Telephonic Ubuntu - Multimedia - Ubuntu Linux For Dummies (2007)

Ubuntu Linux For Dummies (2007)

Part IV: Multimedia

In this part . . .

Part IV focuses on using Ubuntu as a communication platform and multimedia center.

You can use Ubuntu as a telephone an instant messenger as described in chapters 17 and 18. Chapter 19 describes how to use Ubuntu to remotely manage Windows computers. We move on the playing music, burning music CDs and listening to Internet radio in chapter 20. Finally, chapter 21 shows how to use and manipulate graphic images.

Part IV: Multimedia

In this part . . .

Part IV focuses on using Ubuntu as a communication platform and multimedia center.

You can use Ubuntu as a telephone an instant messenger as described in chapters 17 and 18. Chapter 19 describes how to use Ubuntu to remotely manage Windows computers. We move on the playing music, burning music CDs and listening to Internet radio in chapter 20. Finally, chapter 21 shows how to use and manipulate graphic images.

Chapter 17. Telephonic Ubuntu

In This Chapter

· Setting up an Ekiga account and client

· Finding phone numbers and determining availability

· Calling a PC and chatting

· Establishing a PC-to-phone account

The Internet connects us all. Over the last decade, we've learned to use the Internet to conduct business, gather and disseminate information via the Web, and communicate directly using e-mail and instant messaging.

The next step is to start using the Internet to communicate. Ubuntu provides just such a tool, called Ekiga. Ekiga gives you the ability to talk, text message, and conduct video conferences with other people over the Internet.

Ekiga used to be called GnomeMeeting.

This chapter shows how to configure and use Ekiga to talk with other Ekiga clients. You also learn how to use Ekiga to talk to people with hard-wired telephones and cellphones.

Ekiga video conferencing is beyond the scope of this book.

Configuring Ekiga

Ekiga is an Internet-based service that requires you to

· Sign up for an Ekiga account on the Internet.

· Set up the Ekiga client (software) on your Ubuntu computer.

Introducing Ekiga

Ubuntu includes Ekiga on its live DVD (or CD-ROM) and as part of its permanent installation. Ekiga is an application that communicates with other Ekiga clients on other computers. Ekiga is also part of an Internet-based system that you subscribe to and use to find, contact, and communicate with other Ekiga users.

Ekiga is an open source product that provides two-way voice and video communications over networks. (The technical terms for these capabilities are IP telephony and video conferencing.) By using industry-standard protocols, Ekiga is able to communicate with other applications like Microsoft's NetMeeting. Ekiga uses the following industry-standard protocols:

· SIP: SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP lets you initiate, use, and stop two-way voice, video, and instant messaging sessions. SIP has been in use since late 2000.

· H.323: This protocol is older than SIP and was originally designed to transmit multimedia over private networks. H.323 now encompasses voice over IP (voice over the Internet).

Ekiga provides many capabilities to set up and enhance your Internet communications:

· PC-to-PC: Communicates from one computer to another using voice and video.

· PC-to-phone: Connects with land lines and cellphones.

· Autoanswer: Answers incoming calls without you being present.

· Call forward: Forwards calls to another Ekiga SIP address.

· Address book: Keeps your addresses and contacts.

· Instant messaging: Allows text messaging in a give-and-take format.

· Call history: Records who's called you and when.

This chapter shows the process of using Ekiga from beginning to end:

1. Register with Ekiga PC-to-PC service.

2. Confirm your registration.

3. Configure the Ekiga client application on your Ubuntu computer.

4. Use the Ekiga client to communicate with other Ekiga users.

The equipment you need for Ekiga depends on the kind of messages you want to use:

· Of course, you need an Ubuntu (or other Linux) computer with an Internet connection.

· Voice calls require a microphone on the computer's audio input port and speakers on the computer's audio output port. (You can buy headsets for less than $20.)

Any Internet connection should work for voice, including dialup modems.

· Video requires a webcam (USB video camera).

