Asterisk PBX

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computing: software: Asterisk PBX

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Asterisk PBX is a free, open-source software package which creates a telephone exchange (PBX) in software.





  • callback: useful for avoiding charges for dial-out minutes on your cellphone


Interesting things one could possibly do with Asterisk (suggested by email from Hans Fugal):

  • Distinctive ring
  • Mother-in-law logic (aka ex-girlfriend logic)
    • e.g. different messages or behavior depending on who's calling
    • or even change the CID name for incoming calls to something more hip, for a finite set of numbers (or a match of numbers)
    • ring only one of the phones depending on who's calling
  • DND
  • room-to-room calls
  • Set up a meetme conference that you can use at the drop of a hat, e.g. to get a bunch of people together to sing happy birthday to your cat
  • TTS announcing who's calling. aka couch potato caller ID
  • caller ID pops up on the screen of your laptop/desktop/whatever - aka computer geek caller ID
  • system access, e.g. uptime, load, memory, run a script (might want to password-protect that)
  • call in and secretly monitor your cat in the living room using the console
  • call in and scare the cat with the console (aka paging or intercom)
  • zapateller
  • make up a wacky answering machine message with Audacity
  • dial-a-song
  • dial-a-madlib (markov chain)
  • math game for the cat
  • horoscope
  • dictation machine
  • control your rhoomba
  • jukebox control
  • place an automatic call to yourself when some event occurs (using the manager API)
    • new PLUG email
    • SCO stock drops further
    • alarm clock
  • get a motion sensor and combine the intercom and call placing ideas, to scare the cat (burglars)
  • time-of-day logic (fewer rings at night, or no rings)
  • write a script to place a crank call
    • places call
    • with spoofed CID (Jason Hall <801-555-4956>)
    • playback(tt-monkeys)
  • Use that crank call script automatically from a spam filter, but use the FBI's CID this time. Or maybe Bill Gates.
  • Don't abuse caller ID too much and ruin it for the rest of us who want to use it for legitimate purposes (look like we called from a business phone even though we're at home)
  • voicemail to email
  • time and temperature (and other weather)
  • speed dial
  • gambling IVR (blackjack hand - if you win your call will be completed. if you lose you will be disconnected)
  • Allow extended family to place calls in your local area over VOIP
  • Set up family voicemail (press 1 for Chris, 2 for the wife, 3 for the cat...)
  • music on hold that reflects what you're currently listening to
  • (from Wzl) Automatically send email to DNCR complaints center when blacklisted numbers call