Can I make Asterisk do this?

Our church/school has an Iwatsu Adix telephone system with voicemail being handled by an Active Voice Repartee installation on a computer running OS/2.

I want/need to upgrade the voicemail system, mainly because I’m afraid the computer running it is going to suffer a hardware failure and our voicemail will go bye-bye.

Can I use Asterisk to provide voicemail with our Iwatsu Adix system? If so, where do I start?

There are 5 incoming phone lines and about 30 extensions. The current voicemail computer has a card in it that connects via cable to the Iwatsu system. I’m computer savy enough to handle this if it’s possible - but I don’t know where to start.

You will first have to figure out what sort of interface the system has to the voicemail. Is it standard FXS/FXO, or is it something different? What kind of card is in the voicemail system?

If it is simple FXS, you will then have to figure out how the signaling between the phone system and the voicemail system is done. How does the phone system indicate the called number? DTMF? What sort of disconnect supervision does the phone system provide?

You may find that it’s easier to just replace the phone system.

Alternatively, you could just replace the hard disk, any fans, and the power supply in the voicemail system. You might have to do some legwork to either make OS/2 work with large drives or find a small hard drive on which to copy the old one. That would probably be the easiest, unless there’s some sort of licensing system in the VM software that checks the hard disk’s serial number or something like that. Most that I’ve seen have a hardware key hanging on a parallel or serial port, though.