You should also have high-speed Internet service (such as DSL or cable) if you're using video.

Registering your Ekiga.net account

To communicate with other Ekiga users, you need to register with Ekiga network service on the Internet. The following steps register and confirm your free Ekiga account:

1. Open Firefox and browse to the www.gnomemeeting.org home page.

Firefox displays the GnomeMeeting/Ekiga home page.

2. Click the SIP Address (the red telephone) icon.

Your browser shows the www.ekiga.net Web page.

3. Click the Subscribe link.

The next Web page, shown in Figure 17-1 , asks you for registration information.

Figure 17-1: The Ekiga.net registration page.

· Provide the following information to complete your registration:

· Type your name and e-mail address in the appropriate text boxes.

This is the e-mail account you'll use to confirm your registration in Step 7.

· Choose your time zone from the drop-down menu.

· Type your username and password in the appropriate text boxes.

You need your username and password when you log in to Ekiga.

· Read and accept the terms and conditions by selecting the I Accept check box.

· Click the Register button.

Ekiga.net shows a Thank You notice and informs you that you'll receive a confirmation e-mail message.

· In your e-mail account, open the message from Damien Sandras at dsandras@ekiga.net.

This is your confirmation e-mail.

· Find this section in the confirmation e-mail and click the link address (your address may be slightly different):

To finalize your registration please check the following URL within 24 hours:

http://www.ekiga.net/serweb/user/reg/confirmation.php?nr=5892b64af9257d7d2cbc07455f9

If Ekiga doesn't congratulate you when you click the link, copy and paste the confirmation link URL into Firefox and go to that address.

When your registration is successfully completed, your Ekiga registration browser window shows a congratulations notice, informing you that your registration has been completed.

If you want to call real telephones through Ekiga, you also need to register for a PC-to-phone account. This service isn't free, but it's cheaper than traditional telephone service. The end of this chapter shows you how.

Configuring the Ekiga client

Ubuntu automatically installs the client (software) for Ekiga. You configure the Ekiga client application on your Ubuntu system to use your system and your account information.

If you're running Ubuntu directly from a CD-ROM or DVD (live Ubuntu), your Ekiga configuration will not be saved permanently on your PC.

The following steps tell Ekiga your name, your Ekiga account username and password, plus information about your Internet connection and computer:

1. Choose ApplicationsInternetEkiga Softphone from the GNOME menu bar.

The First Time Configuration Assistant dialog opens.

2. Click the Forward button.

By default, the wizard displays the first name and surname (last name) you will use when connecting to other Ekiga clients.

If you want to use a different name when connecting to other Ekiga clients, change the name in the text box. (You must have a surname to continue.)

3. Click the Forward button.

4. Type your username and password in the appropriate text boxes.

5. Click the I Do Not Want to Sign Up for the Ekiga.net Free Service check box.

This step assumes you've already registered with Ekiga, as shown previously in this chapter.

6. Click the Forward button.

The next dialog wants to know what Internet connection you're using.

7. From the Connection Type drop-down menu, select the type of Internet connection you use.

The default is 56K Modem. I use an Internet cable modem, so I select the xDSL/Cable option, as shown in Figure 17-1 .

Figure 17-1: Selecting the xDSL/Cable Internet connection option.

· Click the Forward button.

Ekiga detects whether your Internet connection uses network address translation (NAT) and opens a dialog displaying the results. Ekiga asks if you want to use the STUN (Simple Traversal of User Datagram Protocol Through Network Address Translators — yikes, that's the longest acronym yet!) option. NAT effectively acts as a firewall and prevents Ekiga from working unless you make use of STUN.

· Click the Yes button.

The Detection of Your NAT Type is Finished dialog closes, and control returns to the Ekiga configuration wizard.

· Click the Forward button.

Ekiga detects your audio system and displays the result.

· Click the Forward button.

Ekiga configures your audio input.

· Click the Test Settings button and speak into the microphone as directed.

