I was going to start a new thread in either Hardware or Open Source Software to ask if there was much interestd in Asterisk.

The reason I ask is because I just picked up a copy of Asterisk: The Future of Telephony. I did this even though you can get an electronic copy of the book for free.

Asterisk is an open source software application that provides PBX phone functions. You can use it for VIOP with nothing extra, but you need to buy extra computer cards if you want to use analog or digital phone lines. You can get a card that will support 2 lines and 2 extensions for about $200, so the hardware is not very expensive.

I had known about Asterrisk for a long time, but it was only lately that I seriously started thinking about working with it. I have a home business, and I realized that if I had a PBX I could use the auto attendant to route calls that were personal of business, replace the answering maching with real voice mail, route faxes to the fax machine, and all the other great things you can do with a modern phone system that most companies don't use. Plus I hear that you can also make it part of your home automation, if you are into that, and do things like display callerID information on your TV and lower the volume as well when you get a call. :nerd;

Unlike most PBXs Asterisk is completely programmable and you can extend it using PHP, PERL, and others. You can combine VIOP and regular phones, and do things like have them in remote locations and have a VIOP call use a local phone line to bypass any toll charges.

If there is enough interest perhaps we can gather together some resouces that interested NPs could use?