I got a Dell Latitude D600 laptop from work, and when I travel I usually use Skype to call home, since it is way cheaper than using the hotel’s long distance service. I usually carry a headset with me for the microphone, but I found out that my headset’s mic isn’t working anymore. I was frustrated.
I tested my laptop with Skype’s echo service anyway, and sure enough, I didn’t get any sound sent, so I was sure my laptop didn’t have an integrated mic. However, yesterday a co-worker told me that he used Yahoo! messenger to chat with his wife, and that he had no troubles using the laptop’s mic. I said ‘what mic? there’s no mic on the laptop’, but he swears he didn’t connect any mic (and we have the same laptop models). Was he lucky and got a laptop configuration that included a mic?
So, last night I ran Yahoo! messenger and guess what? Now my laptop suddenly has a mic included! I even got to use Skype after the test and now I can talk! no mic attached! I’ve checked everywhere on the dell site about my laptop model, and they don’t mention anything about an integrated mic (although there’s a weird hole just above the power button). I’ve read the service manuals, the user’s guide, and short of opening my laptop to check what’s inside, I’m almost sure it doesn’t have a mic.
So what’s going on? is Yahoo! messenger doing some weird software emulation of a microphone using the speakers? I knew that some speaker types (piezoelectric, I think) can be used as microphones, but I didn’t know you could accomplish that through software. Nowhere on Yahoo’s site mentions this functionality, but I’m almost sure that they’re doing it. Also, whenever I speak, I can hear a delay of about a second from the time I speak to the time I listen to my voice, so there’s definitely some processing going on.
Has anyone else encountered this feature? Can anyone else confirm/deny this? Am I going crazy?