Write Access

Great Asterisk article!

Great article that you run in Linux Magazine, issue #63 / February, p22! I never would have expected that implementing my own private PABX on a Pentium II, with a connection to the real public PSTN network, was that easy using Asterisk. I am running Red Hat. I just downloaded the kit from http://www.asterisk.org and did a build from sources! I believe changing the Makefile was not necessary.

I would just suggest the following prerequisites before you install:

Configuring the sip.conf, rtp.conf, and extenstions.conf was the most difficult task. Another important issue was the firewall and the NAT traversal.

I learned a lot by reading http://www.voip-info.org/wiki-Asterisk+SIP+NAT+solutions

Using md5secret for local extensions hides the real password. To calculate the md5 secret, you can use the following command and include the result after the = sign.

echo -n 1000:voip.mshome.net:1000 |md5sum

I repeated the above for the 1000-1005 range - one personal number for each of the family members! My children can call each other in the home using numbers in the 1000-1005 range...

My telephony switch really proves the power and the interoperability of Linux. I am using the X-ten softphone and a SpeedStream VoIP to PSTN converter to allow me to also plug in my legacy telephone sets.

I am certainly not using the proposed linphone or Kphone softphones (sorry) because the X-ten softphone has a much richer GUI and functionality and is both available for Linux and for Microsoft Windows. You'll find the X-ten phone at http://www.xten.com/index.php?menu=download.

Geert Van Pamel, by email


Thanks for your comments. We're glad the article was useful.

I guess I should add for the rest of you that Geert Van Pamel is not only one of our readers but also one of our authors. You'll find his thorough study of how to set up a Squid home proxy server in the November, 2005 issue of Linux Magazine.

One of the things I like best about Linux Magazine is our readers are also our authors. Nice work Geert! You win the prize for the best use of a Pentium II.

Yellow Journalism?

A recent headline in your Business News read, "Massachusetts Wants to Dump Microsoft Software." (Issue #60 / November 2005, p10)

You know that this is just the type of yellow journalism that the Open Source community would jump on if the headline was biased in favor of Microsoft. We're winning the war. This is a major win for Open Source. No need to use the tactics of FUD that the opposition uses. I predict that Microsoft will fight this battle for a very long time, and during this battle, there will a lot of dirt slinging, so just the facts in the news columns, and leave the opinions to the letters to the editor and the Editor in Chief's column.

Jim Kissel, by email


At the time the headline was written, the State of Massachusetts was voluntarily proceeding with a course of action that would lead to the dumping of Microsoft software. We didn't mean to imply that this action was taken with malice or with any conception of a predetermined outcome. Actually, we agree that the headline was a little out of step with what we usually like to do in the Business News. Thanks for the feedback. We quite agree with you, but we assure you there was no FUD intended.

We subsequently clarified this matter in the Business News and the Editor Comment of issue #61 / December 2005. In the future, we'll watch our headlines. You'll also notice that we have more on this topic in Business News this month. As you predicted, this will be a very long battle.

Please send your comments and suggestions to letters@linux-magazine.com