The "LinuxMCE God" is correct, LinuxMCE is geared for the simplest form of the very inexperienced HA user. I get that.
The point I was trying to make is that there are some of us that would still like the availability to something like FreePBX to configure our home/business communications as we need. The current LinuxMCE I downloaded does not offer me that as version 8.10 did. I do understand the problems with trying to provide support to those that have no earthly idea of what they are doing when it comes to Asterisk. I know this as I deal with it on a daily basis with companies and home users I service. I can't say that I wouldn't have taken it out also under those circumstances, but I think I would have left the option to install it as an add-on for those that do have Asterisk knowledge.
This ability I'm talking about is is basically simple in its form (if you understand Asterisk and its abilities just like any other program). I use it for the following:
I'm a single parent of a 14 year old girl (the last of five still at home) whom has tons of friends not only from school but church and other activities she is involved in. As I learned from the prior older children having to stop a movie, stop eating dinner, etc.... to answer phone calls all during the her awake time becomes a bothersome thing at times. With Asterisk (which is a full blown PBX system) I can take the phone numbers of each of her friends, enter them into Asterisk and set up call routing so that only her phone (extension) rings and I'm not bothered with having to get up and answer it. In addition I allow her to activate the "follow me" feature as needed for when she leaves to go to the mall with friends (inbound call will ring her room first, then will ring and announce who it is, then, if still no answer then it routes to her cell phone or any other phone number she will be at for the day), or, allow her to send them to an "IVR" that she can set up as she needs. Some of her inbound calls are for keeping track of information only, like scores for the high school games in our city so that she can report these scores the school news paper. With IVR option people can select the game they are calling and then enter the scores as necessary.
There are times when she (and/or I) need to have conversations with several people at one time (like when out of town family calls around the holidays). Asterisk allows for "conferencing". We can schedule a time for a conference and when that time comes all calls route to a call queue and then we decide to accept that caller or not into the group. Same goes for video conferencing.
3: Best call routing:
During the summer and holiday periods our friends go to other countries. Now we all know how expensive a cell phone call is in another country. Since I have Asterisk machines in several countries (besides the U.S.), with the use of a WiFi capable phone or communication device signing onto a "local box" or directly to the main machine here allows for calling back to the states through my system and saves big time money. Now some would say that Skype does that, no big deal, that's true, if the party you are calling has a Skype account otherwise you have to pay per minute fees to call landlines. I have a Skype account "trunk" and with "DISA" if the person you are calling doesn't have a Skype account then you dial my account, when Asterisk answers the call it is automatically directed to an outbound line with dial tone. All perfectly legal since the point of dmark is at my machine. In addition, if I or my daughter need to call an over seas number (where I don't have a machine) then I have "best routing" trunks set up in Asterisk so that I get the best deal I can for the money I spend with VoIp providers.
4: Cell Phone down time:
How many times have you been somewhere your cell phone doesn't work and you can't get WiF? No problem, We have an 800 number we can use from any local phone, and again, with DSA we can call anywhere.
5: Appliance problems within the home:
My kitchen appliances, central unit, security system are all monitored. If a problem develops with the refrig, no prob. Refrigerator notifies me through Asterisk and plays a recording according to the pre-established setting I have programmed in the refrigerator monitor board I developed. Now that I have LinuxMCE it also displays on the Tv and/or Orbiter. Again this is all done through custom call routing in Asterisk.
6: Ham radio communications:
I know some of you out there are Amateur Radio Operators (hams). If you know Asterisk then you know about what it can do for your radio communications. No more needs to be said on that....
I could go on and on, but I think this pretty well describes some of basics of Asterisk' capabilities. Without a GUI front-end setting this up would require a lot of coding that FreePBX does for you (there again if you understand Asterisk & FreePBX) or having to write code for LinuxMCE to do this.
Now I admit, I have a separate (several) Asterisk machine(s) that does all the functions listed above only because I had them set up before I found out about LinuxMCE. But now that I have LinuxMCE somewhat working (still learning) instead of transferring all of the other Asterisk machine to LinuxMCE I just went in and set up trunks and dial plans to communicate with these machines. Without the FreePBX (that was in the 8.10 version) it makes for additional coding I wasn't expecting so I will either figure out how to add FreePBX to LinuxMCE or go back to using 8.10. No biggie, it's all doable. Hey I'm just happy to have LinuxMCE so that I didn't have to reinvent the wheel so to speak.
Trust me, I wasn't trying to degrade anyone or LinuxMCE for removing FreePBX. I was just surprised when I read that it had been removed and wasn't going to be put back in since I figured there were other like me that would love to have it. That's why I wondered why it was left as an option as a add-on, that's all. I know now why.
I appreciate the opportunity to be part of this forum and to have expressed some possibilities that can be added to LinuxMCE.