· Click the Forward button.

Ekiga displays a Please Choose Your Video Manager drop-down menu, from which you can specify the video manager to use.

The default video manager selection (V4L) should suffice.

· Click the Forward button.

The Video Devices - Page 9/10 dialog appears.

· Click the Forward button.

The dialog displays the Configuration Complete - Page 10/10 message.

· Click the Apply button.

The Ekiga application window opens, as shown in Figure 17-1 .

Figure 17-1: The Ekiga application is ready to go.

Network address translation

Your Ubuntu computer, private network, and the Internet use the Internet Protocol (IP) to communicate. Networked devices and computers use IP addresses to find each other. IP addresses are roughly equivalent to the street addresses that we humans use to locate each other. IP addresses are represented by four sets of numbers separated by dots; for instance, 192.168.1.1 or 208.215.179.146. The specific network services are identified by IP port numbers; for instance, Web servers use port 80. IP packets contain the information that you're sending or receiving. For instance, the contents of an after page or e-mail message.

When you communicate with another machine on your private network or the Internet, your computer sends IP packets to that machine. Each IP packet consists of a source IP address (your computer), a source IP port, plus a destination IP address and port.

Most DSL and cable modems, and many LAN routers, use network address translation (NAT) when connecting to the Internet. NAT translates the originating device's IP address to the IP address of the modem or router. The IP address of outgoing packets is translated by the modem or router, and the corresponding return traffic is restored on the way back; IP ports are translated, too.

NAT makes all the networked devices on your private network appear as a single IP address to the outside world. This lets you use any unregistered IP addresses on your private network.

Using NAT prevents new, incoming connections because only the return traffic from connections originating from inside the private network are allowed.

Here's a simple example. Let's say your Ubuntu workstation is assigned the IP address of 192.168.1.100 on your private LAN, and your Internet access device (dialup modem, cable modem, DSL modem, or LAN router) uses the internal IP address of 192.168.1.1. Let's also assume that your modem or router has an external, Internet facing IP address of 10.0.0.25.

Now when you browse the Web, for instance to www.wiley.com, your Ubuntu computer sends IP packets to the modem or router. The modem or router uses NAT to change your Ubuntu computer's source IP address of 192.168.1.100 to 10.0.0.25; the destination IP address — www.wiley.com — remains unchanged. When www.wiley.com receives the packets, it processes them and sends IP packets containing the after page information back to 10.0.0.25. Your modem or router receives the packets from www.wiley.com and translates them to your Ubuntu computer at 192.168.1.100. NAT enables you to use the Internet.

You can change any settings that you define in this section by choosing EditConfiguration Druid from the Ekiga application window. Selecting the Configuration Druid opens the Ekiga configuration wizard.

After you configure Ekiga, you should test it. Follow these steps:

1. Click the Ekiga window shown in Figure 17-1 .

If you've already closed the window, you can open it by selecting InternetEkiga Softphone from the GNOME Applications menu.

2. Type 500@ekiga.net after sip: in the text box.

The address in the text box should be sip:500@ekiga.net.

3. Click the Connect button to the right of the text box.

Ekiga connects to the test address, and you hear a voice that informs you of the test connection.

4. Speak into your microphone.

You hear your voice after a short delay, and you're ready to use Ekiga.

Chapter 17. Telephonic Ubuntu

In This Chapter

· Setting up an Ekiga account and client

· Finding phone numbers and determining availability

· Calling a PC and chatting

· Establishing a PC-to-phone account

The Internet connects us all. Over the last decade, we've learned to use the Internet to conduct business, gather and disseminate information via the Web, and communicate directly using e-mail and instant messaging.

The next step is to start using the Internet to communicate. Ubuntu provides just such a tool, called Ekiga. Ekiga gives you the ability to talk, text message, and conduct video conferences with other people over the Internet.

Ekiga used to be called GnomeMeeting.

