Home Secure PBX Project...intro...

The project I talked about earlier is a project to put together a secure home PBX system.  Just for fun.  I thought it'd be a good exercise and it would expose me to some telecommunications concepts with which I am completely unfamiliar.  Getting out of one's comfort zone is a good thing, right? So, to get started, here's what I've got as a home-networking set-up and this is how I see it changing...

Box 1:  linux public server.  Some ancient AMD Athalon based system with, I think, 2g RAM.  Running SuSE 11, I believe.  Was my hardened home server before I moved the domain out to the cloud.  (here)

Box 2:  Sarah's Windows box.  An HP Pavillion Slimline x3300 PC.  Pretty much a piece of crap that we got at Best Buy for like $400 a couple years ago.  It's running Vista currently, but in way-I'm-too-retarded-to-do-you-any-good-scaled-down mode.  Seriously.  For all of Vista's hype, this GUI looks like Windows 3.1.  Crapware.

Box 3:  My old windows box which I dumped when I got my current box (iMac 27" i7...drool...)  ... this Vista box is a Gateway LX6810-01 and it's a pretty decent box.  I used it for a LAMP platform for a hot minute, but mostly as a glorified XBox with a keyboard.

Here's what we're going to do....

First, I've moved the domain and the email traffic off Box 1, which had a dedicated IP, to the cloud.  I've copied all the relevant files I wanted to save off this machine and have shut it off for the first time in years.  The immediate plan is to take it outside and abuse it's innards with a full can of compressed air.  Then I'm going to throw it into a surplus pile and I'm not going to look at it again until the final phase of the project with the intention of making this machine the dedicated server for voice messaging and voice mails.

Box #2 really has nothing on it except for a bazillion Skype screen-caps that Sarah took of the grandbaby.  God help us all if I lose those files.  So the current plan with this box is to copy the user directory (C:\users\...) over to Box 3 on a network share.  Any and all of the software that she uses on Box 2 is already installed on Box 3.  Aside from Skype, the only other application she uses is Shisen-Sho, so, meh.  The trick is going to be that her user account is under my name and Box #3 only has one user account which is also my name.  So, I'm going to try adding her as a user by renaming her user folder on Box 3 that I copied over, use the user administrator to create a new user, then copy those files over and see if Vista will accept them.

Probably not.

One interesting thing I noted during the file exchange -- Box #3 which could see Box #2, could not open a network ... what's the Windows term? ... share?  to Box #2....couldn't find it and it presented me with the stupid Vista error message -- do I want to run diagnostics and try to fix the problem?  Seriously, Microsoft.  Of all the times I have seen that dialog pop-up, and I've seen it a lot, not once, not ever, never, and in: it's not happened, has Vista ever located a solution to it's own problem.  I figure the problem is an infinite loop of self-definition, but that's just me and my hatred of all things Microsoft.

Once I can confirm that Box 2 files are safely installed on Box 3, and they're accessible under her newly-created login, then I'm going to nuke box #2 and install a hardened version of CentOS 5.5 on the box which will become the asterisk pbx server.  Box 3 will become the wife's new game/skype box and she'll also be able to play Warcraft in double-digit frame rates, so, win all the way around.

Anyways, that's where I'm at now...just checking in and letting you know.  This week, we've all been major-league sick with this flu going around and I've spent the last two days slack-jawed and drooling when I haven't been passed-out asleep.

More laters....