Among the sundry telephony options available to us for having conference calls with our clients back in North America, the best option has turned out to be SkypeOut. We wear headsets for the output, and use one of our Mac’s internal microphones for the input. Our 150-year-old limestone villa is kind of echoey, so we’ve started taking our meetings from the pool deck.
Mind you, it does get a little weird if the local basilica’s bells strike the hour. It just adds some charm to the conversation, I think.
We recently encountered a farcical situation when calling a client. They have a phone system that requires you to enter a three digit extension. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, you can’t do this using Skype.
I hastily surfed around the web, and discovered the DTMF Tone Generator applet. It’s very old school (compatible with “HotJava 1.1, Internet Explorer 4.0 or Netscape Navigator 4.0”), but it worked liked a charm. I just unplugged our headphones for a second and dialed the extension in the web page. The computer heard itself, and connected us to our client. We are l33t f0ne phr3aks.