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Preview: Nerd Vittles

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Ward Mundy's Technobabblelog



Last Build Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:09:13 +0000

 



3CX in the Cloud: 8 Great Ways to Secure Your Server

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:00:52 +0000

Now that many of you have taken advantage of the opportunity to deploy a free 3CX server, it seemed like an opportune time to share what we’ve learned while deploying 3CX on hosted platforms in the cloud. If you’ve followed our Nerd Vittles adventures over the years, you already know that our number one consideration with any PBX deployment is security. Without that, you’re just paying somebody else’s phone bill. While 3CX is extremely secure as delivered, once you choose… Read More ›



The Autonomous Car: Tesla and the Yellow Brick Road

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 07:00:55 +0000

Today marks the six month anniversary since we picked up our second generation Tesla Model S. If you’ve followed our adventure, you already know that the road has been a bumpy one even giving Elon Musk credit for the best of intentions. As one new owner remarked, “The difference in a salesman and a marketer is the marketer knows he is lying.” We haven’t quite decided which pigeon hole best describes Elon, but there certainly was optimistic puffing of the… Read More ›



The World Traveler and 3CX: A Match Made in Heaven

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 16:00:54 +0000

Last week we introduced the new (free) version of PIAF5 powered by 3CX v15.5 supporting four simultaneous calls, unlimited trunks, 10 extensions, and 10-user conference calls. And today we’re torture-testing our new 3CX server in the Bahamas aboard one of Carnival’s 3,000-passenger floating cities. Somebody’s gotta do it, right? What makes this such a challenging test for any PBX are several things. First, we’re using a free Google Voice trunk on a free 3CX PBX that we configured in under… Read More ›



Revolutionary VoIP: The New (free) PIAF5 powered by 3CX

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 13:30:41 +0000

There are evolutions, and then there are revolutions. The new PIAF5 powered by 3CX v15.5 is revolutionary on so many levels: price, feature set, flexibility, stability, and security for openers. For Nerd Vittles readers that want a free PBX1 for your home or small business, there’s a revolutionary bonus. Starting today, you can download a perpetual license for a 4 simultaneous call, 10 extension, unlimited trunks edition of 3CX v15.5 at zero cost!2 Unlimited Trunks, 10 Extensions, 4 Simultaneous Calls…… Read More ›



It’s Soup: The Definitive Quick Start Guide to Wazo 17.08

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 13:00:07 +0000

Today we’re pleased to introduce Wazo 17.08, the latest iteration in the Wazo fork of XiVO. Twelve years in the making with the same development team, Wazo 17.08 is really something special with a new easy-to-use WebRTC feature and support for Asterisk® FollowMe Roaming. Of course, all of your favorite Incredible PBX add-ons are ready as well. What follows is a new soup-to-nuts tutorial covering everything you need to know to get started with Incredible PBX for Wazo 17.08. Wazo… Read More ›



The 5-Minute PBX: Incredible PBX with Wazo for VirtualBox

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 16:23:47 +0000

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 a couple minutes. It literally transforms complex computer setups into child’s play. We’ve received dozens of emails about Wazo, and… Read More ›



Postfix + Gmail: A Pain-Free SMTP Relay for Wazo PBX

Mon, 29 May 2017 12:00:57 +0000

Let’s face it. As the number of Internet service providers blocking downstream email servers continues to proliferate, getting a reliable email server configured with Incredible PBX™ and other VoIP servers has become painful. If you’re new to all of this, here’s the simple explanation. Internet providers such as Comcast intentionally block outbound email from mail servers managed by their residential customers. While it may appear arbitrary, there actually is a good reason. The bad guys quickly discovered that many folks… Read More ›



Introducing IVRs in a Flash with Incredible PBX for Wazo

Mon, 22 May 2017 14:00:35 +0000

Last week we introduced the all-new, API-driven Admin User Interface for Wazo 17.07. But pretty pictures are only the icing on the cake. It’s what’s under the hood that really matters. And today we want to walk you through the new IVR User Interface with Incredible PBX for Wazo. The Wazo developers heard from many of you that were missing the GUI-driven IVR tools available in other products. And we’re pleased to tell you it’s another Home Run for Wazo.… Read More ›



Cloud 9: VoIP on Steroids with Wazo and Vultr for $2.50/mo.

