Asterisk ... it's amazing and super powerful and super flexible but, as you've discovered there is a bit of a learning curve. For something as broad as a PBX it unfortunately has to be that way. There's an "easy" version called Trixbox but it ships as an appliance. You could run that in a VM but then you'd have to figure out how to route all of the SIP portsw from your network edge to Trixbox, which could be tough.
I've been running Asterisk on my home network for years now. It's great having my Ethernet-attached phones and the ability to do all sorts of custom features. I've got TWO numbers from IPKall. One is a number that, when called, behaves exactly like my POTS line; I use it when I call home from my cell phone, so if someone is on the phone it still rings in instead of producing a busy signal. The other is a number that goes straight to voice mail, every time. I have my cell phone configured to forward on busy or no answer to that number, effectively making my *home* voice mail system the one that is attached to my cell phone. I just didn't want another voice mail box to have to check.
Or you could just run their software in a VM, which is what you're going to do, but I'd want to go for the 100% Completely Digital solution. It already bugs me that I get digital SIP delivered to my house via fiber, which then runs over ten feet of cable as a POTS line before getting converted right back into SIP as it enters my server.
registered me a number in less than 5 minutes and works.
I expected at least some small hiccups because of the vm but it works so far.
I haven't seen such a seamless install of anything since 1995 or so when I installed apple's digital camera software on windows 3.1
The business model (or scam, if you prefer, but it's currently legal) is for CLEC's to set up shop in some rate center where the settlement micropayments for terminating calls is relatively high, and then offer services that center around receiving a high volume of calls. The most well-known are free conference call services. IPKall is another; they simply complete the incoming call by sending it back out over a SIP trunk.
Ekiga is a VoIP client, but you have to remember that with SIP there really isn't any such thing as a client. SIP is peer to peer.
When you "set it up as a client" all you're really doing is registering with a switch somewhere, telling it "when someone dials my extension, hey look I'm over here at this IP address." But if the address is static, you can easily route calls directly to it.
Which is why I'm not rich. :( And the SIP thing makes sense too. Somewhere someone must have written a simple SIP gateway, easier than asterisk, so that you can use your wifi sip handset behind NAT...
As for the business model, it definitely depends on being able to work with razor-thin margins. They offer absolutely no support of any kind, and they probably already had all of the equipment already in place from whatever lines of business they were already conducting.
That's true too. And easier to configure than the way I suggested. :)
Those fancy credit cards with the chips in them are not all that secure:
I've often thought about how these RFID chips are unsafe. I'm carrying in my wallet 4 individual RFID enabled cards that someone could probably very easily steal just by brushing up against me. When I pay for stuff using the contactless payment system thing, it doesn't ask you to sign it, enter your PIN, or anything at all. It's just ....... Approved!
put tinfoil in your wallet, or put the cards in a tinfoil closure.
But then.... I came home one day and noticed the vm rebooted, and not cleanly. So it didn't start up again. I had to poke it to restart.
I was on a call for work (best test I can think of) and the vm crashed again.
Ok, so much for that.
So I just installed the latest virtualbox, installed xp and installed magicjack.
Hopefully vbox will fare better.
I hope there's some way to get this working....
Reverse engineer your magic jack software, grab your SIP credentials, and discard the hardware. It's tougher than it used to be but you have exactly the right kind of brain to do it.
Asterisk can be tough to set up but you can at least run it on your bare metal Linux OS alongside VMware or whatever hypervisor you're using. And if you need help setting it up, all the assistance you need is right here :)