For the past couple of years I’ve been working on a book for beginners to VoIP. I’ve learned a lot over the past few years by implementing a VoIP PBX for a client and for myself. One thing I learned is that VoIP is insanely complex, and that the existing books for VoIP beginners don’t tend to start at the beginning. So I somewhat naively figured “Why don’t I write a book for beginners myself?”. After all I was a beginner, so I know what beginners need.
Well that has turned into an on-again, off-again project that never seems to get closer to being done but manages to consume vast amounts of time. I’m going to try to get something published within the next few months, but I’ve been thinking that for a couple of years now. We’ll see.
The book is tentatively titled “Installing Your First VoIP PBX — Working With Callcentric and Grandstream — Volume 1: Orientation”. Originally I wanted the book to have both an orientation and specifics for setting up a PBX and VoIP phones. What I’ve learned is that that is simply too much for one book, and further, that VoIP hardware is evolving so quickly that it is impossible to keep hardware-specific content up-to-date. To adapt to these constraints, it seemed more sensible to produce three shorter books rather than one huge one.
The plan is to get the books produced by Amazon’s on-demand publishing service, Createspace. It’s reasonably priced, and aside from the fact that Amazon keeps a lot of the money, it has the huge advantage of not costing anything to get started.
I’ve been distributing a small number of copies of the book by email to interested beginners who are willing to critique it, as well as to VoIP professionals who are willing to tell me about any mistakes I’ve made. If you fit into one of those categories, contact me with your email address and I’ll send you a review copy of the book in its current unfinished state. I’ll stop doing this once I’ve got enough reviewers, or the book actually makes it into print.
Update (9/5/19): I’ve given up on the book. The main reason is that Grandstream updates their firmware (and thus the user interface of their products) often enough that it is pretty much impossible to produce an up-to-date book based on Grandstream (or probably any manufacturer’s) hardware. I’ve found myself losing ground; content is becoming obsolete faster than I can write it.
My intent is to start putting much of the non-obsolete stuff I’ve written into posts on this website. There’s a lot of good stuff that I think could be helpful to others. I’ve already posted about ATAs. Hopefully I can get the rest done this winter.