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Ward Mundy's Technobabblelog



Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:09:48 +0000

 



Integrating SIP URIs into XiVO for Free Worldwide Calling

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 07:00:19 +0000

It’s been a while since we’ve explored SIP URIs and all of the advantages that SIP URI calling brings to your PBX. Number one on that list is FREE calling to and from anyone on the planet so long as both of you have an Internet connection with a SIP phone or a VoIP server such as Incredible PBX for XiVO. SIP URIs are the fundamental building blocks for VoIP technology. Consider this. If everyone in the world had a… Read More ›



Never Miss a Meeting: Google Calendar Alerts for XiVO

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 07:00:16 +0000

Today we’re pleased to dust off an oldie but goodie and to introduce Google Calendar integration for XiVO and Asterisk® 13.1 This gets you a reminder call at any number you choose based upon the Notification time that is set whenever you schedule a meeting or appointment in your Google Calendar. Our special thanks to Terry Wilson for his pioneering work at Digium® on the calendaring API. Together with the flexibility that XiVO affords out of the box, it made… Read More ›



FCC + Asterisk: New Tools to Rid Yourself of RoboCallers

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 17:46:01 +0000

Just in time for election season, we are pleased to introduce our second generation robocall-blocking software which lets you deploy and periodically update the FCC’s RoboCall Blacklist on any Asterisk® 11 or 13 server platform. One of the biggest jokes in the U.S. telecommunications industry has been the FCC’s Do Not Call List, a convenient source of working phone numbers for all the spammers on Planet Earth. And, of course, the politicians exempted themselves from the robocalling ban. But the… Read More ›



2016, The Year of VoIP Choice: Redundancy and Multi-Tenant with XiVO

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 15:30:05 +0000

As we celebrate Labor Day, it seemed appropriate to document why XiVO separates the men from the boys so your phones don’t end up as boat anchors buried in the sand. Today our focus is “High Availability (HA)” and “Multi-Tenant (MT)“, two very expensive options for many PBXs including some that loosely tout their platforms as free. In the PBX context, HA means that, when your server fails, there’s another one waiting in the wings to automatically take over. Much… Read More ›



Raspberry Pi One-Minute Wonder: A Turnkey and Truly Incredible PBX for XiVO

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 11:07:10 +0000

Hard to believe it’s been 4½ years since the introduction of the original Raspberry Pi®. We love half-birthdays, and we’ve got a blockbuster gift for you today as we celebrate the fact that almost 10 million RasPi’s have been shipped. Yes, our love affair with the Raspberry Pi lives on. The sensational Raspberry Pi 3 sports a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU with ten times the performance of the original Raspberry Pi. Of particular interest to the VoIP community… Read More ›



VirtualBox Magic: A Turnkey PBX in 5 Minutes Flat with XiVO

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 15:12:05 +0000

Embed from Getty Images We’ve sung the praises of VirtualBox for many years because it provides a wonderful platform for experimentation as well as production-ready systems using almost any hardware and any operating system. Versions of VirtualBox are available for Windows PCs, Macs, Linux desktops, and even Solaris machines. And, once you have VirtualBox in place, you can load gigabyte-sized turnkey virtual machines in under a minute. It literally transforms complex computer setups into child’s play. We’ve received dozens of… Read More ›



Google Voice with OAuth 2 Comes to Incredible PBX for XiVO

Tue, 16 Aug 2016 18:20:26 +0000

Since we began our XiVO adventure a couple months ago, the most requested feature has been direct support for Google Voice. For those in the United States, it remains the cheapest VoIP solution on the planet (when it works) with unlimited free calls throughout the U.S. and Canada. While we’ve had Google Voice functionality in XiVO through the Simonics SIP to Google Voice Gateway since the outset, there still were some who preferred to keep their credentials and tokens to… Read More ›



Take the XiVO Plunge: $20 for Free Cloud Hosting ’til 2017

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 07:00:08 +0000

Nobody has to tell us how painful change can be. We oversaw the deployment of over 30,000 IBM PCs only to switch horses and become a dedicated Mac lover. And we’ve invested almost 10 years in another Asterisk® GUI only to be disappointed by the direction of that project. That led to our New Year’s Resolution to find a better mousetrap for unified communications open source development. And, boy, did we find one. So here’s the deal. You either believe… Read More ›



The Definitive Quick Start Guide: Introducing Incredible PBX for XiVO

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 07:00:37 +0000

Today we kick off a new Asterisk® adventure with the introduction of Incredible PBX™ for XiVO®. This pure GPL implementation of Asterisk has no strings, no gotchas, no hidden agenda, and no primadonnas. It’s open source code with no prohibitions on redistribution. The XiVO developers actively participate in the XiVO and PBX in a Flash™ communities and actually listen to constructive suggestions to improve their product. Changes happen in days, not years. Today we celebrate the return of true GPL… Read More ›



