If I may, I think the problem is that Matt Trask bought a product made by a company that fosters a pretty lame model of customer service and product support. Yes, I know this device (AA60) is sold as an appliance. And yes, I know that if I do anything at all other than genuflecting in front of it then Tech Support won't ever talk to me again. And I understand that if I want a phone switch to sell to a retail customer that does not require me to have any technical competence, then this is probably a good one.
But that having been said, in over thirty years as a system programmer, system designer, and user/consumer of technology-based products, I have never before met a company (that is still in business) that denies genesis of its hardware products (like the 3Com AA50) or refuses to accept money for a paid support account on a used product that is still under an existing support agreement but happens to have been sold or acquired by a new owner. A good example of a company that does this right (and prospers!) is Dell.
So then, back to why Matt Trask is capable of making such dumb choices in his telephone technology.
I understand that Digium is a Wholly Good Company because Mark and friends give away their software to anyone that wants a copy. But this doesn't IMO excuse the closely-held embargoing of hardware assistance for legitimate owners of used product. Yes, that's right, I said "used" product. As in the AA50s and AA60 and AA300 that I bought on eBay. Isn't that a silly idea? That a Noobsterisk would actually buy genuine Digium hardware for learning on instead of using some crappy old PC? Which, by the way, I understand is actualy a "supported" platform.
So given that I am not actually trying to obtain support from the paid Tech Support line for an actual commercial installation of the product, where's the harm in discussing the internals and how it actually works? Is someone afraid that maybe I'd discover that emperor has no clothes or something?
And many thanks to the member of this forum that emailed me a reasonable discussion of how to do what I asked.
And back on the topic of selecting turn-key solutions that are supported by "vendor backing", that might have been the outcome of my unconventional learning approach, but probably not if I lose faith in the vendor during the learning process.