[kwlug-disc] voip questions

unsolicited at swiz.ca unsolicited at swiz.ca
Fri Feb 11 10:52:20 EST 2011

On Fri, 11 Feb 2011 09:50:30 -0500 (EST), John Van Ostrand
<john at netdirect.ca> wrote:
> So does a presentation that only just brushes on ATA and telephony card
> but spends more time inside Asterisk and FreePBX work? That should be
> generic enough for Ubuntu, Fedora and Trixbox users. The target
> configuration would be a SIP ITSP line as a trunk and home phones as a
> single extension. If there is time we might be able to set up a SIP soft
> phone.

Quick answer: Include ATA's, including SPA3102. Not necessarily deep
configuration (per Raul's 3 step implementation), but people can see it,
touch it, it's familiar. (Pick it up and you get dial tone. Dial an
extension and you can talk, with the same sort of beasties I have at home,
already. Bonus points, I suppose, if those attending with laptops have a
softphone which can register with a test asterisk box on site, and start
[video?] calling each other during the presentation. )
- it is probably fair to say that beyond an ATA or 3102, you're into a
more complex situation, get help if you're intimidated. BUT - everything
else they are about to learn forms the basis upon which this hardware sits,
so pay attention.

- this could be presented regularly, multiple venues.
- should this be less a presentation and more a workshop? kwartzlab?

There are multiple problems with these ideas, which is not to say that
something is better than nothing (as we have seen?), but only to say that
it is hard to effectively address the wide variety of audiences that VoIP
potentially addresses.

- I guess I'm speaking here beyond kwlug, to something that kwlug may only
form the core base of.
- advertise 'Home Automation', 'Asterisk', or 'Get Rid of Bell!', seems to
put different spins on things.
- to Kiwi's point, the first step seems to be "What do you want to do?"
Which leads to the no endpoint situation of "What can be done?" Somewhere
between the two, people's eyes glaze over.
- the idea of 'taking over for Bell' as your home communications
distributor is intimidating.
- people want fire and forget. Do this, problem solved. However, phones
are 'bet your business' 'essential services' and they mistrust their
ability to play or migrate to it, in their casual time available. (Thus the
3102 above - plug this in, see, everything still works. Acquire a DID, see,
still works. Have their number ported, see still works. Turn off Bell ...)
- but if they see its viable, and can get someone to come in and make it
happen for them, for free ...
- So, since things quickly get beyond fire and forget, how to hold people
through 'all this technical stuff' (which is really nothing more than there
are a lot of little pieces in the mix, be it sip, provider, ata, moh, call
forwarding, wi-fi) so they come out the other side saying "Yes, I want to
do this!"

I'm thinking there are 3 aspects here: concepts, how to, and see it /
touch it, it's real. Not sure this can be done in a one or two hour
session. (Am sure this could be done every week for a year, and you'd still
have new people signing up to attend.) Let alone by one person - although
John has sure tried. (Thank you John.)

It does seem that this is all more workshop than presentation.

Is it possible we're actually talking about a 'k-w voip' group, here? And
since we are now viewing phones (voip) as but a part of larger context
(convergence?), something rather more than that?

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