Security 101: A Fresh Look at Incredible PBX Security Audit Methodology

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 13:13:41 +0000

Embed from Getty Images Incredible PBX remains one of the most secure VoIP server platforms on the planet for one simple reason. We always deploy a preconfigured Linux IPtables firewall with a whitelist that hides your server from everyone except you and trusted VoIP providers. IPtables is automatically configured and deployed as part of every initial install of Incredible PBX regardless of your platform. This includes XiVO with Debian 8 as well as CentOS 6 and 7, Ubuntu 14.04, Raspbian… Read More ›



Incredible PBX for CentOS 7: Jump for Joy with a Free Cloud Server ’til 2017

Tue, 02 Aug 2016 20:00:55 +0000

We don’t want anyone to think Incredible PBX is a one-trick pony. 2016 is all about choices and Gotcha-Free VoIP alternatives. We spent last week in the mountains taking a careful look at Ubuntu 16.04 and CentOS 7. Despite the promises that LTS releases of Ubuntu wouldn’t break things that used to work, Ubuntu 16.04 breaks things. Specifically, ODBC as we know it is non-existent. And MySQL is a very different beast with InnoDB now a mandatory component. Those were… Read More ›



Tempus Fugit: Introducing Incredible PBX Alarm Clock for Asterisk and XiVO

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 07:00:51 +0000

So you’re in a hurry and need a quick way to remind yourself of an upcoming appointment. With Siri or your Apple Watch, you can say “Hey Siri, set an alarm for 9 a.m.” On an Android phone, just say “OK Google, set an alarm for 9 a.m.” And with the Amazon Echo, shout out “Alexa, set an alarm for 9 a.m.” But, hey, everyone doesn’t have a fancy smartphone or an Echo. Besides that, they’re not always convenient. If… Read More ›



It’s All About Choices: Incredible PBX ISO Now Available in the Vultr VPS Cloud

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 07:00:29 +0000

We’ve heard you. Many prefer the ease of installation offered by the Incredible PBX ISO. Unfortunately, until now, it wasn’t available if you wanted a do-it-yourself Cloud Solution other than, of course, using a turnkey Incredible PBX server at RentPBX. Well, now you have a choice. A great new VPS provider, Vultr, now gives you the option of using your own ISO when you deploy Cloud servers on their worldwide platforms. It’s not 100% intuitive just yet, but Vultr will… Read More ›



As Easy As 1-2-3: Introducing Incredible PBX Telephone Reminders for XiVO

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 14:33:31 +0000

UPDATE: The first release of Incredible PBX for XiVO is now available here. Please consider this article superseded by the new release which includes the Telephone and Web Reminders applications. We’re back in the saddle today after a terrific two-week break in Hawaii. Thanks for your patience while we recharged our batteries. Today we’re pleased to introduce Incredible PBX Telephone Reminders for the XiVO platform. It’s a 15-second installation on any XiVO server. How It Works. The original functionality of… Read More ›



2016: The Year of the May Bromance with XiVO, Asterisk 13, and the GPL

Tue, 31 May 2016 14:31:13 +0000

Remember that girl that you never much noticed in high school that happened to cross your path years later and there was that instant attraction. It’s one of our favorite country songs. What a month it has been. 30 days ago we’d never met. And then it happened. We were introduced to XiVO by a single post on the PIAF Forum. It’s difficult to choose a single adjective that describes how feature-rich XiVO is as a real-time Asterisk platform. Ten… Read More ›



Choosing Wisely: Mastering Asterisk IVR and AutoAttendant Design with XiVO

Thu, 26 May 2016 07:00:04 +0000

Today we want to talk a little about design choices and IVRs. First and foremost, we don’t want to leave anyone behind during our XiVO adventure. XiVO is a platform that adjectives really can’t describe. It’s that good and, frankly, we’re having a hard time believing it’s been around for almost a decade and nobody much talked about it. Leave it to the crazy Americans to only look at stuff from the U.S. of A. Funny thing is that the… Read More ›



2016, Celebrating The Preakness: CallerID Superfecta Rides Again with XiVO

Mon, 23 May 2016 07:00:28 +0000

Embed from Getty Images If you missed The Preakness Saturday, another Triple Crown bit the dust… or the mud in this case. But, if you had the winning Superfecta ticket, you made a $316 profit on your $1 bet. For the rest of us, there’s still a Superfecta win to celebrate, and this one’s free. We’ve begun porting CallerID Superfecta to the XiVO platform and today we’ll share that code with you together with lots of other goodies in our… Read More ›



