Sangoma USBfxo: too little, too late…

Sangoma recently introduced a new FXO product, the USBfxo. The USBfxo is a dual FXO port device, connected to your Asterisk server via a USB connection. Now, while I do admire the way Sangoma keeps trying to kick it up a notch with new products, but isn’t Sangoma a little late to jump on the USB train?

Sangoma USBfxo Device

Sangoma USBfxo Device

Xorcom had been in this business for 4 years now and I see no reason why would the Sangoma product be any better than the Xorcom product. In addition, if Sangoma is targeting their product at the very low-end PBX systems, in my book, they actually missed the product line. In my view, if Sangoma wants to put a proper USB device on the market, it should have a minimum of 4 ports on it, 3 FXO and 1 FXS. You are probably wondering why I’m propsing such a weird combo, well, the reason is simple – Fax machines and they yet to be improved Asterisk FAX capabilities, and the fact that people still use FXS port of physical fax machines. I’m one of the biggest Asterisk and VoIP promoters I know, and even I use a physical fax machine at some points in time. True I used Hylafax and IAXmodem to receive most of my fax transmissions, but when it comes to sending faxes, nothing beats a physical machine.

So, as I started saying, Sorry Sangoma, too little, too late … better luck next time!

SanDisk Cruzer + CentOS 5.1 Live = Let the good times roll

Ok, I admit it, the topic sounds ultra geeky and nurdy – but I can’t help it, there is something about booting up your computer from a USB pen drive, having all your nicely wrapped tools in there and having fun with it.

In this case, my pen drive is actually the driving force behind an extremely powerful call recording system, based on the Asterisk Open Source PBX system. Essentially, the Cruzer boots up a CentOS 5.1 system, fully equipped with an Asterisk + Zaptel + LibPRI + FreePBX. The system is configured to utilize up to 12 E1 circuits, with auto sensing scripts that will automatically configure your system upon first boot-up. Once the system had booted up, it will start identifying your hardware hard drives, and will start cataloging to these hard drives all the recordings according to the pre-determined logic.

I currently use a MySQL database on the Pen Drive to store catalog information only, which is working nicely – but I need to figure out a better way to store more information – 2GB of MySQL storage may be enough for a short while, but serving a large contact center won’t be much of a good idea – I think.

The Pen Drive was created using tools from www.pendrivelinux.com, which contains wonderful information about how to create your own custom Linux based Pen Drive – Excellent!