Mon, 15 May 2017 07:00:03 +0000

It tells you just how far we’ve come in Cloud Computing when $2.50 per month now buys you an Incredible PBX™ platform with great performance for a SOHO or home deployment. So what’s the catch? What else do you have to buy? If you’re in the United States, nothing! With a free Google Voice trunk, all of your incoming and outgoing calls to the United States and Canada are totally free. Does it matter where your phones are situated? Not… Read More ›



Meet the New Incredible Fax: A $10 Fax Machine for Asterisk

Fri, 12 May 2017 07:00:10 +0000

Every year, technology gets better and cheaper. And, believe it or not, that even includes faxing especially with Asterisk® and Incredible PBX™. Today we take another giant leap forward by introducing fax technology with the $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W. Adding a free Google Voice trunk provides not only free calling in the U.S. and Canada, but now you also get free faxing as well. And the latest release of Incredible PBX lets your RasPi determine whether incoming calls are… Read More ›



Choosing the Best (free) PBX for SOHO Deployments

Mon, 08 May 2017 13:30:06 +0000

When it comes to choices in free PBXs, times have indeed changed. A decade ago your options went something like this. There was Asterisk@Home or Asterisk@Home. Then along came trixbox® and Elastix® and PBX in a Flash™ and AsteriskNOW®. What remained constant throughout this evolution was the underlying Asterisk® platform. With the exception of Digium’s offering, the remaining products all included the FreePBX® GUI. Then came a whole new way of looking at things with FreeSWITCH®. Another morphing occurred when… Read More ›



Paradise Found: Amazon’s Polly TTS Meets Incredible PBX

Mon, 01 May 2017 09:00:47 +0000

In a word, WOW! If you’ve previously used text-to-speech (TTS) applications with Incredible PBX™ or any other PBX, you fully appreciate the challenges of getting excellent voice quality from a synthesized voice. In addition to operating system quirks, you also had to scramble to find TTS software that had acceptable voice quality without breaking the bank. Well, it’s a new day. Amazon’s introduction of Polly TTS provides not only incredible voice quality but it comes at an unbelievable price point.… Read More ›



Keep On Trunkin’: Free International VoIP Calling Returns

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 07:00:22 +0000

We’re kicking off a new series on VoIP trunks today. One of the main reasons is that Google has (again) warned that Google Talk (aka GChat), XMPP, and SMS messaging are going away on June 26. If true, that would mean that Google Voice (as we know it today) will no longer function on Asterisk®-based PBXs. If you’re smart and care about uninterrupted telephone and messaging services, you’ve got two months for contingency planning. Today we’ll be taking a fresh… Read More ›



The Autonomous Car: Move Over Tesla, Here Comes Cadillac

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 07:00:07 +0000

It’s been six months since Elon Musk announced the new Tesla HW2 models with what he proclaimed would be the world’s first fully autonomous, self-driving automobiles. And, guess what? Tesla is not perceptibly closer to a fully autonomous car today than they were six months ago. In fact, the last six months have been consumed playing catchup to the first generation Tesla with its Mobileye technology which Tesla quietly dropped while Intel spent $15.3 billion last month acquiring the company… Read More ›



Free SMS Messaging Returns to Incredible PBX for Wazo

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 07:00:54 +0000

We continue our Wazo adventure today with a few simple additions to the Incredible PBX for Wazo dialplan. We will enable SMS messaging both from SIP phones such as the Yealink T46G and using voice recognition from any phone connected to Wazo including WebRTC. Of course, you still can use the command line to send SMS messages to one or more recipients using SMS Message Blasting which is covered below. To implement SMS messaging, you’ll need at least one Google… Read More ›



IBM’s Speech Recognition Engine Comes to Asterisk

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 07:00:47 +0000

Eight years ago, we introduced transcription for Asterisk® voicemail messages. When the messages were delivered by email, you got both a recording and the transcribed text courtesy of Google. As with most things Google, the licensing terms changed regularly and voicemail transcription became more convoluted until it became next to worthless. Today we begin our new exploration of IBM’s Watson Developer Cloud. It offers a rich collection of services at unbelievably low price points. We’re kicking things off by introducing… Read More ›



The Autonomous Car: Navigating Tesla’s Slippery Slope to the Promised Land

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 07:00:38 +0000

We continue our Autonomous Car series today with a report card on our first quarter results with the new Tesla Vision autopilot and a cautionary note to would-be Tesla owners. Since the new Tesla hardware was rolled out to vehicles manufactured in the last couple months of 2016, Tesla has had a bumpy ride and, in no small part, it has been due to self-inflicted wounds. The Tesla executive heading up the autopilot project abruptly quit and allegedly walked out… Read More ›



Best of Both Worlds: Marrying Asterisk to 3CX’s Free PBX with a $35 Raspberry Pi

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 07:00:43 +0000

One of the real beauties of Asterisk® has always been its flexibility in talking to other PBXs, both commercial and open source. There are numerous reasons why you might want to try this. First, it makes it easy to migrate to a commercial platform where you can get support for mission critical telephony requirements. Second, you may want a hybrid setup where servers with on-site support personnel can run Asterisk while remote satellite offices can take advantage of a commercial… Read More ›



