HELP! is any body out there? i am so lost

I am 50 years old and disabled (almost home bound). I am so bored with television and internet surfing. I have two computers. While surfing the net I discovered LINUX. This open source idea caught piqued my curiousity. Also I work from home doing out bound phone work for different organizations in different parts of the country. While researching LINUX I came upon ASTERISK, which would help me immensely by reducing my phone bill charges.
I have seen lots distros, virtual desktops, dual os partioning, dual boots,
cd live, and so on…HELP!
I have time and patience and am not totally (almost) computer illeterate. My first experience with the internet was DARPA.

You can try kubuntu - install it, then you can install Asterisk and - start “playing” with it.
It is not easy, but it is possible to learn how to use, how to make your own AGI scripts, how to use databases …

Welcome to the club. Asterisk looks very hard to learn in the beginning but it can be learned.

Some of the google searches for hotspots for usefull info are:

  • voip-wiki asterisk
  • asterisk guru
  • asterisk russel
  • asterisk the future of telephony (legal and free downloadable)

The forums on can answer lots of question (and raise others).

on irc #asterisk there are lots of people who like to answer your questions if you show that you put some effort in trying it yourselve first. (ask specific questions and most of the time someone will try to answer your question, don’t ask “I have build my asterisk system, what next?”)

Because Asterisk is so flexible it seems in the beginging that you need skills for perl, python, Mysql and lots of other stuff . All this knowledge is handy but my advice is to go plain Asterisk on a Debian system. With Asterisk script you can accomplish almost everything you can possibly think of if it comes to dialplans and Debian (this is just an opinion) has a great package manager.

Cheer up and Success!!

If the sole reason to try Asterisk is to reduce your phone costs, you probably can just connect an Analog Telephony Adapter to an extra phone at home and have it connect to an ITSP of your choosing.

But… If you want to learn about Asterisk, Linux, and Telephony in general, by all means use the resources lesouvage listed as well as these forums.