This chapter shows how to configure and use Ekiga to talk with other Ekiga clients. You also learn how to use Ekiga to talk to people with hard-wired telephones and cellphones.

Ekiga video conferencing is beyond the scope of this book.

Configuring Ekiga

Ekiga is an Internet-based service that requires you to

· Sign up for an Ekiga account on the Internet.

· Set up the Ekiga client (software) on your Ubuntu computer.

Introducing Ekiga

Ubuntu includes Ekiga on its live DVD (or CD-ROM) and as part of its permanent installation. Ekiga is an application that communicates with other Ekiga clients on other computers. Ekiga is also part of an Internet-based system that you subscribe to and use to find, contact, and communicate with other Ekiga users.

Ekiga is an open source product that provides two-way voice and video communications over networks. (The technical terms for these capabilities are IP telephony and video conferencing.) By using industry-standard protocols, Ekiga is able to communicate with other applications like Microsoft's NetMeeting. Ekiga uses the following industry-standard protocols:

· SIP: SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. SIP lets you initiate, use, and stop two-way voice, video, and instant messaging sessions. SIP has been in use since late 2000.

· H.323: This protocol is older than SIP and was originally designed to transmit multimedia over private networks. H.323 now encompasses voice over IP (voice over the Internet).

Ekiga provides many capabilities to set up and enhance your Internet communications:

· PC-to-PC: Communicates from one computer to another using voice and video.

· PC-to-phone: Connects with land lines and cellphones.

· Autoanswer: Answers incoming calls without you being present.

· Call forward: Forwards calls to another Ekiga SIP address.

· Address book: Keeps your addresses and contacts.

· Instant messaging: Allows text messaging in a give-and-take format.

· Call history: Records who's called you and when.

This chapter shows the process of using Ekiga from beginning to end:

1. Register with Ekiga PC-to-PC service.

2. Confirm your registration.

3. Configure the Ekiga client application on your Ubuntu computer.

4. Use the Ekiga client to communicate with other Ekiga users.

The equipment you need for Ekiga depends on the kind of messages you want to use:

· Of course, you need an Ubuntu (or other Linux) computer with an Internet connection.

· Voice calls require a microphone on the computer's audio input port and speakers on the computer's audio output port. (You can buy headsets for less than $20.)

Any Internet connection should work for voice, including dialup modems.

· Video requires a webcam (USB video camera).

You should also have high-speed Internet service (such as DSL or cable) if you're using video.

Registering your Ekiga.net account

To communicate with other Ekiga users, you need to register with Ekiga network service on the Internet. The following steps register and confirm your free Ekiga account:

1. Open Firefox and browse to the www.gnomemeeting.org home page.

Firefox displays the GnomeMeeting/Ekiga home page.

2. Click the SIP Address (the red telephone) icon.

Your browser shows the www.ekiga.net Web page.

3. Click the Subscribe link.

The next Web page, shown in Figure 17-1 , asks you for registration information.

Figure 17-1: The Ekiga.net registration page.

· Provide the following information to complete your registration:

· Type your name and e-mail address in the appropriate text boxes.

This is the e-mail account you'll use to confirm your registration in Step 7.

· Choose your time zone from the drop-down menu.

· Type your username and password in the appropriate text boxes.

You need your username and password when you log in to Ekiga.

· Read and accept the terms and conditions by selecting the I Accept check box.

· Click the Register button.

Ekiga.net shows a Thank You notice and informs you that you'll receive a confirmation e-mail message.

· In your e-mail account, open the message from Damien Sandras at dsandras@ekiga.net.

This is your confirmation e-mail.

· Find this section in the confirmation e-mail and click the link address (your address may be slightly different):

To finalize your registration please check the following URL within 24 hours:

http://www.ekiga.net/serweb/user/reg/confirmation.php?nr=5892b64af9257d7d2cbc07455f9

If Ekiga doesn't congratulate you when you click the link, copy and paste the confirmation link URL into Firefox and go to that address.

