Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Might Have a Problem With Letting Things Go...

I'm working on a technical project where there aren't a lot of software solutions available - commercial or opensource. Thus far, I've found two that look like they might do what I need to do.

Today, while I was killing time with StumbleUpon, a website came up for a company that's developing what could be a third option. So, I sent them a quick message to see if I could get more info. They replied back quickly, asking if I had Skype and could do a video call (they appear to be a smallish company and are eager to line up potential customers). I'm guessing the Skype thing was both because a lot of people like video conferencing and because they're in Europe and I'm in the US (Skype means no international calling-rates).

I don't really like doing video conferencing to begin with. When I'm required to be on them, I generally try to find a spot in the meeting room that's off camera. What's more, I dislike Skype and really don't want to load it on my system. Since I've got several SIP-enabled devices (both a TA for our house and my mobile devices and laptop), I offered up SIP-to-SIP as an option.

After I sent off the email with my SIP info, I realized, "crap: I've never actually used my VOIP in a SIP-to-SIP capacity. I better test that it actually works!" And thus began the geeky-waste of the rest of my day.

While there are plenty of things out there for testing outbound SIP capabilities, I wasn't turning up too many options for testing inbound SIP. Eventually, I opted to load some soft-phone software on a couple of my cellphones and try dialing my home SIP number. There were ...issues. I eventually got them sorted out (turns out that the free SIP service I'd set up on my cellphone's soft-phone software only did anonymous calling and my home SIP account was set up to reject anonymous calls). But, in the process of getting it sorted out, I ended up sucking in another geeky friend of mine to help with connection-testing and troubleshooting.

Probably would have been a lot quicker to just load Skype. I just have a hard time doing the "easy" thing when I both want to do it another way and have time to work at getting that way to work. I was on vacation, today, so...