Asterisk ready to meet Australian demand

Asterisk ready to meet Australian demand

AUCKLAND-based Linux specialist Asterisk has appointed Dick Smith as mass reseller for its PC Reviver, a fat-to-thin client conversion device.

The Telecom NZ offshoot is also distributing its product in Australia through Thin Systems - a three-month-old Sydney-based thin client specialist.

Asterisk co-founder and CTO Igor Portugal says PC Reviver ( is a matchbox-sized gadget.

“You plug it into the IDE socket on the motherboard, where the hard drive ribbon goes and it turns an old computer into a thin client terminal,” he says.

PC Reviver can run on Citrix, Microsoft Windows Terminal Server, Linux and Unix.

The device has been on sale in New Zealand for a couple of years, with Asterisk initially selling directly to its own customers. Late last year though, Dove Electronics was appointed New Zealand distributor for a shrink-wrapped version of the product.

Some 500 devices have been shipped to Australia, where they sell for A$210 each, following its recent launch at the Citrix iForum event in Sydney.

New Zealand sales, now running at 400-plus, are at $260 ex GST per device, though Portugal says this is less than half the price of dedicated thin client terminals.

Despite current sales in the hundreds, IDC estimates around 50,000 thin client terminals could be sold in Australia each year, as people shift from hard drives and complex PCs towards simple boxes.

“We can crank up production to deliver thousands a week, if need be,” Portugal claims.

While ideal for SMBs seeking a low cost IT refresh, he adds that his tool is also good for the environment because it reuses old PCs.

Five-year-old Asterisk offers managed firewalls; email servers; Linux installation, plus related services and considers itself New Zealand’s leading Linux specialist.

Last year Portugal and other founders sold their shares to systems integrator Gen-I, which was recently taken over by Telecom New Zealand.

“PC Reviver is the first product we are marketing internationally and we are getting many inquiries. We have tried it, proven the concept and started deploying the units. But let us make sure the Australians are happy before we take it further afield,” Portugal adds.

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