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technology

Tweaking

Old Telephones by givepeasachance @ flickr.com

Old Telephones by givepeasachance @ flickr.com

You’ll maybe notice that I’ve moved to blog over to WordPress (on James’ hearty recommendation), and I’m hoping it has been seamless. I haven’t yet customised the templates. That’s the next thing to do, along with a general redesign of the code to add some cleverness stuff here and there.

I’ve spent a fair bit of time lately playing more with Voice Over IP (VoIP). I think it’s an interesting technology, and disrupting a well established business model. It’s also financially very attractive to me, having friends and relations all over the place. I now have VoIP “trunks” coming in from 7 different places, aggregated into an Asterisk PBX server.

I wish I could say it was a simple configuration, but even by cheating and downloading the rather marvellous trixbox, which is a bootable CD which completely installs a machine from scratch, it was still a major headache getting it to go. Admittedly, I’m asking for some slightly non-standard things, and balancing access to the server with network security was tricky. I had to drop back to hand editing config files, and sifting through conflicting information from various enthusiast forums, which is not an “out of the box” experience.

After a good solid number of nights work (have you noticed how this kind of messing about always ends up being “nights work”?), it’s pretty much the way I wanted it to be. I can login from the laptop wherever I happen to be in the world, and it aggregates all my calls and voicemails to one place. If I happen not to be logged on to VoIP, it will tentatively call my mobile phone but pull back from that if I don’t answer and take a voicemail which it then e-mails me. I think that’s pretty neat, and should knock the roaming bills down.

The next thing to look forward to is IBC in Amsterdam, and getting a look-see at what new technology is coming our way in 2008.

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