Once upon a time you could hook your Asterisk-based PBX to your Google Voice account to make and receive calls. How you hooked it up over the years changed (annoyingly). And at the end of 2018, support for accessing Google Voice via XMPP was dropped. Remember when we trusted Google to be the “for the better good” company? Oh, how times have changed.

With the tech giant under increased scrutiny for it’s advertising practices, I’m not at all sad about leaving one of their products behind. The only thing I wanted to keep was my cool Google Voice phone number: 29-FOELL.

I did it with the help of Nerdvittles and included several screenshots here for easy reference. I also used his advice when it came to picking a new VOIP provider. After looking at a few options, I’m going with Skyetel. Not because it’s the cheapest (it’s not), but because it has an important feature for our home phone: E911.

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Single-user vs service

Before you install Duplicati, there’s one question you need to ask:

Does this computer have multiple user logins (that you want to back-up), or is it primarily used by one user?

This is important because you can install Duplicati in one of two ways: to run as a single-user, or to run as a system service that is available to all users. By default Duplicati is installed for a single user, but if there is more than one user on the computer you want to be able to back-up, you’ll want to install it as a service.

If you don’t install it as a service, when Duplicati tries to read files that belong to the other users, it will get a permission denied error and won’t be able to back those files up. You don’t want to find out that your files weren’t backed up when it’s too late.

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I started my voice over IP (VOIP) installation with the pre-configured for raspberry pi – “Incredible PBX” software – care of the Nerd Vittles crew.

For phones I have a Linksys RTP300 analog telephone adapter (ATA) that I purchased at a local thrift store. It’s a discontinued product, but they’re easy to find for cheap on eBay.

The one I purchased had firmware that was coded to only work with Vonage. Years ago I was able to hack it and unlock it. https://thegeekoftheworld.com/unlock-rtp300/

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I replaced an 11-bay mega-tower computer, that had a 1000-watt power supply, with this:

While this setup still looks a little crazy, it’s more adapter wires than anything:

This write-up covers installation of IncrediblePBX 2020.3 on a RaspberryPi 3. The latest instructions are always available on NerdVittles and incrediblepbx.com, but I wanted to document my experience here for posterity. This article will cover installing X Windows for a GUI, and Samba & SSHFS for cross-platform file sharing on your home network.

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Suddenly I find myself trapped in my own home due to COVID-19. It’s not really a big deal because I work from home normally. But it has changed my weekend plans drastically. So it’s time to start tackling one of my 2020 goals:

Organizing all of our digital files and having a consistent back-up strategy.

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