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Open Source Hardware Where Art Thou?

audiocodes-mediapack-114VoIP Supply’s Garrett Smith has an interesting post the other day. Actually, we can cross reference a couple of posts to follow his line of thinking. Firstly, he offers some advice on selecting an analog gateway in a post titled, “Four Keys To A Successful Voip Gateway Purchase.” It’s a good basic overview on VoIP gateways for the beginner.

I’ve made my thoughts on gateway/ATA devices well known in the past (here, here and here). I see them as relics of a prior era of VoIP, and to be avoided if at all possible. However, some people feel that they are truly necessary. Whatever floats your boat.

A little later on over at VoIP Supply’s VoIP Insider Blog Garrett poses the question, “Where Are The Open Source VoIP Gateways?” That is a fine question and one the deserves an answer. It also needs to be broken down a bit to get to a clear answer.

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Toward A Community Developed IP Phone

A few days ago on the Asterisk Users Mailing List Tzafrir Cohen of Xorcom fame started an interesting thread about the possibility of a community developed IP Phone.

A common wisdom here is that one should use a proper hardware phone rather that an extra software on the user’s PC. Why is that such a big issue?

One thing that bothers me with the current crop of hardware SIP phones is that they are hopelessly proprietary.

So what would it take to build a fully-adaptable phone?

I am 100% behind the assertion that most users want a hard phone on their desk. Soft phones, even good ones, seem to be exclusively the domain of those who travel and vertical niches like call centers.

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Netgear’s New Open Source Router

So Netgear has released an open source router. Thus it has something to compete with the open source version of the venerable Linksys WRT-54GL. Garrett Smith has an interesting viewpoint on this. One that I’m inclined to agree with.

I’m not a typical user. I’m an early adopter. I don’t mind putting in some effort to making something work up to its promised potential. I also like open source, but I just don’t see the value in running 3rd party software on a hobbled router platform. It’s just not good use of my time.

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