When your registration is successfully completed, your Ekiga registration browser window shows a congratulations notice, informing you that your registration has been completed.

If you want to call real telephones through Ekiga, you also need to register for a PC-to-phone account. This service isn't free, but it's cheaper than traditional telephone service. The end of this chapter shows you how.

Configuring the Ekiga client

Ubuntu automatically installs the client (software) for Ekiga. You configure the Ekiga client application on your Ubuntu system to use your system and your account information.

If you're running Ubuntu directly from a CD-ROM or DVD (live Ubuntu), your Ekiga configuration will not be saved permanently on your PC.

The following steps tell Ekiga your name, your Ekiga account username and password, plus information about your Internet connection and computer:

1. Choose ApplicationsInternetEkiga Softphone from the GNOME menu bar.

The First Time Configuration Assistant dialog opens.

2. Click the Forward button.

By default, the wizard displays the first name and surname (last name) you will use when connecting to other Ekiga clients.

If you want to use a different name when connecting to other Ekiga clients, change the name in the text box. (You must have a surname to continue.)

3. Click the Forward button.

4. Type your username and password in the appropriate text boxes.

5. Click the I Do Not Want to Sign Up for the Ekiga.net Free Service check box.

This step assumes you've already registered with Ekiga, as shown previously in this chapter.

6. Click the Forward button.

The next dialog wants to know what Internet connection you're using.

7. From the Connection Type drop-down menu, select the type of Internet connection you use.

The default is 56K Modem. I use an Internet cable modem, so I select the xDSL/Cable option, as shown in Figure 17-1 .

Figure 17-1: Selecting the xDSL/Cable Internet connection option.

· Click the Forward button.

Ekiga detects whether your Internet connection uses network address translation (NAT) and opens a dialog displaying the results. Ekiga asks if you want to use the STUN (Simple Traversal of User Datagram Protocol Through Network Address Translators — yikes, that's the longest acronym yet!) option. NAT effectively acts as a firewall and prevents Ekiga from working unless you make use of STUN.

· Click the Yes button.

The Detection of Your NAT Type is Finished dialog closes, and control returns to the Ekiga configuration wizard.

· Click the Forward button.

Ekiga detects your audio system and displays the result.

· Click the Forward button.

Ekiga configures your audio input.

· Click the Test Settings button and speak into the microphone as directed.

· Click the Forward button.

Ekiga displays a Please Choose Your Video Manager drop-down menu, from which you can specify the video manager to use.

The default video manager selection (V4L) should suffice.

· Click the Forward button.

The Video Devices - Page 9/10 dialog appears.

· Click the Forward button.

The dialog displays the Configuration Complete - Page 10/10 message.

· Click the Apply button.

The Ekiga application window opens, as shown in Figure 17-1 .

Figure 17-1: The Ekiga application is ready to go.

Network address translation

Your Ubuntu computer, private network, and the Internet use the Internet Protocol (IP) to communicate. Networked devices and computers use IP addresses to find each other. IP addresses are roughly equivalent to the street addresses that we humans use to locate each other. IP addresses are represented by four sets of numbers separated by dots; for instance, 192.168.1.1 or 208.215.179.146. The specific network services are identified by IP port numbers; for instance, Web servers use port 80. IP packets contain the information that you're sending or receiving. For instance, the contents of an after page or e-mail message.

When you communicate with another machine on your private network or the Internet, your computer sends IP packets to that machine. Each IP packet consists of a source IP address (your computer), a source IP port, plus a destination IP address and port.

Most DSL and cable modems, and many LAN routers, use network address translation (NAT) when connecting to the Internet. NAT translates the originating device's IP address to the IP address of the modem or router. The IP address of outgoing packets is translated by the modem or router, and the corresponding return traffic is restored on the way back; IP ports are translated, too.

NAT makes all the networked devices on your private network appear as a single IP address to the outside world. This lets you use any unregistered IP addresses on your private network.

