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Preview: Nerd Vittles

nerd vittles

Ward Mundy's Technobabblelog

Last Build Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:23:29 +0000


The New Hybrid PBX: Why Settle for a One Trick Pony?

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 07:00:14 +0000

Let’s face it. It’s hard not to like the application development flexibility that Asterisk® offers, especially if you’re part of an organization that has very specific telephony needs. But the price you pay for "free" and putting all of your eggs in the Asterisk basket is painful. Here are a few of the hurdles that come to mind: security, NAT, one-way audio, remote users, CRM support, conferencing, painful upgrades to address frequent bug fixes, and, more generally, telephone management and… Read More ›

The Ultimate Voice Dialer for Asterisk and Incredible PBX

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 07:00:39 +0000

Let’s face it. Voice recognition with Google has been hit and miss, and that’s on a good day. So we’re delighted to shift gears and introduce a new platform powered by IBM Watson’s Speech-to-Text (STT) engine. While it’s not free, that’s really theoretical for most of our readers. Your first month on the platform is entirely free. And, after that, you get 1,000 minutes a month of free voice recognition services. If you still want more, it’s 2¢ a minute.… Read More ›

Game Changer: Hooking Up Facebook with Incredible PBX

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 07:00:37 +0000

There aren’t many VoIP discoveries that get us this excited about the future of telecom. But merging with 1.5 billion users plus Facebook’s enormous talent pool and technology resources is definitely something worthy of your attention. What a Facebook marriage with the VoIP platform could mean for the future of telecommunications is nothing short of earth-shattering. Few people still have home phones. Almost everyone has a Facebook account and a cellphone. If VoIP solutions for businesses fail to take those… Read More ›

VoIP Security: Installing SSL Certificates with Incredible PBX

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 07:00:46 +0000

We’ve got some revolutionary VoIP projects coming your way over the next several weeks, but I’m sorry to say the hardest part of them is getting your server configured to use secure and encrypted web communications via HTTPS. This is quickly becoming a universal requirement of most of the major technology players. So what might not be the most glamorous VoIP topic for a Monday morning is not only necessary but long overdue. The good news is that obtaining, installing,… Read More ›

It’s Soup: The Definitive Quick Start Guide to Wazo 17.14

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:00:07 +0000

Today we’re pleased to introduce Wazo 17.14, the latest iteration in the Wazo fork of XiVO. Twelve years in the making with the same development team, Wazo 17.14 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 17.14. Wazo… Read More ›

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

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 19:00:44 +0000

We are pleased to introduce this fall 2017 update for Incredible PBX® for Raspberry Pi®. We’ve updated Asterisk® to the latest 13.17.1 version which addresses the RTPbleed eavesdropping bug we previously documented. For Cisco phone buffs, we’ve added SCCP support. Just follow this tutorial to customize your setup. And, by popular request, you now can run your Incredible PBX for Raspberry Pi from an external USB hard drive. We’ll show you how in today’s tutorial. Hard to believe it’s been… Read More ›

Twofer Tuesday: Incredible PBX 13 to the Rescue

Tue, 12 Sep 2017 15:00:53 +0000

With the Digium announcement last week that four and a half year’s worth of Asterisk® servers were vulnerable to the RTP eavesdropping bug, it prompted us to dust off our Incredible PBX® 13 for CentOS build and bring it up to current specs including the Digium patch for RTPbleed. And then along came Hurricane Issabel to remind us that sh*t happens, and it pays to have a backup plan for your telecommunications infrastructure. So today we’re pleased to introduce two… Read More ›

RTPbleed Security Alert: Asterisk Calls Can Be Intercepted

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 07:00:23 +0000

If you’ve installed Asterisk® during the past 4½ years, your server has a MAJOR security problem. If you didn’t already know, with Asterisk, your VoIP conversations actually are carried over a random UDP port using the Real Time Protocol (RTP), not the SIP port (UDP 5060) which handles the setup and teardown of your VoIP connections. It turns out that, since March 2013, all of that RTP traffic and thus your conversations could be intercepted and redirected by anyone on… Read More ›

Another Perfect Pair: Flawless VoIP with Wazo and 3CX

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 07:00:25 +0000

We previously documented how to interconnect an Issabel PBX with 3CX to take advantage of the best of both worlds. Today, we’ll again use the Nerd Vittles free 3CX server offering and interconnect it with a Wazo PBX. An added benefit of using Wazo is the fact that you can set up redundant (and free) HA servers with Wazo in minutes. Once we get the pieces in place, from Wazo extensions, you’ll be able to call your 3CX Clients by… Read More ›

Best of the Internet: American Road Warrior’s Fall Roundup

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 07:00:37 +0000

The Internet is all about sharing the best finds and once a year we like to take a fresh look at what’s new and exciting whether you travel frequently or not. While the primary focus of Nerd Vittles is VoIP technology, you can’t provide the best VoIP solutions without also exploring network and cellular technology. And, as the old saying goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. When we travel for more than a day or… Read More ›

