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DIY FreeSWITCH & FreePBXv3 from LiveCD

April 23, 2010

This is a bit of a follow on from my previous post: https://chillingsilence.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/initial-thoughts-on-freepbxv3-and-freeswitch-vs-asterisk/

Everybody is starting to talk about FreeSWITCH as the next big PBX software (Amongst other things), and FreePBXv3 is shaping up to be a damn fine GUI.

The more I use it, the more I start to like FreeSWITCH as a progression from Asterisk. One will likely never completely kill the other, I can see a world where they both live happily, but for me I struggle knowing that Asterisk doesn’t 100% accurately do all CDR stuff, and it bugs me recommending that to a client.

I’ve blogged before on FreePBXv3, and the dev guys are still as friendly as ever (Granted they seem to be a truckload busier lately, but who can blame them).

What follows is a guide on booting a LiveCD (Debian!) and running FreeSWITCH & FreePBXv3 from this live system. From there, it’s up to you if you want to simply reboot and forget it ever happened, or potentially install it to a HDD. The choice is yours, I’m just going to give you a quick How-To on getting FreeSWITCH & FreePBXv3 up and running nicely, and in a flash! In fact, on a decent machine (C2D 2Ghz+) and a decent internet connection, you could be up n running from scratch, in less than 20 minutes 🙂

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How-To: Hotel Management System for Elastix

March 18, 2010

Two blog posts in 24 hours? We’re on a roll here!
Based off PIAF’s Hotel Management System, we’re going to make some minor adjustments to have this work with Elastix. This is a brilliant Hotel Room Management system with the ability to restrict the calls from Ext’s when they are not checked in, per-second billing, and more!

Contents:

  1. Installing the base system
  2. Updating the config
  3. Fixing up HTTPS
  4. Updating dial-plan
  5. Closing words

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Linking systems via OpenVPN (No port-forwards needed on client-side)

March 17, 2010
Yes, this is the ultimate in remote access for your PBX systems! It’s also quite possibly the longest blog post ever!

Imagine a client of yours happens to move their PBX, perhaps they are shifting premises (Without notifying you — Their prerogative I suppose). Now, with the change of ISP’s they’ve changed router and network settings, new public IP Address etc, so until you fix the sip_nat.conf settings calls are dead quiet. What do you do?

Well, you could ring them up and get them to port-forward their router and let you in. Or, you can do everything yourself via your shiny remote-control VPN!

Not only does it not matter where your customer plugs in the box, provided DHCP gives it an IP Address and they don’t have some silly proxy in the way, it will tunnel out NAT, past their routers firewalls, and let you in! It’s a service-operators dream! Used in conjunction with the SSH Tunnelling blog article, you’ll find this gives you total control of their local endpoints as well, just as if you were right there sitting on their LAN. You can even access your clients ADSL Router WebGUI and make the required port-forward changes yourself, provided they give you the admin password of course.

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Opera 10.5 vs Chrome-5.0 Dev – Fastest browser on earth?

March 3, 2010

So Opera 10.5 is out. Naturally I can’t just take somebodies word that it’s faster than Chrome, which I’ve been happily using for around a year now, so I’m giving it a good run for its money and posting right now from it.

Now I’ve long since left Internet Explorer, way back probably almost a decade ago (Wow I feel real old now) when Firefox was called Phoenix. Browsing was “fast”, and these flashy new things called Tabs were cool. I’ve bounced around a little bit over the years, mostly sticking with Firefox until Chrome came out. Again, it was love at first sight (or click?).

So, what do I think of Opera?

Well initial impressions are nice. It reminds me of Chrome in many ways, and I’m not about to go getting into who stole what from which browser, I really couldn’t care less. I want a browser thats fast, reliable, and renders pages well. So naturally, the first thing I do is load up Facebook! Read the rest of this entry »

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ChromiumOS review, “Flow” by Hexxeh – Feb ’10

February 20, 2010

Well after a friend IM’d me saying “Wow you have to check out ChromiumOS”, naturally, I had to try it out. I’ve always been a Google fan, and when I initially heard of what they’re trying to do with ChromeOS, I was of course excited about the possibilities for Netbooks.