Using NAT prevents new, incoming connections because only the return traffic from connections originating from inside the private network are allowed.

Here's a simple example. Let's say your Ubuntu workstation is assigned the IP address of 192.168.1.100 on your private LAN, and your Internet access device (dialup modem, cable modem, DSL modem, or LAN router) uses the internal IP address of 192.168.1.1. Let's also assume that your modem or router has an external, Internet facing IP address of 10.0.0.25.

Now when you browse the Web, for instance to www.wiley.com, your Ubuntu computer sends IP packets to the modem or router. The modem or router uses NAT to change your Ubuntu computer's source IP address of 192.168.1.100 to 10.0.0.25; the destination IP address — www.wiley.com — remains unchanged. When www.wiley.com receives the packets, it processes them and sends IP packets containing the after page information back to 10.0.0.25. Your modem or router receives the packets from www.wiley.com and translates them to your Ubuntu computer at 192.168.1.100. NAT enables you to use the Internet.

You can change any settings that you define in this section by choosing EditConfiguration Druid from the Ekiga application window. Selecting the Configuration Druid opens the Ekiga configuration wizard.

After you configure Ekiga, you should test it. Follow these steps:

1. Click the Ekiga window shown in Figure 17-1 .

If you've already closed the window, you can open it by selecting InternetEkiga Softphone from the GNOME Applications menu.

2. Type 500@ekiga.net after sip: in the text box.

The address in the text box should be sip:500@ekiga.net.

3. Click the Connect button to the right of the text box.

Ekiga connects to the test address, and you hear a voice that informs you of the test connection.

4. Speak into your microphone.

You hear your voice after a short delay, and you're ready to use Ekiga.

Calling Other Ekiga Users

Using Ekiga is easy after you register and create an Ekiga user account and configure your Ekiga application: Just choose InternetEkiga Softphone from the GNOME Applications menu. The Ekiga window opens automatically.

· When you start Ekiga, it remains online until you explicitly stop it. You can send and receive messages at any time while Ekiga is running.

· To stop Ekiga and stop receiving any messages, just click the Call menu and select the Quit option.

Ekiga can run in the background when you aren't sending or receiving messages:

· Close the dialog but keep the application running with either of these options:

o Click the Call menu and choose the Close option.

o Click the Close Window button at the upper-right corner of the window.

The dialog will automatically open if an Ekiga user contacts you.

· If you want to either quit or use Ekiga, first reopen the window by clicking the Ekiga telephone icon in the upper GNOME menu panel.

Finding other users

An Ekiga user must be online before you can speak with him or her. Likewise, you must be online before another Ekiga user can speak with you.

Ekiga provides useful tools to remember other users and find online users.

Using the address book

Ekiga provides an address book you can use to find and record other Ekiga user's SIP addresses. You simply use the address book's search function to find the person's SIP address and then save the address. Once saved, you can use the address book to call the person at any time.

The following instructions use the address book to find and remember other Ekiga users, even if they aren't logged into the service. When you're using Ekiga, follow these steps to use the address book:

1. Click the Tools menu and select the Address Book option.

The Address Book dialog opens.

2. In the Address Book window, type part or all of the person's name you're searching for in the Name Contains text box.

3. Click the Find button.

The address book sends the name to Ekiga's white pages search engine and displays a list of all matching Ekiga subscribers.

4. Click the person's name and click the Contact menu — near the top-left of the Ekiga window — and choose the Add Contact to Address Book option.

The Edit the Contact information dialog opens.

5. Click the OK button.

The person's name, SIP address, and e-mail address are saved in the Local Contacts section of the Ekiga address book.

6. Click the Personal option in the Local Contacts section of the Ekiga window (the menu on the left side of the Ekiga window).

Ekiga displays the contact you just saved in the Address Book window.

You can call anyone who's listed in your address book. The section "Calling other Ekiga users" describes how to use the address book to call people.