The XiVO Adventure Continues: Adding Incredible PBX Goodies to Your Sandbox

Thu, 12 May 2016 22:21:16 +0000

We began our XiVO adventure last week by introducing a terrific new communications platform for both businesses and hobbyists. This week we begin the task of incorporating the Incredible PBX Goody Bag into an already amazing PBX, and we’ll cover about a dozen new topics. We’ll also address a few XiVO basics such as where to find and how to use the backups that XiVO makes every morning while many of us are still sleeping. Since a new XiVO release… Read More ›



2016, The Year of (real) VoIP Choice: Meet XiVO, a UC Solution for Any Business

Thu, 05 May 2016 18:34:32 +0000

We promised you that 2016 was going to be a year filled with surprises, and today we’re pleased to introduce another open source, pure GPL3 solution for any business. Whether your requirements are a call center or a versatile phone system for hundreds of employees, XiVO™ offers a compelling unified communications solution that checks all the boxes. Unlike some products that function merely as a code generator for Asterisk®, XiVO is in a league of its own. XiVO is actually… Read More ›



Sleep Well: Create a $10.50 Incredible Backup Server in the Cloud with WebDAV

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 06:00:42 +0000

Embed from Getty Images With the impending demise of Copy.com, it seemed like a good time to revisit the subject of backups and to do a little advance preparation for that rainy day when your Incredible PBX™ server decides it’s taken its last breath. We recently documented how to build an Incredible PBX in the Cloud for a one-time cost of $10.50. And we showed you how to build a Linux Sandbox in the Cloud for the same bargain-basement price.… Read More ›



No Brainer: Free Cell Service, Free Texting, Free Data Plan + Free SIP Trunk

Sun, 24 Apr 2016 11:53:53 +0000

Suppose we told you there was a cellular reseller in the United States that would give you 3,250 minutes of free calling every month with a free Sprint phone. And, to sweeten the pot, you could also use those minutes as a SIP trunk on any Asterisk® server to make 3,250 minutes of free calls in the United States every month. Let’s not stop there. Suppose the provider would also throw in 3,250 SMS messages as well as 3,250 megs… Read More ›



Taking a Fresh Look at the Asterisk, FreePBX, and Incredible PBX Security Models

Mon, 18 Apr 2016 07:00:42 +0000

Embed from Getty Images About once a year, we try to shine the spotlight on Asterisk® security in hopes of saving lots of organizations and individuals a little bit (or a lot) of money. In light of last week’s major security lapse in the Asterisk® dialplan of those using FreePBX® since the Asterisk@Home days, now seemed like a good time for a review. As we’ve noted before, the problem with open source phone systems is they’re open source phone systems.… Read More ›



Chasing the Asterisk Rainbow: An Incredible PBX for Everyman… and Woman

Mon, 11 Apr 2016 07:00:54 +0000

Embed from Getty Images The one thing we’ve learned over the past decade is that everyone’s telecommunications needs are different. We began the Incredible PBX™ project by offering a script for PBX in a Flash™ that enhanced its functionality by adding three dozen applications for Asterisk® plus a rock-solid, preconfigured firewall. We expanded on that initial design by offering installers to support both Elastix® 4.0 and even the FreePBX® Distro and AsteriskNOW. But many asked for something more. Some wanted… Read More ›



TrueCNAM: A Breath of Fresh Air for CNAM Lookups and CallerID Superfecta

Mon, 04 Apr 2016 07:00:11 +0000

It’s always nice to see your baby grow up. Nearly a decade ago, we introduced an AGI script for Asterisk@Home known as CallerID Trifecta for FreePBX® 2.2.0. As sources of CNAM lookups expanded, a number of other individuals contributed code to support those lookups. When we added a fourth CNAM lookup source, the original application morphed into CallerID Superfecta. Then we gave up. The source lookups became too numerous to mention much less name. But all of the original code… Read More ›



Smartphone Trifecta: 2016’s Very Best Cellphones with Two Awesome Surprises

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 19:19:43 +0000

Every year we try to check out the latest and greatest smartphones with emphasis on finding those that are the best fit with Asterisk®. So this year is really special because our three favorite new phones all come with a couple of surprises. First, monthly cellular service can be FREE on all of them! Second, all of the phone numbers associated with the three phones can be used as free SIP trunks with Incredible PBX™ or your favorite Asterisk server.… Read More ›



The Sensational Raspberry Pi 3 Featuring Incredible PBX with Raspbian 8 Jessie

Sat, 26 Mar 2016 08:00:07 +0000

Embed from Getty Images Hard to believe it’s been four years since the introduction of the original Raspberry Pi®. Over eight million RasPi’s have been shipped. To celebrate its fourth birthday, Eben Upton has done it again. Meet the sensational Raspberry Pi 3 sporting a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU with ten times the performance of the original Raspberry Pi. Of particular interest to the VoIP community will be the RasPi 3’s integrated 802.11n wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1… Read More ›



Four Months in Paradise: Free International VoIP Calling From Your Cellphone

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 12:00:08 +0000

Embed from Getty Images Following our article documenting how to set up free cellphone service in the United States using the Sprint reseller, RingPlus, we received a number of questions seeking ways to add free or low cost international calling to the RingPlus offerings. Today we’ll provide a quick tutorial on how to turn any cellphone into a terrific platform to make free international calls, lots of them. As of this writing, for every 10 euros ($11.27) you deposit into… Read More ›



The Best of Both Worlds: Taking Incredible PBX from the Cloud to the Ocean

Thu, 17 Mar 2016 17:32:31 +0000

We’ve spent a good bit of time documenting a dirt cheap way to learn about VoIP in the Cloud with our Incredible PBX offering using a $10.50 virtual machine at CloudAtCost. Is it production ready? Probably not. But we’re reminded of the old saying that pizza is a lot like sex: “When it’s good, it’s really good. And, when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” That pretty much sums up CloudAtCost. And it’s not like a one-time investment for the… Read More ›



It’s Back: $10.50 Buys an Incredible PBX in the Cloud For Life… If You Hurry

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 07:00:01 +0000

Embed from Getty Images In January, we began our new series on Cloud Computing by documenting how to build an awesome LAMP server in the Cloud using Linux. Today we’re again going to show you how to use the same Cloud platform and take advantage of the $10.50 coupon code TAKE70 to build an Incredible PBX in the Cloud FOR LIFE. When you’re finished, you’ll have a state-of-the-art Incredible PBX 13 server with hundreds of PBX features including free calling… Read More ›



2016, The Year of (real) VoIP Choice: Introducing Elastix 4.0 with Incredible PBX

Mon, 22 Feb 2016 18:00:15 +0000

Our crystal ball suggests that 2016 is shaping up to be a fantastic year full of VoIP surprises and excitement. We’ll be there to cover every new development. When it comes to graphical user interfaces for Asterisk®, the days of the one trick pony are officially over. Free At Last! And leave it to Edgar Landivar and Team Elastix® to be first out of the gate with Elastix 4.0. What a terrific new product it is! The Elastix project began… Read More ›



Mobile WiFi Shootout: Torture Testing the Best WiFi HotSpots for Your Vehicle

Mon, 15 Feb 2016 07:00:39 +0000

Embed from Getty Images What a difference a few years make. Bringing Internet connectivity to those in a vehicle who need Internet access but lack cellular data connectivity now is at the top of virtually every Road Warrior’s Wish List. Today we embark on our first major road trip of 2016 to test mobile WiFi hotspots from the four major carriers in the United States: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. We’ve decided to use a variety of devices with the… Read More ›



I Have A Dream: Free Cellular Service with Integrated Remote SIP Connectivity

Mon, 08 Feb 2016 07:00:29 +0000

Embed from Getty Images As part of our Mobile Internet adventure this year, we’ve been scouring the countryside with two requirements in mind. First, we wanted a smartphone on which we could activate some type of free cellular service for making calls and sending text messages. Second, we wanted to integrate remote SIP connectivity using the same provider and phone number so that we could make and receive calls transparently using any SIP phone or Asterisk® server anywhere in the… Read More ›



The Ultimate Linux Sandbox in the Cloud for Less Than a $35 Raspberry Pi 2

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 07:00:10 +0000

Every few years we like to drop back and take a fresh look at the best way to get started with Linux. For those coming from the Windows World, it can be a painful process. Learning with a Cloud-based server can be especially dangerous because of the security risks. And then there’s the cost factor. Not everyone has several hundred dollars to buy hardware and, frankly, learning about Linux on a $35 Raspberry Pi can drive most newbies to drink.… Read More ›



Mobile Internet: The 2016 Road Warrior’s Guide to Choosing New Wheels

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 07:00:13 +0000

Embed from Getty Images OK. We’re not going to bring Mobile Computing down to the teepee level, but we have decided to dedicate a column regularly to Mobile Internet developments in the marketplace. Of course, our major focus will remain the impact on unified communications and especially Asterisk®, FreeSWITCH™, PBX in a Flash™, and Incredible PBX™. The idea here is to document a design that lets road warriors travel with the same communications dexterity that they have at home or… Read More ›



The Last Sunset: Saying Goodbye to Google TTS… Hello Pico TTS

Mon, 11 Jan 2016 07:00:38 +0000

Despite the heroic efforts of Lefteris Zafiris to keep GoogleTTS afloat for use with Asterisk®, Google has made it increasingly clear that they intend to blow everyone’s apps out of the water (except theirs) if you choose to use their text to speech engine, even in open source, non-commercial products. As much as we’ve loved the voice quality and Google’s previous generosity in sharing their work product with the open source community, there comes a time when the mud wrestling… Read More ›