Free Worldwide VoIP Calling with iNum and Issabel 4

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 07:00:57 +0000

In our last article, we documented how to implement free, safe SIP URI worldwide calling with an almost-free Issabel™ server in the Cloud. Today we’ll add another free worldwide calling option using iNum™. As with SIP URIs, iNum provides a way for anyone in the world to reach you by phone without paying a nickel. And iNum adds the same functionality for Issabel PBX users to reach anyone else in the world with an iNum phone number. The iNum project… Read More ›

Free Worldwide VoIP Calling with SIP URIs and Issabel 4

Thu, 24 Aug 2017 07:00:21 +0000

SIP URIs make the VoIP World go ’round. They’re the email-like addresses that carry VoIP calls between SIP servers to reach their destination. But there’s gold in them hills if you know how to use SIP URIs because SIP URI calls are free even if the calls travel all the way around the world. We previously documented how to deploy SIP URI calling with PIAF5 and 3CX, and today we’ll show you how to make SIP URI calls from and… Read More ›

A VPN for All Seasons: Introducing NeoRouter v2

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 07:00:25 +0000

Today, we want to revisit our favorite client-server VPN, NeoRouter. It’s included with all versions of Incredible PBX® and eases the pain of setting up air-tight firewalls as well as High Availability (HA) redundant servers with VoIP. NeoRouter relies upon a central server and uses a star topology to connect remote nodes. The major difference between NeoRouter and PPTP VPNs is that only registered devices participate in the virtual private network so there is no direct access to other machines… Read More ›

Twofer Tuesday: $1.50 Cloud Bargains for VoIP Deployments

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 07:00:35 +0000

We’ve been big fans of $5/month VPS offerings of Digital Ocean and Vultr for many years. When Vultr reduced their lowest tier to $2.50/month, we were ecstatic. These weren’t ideal VoIP platforms because of their 512MB memory constraint, but they were perfectly suitable as a sandbox for experimentation. And then along came OVH with a 2GB VPS that was nearly perfect for VoIP at $3.49/month. As we all know, the Earth does not stand still, and WootHosting now has once… Read More ›

Finding the Perfect Phone Solution for Small Organizations

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 14:00:06 +0000

Many of us wear several hats during our business careers. One of those invariably is managing a community organization of some flavor. We frequently are asked for advice on what the ideal telephony solution would be for such an organization. The reason for the inquiries typically is because the Bell Sisters have now jacked up the cost of a single, business phone line to well over $100 a month. And that gets you local calls only unless you sign up… Read More ›

Almost Free: Professional Grade TTS Comes to Issabel 4

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 07:00:59 +0000

There’s no need to be chained to your TV for breaking news and weather forecasts when they can be as close as the nearest VoIP phone. Today we’re elevating text to speech with Issabel to commercial-quality. We’re wrapping up our month-long romance with Issabel 4 by introducing IBM’s Bluemix TTS service for Incredible PBX®. It’s surprisingly affordable. The first million characters of text-to-speech synthesis are FREE every month so, for most users, upgrading to commercial quality speech synthesis is a… Read More ›

The Perfect Pair: Flawless VoIP with Issabel 4 and 3CX

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 07:00:55 +0000

We continue our Issabel 4 adventure today with a VoIP match made in heaven. Today, we’ll take advantage of the Nerd Vittles free 3CX server offering and interconnect it with an Issabel 4 PBX to enjoy the best of both worlds. From Issabel extensions, you can call your 3CX Clients by dialing 4 digits. From 3CX Clients, you can call Issabel extensions as well as your Asterisk® applications in the same way with the added bonus of being able to… Read More ›

Leap Into Summer: Introducing Incredible PBX for Issabel

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 07:00:02 +0000

If you didn’t already know, we’ve always liked free. No strings, no gotchas, no demoware, and no legal shenanigans. That’s why our introduction of Issabel 4 last week was such a breath of fresh air. While there’s now an awesome free version of 3CX, the open source community has had a very long dry spell. So today we celebrate a decade of adding fun to phone systems with the introduction of Incredible PBX® for Issabel 4. It includes our next… Read More ›

Independence Day for Elastix 4: Introducing Issabel 4

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:00:16 +0000

There was more than a little disappointment when PaloSanto Solutions closed up their Elastix® shop last year. The good news was that 3CX stepped in with a terrific free offer on their commercial PBX for Elastix users. And, of course, Sangoma® quickly learned Spanish to tout their closed source crippleware, the FreePBX® Distro. But today’s a new day, and there’s another great surprise as the discontinued Elastix 4 open source product is reincarnated as Issabel 4. Featuring a respin of… Read More ›

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 ›

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 ›