Finding online users

The Ekiga Web page provides a service to determine whether another Ekiga user is currently available. Open a Firefox Web browser and follow these steps:

1. Type www.ekiga.net in the Firefox Location text box near the top, center of the window.

The Ekiga.net Userlogin window opens.

2. Type your Ekiga username and password and click the Login button.

Some of your user account information is displayed.

3. Click the Phone Book tab near the upper-left side of the window.

The next Web page displays input text boxes where you can input the Ekiga user's first name, last name, and SIP address.

4. Give Ekiga information to find the user you want.

You can search for the person you want to call by typing any combination of first name, last name, and SIP address.

5. Click the Find button.

Ekiga displays a list of all the Ekiga user's names and SIP addresses that match your search information.

6. Click the Add to Phonebook link next to the person you want to call.

The Ekiga Web page returns to the Phone Book tab and displays the user's name, SIP name, and online status.

PC-to-PC calling

Ekiga makes it very easy to talk to other Ekiga users over the Internet. The steps depend on whether you start the call.

The section "Using the address book" shows how to find Ekiga users and add them to your contact list.

Calling other Ekiga users

To call another Ekiga user, open the Ekiga window and follow these steps:

1. Click the Tools menu and select the Address Book option.

The Address Book dialog opens.

2. Click the Personal option under Local Contacts on the left side of the Ekiga window.

The personal contacts you saved in the "Using the address book" section are displayed in the main Ekiga window pane.

3. Select the Ekiga user you want to call.

There are two ways to select an Ekiga user:

o Double-click the user's entry in the Ekiga address book and select the Call Contact option.

o Type the user's Ekiga username next to the sip: prefix in the text box immediately below the menu bar and click the icon to the right of the text box.

Ekiga tries to connect to the other user. You can speak to the other Ekiga user if he accepts the call.

Receiving Ekiga calls

When you (or another active Ekiga user) receive an Ekiga call, the Ekiga client produces a ringing sound like a traditional telephone:

· To accept the call, click the button to the right of the text box.

The Ekiga client answers the call and you can speak.

· To end the call, click the button to the right of the text box.

You can configure Ekiga to automatically accept incoming calls. Open the Ekiga window and follow these steps:

1. Click the Call menu.

2. Choose the Auto Answer radio button.

Viewing your call history

Ekiga records all incoming, outgoing, and missed calls.

The call history function is easy to use when an Ekiga window is open:

1. Click the Tools menu and choose the Calls History option.

The Calls History window opens. You can view all the calls you've received from this window.

2. In the Calls History window, select the tab for the type of calls to list:

o Received Calls: All the incoming calls you've accepted.

This is the default.

o Placed Calls: All the outgoing calls you've made.

o Missed Calls: All the incoming calls you've missed or ignored.

To close the Calls History window, click the Close button.

Text messaging

Ekiga provides a very nice instant messaging system. You can easily carry on a text-based conversation using this system with Ekiga users who are running the Ekiga client.

If you'd rather use another message system, such as AOL or MSN, you can send messages with Gaim. Chapter 18 shows you how.

Opening a chat window

To start the Ekiga instant messaging service and begin messaging, open an Ekiga window and follow these steps:

1. From the Ekiga menu bar, choose ToolsChat Window.

The Chat Window, as shown in Figure 17-1 , opens.

Figure 17-1: The Chat Window.

· Type the Ekiga user's URL after the sip: prefix in the text box at the top of the window and click the Call button.

If you don't know the Ekiga user's URL, you can look it up in the Ekiga white pages phone book. See the "Using the address book" section for instructions.

After you connect, the Call button turns into the Hang Up button. Click the Hang Up button when you're finished text messaging.

Accepting an invitation

Anyone can text message you as long as your Ekiga client is set as Available; this is the default Ekiga state. Click the Ekiga Call menu and select the Available radio button if necessary to allow people to contact you.

When someone is trying to text message message you, Ekiga announces the contact with a quick, three tone (like a guitar) alert. You can join the exchange by clicking the Tools menu and selecting the Chat Window option. The Chat Window dialog opens and displays the other person's text message.

