How I Got Started With Asterisk: My First Asterisk Server

Back in Dec 2003 I had decided to finally take the plunge and build an Asterisk system to replace my home office phone system. I’d been tinkering with voip in various forms for many years, since using Vocaltech software over dialup in 1996, but this was to be my first production system. For the hardware I repurposed a P3-800 as the server hardware, bought some X101p cards, an ATA and one hard SIP phone.

The installation of the OS (Fedora Core 2) was simple enough given the availability of online guidance. It was my very first Linux experience so I made a few mistakes but eventually achieved what I needed. However I found the initial setup of Asterisk daunting. So, I decided to offer to pay someone to help with the initial config setup.

To get up to speed I’d been reading the Asterisk Users mailing list. So I just watched to find someone who seemed both knowledgeable and approachable. That someone ended up being Leif Madsen who was at the time a student at the Waterloo University in Canada. As a Canadian myself (although living in Texas) this seemed appropriate.

Leif and I discussed what I wanted to setup and he coded the requisite conf files for the vast sum of $100 CDN. Of course since then he’s gone on to be one of the authors of “Asterisk: The Future of telephony.” In later correspondence it came out that I was probably his very first paid Asterisk consulting gig.

Small world, isn’t it?