So I finally got my 100 mbit internet connection. Yay! But after testing the speed through my WRT54G router/firewall, I could not get higher speeds than around 20 mbit/sec. After assembling an old 300 mhz pc with three Ethernet cards and the SmoothWall linux firewall I get around 70 mbits/sec. I will probably try to overclock the poor old pc to 400 mhz tomorrow. To try everything out, I downloaded the XCode 2.2.1 development image from Apple. It’s around 800 mb and it took just a couple of minutes. I could get used to this.
So I’ve been busy for the last five days setting up my Asterisk PBX. I’ve connected two different VoIP lines to it. I have the X-Lite VoIP softphones installed on all the computers and an FSX device so I can use my regular wireless phone. And it’s enjoyable learning something new. First, my wife thought that I was crazy, “Who needs a telephone switchboard at home!?” But I think she’s coming around. Now she can sit at her computer using a headset and talk to her friends without holding the line. And it’s easy to transfer calls between all the phones in the apartment. It’s also nice to have a digital answering machine and get the messages mailed to you. The added benefit of multiple lines on the same phone number and that it doesn’t cost anything to dial a phone in Sweden is a bonus.
The last two days I have worked on a Perl AGI module for Asterisk. When someone calls, the script looks up the name of the person or company calling on the internet and shows it on the phone display. It works now, but I’m about to start to add a database function to it, so It saves the name/phone number in MySQL to minimize the load on the net and to get faster lookups. You can write the AGI in PHP, C or Perl, so I decided that this was an excellent opportunity to learn Perl. It’s a fantastic language for doing data mining. I will probably start using it now that I’m getting the hang of it.
It’s nice to see that there are companies like Rix TeleCom. It’s one of my VoIP providers. And talk about excellent service. And they let their customers connect using an Asterisk server; they even have a forum for asterisk users on their web page. And a couple of their employees regularly answer technical questions on the forum. It’s nice to see a company that is “hacker” friendly. They’ll get my recommendation.