So the idea was pretty good, and it seemed that the Asterisk software was pretty mature, but I did run into some problems. The first time I tried setting this up I tried downloading, compiling and installing the zaptel driver and the asterisk software manually. This led to some kind of error where no matter what happened Asterisk could not see the telephone cards. Although, for some reason the web interface working on top of Asterisk could.
But anyway, the way I finally got it working was to download and install the zaptel source code for the drivers from the debian repositories and then compile the driver. Apparently you can’t get pre-compiled drivers from the debian repo’s. The package itself (zaptel-source) had a dependency on another package called ‘module-assistant’. After installing the zaptel-source package through apt, I compiled and installed the package using the command ‘m-a a-i zaptel’ i.e. ‘module-assistant auto-install zaptel’. This managed to install the drivers properly. Then, I installed the asterisk version in the debian repository as well by just running ‘apt-get install asterisk’.
Tomorrow, I start configuring the asterisk installation.