I'm not going to mince words here: I can't stand telemarketers. I don't care whether they are charities, political organisations or just run-of-the-mill salespeople, I simply have neither the time, interest nor will to waste my own neurons talking to them. It particularly infuriates me that technology - auto-diallers and voice-over-IP - combined with minimum wage staff, has made it so easy for telemarketers to misuse my time, while making a fortune from it. Even being on a do-not-call list hasn't fixed the problem completely; there's so many exemptions that I still find I get unsolicited calls far too often.
Of course, technology can be fought with more technology, and fortunately those of us who move in the free-software sphere have been graced with the marvelous gift of Asterisk, which presents many opportunities to waste the time of these people, as they try to waste ours. The equipment needed to run this is all fairly basic, by today's standards: I have a Snom-300 IP phone on my desk, a Linksys SPA-3000 adaptor to connect my PSTN line into my household ethernet (and can also drive a standard PSTN phone) and finally an old-whitebox PC as my Asterisk server.
So if you're being driven insane by students reading from canned scripts wanting your money, here's five ways to use Asterisk to get rid of them and maybe even slow them down in the process...
Author: Paul Dwerryhouse <firstname.lastname@example.org>
OpenSolaris 2008.05, Sun's community-developed open-source Solaris distribution, was released in May of this year, to much fanfare. While I began my system administration career in the Solaris field, I've found myself more and more in the Linux arena in the last few years, and haven't had a good look at Sun's flagship product since back in 2005, when Solaris 10 was released. With this in mind, I decided to pull down an ISO and see just how much going open-source has improved the product.