Telephony Roundup 1/24

I’ve yet to move my house over to a full voip install but still collecting lots of interesting links:

* Pulver launches Bellster — now driving termination costs for calls to 0. Do I really want people calling out on my analog lines tho?
* Prototype phone with zigbee integration — one attempt at dragging the physical systems of the home into the digital age.
* Skype answering machine. I doubt that most people will want to run their answering machine on their pc. The voip answering machine service must emulate the features/availibility of existing answering machines or telco-based answering services — in both cases, easy access from a handset or multiple handsets in the house.
* Rich reminds me that I don’t just want SIP phones in the house, i need PBX functionality so that extensions work like they should — ie all ring at once on an incoming call.
* Todd Duffin is way ahead of me, he has done a lot. He’s had good experiences with the Sipura SPA-2000, an SER server, and asterisk for pbx/vm. Lot i have to learn here.

Sage advice for the day

Via Scott Loftesness, William Safire’s advice on his ending his NYTimes columns — “When you’re through changing, you’re through.”

And John Zagula had a great meeting last week with Sidney Rittenberg“Yes, the twin brothers of viability and contribution. Unless what you are doing is set up and made to be a viable enterprise, it won’t survive. But unless what you are doing makes a real contribution it won’t attract people, won’t stay vibrant and won’t last over the long run”.

Great stuff.

Cloning your MAC address

To take full advantage of the Network Magic beta release (i’m on the board), I decided to upgrade my router/firewall from a sonicwall box I’ve had for 3-4 years to a Linksys gigabit ethernet router (i’ll be switching all my nics to gigabit nics as well — $29 for the cheapest GBE nics at fry’s).

The thing you must must must do — note the mac address of your old router first, because comcast ties your service to a specific mac address. I failed to do this and spent 10 minutes trying to figure out why my net wasn’t working and then noticed that my new linksys box was unable to acquire an address via dhcp. thankfully the linksys box lets you set its mac address to whatever you want, once i made this change, things were happy.

How regular humans will ever figure this out is beyond me. I guess they will call comcast. Why doesn’t comcast make this easy for their customers?