The solutions growing up around the Asterisk telephony engine and toolkit are plentiful. One of the latest is The Amanda Company's Vdex-40, reputed to be the first embedded Asterisk-based system to enhance voice quality. The secret, according to the company, is “the inclusion of multiple microprocessors as well as DSPs”. The Vdex-40 ships with 16 G.711, G.723.1, G.726 and G.729a/b voice codecs (a mix of 16 concurrent codecs), hardware-based G.168 echo cancellation and four built-in telecom line ports. Amanda also touts the Vdex-40's elimination of moving parts, such as fans and hard drives, which further improves the product's reliability. Despite its technological advancements, the Vdex-40 is intended to be an affordable, Internet-enabled telephone system for the needs of the small office/home office market.
The goal of the British firm SIMPOL is to simplify cross-platform software development, which has been advanced recently with two new products: the SIMPOL Developer Kit and SIMPOL Desktop. First, the SIMPOL Developer Kit, using the SIMPOL programming language with redistributable libraries, provides the components necessary for creating applications of many types, such as desktop, Web server and standalone server. Future releases will support application development for Mac OS X, Windows CE and SymbianOS. Second, the SIMPOL Desktop, which works with the Developer Kit, is a lightweight end-user database product that enables users to build data-rich applications without programming and to modify sample applications. One can create an application based on database tables, forms and reports. Applications can be deployed by writing them as extensions to SIMPOL Desktop rather than re-inventing all the functionality over again.
If you are managing high-volume Web infrastructures, check out the new version 3.2 of Hyperic HQ from Hyperic, Inc. HQ's value proposition is an open-source solution offering “hands-free monitoring and management for Web-scale systems”. HQ supplies performance and event data, product coverage and the functionality operations teams need to discover, diagnose and deliver a solution in a single tool. Version 3.2 adds features, such as cross-platform diagnostic tools, Nagios support and MySQL support with up to 1.5 million transactions per minute. Hyperic also counts CNET as one of its customers. Linux support includes Red Hat and Fedora. The standard edition and a three-device trial enterprise edition of Hyperic HQ are available at Hyperic's Web site.
Keeping track of the licensing conditions of the complete source code of an open-source project can be a pain. Such pain stimulated HP's FOSSology Project, a tool that quickly and accurately describes how a given open-source project is licensed. FOSSology analyzes all the source code for a given project and reports all the licenses being used, “based on the license declarations and tell-tale phrases that identify software licensing”, says HP. The goal of FOSSology, which literally means “the study of FOSS”, is twofold. First, HP seeks to allow IT organizations to adopt open-source software confidently, as well as to uncover what open-source software is being used within their environments. Second, HP seeks to support open-source developers and distributors to create a clear licensing picture of the projects and packages they produce. The tool is available to all in order to promote a more vibrant, open community of open-source users and contributors.
Developers of embedded systems are typically faced with the challenge that every new controller needs a separate debugging or programming adapter. These often either are not available or disappointing on the Linux platform. To the rescue is Embedded Products' USBprog, a free, universal programming adapter with a bootloader and tools that allow one to change the adapter's functionality via open-source software easily. Users can install different firmware versions from an ever-growing on-line pool over USB. The adapter can be used for programming and debugging AVR and ARM processors, as a USB-to-RS232 converter, as a JTAG interface or as a simple I/O interface.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal