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Asterisk: The Future of Telephony Paperback – September 26, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0596009625 ISBN-10: 0596009623

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media (September 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596009623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596009625
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,237,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Van Meggelen is President and CTO of Core Telecom Innovations, a Canadian-based provider of open-source telephony solutions. He has over fifteen years of enterprise telecom experience, for such companies as Nortel, Williams and Telus, and has has extensive knowledge of both legacy and VoIP equipment from manufacturers such as Nortel, Cisco and Avaya.Jim was the architect of two of the world's largest managed enterprise voice networks; each solution serving roughly twenty-thousand users in more than one-thousand communities across Canada, providing telecommunications in five different languages, through six time zones, administered completely from a central location. These networks pioneered the use of extensive automation and database control in a branch voice network - functionalities not generally available in proprietary telecommunications systems. Jim has now moved on from the world of proprietary telecom, and is commited to open-source telephony.Jim is one of the principal contributors to the Asterisk Documentation Project, and is co-authoring the upcoming O'Reilly book, Asterisk: The Future of Telephony. He enjoys teaching, public speaking, improvisational acting, and writing.

Jared Smith is a long time member of the Asterisk community, and a co-founder of the Asterisk Documentation Project. Jared has over a decade of systems administration and programming experience, along with several years of professional telephony and voice-over-IP experience. As the architect of one of the world's largest Asterisk installations, he has a wealth of hands-on Asterisk knowledge.Jim Van Meggelen is President and CTO of Core Telecom Innovations, a Canadian-based provider of open-source telephony solutions. He has over fifteen years of enterprise telecom experience, for such companies as Nortel, Williams and Telus, and has extensive knowledge of both legacy and VoIP equipment from manufacturers such as Nortel, Cisco and Avaya. Jim is one of the principal contributors to the Asterisk Documentation Project.Leif Madsen first took an interest in Asterisk while attempting to find a voice conferencing solution for him and his friends. After someone suggested trying Asterisk, the obsession began. Wanting to contribute and be involved with the community, and noticing the lack of Asterisk documentation, he co-founded the Asterisk Documentation Project.

Leif Madsen first took an interest in Asterisk while attempting tofind a voice conferencing solution for him and his friends. Aftersomeone suggested trying Asterisk, the obsession began. Wanting to contribute and be involved with the community, and noticing the lack of Asterisk documentation, he co-founded the Asterisk Documentation Project.


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Customer Reviews

I found this to be a very interesting book, well written, and easy to read.
ueberhund
In typical O'Reilly fashion, this is a very readable guide for installing and administering Asterisk, the open-source solution for Voice over IP that runs on Linux.
calvinnme
My inner geek is very happy with the book, and I can easily recommend it to anyone w/even a passing interest in Asterisk.
Gabriel Guzman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
In typical O'Reilly fashion, this is a very readable guide for installing and administering Asterisk, the open-source solution for Voice over IP that runs on Linux. Step-by-step instructions are given, which is very necessary in a very new product that is short on documentation. There are even a few chapters that discuss basic telephony technology and others that discuss where Voice over IP has been and where it may be going in the context of open source solutions such as Asterisk, so this is not just a dry boring instruction manual. I notice that Amazon does not have the table of contents available, so I show and describe that here:
Chapter 1 "A Telephony Revolution" is just an introduction to Voice over IP and how it differs from computer integrated telephony solutions of just a few years ago.
Chapter 2 "Preparing a System for Asterisk" is about selecting server hardware, telephony hardware, different types of phones, and Linux considerations.
Chapter 3 "Installing Asterisk" tells you what packages you will need, how to obtain the source code, and how to compile, install, and update your source code.
Chapter 4 "Initial Configuration of Asterisk" is about working with interface configuration files, FXO and FXS channels and their configuration, configuring SIP, and configuring inbound and outbound connections. Debugging issues are also raised.
Chapters 5 and 6 are about dialplans. This ranges from dialplan basics and syntax to adding logic to a dialplan. Also expressions and variable manipulation as well as dialplan functions are discussed. Finally, the Asterisk database is discussed. These two chapters are what I consider to be the meatiest part of the book.
Chapter 7 "Understanding Telephony" discusses general telephony technology.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By HugeStakkaBoFan VINE VOICE on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book really isn't all that great and leaves many a stone unturned for novice and professional alike, but I'll give it three stars anyway just because you can legally download an electronic copy for free right from the "Support" section of the main Asterisk website.

If you want a book that's going to explain how to configure VoIP hardware that isn't sold by Digium, try "Switching to VoIP" and just stick to the online docs and sample config comments for Asterisk.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth D'ambrosio on January 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Right off the bat: this book is -not- meant to be all things to all people. If you're already well-versed in VoIP, then there's a plethora of reference material available on the web, and this book may not be something you want.

If, on the other hand, you've tried to get started with Asterisk, and things just aren't clicking, and you find that the other documentation available -- including the "Yellow book" that preceded this one -- doesn't stack up, this is IT.

With informative, well-documented steps, the authors lead you through the process of becoming familiar with VoIP, and Asterisk in particular. They take you through the creation of such arcane files as your extensions.conf, sip.conf, zapata.conf and zaptel.conf, explaining what goes where, and why. They don't shy away from advanced topics, either: there's a chapter on on AGI (the Asterisk Gateway Interface), lots of juicy reference stuff on commands, etc., in the appendices... this book is worth twice what it's selling for. And, no, I'm not taking kickbacks.

I've tried for months to wrap my head around Asterisk -- and I come from both a telecom and Linux background, and it just wasn't clicking. A week with this book, and I now have a solid foundation on which to base going forward.

[Note: there's another O'Reilly book, "Switching to VoIP", that is also very informative, and has lots of tips and tricks. It's a nice companion book to this one, but this is -the- book you need if you're having trouble getting started, or simply want a better understanding of Asterisk's goings-on.]
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jason A. Copson on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
The few reviewers who preceded me were a little star-happy with this book, I believe, despite pointing out some serious shortcomings.

I could probably say that this is the best book currently available on Asterisk, but then again, this is almost the only book available on Asterisk...

The THREE authors produced a mere 208 pages; the remainder is in the form of appendices. And when you factor in the space consumed by scripting examples, you'll realize how you finished the book so quickly.

Some of the chapters do warrant merit. A chapter on hardware requirements for Asterisk was helpful, and those pertaining to the dialplan and AGI scripting were supported with some useful sample code. But instead of delving into important areas like SIP and interfacing with service providers, the authors chose to write too much about Free World Dialup, for example. For those seriously considering Asterisk as a business communications platform, this hobbyist approach to the subject is not amusing.

(One final complaint: O'Reilly should be ashamed for allowing so many typographical errors to make it into print.)

Asterisk needs a thoroughly written manual for the telecom professional: this is not that book. However, if you are new to Asterisk and have never done any programming, this book is still recommended, if for no other reason than it's the only other (current) option apart from online material.
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