MLRS – My Little Relay Station

Previously, I wrote about experimenting with TAPI3. TAPI3 is Microsoft’s implementation of a Telephony API for Windows. One of the new things in TAPI3 (except for being implemented using COM) is that in TAPI3 the abstraction of the API goes beyond phone devices, and also includes H323 (which is a Voice over IP protocol) telephony.

Seeing that I thought to myself that a nice project would be to create a way to use your home computer to make local phone calls over the Internet. For example, let’s say you travel outside your country to a place where there is an Internet connection. The idea was that you would connect to your computer at home, instruct it to dial (using a modem) and talk to a person in your local area.

For a while I thought this idea could even be extended to a peer-to-peer network of people allowing calls to be made using their computers while they are out of their homes. Think about it – a person goes to work and leaves her phone line unused for all that time of the day when she is at work. This line can be used, by people who live far away, to make free calls (assuming local calls are free).

However, today phone rates are dropping as more and more VoIP infrastructures are being established. The relay station idea is no longer such a big motivator for people to use. Maybe the peer-to-peer thing can be implemented with a different technology, which is available today, in an easier way.

I wrote some code to get the MLRS to work. Unfortunately, I had a problem with my computer’s crappy hardware (or at least I think that was the problem), so I stopped developing this one.

Oh, and one more thing… I know that MLRS also stands for Multiple Launch Rocket System. The pun is definitely intended.

One Reply to “MLRS – My Little Relay Station”

  1. Someone who is being called to reserve duty so often should know that MLRS also stands for Military Library Research Service… (and not to mention the railway station for a relaxing stay in the hills of Adelaide)

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