VoIP Handset, Ekiga and Ubuntu
Before we move the management said that everyone would have a VoIP phone. What I had in mind was a regular looking phone that plugs into an Ethernet line instead of the regular phone line. I was wrong. Instead we were given a handset not unlike a cellphone but wired to the PC via USB. Its a generic product, it doesn’t even display a any brand name (or manufacturer name) except the now-ubiquitous “Made in China” label.
The mini CD included is supposed to have some drivers and VoIP software. But I skip it since the word “Linux” is nowhere on box. Edgy shows a pop-up saying that a new audio device is already configured right after I plug the thing. Sweet! (Now that’s true plug and play) I found out that it functions more or less like a speaker and microphone (with a dedicated sound-card).
My co-workers found the linux version of the software pretty fast. Sadly, I don’t like the looks of the software. I found out that the VoIP uses the SIP protocol. Luckily Ubuntu has a built-in FOSS SIP client application, Ekiga? Setting Ekiga isn’t really hard. It didn’t take long until its up and calling (via the handset of course). Perfect example on how FOSS can truely shine!
There is something
fishy odd about the handset. It has a screen like a cellphone. But the it never lit up, at all! Not even on Windows. Is it really a screen? If it isn’t, why make it look like one?
The second strange thing is the keypad, it does not work. On Linux at least.
Not sure about Windows though. Apperently the keypad works on Windows. There are only two keys that works on Ubuntu, the up and down button. It raises and lowers the sound volume respectively. Pretty nice. It can double as a volume control remote :)
Aside from the audio device, Ubuntu also detected it as a USB input device. It is from this device Ubuntu knows that the up and down button is pressed. Printing the device node directly shows nothing when I press any other keys :(