented. Many of us here use Gizmo because, while it’s peer to peer, it’s not like Skype with this supernode business (isn’t this like telephone-napster?) and so CERN-friendly. For straight European calls to US to land/mobile phones, it works just great.

I doubt that it has “actual” benefits, frankly. Although, I think you can jabber-IM, I still use my regular tools for that. There seem to be religious arguments about open-source or not…haven’t followed that. While SIP is open standard, I think that Gizmo project is not necessarily open source.

Anyhow, 10 bucks buys a lot of free across-the-pond telephoning, although you’ll wait literally days for credit card verification. So, one can use a whole flock of voip phone services. Given the large expense of calling home every night from Europe in the good old days, this is great.

I still rely on ecs and X-meeting for video which I’ve happily used in meetings from dad’s house, airports, home, and office, wireless and wired.

2. Alejandro Rivero - August 9, 2007

Gizmo Call In service seems to be more evolved, I still keep a Cambridge phone number which is actually a Gizmo input.
Also, it seems that it is implemented in some exotic devices, such as Nokia 770.

3. gordonwatts - August 10, 2007

Thanks Chip & Alejandro.

Yes — I also have a SkypeIn number back in Seattle so that people can call me there and will get my Skype. This is a very nice feature. I will miss the video if I switch, however.

I’ll have to look at x-meeting. I’ve not heard of it before. Ah, that looks like a mac-only solution. Oh well.🙂

4. chip - August 10, 2007

oh…sorry. nothing intended by that! It’s more a statement about ecs… I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t use it from DØ, US ATLAS and CMS.

5. gordonwatts - August 10, 2007

Sorry — Chip — I don’t understand. I didn’t take offense at anything you wrote. And what is it, exactly you wish everyone would use ECS? I agree!

I found references to putting SIP directly into ECS — which would make Gizmo calls to ECS conferencing free (if I understand Gizmo right). But I don’t know if they’ve actually implemented it yet. Asking…

6. chip - August 11, 2007

oh, I’m sorry…I left the wrong impression. I drank the Cupertino cool aid so long ago, that I’m sometimes sorta smug about it and when I referred to X-meeting as if everyone knew it – when I know full well that you’re not a mac guy – I felt I should apologize when I made you have to go look for it.

7. gordonwatts - August 13, 2007

No problems. I use web search engines for my day job…

8. Karoly - August 23, 2007

Have you ever tried the OpenWengo/Wengo?
I dont know the technical details how does it work, but for look and for functionality it is very close to the skype … and has video transmission featiure, too …
And more: you can connect to not only the openwengo-world, but to SIP providers, too …

I am telling it without making any heavy test on it … and even it was long time ago … Then I had some problem with the sound quality, but I am sure they corrected it …

9. gordonwatts - August 23, 2007

Thanks! I’ll take a look at that as well! When I finally get internet at my appartement again!

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