Sunday, February 24, 2008

Skype, Headsets, and Bluetooth

I'm going to be spending some time away from home without Shelley so I thought I should set up Skype so we could talk. It was no problem to download and install the software on my MacBook and on Shelley's Windows XP PC.

I bought a USB headset for the PC but I wanted something smaller for the MacBook and since it has Bluetooth I figured I could get a Bluetooth headset. I couldn't find a computer specific bluetooth headset, only cell phone ones. But would they work with the Mac? I did some research on the web and read about lots of problems, but mostly old issues that were supposedly fixed with Leopard. I didn't even bother trying to ask a clerk at Staples which bluetooth headsets worked with Skype on OS X on a MacBook. Although I guess if you were lucky you might get some kid who was an expert on the issue.

I chose a Bluetrek Tattoo headset, more or less at random. I charged it up, and managed to pair it with the MacBook, but I couldn't get any sound in or out of it. I couldn't even tell if it was "on" or not. It was supposed to have a green light when it was switched on but I got no lights. I played around for a while but it just seemed to be dead. I took it back and picked a Motorola H800, again for no particular reason. This time it worked fine, no problems. I still don't know if the Tattoo is incompatible, or if I just got a dud.

So now I have Skype working. The sound quality of the "echo" test call wasn't great but it says it's going to the UK so that might be part of the reason.

Of course, what I paid for the two headsets would have paid for more than enough regular long distance phone calls, but what would be the fun in that!

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