Turf Locks Sculpture

A Swan Sculpture next to the Turf Hotel

This is quite an intresting “Swan” sculpture that seems to have recently appeared at the Turf Locks, just next to the Turf Hotel.

This hotel is really a pub, but a very good pub which has the advantage of only allowing access via foot or bicycle.   The nearest main car park is about 2 miles walk from the pub, although there is a very small car park about a mile away.

I can recommend the steak & kidney pudding and a good pint of Otter Ale.

There is a nice view out over the Exe estuary as you sit drinking your well earnt pint.


Twinkle VOIP Client

From my previous post you will see that I have tried using Skype for VOIP phone calls but I got a bit fed up with Skype for a number of reasons so I have now unsubscribed from it.

Skype is probabaly one of the best known names that people associate with VOIP but I’m not so keen on being locked into a “closed” system where you have to use Skype software rather than a normal VOIP client.    Also I don’t like the way that Skype force you to pay for calls before you have actually made them!    They also charge quite a lot for the for an inbound phone number to receive voip calls on (about £3 per month).

Luckily my own ISP have a VOIP service http://call.me.uk/ which only charge £1 per month for a phone number which is quite a bit less than Skype and I then just pay for calls actually made at the end of each month.   I have now got an 03333 STD code rather than a “boring” 01823 Taunton STD code – an advantage with an 03 prefix is that it is not linked to any specific geographic UK location, and costs exactly the same amount to call as a regular 01 or 02 landline number.

They also sell “voip hardware phones” like the Snom 300, but I’m not really a “power user” of phones so I thought I’d go for a software VOIP solution rather than a hardware phone for the time being.

There a a number of software phones (“Softphones”) and I tried out a few of them.   First I tried Ekiga, but this did not seem to run at all on Ubuntu Intrepid so I gave up on it and tried Linphone, which I got working but it seemed very basic.   By far the best VOIP software I have tried so far has been Twinkle which has loads of handy features and will run nicely minimised on the task bar.  Installing it is very simple via the “add/remove” menu.

Once you have filled in your SIP account details (username, domain password & realm) you are pretty much set to make and recieve VOIP calls.

These setting seem to give good sound quality

It took a bit of trial & error to get my audio settings just right, and at first the sound did not sound very good, but I have now got it so that its just as good as using any regular non-voip phone.

This shows how I have entered the “Sound Card”  settings.  I tried some of the other settings first but I seemed to get poor sound quality. Continue reading “Twinkle VOIP Client”