So I was able to score some more "throw-away" gear from work today. It just so happens that we got a new VoIP system, so all of the old VoIP hardware was headed for the trash bin. I managed to save a bunch of "Cisco IP Phone 30 VIP" phones (pic1
). Together with Asterisk they are still quite useful.
So far I have only setup calling from one phone to another, but future plans include enabling voicemail, on-hold music, etc. Eventually, I'd like to get it hooked up to one of the free VoIP providers so that I can setup an 800 number for my family to dial into (and then be able to dial out again, making their long-distance calls much cheaper). Or maybe set something up so that you could dial in and get the weather or have their email read to them. It'd be pretty neat.
The irony of the whole situation is that OIT had originally contracted with a vendor to come in and implement a system like this for the department. However, they decided that it just wasn't possible. I managed to get it setup in about 2 hours this evening. Too bad they hadn't asked me to do the system. :) Oh well...