Twofer Tuesday: 2 Cloud Servers for the Price of a RasPi

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 07:00:27 +0000

It’s been more than a year since we last chatted about Cloud At Cost. Because they’re in the midst of yet another 50% off Fire Sale and to close out February with a bang, it seemed like a good time to take a fresh look at a terrific way to get started with Linux. For today’s $35 cloud project, we’re going to build a free WordPress server and a free commercial PBX compliments of 3CX. For what it’s worth, we’ve… Read More ›



Introducing a New WhiteList Security Model for Wazo

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 15:30:30 +0000

Today we’re pleased to introduce a new state-of-the-art Travelin’ Man 3 firewall implementation for 2017. Five years ago, we developed a new security model for Asterisk® servers that whitelisted those needing access while blocking everyone else. The design was simple. You can’t attack what you can’t see. Three years ago, we made Travelin’ Man 3 more flexible for remote users with the addition of PortKnocker, a terrific tool providing temporary remote server access using a random three-number code. Today’s release… Read More ›



Cellphone Hell: 2017 Minefield Navigation Guide

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 17:01:18 +0000

Well, it’s been an interesting week. RingPlus, a Sprint MVNO, has gone belly up after Sprint pulled the plug on them. Lawsuit details are here. Then, not surprisingly, Sprint announced a new “unlimited” talk, text, and data plan: 5 phones for $90 with a free iPhone with trade-in. After first year, Sprint price escalates to $160 for 4 lines or $190 for 5 lines. And then, Verizon surprised everyone with an “unlimited” plan of their own: 4 phones for $180.… Read More ›



R.I.P. RingPlus: Don’t Panic, Google Hangouts Is Your Friend

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 17:01:30 +0000

Three months ago, we warned you that RingPlus appeared to be on its last leg and to begin planning your exit strategy. February 11 appears to be their Drop Dead Date although Ting apparently will now absorb all RingPlus accounts that aren’t ported out but under markedly different terms. For openers, there’s a $6 per month charge per phone before you even turn it on. After that, it’s pay-as-you-go for minutes, messages, and data. While the buckets are pooled between… Read More ›



The Gold Standard: It’s Incredible PBX for Raspbian 8 and Raspberry Pi 3

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 12:00:44 +0000

Hard to believe it’s been five years since the introduction of the original Raspberry Pi®. Over ten million RasPi’s have been shipped. The latest and greatest Raspberry Pi 3 features a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU with ten times the performance of the original Raspberry Pi. And today we’re pleased to introduce the 2017 edition of Incredible PBX™ for Raspbian 8 featuring Asterisk® 13 and Google Voice OAuth 2 support. It installs in under a minute. Of particular interest… Read More ›



Chasing Rainbows: The VoIP in the Cloud Trifecta

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 17:00:49 +0000

Week after week, the VoIP landscape for Cloud Computing continues to improve. And today we have more terrific news. Not only is there a new release of Wazo with simplified support for WebRTC and FollowMe roaming, but the Wazo 17.02 release also is now available on the RentPBX platform worldwide. Coupling Wazo and RentPBX with a secondary Cloud platform to achieve total VoIP redundancy is the VoIP in the Cloud Trifecta if ever there were one. RentPBX has been a… Read More ›



The Autonomous Car: A Hands-Free Drive with Tesla’s HW2

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:00:07 +0000

It’s been about a month since we took delivery of a new, second-generation Tesla lovingly referred to as an HW2 vehicle.1 During that time, Tesla has provided an over-the-air map update and four firmware updates. The latest one this past weekend enabled Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC) and limited AutoSteer capabilities for the entire fleet of next-generation HW2 Tesla vehicles. This includes all cars manufactured since October 19, 2016 that feature a new state-of-the-art supercomputer (pictured below) capable of 8 trillion… Read More ›



Deploying WebRTC with Incredible PBX for Wazo

Sat, 21 Jan 2017 07:00:50 +0000

We continue our open source adventure with Wazo today by introducing Sylvain Boily’s latest masterpiece, WebRTC for Wazo. What started as a simple experiment has now become a full-featured WebRTC implementation that rivals any of the commercial alternatives. Did we mention it’s FREE! Better still, when you install the latest release of Incredible PBX for Wazo with all of its modules, the key components to support WebRTC are already in place thanks to Wazo Snapshots. If you have an earlier… Read More ›



