Freetalk Connect was initially announced in January at ITEXPO East. Thomas Howe, CTO of In-Store Solutions, made a guest appearance on a VUC call on August 13th to discuss the device. At that time we learned that Freetalk Connect is based upon Asterisk and Skype-For-Asterisk.
Originally published in December 2008 at Small Net Builder.
It has been nearly three years since I first published an article detailing my experience setting up an Asterisk server on an embedded PC platform. That turned out to be just the start of a wave of interest in the embedded system or “appliance” approach to Asterisk. Since then, a number of companies have offered ready-to-roll Asterisk appliances.
Many of these Asterisk “appliances” are really just pre-configured servers running a bundle of software built around Asterisk. To meet my definition of “appliance” the system should have no moving parts. That means diskless, fanless, silent and reliable.
Preconfigured servers are very capable but they often have much of the administrative overhead of an old-school Asterisk installation. They usually require someone with Asterisk or telecom experience to plan and implement a working system.
I have deferred upgrading my own Astlinux server a very long time. I knew it had to be done, but also knew that it would be essentially rebuilding the system from scratch. When Jazinga offered to let me evaluate their new Asterisk appliance, I saw the possibility of deploying something simpler, with less administrative overhead.
In their flagship MGA120 PBX appliance, Jazinga set out to build a device that could be installed in a typical small business, home or home office by someone with minimal IT skills. It combines common networking and IP telephony functions with software designed to make installation and administration truly easy.
In a few days our friends over at Small Net Builder will finish polishing the stone that is my Jazinga review and post it online. I’ve been thinking about live support for the review in some fashion. That is, I could put the system online and let readers dial-in to experience the IVR, leave voice comments, etc. I’d work up an monster IVR maze just for the purpose.
It would be at a local Houston area number that arrives over IP. It could also be available as a SIP URI. I’d leave it up for perhaps a couple of months, or until activity was completely gone.
What do you think? Is it worth doing? Leave a comment, or send me a tweet.
I’ve been crushed the past week trying to get my Jazinga review down on paper. With a final review by my wife it was off to the publisher late last night. I can finally come up for air.
There’s such a difference between blogging on something that catches my imagination and 3,000 words that capture the essence of a device. Just a little time left working on supporting images, which will definitely be submitted today. I’ll post a link once it goes online.
BTW, we’re working to have someone from Jazinga on a coming edition of the VUC call.