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Preview: Nerd Vittles

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Ward Mundy's Technobabblelog

Last Build Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:54:39 +0000


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 ›

It’s Soup: The Definitive Quick Start Guide to Wazo 17.01

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 07:00:07 +0000

Today we’re pleased to introduce Wazo 17.01, the latest iteration in the Wazo fork of XiVO. Twelve years in the making with the same development team, Wazo 17.01 is really something special. And 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 17.01. If you’ve been following along in our XiVO adventure with Incredible PBX last year,… 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 ›

XiVO Nirvana: Cloud Hosting with SIP Service for 15¢ a Day

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 19:43:20 +0000

Unlike in the Ma Bell era, the real beauty of VoIP technology is being able to experiment with different providers and never having to put all your eggs in one basket. And today we’re pleased to introduce a new XiVO hosting and trunk combination that provides first-class service at truly incredible price points. For the XiVO cloud provider, we’ve chosen OVH, a cloud platform that was recommended to us by our friends at 3CX. It also works great with the… Read More ›

The Stealth AutoAttendant for Incredible PBX and PIAF5

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 07:00:01 +0000

This week we’re dusting off an oldie but goodie, The Stealth AutoAttendant. If you missed our original column 8 years ago, here’s a quick refresher. When a call comes into your PBX, a generic greeting is played: “Thanks for calling. Please hold a moment while we locate someone to take your call.” Then the call is transferred to an extension or ring group. Stealth comes into play because this is really an AutoAttendant and, while the greeting is played, a… Read More ›

Implementing WebRTC with Incredible PBX for XiVO

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 19:01:50 +0000

We continue our open source adventure with XiVO today by introducing Sylvain Boily’s latest masterpiece, WebRTC for XiVO. 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 XiVO with all of its modules, the key components to support WebRTC are already in place thanks to XiVO Snapshots. If you have an earlier… Read More ›

Free At Last: Introducing PBX in a Flash 5

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 07:00:33 +0000

Today is a big day. We are thrilled to introduce PBX in a Flash 5 powered by 3CX®. As many of you know, 3CX has been a platinum sponsor of Nerd Vittles for quite some time so this may not be a complete surprise. The good news is a new Debian-based PIAF5 ISO is now available to ease the installation process for those getting their feet wet with Linux for the first time. Debian 8 is a terrific Linux distribution… Read More ›

Introducing Incredible PBX with XiVO Snapshots

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 20:47:53 +0000

If you’ve been following along in our XiVO adventure with Incredible PBX, you already know that there were a significant number of configuration hoops to jump through once the base install was finished. While these steps are well documented in the original Incredible PBX for XiVO tutorial, there still were plenty of opportunities for typos and skipping steps. Any misstep could spell the difference in a perfectly functioning PBX and one that couldn’t make or receive calls. Today we’re pleased… Read More ›

Type It or Say It: Asterisk SMS Messaging Returns with Incredible PBX for XiVO

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 07:00:19 +0000

We continue our XiVO adventure today with two simple additions to the Incredible PBX for XiVO dialplan that enable SMS messaging both from SIP phones such as the Yealink T46G and using voice recognition from any XiVO phone. To implement SMS messaging, you’ll need at least one Google Voice account configured. To implement the voice recognition option, you’ll also need to first enable voice recognition on your Incredible PBX for XiVO server. The prerequisites for SMS Messaging from a SIP… Read More ›

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: 4 Months of Free Cloud Hosting

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: A Free Cloud Server for 4 Months

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 ›

Mastering XiVO IVR and AutoAttendant Design

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 ›