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Setting Up

The Jazinga system arrived with minimal printed documentation—just a two-sided, single-sheet quick setup guide. This described physical setup and installation through to the end of the initial setup wizard.

Happily, the on-board help system is fairly comprehensive. It was useful in clearing up many of the questions I had when examining the advanced system menus. Although the basic information is there, the help details are sometimes a little thin, lacking reference to underlying principles. A little more depth might prove useful.

Jazinga provides two layers of administration. The wizards make basic processes very simple for inexperienced users. The rest of the "advanced" menus expose more of the internal details of the system.

In fact, while there are multiple wizards, they are really still a work in progress, with some more useful than others. However, both approaches are dramatically easier and more intuitive than administering Asterisk at the command line, or even some other web-based administrative overlays that I have used.

The most involved wizard is the one that runs at initial startup to get the system's network and VoIP parameters defined. Beyond that, there are other wizards that can be used to achieve specific tasks such as:

  • Add / edit / remove a user profile
  • Create an auto-attendant menu (IVR)
  • Manage VoIP service provider accounts
  • Add /edit / delete a new route in the system (inbound calling)

I started by attaching the various devices I was going to use with Jazinga. This included a couple of Polycom phones, a Panasonic cordless phone on one of the analog FXS ports and a laptop for administration. Lastly, I made the connection from the systems WAN port to a Comcast cable modem.

At initial power-on, the system beeps once then starts to boot and run various applications. After a pause of a few minutes, it sounds three beeps in quick succession. This indicates that the system has booted successfully.

The boot process seems a little long at first and gives little indication of what is actually happening. On a larger Asterisk server I would normally be logged in via SSH and watching the console to monitor boot progress. With Jazinga, I just listened for the beeps and watched the front panel light for periodic drive activity.

Once fully booted you are ready to go through the initial setup of the system using the web interface. The system assumes a default IP address of 192.168.50.1. Pointing a web browser at that address or more simply http://jazinga.local/ brings up the initial login screen.

Setup Wizard

The very first time you access the web interface you are met by the Setup Wizard (Figure 3).

Setup Wizard start

Figure 3: Setup Wizard start

The wizard takes you through the initial setup in about twenty steps as follows:

  • Welcome screen
  • Emergency dialing (911) notice
  • License agreement
  • Establishing an admin password
  • Establish WAN connection type & related settings
  • Enable Wifi, establish encryption type and passphrase or passkey
  • Select analog line or a VoIP account for default use
  • Enter VoIP account details
  • Enter initial user profile
  • Assign user an extension number & voicemail
  • Assign user a phone
  • Optionally establish “Team” aka ring groups
  • Optionally establish an auto attendant menu
  • Create auto attendant script, select text to speech or record your own voice
  • Setup routing for each auto attendant selection
  • Auto attendant graphic summary
  • Setup Wizard summary

The initial setup process is quick and took me less than 30 minutes to have the system up and running with a couple of users and extensions.

Check out the slideshow See the slideshow for Setup Wizard tour and other admin screens

The auto-attendant portion of the setup was interesting in that it offered two ways to create the menu announcements. Presuming that one phone is already set up and working, you can record the announcements in your own voice. This is very much like configuring a voice mailbox, a process that should be familiar to everyone by now.

Alternatively, you can type in the auto attendant script and choose to have the system use a text-to-speech feature read the announcement for you. Text-to-speech programs have been around for awhile but have never been as easily accessible as this. The program used a female voice to read the IVR script. While it stumbled with some words, it was in fact better than I had expected. Most people, especially businesses, will probably choose to record their own menu prompts so that they flow well and sound as natural as possible.

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