Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, August 07, 2003

  Book publishers at LinuxWorld... and VOIP

Prentice-Hall had galleys of Eric Raymond's new book: The Art of Unix Programming. I've just spent a few hours browsing it online, rather than finishing my LinuxWorld summary. I like the detailed comparisons between the design methods of various open source projects. Given the wealth of historical data now openly available I wish more researchers/writers/managers had thought to examine that - and come up with "Why"'s, not "How"s. Eric also spends much time talking about design patterns. Brook's book, "The Mythical Man-Month", has influenced the computer industry for 30 years, perhaps Eric's will do for the next 10. My favorite part is the collection of "rootless root" koans...

If I'd read The Career Programmer: Guerilla Tactics for an Imperfect World 6 years ago, I might have had a lot more fun. And I'd be working now. The book's from a publisher I'd never heard of before.

O'Reilly had an absolute ton of new books out, but the one that caught my eye was an older one on VOIP using VOCAL. I saw 5 people browsing it in the booth at the same time.

Consider all the VOIP enabled PBX's out there. Quicknet's been doing Linux Telephony for years. There's multiple software stacks, open source ones like Openh323, Vovida, and asterix, and commercial ones from multiple big-name vendors. There's multiple products from Cisco, and Sprint....

Notable at the show: Michael Robertson announced his new Sipphone - IP handset. 129.99 for the phone. Or 250 for two.

Who needs local telephony when what you need is an extra line out to a friend across town? I still remember as a kid using radios to talk between houses late at night when I thought my parents were asleep... think of that teenager you have that rings up big bills on the cell and hogs the landline you have that costs 40/month, and encourage him/her to get an IP phone instead...

Got DSL and a network in your house or business, why not (at least) run your internal phone calls over it?

The basic infrastructure exists for Voice over IP telephony to finally rise above the radar. Will it? Yes. This year? I don't know.
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


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