This weekend I tried Asterisk, the open ... / 2007-05-14

2007-05-14 This weekend I tried Asterisk, the open ...
This weekend I tried Asterisk, the open source pbx for the first time because I plan to give some lectures and demonstrations on the subject of VoIP later this year, and I want to understand VoIP better by getting some hands-on experience. I found out the learning curve is somewhat steep and the Asterisk quickstart linked from the Debian docs is somewhat minimal. I found an IAX (Asterisk protocol) softphone: idefisk (the linux and mac versions of this program don't support SIP) which helped me do a test of the installation. So, after some fiddling, finding out that an IAX softphone needs to be registered in iax.conf (one of those things that sound completely logical after you run into "it does not work"). The first call I made was to test number 1000, so I heard the voice of Allison Smith telling me I had succesfully installed Asterisk. I am glad I didn't try Asterisk when I wanted to play with xs4all VoIP last year: it would have taken me quite some time to get going. It seems Asterisk is software that you can configure when you have a set target (a home pbx, a call-in information service) and you go reach that target (possibly using extra hardware or extra sip accounts). The 'scripting language' is quite different from anything I'm used to. But now I think I have a set target (given some approval for buying hardware) and I can set up Asterisk for that target.

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