Almost everything that I do these days is from the browser, with the exception of SSH’ing. I still have Pidgin that I use, but really aside from that it’s pretty much all from the browser. Webmail is a biggy, all my domains use GAFYD (And I’ve got several).

In a world that’s becoming increasingly web-based, I can see how it makes sense to have something like ChromiumOS. If they manage to sort out how to print and how to import pictures then it could be a real winner.

Yes, you’ve got to keep in mind that it’s not for everybody, some people are going to want to do the latest 3D games, I’m an avid DotA player myself. People will always want to do things outside of the browser.

However, add in to the fact that many people today are turning to Flash-based games, Facebook, Online photo sharing, video via YouTube, and you’re left wondering if there is a genuine place out there for a browser-based OK?

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ChillingSilence / Chilling_Silence and blog home

January 20, 2010

Just thought I should write a quick note clarifying:

Yes, I’m Chilling_Silence, wordpress just wouldn’t let me have an underscore in my name.

I also cross-post this at lazy.geek.nz while I figure out which I want to keep as “home”, though I suspect I’ll be shifting to lazy.geek.nz and eventually letting chillingsilence.wordpress.com die a slow death. I’ll figure that out over the next little while.

I also post on blogs.elastix.org/en and crosspost that here too, though those are Elastix or VoIP-specific postings.

You’ll also find some of my rantings on PressF1!

…Just to clear the air 🙂

Chill.

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Initial thoughts on FreePBXv3 and FreeSWITCH vs Asterisk

January 14, 2010

As I’ve been testing out FreePBXv3 with FreeSWITCH, I figured I should blog my experiences, as they’ve been surprisingly pleasant!

After I got notification on the Elastix Beta mailing list about FreePBXv3, I was stoaked to learn it’s been released, even in an unfinished form! I went looking a while back for a FreeSWITCH GUI and was sadly disappointed. I found a few like tcapi and Phonebooth, but couldn’t get tcapi working and Phonebooth had just had all its code donated to FreePBX. So for the time I’d given up.

Anyway, so I grabbed the latest Install CD for FreePBXv3 which is based off CentOS. Ran through smoothly, no issues, got it installed, but I didn’t really do anything much with it.

For one reason or another I jumped into IRC in #freeswitch on freenode, I’ll have to look over my logs and figure out why. Anyway it turns out that some of the FreePBXv3 devs hang out there, and they’re actually friendly! It was a nice change from some of the other projects I’d had involvement in. I think Elastix is probably the only other project that’s been so friendly.

So I got chatting with one of the guys there, and it came up that I was happy to do some testing, so he asks me to do a clean install from a vanilla distro (And not the LiveCD. Again I’m not sure why, I’ll go re-read the chat logs later). No worries, so I install vanilla debian and get to work. Anyway a few bug reports later, 3 SVN updates later, and I’ve got a nicely working system running currently in VirtualBox.

I’m pleased to say that FreeSWITCH as a product from what I can see appears quite mature, but still growing at a steady rate. They even recommend you install from SVN, they’re that confident in the code. Most projects would have you install from a “stable” peg in the code and update as & when they release a new “final” version. The first and most obvious thing I’ve noticed about FreeSWITCH is the sounds. Even just the female voice that guides you through recording a Voicemail sounds *so* much nicer than the Asterisk one, it’s absolutely crazy! There’s also the nice feature that Voicemail automatically stops recording when you’re silent for 2 seconds. Quite cool I thought!

There was no “additional” configuration of any endpoints that I needed to do, tested with ZoIPer and an SPA942 successfully. It simply “just worked” making calls between the devices, as was to be expected. I’m still yet to setup an external trunk to test over.

FreePBXv3 is still a *little* rough around the edges, but overall I must say that the infrastructure that they’ve built, or framework, seems like a great improvement over the current FreePBX 2.X! Not only that, but the developers are very approachable, keen for feedback, they seem to be excellent coders who love doing what they do, and they’re rapidly pumping out an awesome project! It still crashes at times, or at least doesn’t display what it should, however the changes seem to get saved at least even though the correct followup output isn’t shown. Some features aren’t 100% implemented, but overall there’s most of the basic things in there that the majority of people would use. The developers also seemed pretty keen for suggestions and improvements, even just the trivial little things.

I’m just looking forward to trying this out on an Alix system soon to see how it handles the load from FreeSWITCH 😀