By making your existing phones work with Skype, you not only eliminate the expense of buying new ones, but you also end up with a phone system that largely looks and feels the same as before.
Works with: Windows and Linux versions of Skype.
Connecting your existing phones to Skype is easy. Using this hack, you can hack around with your existing phone system in a variety of interesting ways, from simply having the convenience and familiarity of a regular phone next to your computer for making and receiving Skype calls, to driving all the existing copper wiring throughout your house using Skype in what is basically a replacement of your regular phone service. If all this sounds somewhat daunting, don't worry, as even the most advanced hacking requires little more than a pair of wire cutters, a roll of electrical insulation tape, and a little common sense!
Configuring Skype to work with a regular phone requires a Skype-to-phone adapter box, shown in Figure 3-10, and some associated software. Skype-to-phone adapter boxes cost $50 or less (though more-expensive and feature-rich units are hitting the market as I write) and are interfaced through and sometimes powered by your computer's USB interface.
Figure 3-10. Skype-to-phone adapter, front and back
Normally, getting a Skype-to-phone adapter up and working is simplicity itself. Plug one end of ...