The Loneliest Number: One Remaining Open Source Distro for Asterisk 14

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:00:03 +0000

With Asterisk® World just around the corner, this may come as a surprise to some of you. The Asterisk community that has championed open source software development for the past decade now has only one open source distro still standing. All the rest have morphed into closed source or commercial products. Can you guess which one is still carrying the Asterisk 14 open source banner? AsteriskNOW®? Nope. The FreePBX Distro®? Nope. Ombutel™? Nope. PBX in a Flash™? Nope. Elastix™? Nope.… Read More ›



The Autonomous Car: Tesla & The Winding Road

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 07:00:47 +0000

We kick off 2017 with a new series on autonomous vehicles and, for the short term at least, the focus will be on Tesla simply because they’ve moved the needle the quickest and have a billion+ driver-tested miles under their belt already. I’m reminded of a quip from a pilot friend who said, “Anybody can fly a plane at 30,000 feet with autopilot. What separates the living from the dead is what you do when something goes wrong.” A recent… Read More ›



VoIPtopia 2017: Choosing the Best, Free VoIP Platform

Sun, 01 Jan 2017 07:00:07 +0000

Once a year we like to step back and survey the latest and greatest VoIP developments for the coming year. And 2016 was certainly filled with surprises including the release of free versions of 3CX sporting the PIAF5 and Elastix 5.0 monikers. That, in turn, produced a wave of FUD from our friends at Sangoma® urging users to return to their open source roots. But guess what? Sangoma was pitching their FreePBX Distro®, another closed source product just like 3CX.… Read More ›



If It Walks Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck, Guess What?

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 07:00:51 +0000

WOW! When we started our 2016, The Year of (real) VoIP Choice series, little did we know everything that was about to unfold. It’s been an interesting last few months in the VoIP community with the introduction of PIAF5 and Elastix 5.0 and Ombutel and ThirdLane and this week’s XiVO fork to Wazo. But, stay calm. There is a bright light at the end of this tunnel. You now have MORE FREE VoIP PBX CHOICES than ever before. And every… Read More ›



Siriously: It’s Wolfram Alpha for XiVO and Wazo

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:33:00 +0000

Ever wished your Asterisk® server could harness the power of a 10,000 CPU Supercomputer to answer virtually any question you can dream up about the world we live in? Well, so long as it’s for non-commercial use, today’s your lucky day. Apple demonstrated with Siri™ just how amazing this technology could be by coupling Wolfram Alpha® to a speech-to-text engine on the iPhone about 5 years ago. And, thanks to Google’s new speech transcription engine and Wolfram Alpha’s API, you… Read More ›



2016, The Year of VoIP Choice: Meet Wazo and XiVO 16.15

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 07:00:35 +0000

UPDATE: Wazo 17.01 has been officially released. The complete tutorial is available here. And you thought the excitement was over for 2016. Well, not so fast. The core development team at XiVO has now forked the project so this will be the last XiVO-branded release until Wazo 16.16 hits the street. Nothing has changed except the name and a boatload of new features with more to come including a new GUI interface a little further down the road. And you’ll… Read More ›



2016, The Year of VoIP Choice: Introducing Ombutel

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 07:00:06 +0000

Today we’re pleased to introduce our last (but not least) Unified Communications platform for 2016. Meet Ombutel, a terrific new GUI-based Asterisk® aggregation that was developed jointly by Telesoft and Xorcom, two familiar faces in the Asterisk community. We racked our brain trying to come up with a simple way to explain all of the things that Ombutel can do. We finally concluded “a picture [really] is worth a thousand words!” Here’s some additional background on the Ombutel project: As… Read More ›



Santa’s Secret: Deploying Google Pixel as a Free VoIP Phone

Wed, 16 Nov 2016 07:02:25 +0000

Nov. 21 UPDATE: As rumored, RingPlus has now announced the termination of ALL existing plans. Details here. NEWS FLASH: We interrupt our normal editorial schedule to bring you this update. Many of our readers joined us in embracing RingPlus cellular service with the promise of free monthly calling in exchange for a modest upfront contribution. As with almost every something-for-nothing deal, it looks as if the death spiral may have begun with the abrupt termination of more than a dozen… Read More ›



VoIPtopia: Google Services with Incredible PBX and PIAF5

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 07:00:55 +0000

It’s been a while since we provided a fresh look at Google Voice, Google SMS messaging, and Google’s Speech Recognition labyrinth which have been integral components of Incredible PBX for many years. For those living in the United States, here’s a soup-to-nuts tutorial to get all of the services deployed quickly on any Incredible PBX platform including XiVO and Elastix as well as on the new freeware releases of Ombutel and PBX in a Flash 5 powered by 3CX. On… Read More ›