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Author Topic: DreamPlug for home telephony? (The AMFTAR Project)  (Read 9466 times)

The Octagon

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DreamPlug for home telephony? (The AMFTAR Project)
« on: 09 April 2011, 09:57:20 am »

Hello! I arrived at New IT's site following some research into potential means of rolling my own highly-configurable Linux-based home telephony system. (Before this morning I was unaware of the existence of plug computers.) My initial (and still primary) motivation is to be able to build an answering machine for the anally-retentive (hereinafter referred to as "AMFTAR"), connected to the BT PSTN telephone network, which will be able to respond to different callers in different ways, based on their caller ID. The DreamPlug looks good to me for that purpose. The PlugPBX project ( indicates that this kind of device can be used for what I want to do, but makes no mention of the DreamPlug (presumably because it is so new), and seems to focus on VoIP, in which I am not interested (yet). Obviously, the DreamPlug is capable of much more than slumming it as a souped-up answering machine (and my mind is already spinning with other applications for a DreamPlug in my home), but that will be my first project if I buy one when they become available.

I have some questions based around this:

1. The DreamPlug, for my purpose, might be a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but it's a fairly inexpensive sledgehammer, and I'm attracted by the potential for endless tinkering and customisation. Nevertheless, does anyone think that I'm going down completely the wrong avenue? Is there a much simpler way of building my AMFTAR, which I have failed to notice?

2. I'm aware that I would need to purchase extra hardware in order to connect to the BT network. Would the best solution be just to find a Linux-friendly external voice modem? Or are there other more dedicated devices that would be better suited? Has anyone used a SheevaPlug/GuruPlug or similar device for the kind of thing that I am talking about? I would be very grateful if anyone could recommend any robust hardware that has no problems talking to Linux.

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Re: DreamPlug for home telephony? (The AMFTAR Project)
« Reply #1 on: 09 April 2011, 10:32:54 am »

The plugpbx project was designed around the Sheevaplug. I don't understand enough about the technical issues regarding the difference between your requirement and what plugpbx offers, but it seems to me that the Dreamplug has additional (hardware) features that wouldn't be relevant. Correct me if I am wrong.

Therefore I would have assumed that the default starting position would be to consider the Sheevaplug.

As to whether either platform is suitable for the non-VOIP functionality that you describe, maybe there are others with specialist knowledge in this area...
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