Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gizmo, Grandstream, and Asterisk

This past week, I added a Gizmo interface to my Asterisk box. It's extremely simple to set up (notes here).

To add local inbound calls from POTS, I pointed my GrandCentral (GC) account at Gizmo. (They do that now.) This was the tricky and annoying part because the console showed that the call had been answered but the calling phone was still ringing.

When I stuck a conference room into the mix and dialed into that with a third phone, I realized that GC was using an IVR on the receiving end (i.e., "Press 1 to accept the call, Press 2 to send it to voicemail, etc.). In other words, it requires human intervention (i.e., you must press 1 to accept a call).

That's not to say that it can't be worked around. You can either have Asterisk push it immediately to a hard phone (if you expect to treat is as it was intended) or you can "trick" the IVR into delivering the call with the SendDTMF command (notes here). In either case, I now have a local inbound number for free!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

VoIP Resources

In researching various VoIP services, came across the VoIP Resource Guide. It's a very large link page with a number of pointers to various VoIP related pages (includes hardware, software, politics, etc.).

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Yeah! Wut?

Either Alec Saunders is completely ignorant about his former employer or he's playing at being a troll. His post entitled "Microsoft's Contribution Was TCP/IP" lacks a serious amount of "clue". Actually, the TCP/IP stack was "borrowed" and then implemented poorly.

I think that by using the phrase "by ensuring a relatively bug-free implementation of IP", it's a indication that Alec:

  • wasn't there,
  • was in marketing (and therefore ignored anything the programmers said), or
  • is just a clueless journalist

A little research shows that he was actually a director of marketing, meaning that (at best) he knew the features but not the bugs.

Windows 95 had a secure TCP/IP stack?! Buahahahaha....[**gasp**].hahahaha....

For some reason, Alec has no memory of the horrendous amount of crap and pain we (as network operators) went through in the late 90's and early 00's. Could there have been that much separation between the various MS departments at the time?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nested calls

I'm finding out the hard way that the statement that you don't need to prepend Perl routines with an ampersand only remains true if you don't repeatedly nest sub-routines. I wonder why this is....

New subscriptions

Blew most of Saturday night overhauling my subscriptions, mostly filtering out election year kruft (if you're blog is dedicated to bleeding-edge threats against the Nokia N800, it's really not the forum to carp about about what so-and-so politician did in his/her distant past)(start a separate blog d*mmit!) and picking up a number of new Asterisk-related subscriptions.

Although most won't hold up under continued review, I've picked up 18 new Asterisk-related subscriptions. You can grab a copy here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


"Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one." - Bill Gates (heh)

Thursday, April 17, 2008


According to this and this, we have a Google data center right here in town. One more for my list of odd stuff about the area.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Simple hot-desking

I've added an Asterisk recipe for simple hot-desking to the wiki. This is valuable when the number of phones don't equal the number of users (i.e., 24x7 call centers) or your users tend to not have the same desk from day to day (temp workers or those on travel). What's in the wiki is quite basic (uses Asterisk's built-in database) but it can be easily adapted to facilitate some elegant click-to-call web interfaces for multiple teleworkers.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Going too far...

It's days like today that I'm highly susceptable to offers for alternate means of connecting to the Internet (Verizon: this is a hint!). Here's the scenario: I got up early this morning, poured myself a cup of coffee, pulled up my email client and started wading through the backlog from the last two days. Upon finding an email from Rob, concerning a pending field trip, I decided to forward the field trip information to my work account so that I'd have the contact info to call and register for the trip. In response to hitting send, I received the following:

Okay, I was a bit miffed. However, I read the details of the error message and visited the site. It said that I could have the block removed by sending a copy of the message to thisisnotspam@cox.net. I did so and received the following:

Okay, I'm now livid. The short version of the 5-minute screaming fit that I have in my head boils down to: Why are you filtering my outbound mail? Am I flagged as being a spammer because I send 5-10 messages per week?