Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ekiga DOES work!!

Wonk wonk wonk. Can you hear me? Wonk wonk wonk. R2? Is that you? Can you hear me now?

Giggles from my wife across the room. Strange looks from my daughter. Welcome to the wonderful world of Geekdom.

For a long time now, off and on; more off, I have been playing with Ekiga for sip Internet calls. It has been terrible. The audio quality has been inaudible.

It all started when I took my wife to the Berlin Mart in Berlin, NJ. She loves marting, and I was passing time in one of the mart stores and noticed the Auvi usb Skype Phone selling for $9.99.

Couldn't pass that up.

Get home, set up Ekiga, plug in the phone and find a victim. See the first two paragraphs of this post; repeat the same for 30 minutes.

Being the hard headed techno fool that I am, I can't let it die there, or admit that new technology can be flawed, so on I push to make this work. Hmm, through and Ekiga you can purchase time to use your sip phone to call landline phones.

Ahh, that must be the catch. That will make it work better. Get that setup, call my answering machine, my giggling wife across the room, and my own cell phone. That sounds pretty good. Sure it does. :-/

A couple of months go by. Joe Terranova is all bragging about his asterisk system. Not to be out-geeked I pull the usb phone out of the laptop case and ask Joe to hit me up at See first two paragraphs of this blog; repeat for thirty minutes.

Do I need another phone solution? No.

Fast forward to today. Kejava is working on his webcam. Don't know how it happens, don't want or need a webcam solution. I do own 3 webcam devices though. Cheap ones, the dollar store types (at least 2 of them). In the spirit of advocacy, and believing, or being made to believe, that newcomers may want webcams to work in Ubuntu, I begin a new endeavour. Finally, I realize that the my Jazz Digi-Stix does work in Ubuntu. It just has a bad proprietary usb cable. (That's why I have a third, not dollar store type of webcam. My son purchased that one when the cable broke on the Jazz.) At least now I figured out why he bought that webcam, he would never buy anything when he could use my stuff.

Tell Kejava that the webcam is working and the next thing I know, I am getting a sip call on Ekiga from Kejava. After fiddling with the cable and inaudible convo, and much irc chat typing of said non-conversation, Kejava and I have a brief dual video conference call!! Success. Sort of. The sound was still horrible.

Since both of us are relentless geeks, we continued; my video froze, but still, with a usb phone to my ear, typing into irc what I was saying, watching Kejava do the same, we continued this high tech conversation,

Then suddenly, Kejava's sound changed; it sounded normal. "Hey, I turned off 'echo cancellation, you try."

Voila. To make Ekiga work, I mean really work. No more 'wonk, wonk, wonk.'

in the audio codec section of preferences.

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