Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Borked EPG

Note to self (and other SageTV users): Mess with the Beta stuff on a different box. If you upgrade and then revert, you have to delete and re-add cable video sources. Otherwise wiz.bin is incorrect and your EPG service won't work (you'll notice "No Data" creeping into your schedule).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Asterisk and overhead paging

For anyone interested, I put a mini howto in the wiki for adding an overhead paging function to Asterisk, complete with bosun's whistle alert sound (think Star Trek). I've also shown how to convert wav files into gsm, alaw, and ulaw files. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Shmoocon speakers

The Shmoocon news site list of speakers for Shmoocon has been finalized. Expect to see them pasted up on the speaker schedule shortly.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A box of crap

I bought a box of crap at a yard sale this past weekend. It goes along with the recent "we moving" sale from which I obtained pallet-loads of junk from my emplyer. It's absolutely scary how many 5-10 year-old devices are out there that pone home once you plug them in. Even scarier is that the sites they're connecting to are still there.

Needless to say, I've "recovered" parts (power supplies, cables, mounting screws) from a number of VoIP devices for which the manufacturer is absolutely rabid about service payments (i.e., the devices are in the trash but I've a ready store of the usual these-break-first parts).

Now's all I need is the time to desolder a number of connectors. Where'd I put that solder sucker?

I also need to worry about the hardware moratorium. My wife has been quietly watching all of this movement and hasn't said a thing. Mebbe she's just wating to see how much actually "stays". (I also did promise to sort through my old stuff and toss out various bits.) I hope to have my workbench (my desk) cleared off by Easter.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Level 9

The EPG listings are broke (making them look like the same show played over and over) but the Sci Fi Channel is running a Level 9 marathon on Feb 1st (first 8 shows) and Feb 20th (second 8 shows).

See? The writers' strike does have some nice side effects...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Skype and VoIP interoperability, please!

I'm not able to say it as nicely as Dan York has, but please list me amongst the paying customers that would like to call a VoIP provider on a different network. Skype, are you listening to your customers?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Chanalyzer 3.0

Just received an email. The Beta 4 version of Chanalyzer (for the Wi-Spy) is out, which means the production version isn't too far away. Visit MetaGeek for the software.

It may also be worthwhile to note that they released Inssider 1.0.6 a couple weeks ago and the Linux tools ihave been tweaked, also (not by MetaGeek).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


(For Sparks) Here's a thought. Even though you weren't able to connect to RedHat's network, I bet we could have used one of the "olpc-mesh" connections as a hop. Something to play with next time we're somewhere where we can experiment with connections and talk to the owner(s) of an OLPC.

FUDCon 2008 notes

We're back from FUDConRaleigh2008. Admittedly, we were only there on Saturday. It's just taken this long to get around to doing the notes.

Both Sparks and I suffered from Bill Gates Syndrome in that I could not get F8 to recognize my CDROM drive and Sparks wireless wouldn't cooperate. His problem was surprising as it's both a recent system and a recent wireless card (which worked when we tested it in Virginia). My issue wasn't that surprising as the laptop a Sony that's over five years old. Getting a distro up and running on it, when it was brand new, was a headache and a half.

Luckily, I had the N800 with me. I was able to visit some of the sites that were talked about and I managed to grab a few photos (I'll post them when I have the change to sort through them). I think that, next time, we'll spend the weekend before building/testing systems, vice on-the-fly.

All in all, it was a good time. We sat in on a few of the talks. FedoraTV, open source GIS, and Asterisk were memorable. When we first got there, I fired up Kismet on the N800 to see what was available (RedHat provided a wireless connection). To our suprise, we detected 5 OLPC computers. We didn't see them at first but did get to touch one of three later in the day. (Hint: they show up as ad-hoc probes for "olpc-mesh".)

The one sour note of the evening (which irks me more and more as I think about it) was a particularly rude comment by Jared Smith, at the end of his talk. He'd given a copy of his book, "Asterisk: The Future of Telephone," to a young woman sitting in the row in front of me. She was actually quite happy to have received it. I suggested that she get Jared to autograph it, which she did. As I was leaving, I overheard him say something along the lines of "How would you like it signed? Best of luck to my favorite E-Bay bidder?"

Grr... What an ass ego ass!

(Note to Jared: Some people cherish their autographed books. I have a number of them, even some published by O'Reilly. Besides, you aren't worth that much.)

Regardless of one poorly thought out comment, I highly recommend FUDCon and BarCamp. Even if you only learn one or two new things while attending, you get to meet people from various circles and you'll probably pick up a few new ideas about some of the programs you've been using for years. Heck, you might even end up talking about one of your passions.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Changing the SageTV web port

I've updated the page for the SageTV web interface to include how to change the port that the service listens on (mine was conflicting with DansGuardian).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Too much detail

Was in the store today and noticed something really annoying on the 52-inch HD displays: the newer DVDs are programmed to take advantage of the ability to sense the size and resolution of the displays. The end result is that Hollywood can cram an insane amount of information (translation: even the studio garbage man gets a credit) into one screen.

The store had the latest Harry Potter DVD in the drive. It had cycled around to where it was waiting for someone to push "Play". No central graphic. Just three columns of credits and disclaimers, with the "Play" button in the border at the bottom of the screen.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Your children are in danger!

[*sigh*] Are we so bored that we've allowed the security press to resort to printing the sort of yellow journalism crap where you should fear anything involving technology? It was a model. A number of assumptions were made (like one node's actual ability to infect another). Given the limitations of the standard access point and the technical requirements for one access point to "discover" others nearby, this isn't likely to happen. The study even stated such. However, the press managed to blow this up into "be afraid, be very afraid".

With this article, I'd much rather see people "be annoyed, be very annoyed!"

Monday, January 7, 2008

Blog claim

With apologies, I'm using this post to claim my blog in Technoratie. Please ignore the below. This post should disappear in the future.

Technorati Profile.

Installing CDR

With apologies to Juan Daza for taking so long to add them to the wiki, he has provided notes for installing Call Detail Records (CDR) functionality in Asterisk, using Postgres.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

FUDCon 2008

Somehow, Eric has talked me into going to FUDCon 2008 in Raleigh. He almost had me talked into going a day early, to attend the TriLUG meeting. Unfortunately, the budget's a bit tight at the moment, what with my son starting another semester and Shmoocon being 4 weeks following.

In any case, it looks interesting (this will be my first un-con of this type). I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cheap Trick

Here's something that's super easy and rarely done: adding a favicon to your Icecast web page: just copy your favorite favicon to /usr/share/icecast/web/favicon.ico and hit reload on your browser. (Example below.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Conference call

Would there be any interest in my hosting a Talkshoe conference call where callers could collaborate in working on their [Apache|Asterisk|mail|Savonet|etc] setups. I won't claim expertise with any of these but I can see the value in having other people help configure and test when I'm working on stuff.

What do you think? Something like a couple unstructured hours on a Saturday afternoon/evening?