Sending and receiving messages

Type your message in the text box near the bottom of the window and click the Send button. Messages from the other user are displayed in the text box in the middle of the window.

To close the Ekiga Chat Window, click the Close Window icon in the upper- right corner of the window. (The icon looks like an X.) The Chat Window closes and you return to the Ekiga window.

When you're finished text messaging, click the Hang Up button.

Calling Real Telephones

You aren't limited to calling other Ekiga clients on their computers. Ekiga provides a service that enables you to call land-line telephones and cellular phones throughout the world. This isn't a free service, but it's less expensive than traditional telephone service.

The PC-to-phone option provides a wonderful opportunity to drop your plain old telephone service (POTS). I've just put my telephone on temporary hiatus as I wean myself from this expensive and, hopefully, unnecessary service.

The rest of this chapter shows how to set up and use Ekiga for phone calls.

Creating a PC-to-phone account

You must register and verify an account with Ekiga before using their PC-to-phone service.

Registration

To create an Ekiga PC-to-phone account, begin by following these steps:

1. Browse to www.diamondcard.us/exec/voip-login?act=sgn&spo=ekiga and select the payment method.

2. Select the amount you want to add to your account.

If you want to manually add money to your account when it starts to run low, deselect the Recharge My Account Automatically check box

Ten dollars is the minimum amount you can select. You can select a higher recharge amount.

3. Type your personal information (including your payment information) and click the Submit button.

The e-mail address you enter here will be used later to verify your account.

You're directed to a second registration page, where you select your username and password.

4. Select your username and password and click the Submit button.

Don't click the Submit button more than once!

Keep your username and password handy. You'll need them to log into and manage your DiamondCard.com account.

After you register your account, you must verify it. The following instructions show you how.

Verification

Use the following instructions to verify your new Ekiga PC-to-phone account:

1. Open the e-mail account that you used for registration.

2. Reply to the first e-mail message from DiamondCard.us.

DiamondCard.us needs to verify that you started the registration process.

After you reply, DiamondCard.us processes your payment and sends a second e-mail.

3. Open the second e-mail message from DiamondCard.us and click the Click Here to Administer Your Account link.

The DiamondCard.us Administration Center Login after page opens.

4. Type your username and password and click the Login button.

The DiamondCard.us Administration Center after page opens. You're presented with

o Your account number and PIN (personal identification number) code

Keep the account number and PIN handy; you'll need them to make PC-to-phone calls. (Use the PIN as Ekiga's password.)

o Your account balance and basic information about your account

o Links to management options

Ekiga calls the number that the DiamondCard.us Web page refers to as a PIN, a password.

Placing calls to telephones

After you verify your PC-to-phone account, you can use Ekiga to call real telephones. Open an Ekiga window and follow these steps:

1. From the Ekiga menu bar, choose ToolsPC-to-Phone Account.

The PC-to-Phone Settings dialog opens. Figure 17-1 shows the window.

Figure 17-1: PC-to-Phone Settings dialog.

· Type your account number and password in the corresponding text boxes.

You obtain your account number and password from your DiamondCard.us account Web page. (The DiamondCard.us Web page calls this password a PIN.)

· Click the Apply and the OK buttons.

The PC-to-Phone Settings dialog closes, and you return to the Ekiga window.

· Type 00 plus the country code followed by the area code and phone number of the person you're calling after the sip: prefix in the Ekiga text box.

You can find your country code at www.countrycallingcodes.com.

For example, if I want to call someone in the United States whose phone number is 505-555-5301, I'd type: 0015055555301; the complete address is sip:0015055555301.

Figure 17-1 shows an example window.

Figure 17-1: Dialing a telephone number.

· Click the button to the right of the SIP input text box, and Ekiga calls the telephone number.

You can talk to your party as if you were using a traditional telephone.

To end the call, click the button to the right of the SIP input text box.