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Asterisk: The Future of Telephony, 2nd Edition [Perfect Paperback]

Jim Van Meggelen , Jared Smith , Leif Madsen
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)


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Book Description

September 4, 2007 0596510489 978-0596510480 Second Edition

This bestselling book is now the standard guide to building phone systems with Asterisk, the open source IP PBX that has traditional telephony providers running scared! Revised for the 1.4 release of the software, the new edition of Asterisk: The Future of Telephony reveals how you can save money on equipment and support, and finally be in control of your telephone system.

If you've worked with telephony in the past, you're familiar with the problem: expensive and inflexible systems that are tuned to the vendor's needs, not yours. Asterisk isn't just a candle in the darkness, it's a whole fireworks show. Because Asterisk is so powerful, configuring it can seem tricky and difficult. This book steps you through the process of installing, configuring, and integrating Asterisk with your existing phone system.

You'll learn how to write dialplans, set up applications including speech synthesis and voice recognition, how to script Asterisk, and much more -- everything you need to design a simple but complete system with little or no Asterisk experience, and no more than rudimentary telecommunications knowledge. The book includes:

  • A new chapter on managing/administering your Asterisk system
  • A new chapter on using Asterisk with databases
  • Coverage of features in Asterisk 1.4
  • A new appendix on dialplan functions
  • A simplified installation chapter
  • New simplified SIP configuration, including examples for several popular SIP clients (soft phones and IP telephones)
  • Revised chapters and appendicies reviewed and updated for the latest in features, applications, trends and best-practices
Asterisk is revolutionizing the telecom industry, due in large part to the way it gets along with other network applications. While other PBXs are fighting their inevitable absorption into the network, Asterisk embraces it. If you need to take control of your telephony systems, move to Asterisk and see what the future of telecommunications looks like.


Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Join the Open Source PBX Revolution

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-author of the bestselling 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 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 is currently working as a consultant, specializing in Asterisk clustering and call-centre integration. You can get more information at http://www.leifmadsen.com


Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Second Edition edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596510489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596510480
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,196,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opening the door for the Asterisk revolution January 31, 2009
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just a note, this book can be downloaded for free from OReilly online. Mr. OReilly also has an interesting blog about the future of distributing books this way using download statistics from this book. I am a bit old fashioned when it comes to reading, so I opted for the printed version. But it is also nice to be able to search the appendix on channels and applications in the PDF version.

As the authors openly admit, the hardest part about this book is to decide what 'not' to include in the book. Asterisk's flexibility and almost unlimited potential are intimidating even for the most motivated. After hearing about Asterisk a few years ago, I was surprised to find so few books on the topic and many scattered around information. Coming from a Cisco background, I was getting spoiled with shining books and a vendor-driven learning paths.

At the time, after read up on user groups, blogs, man pages, and various sources, I was able to get the phones to register and ring. This was very cool for the first 5 minutes, but the system lacked all the standard features that would make it useful. I then spend the next few days trying to get voicemail, conference bridge, auto attendant, and Free World Dialing to work. Long story short, the system stayed as a science project for me while I move on to Cisco, Sipura, SipX, and other products in the next few years. I remain enthusiastic about Asterisk and its potential so I continued to watch for any new publications. Unfortunately, Voip-info.org still remained to be the place with the most Asterisk information, but I often find myself being frustrated by the lack of organization and works-for-me-but-use-it-at-your-own-risk code examples.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed Help for Asterisk Setup December 7, 2007
Format:Perfect Paperback
This asterisk title is not for the faint hearted, assuming you have a working knowledge of linux and not afraid to jump in to some command line configuration. That said, there is some great explanation for basic set up to advanced features and to hook up to various VoIP providers.

From my perspective I was hoping for more details such as configuring time conditions for holidays and things of that nature, so I felt the book stopped before it covered topics I wanted. For what it does to, it does it well with detailed examples and descriptions as to why things work they do.

Don't look for this title to be a novice walk through guide, but if you want some good reference for setting up your own small to large business installation having this book on hand is a good idea.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but glitchy December 6, 2007
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm enjoying the book and learning a lot from it, but this newest edition has some editing problems, such as typos:

Page 99: "providers may insteadSession Initiation Protocol" - and I don't know enough about the subject yet to figure out what they meant to say

and logical errors:

Page 71: "if you want to build an IP-only configuration, you can skip to the section on configuring SIP." - but if you do, expect to be coming back to this page because you'll have skipped over some important stuff and will have no idea what's going on

But these are comparatively minor problems with an otherwise great book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Price is right November 28, 2009
Format:Perfect Paperback
This book enumerates the functions and features of Asterisk, but does little to facilitate deep understanding. I can make the same positive comment about this book that I can about every other O'Reilly book that I own: it's cheap. If you want a good book, plan to pay $50-75 or more. Good, clear technical writing is very time consuming and sales volume is low. Therefore, good technical books are expensive.

Also, no need to study up on Asterisk. The easiest-to-use implementation out there for free is Trixbox CE. If you want an Asterisk switch you can live with, go Trixbox and buy a book on that particular build.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice September 30, 2011
Format:Perfect Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very great item and quality book. Shipping was very good and was quick. The item met the needs very good and it was just as I expected.Nice
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read September 26, 2011
By Steve
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a great read! If you want to start your own ITSP, check out Bicom Systems' white paper:[...] Enjoy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment !!
This book is not as good as advertised. Particularly when it describes the installation of asterisk and its accessories where there is a mess. I did not understand anything. Read more
Published on July 16, 2010 by nonlinearly
4.0 out of 5 stars Asterisk is more than a toy
This book gave me the motivation to play with asterisk. It's a great toy, but capable of being much more in skilled hands. Read more
Published on December 5, 2009 by Stephanie Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory readings if you are interested in the future of telecom
The book explains the broad context of OpenSource telecom.
After this broad picture the reader is taken into Asterisk as a product. Read more
Published on May 29, 2009 by KnutA
5.0 out of 5 stars Beginners and intermiedia can learn from this book, reference for the...
I bought the first iteration of this book a few years back. Asterisk has certainly changed quite a bit in that time. Read more
Published on May 11, 2009 by David Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! A must have for all serious asterisk users
Great book! A must have for all serious asterisk users. Contains all you will need to know about asterisk 1.4 .
Published on May 10, 2009 by Milton E. Holley Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Asterisk review
Great book, well written and serves both as an instructional guide and as a reference book. Fortunately, AsteriskNow has been released so the hard core details of doing an... Read more
Published on April 5, 2009 by Rand A. Beveridge
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