Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alternatives to personalise Skype shop

Instead of buying pictures and ringtones from the Skype shop, you can download free pictures and ringtones from the web, or you can make your own. The latter option is the ultimate in personalization!
Here are some suggestions for personalizing your Skype softphone:

􀁕 Free pictures and ringtones: Enter “Free Skype (pictures OR sounds OR ringtones)” into any search engine and you are sure to get a lot of useful hits. But to get you started, I’m going to suggest a few websites. For free Skype-compatible pictures and ringtones try: www.themeskype.com, gallery.mobile9.com/c/wavringtones/ 1, and www.voipfaq.net.

􀁕 Make your own pictures: You can make your own picture for use with Skype using any application that can make, or convert, pictures to .png, .jpg, or .bmp formats. Perhaps the simplest way to do this is to use Microsoft Paint, which comes bundled with your Windows operating system (Start: All Programs: Accessories: Paint). In Paint, go to Image: Attributes, and in the popup window that appears select Pixels under Units, set both the width and height of your image to 96, and then click the OK button. Use the drawing tools of Paint to create the picture you want. When you’re satisfied with the result, go to Paint: File: Save As … and in the window that appears, navigate to My Documents\My Skype Pictures. From the Save as type pull-down menu, select PNG, and type a file name for your picture. Click the Save button and your picture will be added to those already available for use by Skype. To use the picture you created in your Skype profile, follow the instructions that come later in this chapter for adding a picture to your online profile.

􀁕 Make your own sounds: Sounds and ringtones for Skype are small .wav files. Any application that can generate mono .wav files can be used to create a custom sound or ringtone for use with Skype. Perhaps the easiest way for Windows users to create such sounds is to use the Sound Recorder program that is bundled with Windows (Start: All Programs: Accessories: Entertainment: Sound Recorder). Using Sound Recorder you can record sounds you make through your microphone and even mix them with sounds from other .wav files you have on disk (Sound Recorder:Edit: Mix With File …). Sound Recorder even comes with some very basic tools for modifying sounds, such as Add Echo and Reverse, available from the Effects menu. Once you’re happy with the sound you have made, which should be 30 seconds or less in length, go to Sound Recorder: Save As … and in the window that pops up, navigate to My Documents\My Skype Content. If the format for the file you are about to save isn’t some flavor of mono, click on the Change … button and make it so. Enter a file name for your sound, and then click on the Save button. This will make your new sound available to Skype.

Personalise skype shop

You can buy pictures and ringtones from the Personalise Skype shop at http://personal.skype.com. Pictures and ringtones cost $1.20 (1 ) apiece. Note that before you can buy pictures or ringtones from the Personalise Skype shop, you must have some Skype credits.
To buy a Skype picture, go to http://personal.skype.com. This displays a page featuring pictures and ringtones. Click on the Pictures link that appears on the left side of the page. This displays pictures grouped by category. Click on the name of any picture to see that picture, or click on one of the categories to see all pictures for that category. To purchase a picture displayed in a preview page, click on the Buy now link. This takes you to the Skype sign in page, where you must enter your Skype name and password to proceed. Follow the instructions to purchase and download the picture.
Once you have successfully downloaded the picture, a My Pictures window will pop up. Double-click on your newly purchased picture and it will be added to your Skype profile. To buy a Skype sound or ringtone, return to http://personal.skype. com. This once again displays the pictures and ringtones page. Click on the Ringtones or Ministry of Sound links on the left side of the page. This displays some popular ringtones, and also shows categories (such as Classics, Swing, Chill Out and so on) for ringtones. Pick a ringtone, and then click on the listen button to listen to it, or click on a category name to display all the sounds in that category. Once you have found and listened to a sound you want to buy, click on the Buy now button. This will take you to the sign in page for Skype; enter your Skype name and password, then click on the Sign me in button. On the next web page, put a check mark in the box accepting the terms and conditions of your purchase, then click on the Confirm purchase button. Follow the instructions to download, and your new sound will be added to the My Sound Library list in the Sounds page of your Skype Options window, which should open automatically when your download is complete, as shown in the next figure. You are now free to use your new ringtone sound to signal one or more of Skype’s many events, including incoming calls.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Adding pictures and avatar in Skype

Adding pictures or avatars to your Skype profile gives you a visible online persona (go to Skype: File: Edit My Profile …, and in the window that opens, click on the Change … button). It is the primary means by which you are seen and recognized by others in the Skype online community. Because your Skype picture can be any image, you are free to let your imagination—and ego—run wild!
Skype also allows you to personalize your interaction with the Skype softphone by associating different sounds with different events (go to Skype: Tools: Options …, and in the window that opens, click on the category Sounds). Skype comes with a wide variety of sounds and ringtones but you can also add your own. You can download sounds and ringtones from the Internet or you can create your own.

Using mood message in Skype

A mood message is any short message that people who have you in their contacts list can see. Even though it’s called a mood message, the message doesn’t have to convey your mood. To set your mood message, click on your name in the notification bar of the Skype softphone and enter a short message in the field opposite your picture,

How to Make an Interesting Skype Name?

You can decorate your online profile name to make it stand out from other names in a contact list. You can even exert some control over where you appear in those lists: toward the top, or toward the bottom. To decorate the name others will see for you in their contacts lists (unless, of course, they manually rename your entry in their lists, see Chapter 10), open a word processor such as Microsoft Word. In the word processor, using the keyboard and the symbol box (Insert:
Symbol …), construct a name. Remember that, in addition to the letters A through Z and numbers, you can incorporate punctuation marks and nonstandard characters, as shown in the following figure.
Once you’ve created a name, copy it to the clipboard (for example, in Microsoft Word, use the keyboard to type Ctrl+A followed by Ctrl+C; that is, hold down the Control key and press A then C). Next, open your Skype profile by going to Skype: File: Edit My Profile … and paste your decorated name into the field labeled Full Name (click on the field and hit the Shift+Ins keys). Then click on the Update button.
Congratulations, you now have a name that stands out from the crowd in the contact lists of other Skype users, as shown in the following figure. Note that not all nonstandard characters will work when pasted into the Full Name of your profile, so you’ll have to experiment a little. Also, bear in mind that decorated names that begin with any of these characters ! “ # $ % & ‘ ( ) * + ,—. / will appear at the top of a contact list, even before names that begin with a digit. Alternatively, a decorated name that begins with a nonstandard character, such as one of these, 􀀸 􀀿 􀀾 § £, will appear at or near the bottom of someone’s contact list.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Archiving Skype Contacts

Your contacts list is stored on the Skype network. However, for peace of mind, you might want to create a backup archive of all your contacts to store on your PC. Skype archives your contacts list in vCard format, and this is also a good way to export your contacts to another application, many of which can import contacts in vCard format.
To backup your contacts list, go to
Skype>Tools>Archive Contacts>Backup Contacts to File …, and in the window that opens, choose a location and filename under which to store your contacts list and click on the Save button.
To restore deleted contacts, go to Skype>Tools> Archive Contacts>Restore Contacts from File …,
and in the window that opens, navigate to the file in which you stored your contacts list and click on the Open button.

Sharing Your Skype Contacts

You can share selected contacts from your contacts list by sending them to others. This is a nice way to build a community with common interests; for example, a club, family, or work group. You can use either of two methods to send your contacts list, or a subset of it, to other Skype users:
  • You can go to Skype: Contacts: Send Contacts …, which displays a window in which you can form a list of your contacts to send to a specified list of Skype recipients (a comma-separated list of Skype user names).
  • You can selectively choose multiple entries in your contacts list by left-clicking on them while holding down the control key on your keyboard, and then right-clicking on one of the highlighted entries. From the popup menu that appears, choose Send Contacts …, which displays the same window as before, but with the Send contacts to field filled in with a comma- (or semicolon-) separated list of the names you selected, as shown in the following figure.
After you’ve created a list of contacts, click on the Send button. Each recipient of your contacts list will then be asked, via a window that lists the contacts you are sending, whether he or she wants to accept the contacts and add them to his or her contact list. Recipients can choose to accept the whole list or just specific users in the list.