Archive for the ‘Asterisk’ Category

Linuxy Things

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

A couple of Linux related activities in the first part of this week. Firstly, I’ve got my web->SMS page back up and working, so I can now send SMS messages from anywhere with web access. Hardly novel, these days, but when I first built a system like this for the bank I worked at then, it was one of those little occasions where Linux wormed its way into an organisation. That must have been in about 1997 or ’98 I guess. (It was also about the same time I created the first effective search engine for the organisation using HTDig on Linux as well.)

All went well re-creating the set-up, except I wanted to use a GSM modem that actually had an FXO port on so I could tie it up to my Asterisk PABX as well for voice calls direct into a mobile network. Despite much fiddling, the Psitek modem was so old as to have an antiquated subset of the AT command set and it was too much effort to make it work SMSTools (although, having the source, I did recompile it a few times with some commands adjusted) – and which, by he way, is now at version 3.x under a new maintainer. Once I used the more modern (only just, though!) reliable Falcom GSM modem it worked a treat.

I’ve also updated and added to my entries in the Linux Counter, having been reminded of it by a thread in the Surrey Linux User Group mailing list. First registered there in about 2002.

Lastly, I’ve transplanted my eight port video card (only four ports of it though) into one of the Mini-ITX workstations, so perhaps later this week I’ll see if I can resurrect ZoneMinder and get the NestCam back in operation soon.

Battle with a Grandstream BT200 VOIP Phone

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Much hassle trying to upgrade my fairly ancient voip phone which I use in the study connected to the Asterisk PBX.  It seemed to have a very early firmware and boot loader version, which no matter how much I tried would not upgrade to Grandstream’s latest and greatest.  I troubled their support ticket system for advice, and the persistent reply was that it would work in one go without intermediate versions.  Not so.  FAIL to Grandstream, I’m afraid.

After much searching I found a site called GrandstreamSucks.com and there were a series of earlier firmwares.  I downloaded all I could, then set about seeing what could be done with these;  the phone was set to use a local HTTP server for the firmware upgrades, and by this means I could follow the Apache log and see the evidence of the files being sucked up.

From the very early software versions (on my phone it was 1.1.0.5 software / 1.1.0.88 bootloader) you do seem to have to upgrade in stages.  From GrandstreamSucks  I used firmware 1.1.2.25 which upgraded just fine.  I then chose 1.1.4.14 which also upgraded fine. THEN I used the 1.2.2.26 from the real Grandstream site, and that seems to have worked fine as well.

Now all that’s left is to test it all out properly and check the configuration is still right.

Random Thoughts on Tuesday

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Very random.

Climate change:  the IPCC seems to have shot itself in the foot having predicted a few years ago that all the Himalayan glaciers would be melted in less than thirty years from now.  I really don’t understand how they can have come to such a dramatic conclusion without realising thy must have been so amazingly wrong unless they were simply joining the global warming bandwagon and giving politicians what they wanted to hear in exchange for funds.  It’s bad enough that the Pro GW enthusiasts can’t accept that they might be wrong.  Drives me mad – and somewhat irritated by some journals fanning the flames, it seems to me.  Gah!

— UPDATE, 27/01/2010: The Times has an article on this very subject and which strikes me as a far more balanced attitude to how scientists should think about this subject.—

The office canteen produced Haggis yesterday.  It was great.

Spent much of today looking at the conversion of www.microscope.co.uk to an MT based site.  Hopefully I can sort out the problems this poses me, and discover just hpw many pages there actually are.  Wget is now being run to try and get an  “independent” idea of what’s there.  Editor says 3500 pages, Script from SixApart finds just 980.  Nice bit of feedback from the publisher, though.

We went to Grace’s school this evening to hear about the proposed trip to Little Canada (IOW) when she gets into year six.  Got to find some cash, now!

Waitig for Grandstream to reply to my question about upgrading the BT200 phone firmware.  24 hours so far and no reply yet.  Hopefully they’ll comeup with the goods, because random crash and reboot only with a power cycle is a bit frustrating.

Time for bed.  Early shift for me tomorrow.

Weekend News

Sunday, January 24th, 2010
Desk in the syudy

Study Desk (Tidy)

A fairly full weekend almost over.  Much time spent tidying the study – and it’s much better for the  work that’s been put into it,  It’s also enabled me to commission an old Apple Imac in some sort of electric blue.  It’s a bit of a beast, somewhat slow, and with a paltry 10Gb hard disk I’m wondering how I’ll get on with it.  Something of a challenge, but it’s rather fun to give it a go.

At the same time I’ve been able to take out a network hub and one of the ATAs for the phone system, so that will save a bit of 24 hour juice.  You probably won’t be able to see the difference in the Pachube data, though.

I have also patched two POTS type extensions into the study from the Grandstream GXW4004 under the stairs – so that’s now utilising all four channels.  Because it supports loop disconnect dialing, it enables me to have my Ivory 332 on the desk with its gorgeous real bell ring.  It’s a nice contrast with the Grandstream BT200 which keeps crashing every three or four calls – so maybe there’s been s dodgy firmware update recently.  Time will tell what happens to that.

Piano practice, and homework, has been patchy this weekend, despite some enthusiasm to win a competition to do the most piano practice this week.  Project work has been minimal – looks like someone’s going to have to learn the hard way that M&D aren’t joking when they predict Homework Club.

I have also patched two POTS type extensions into the study from the Grandstream GXW4004 under the stairs – so that’s now utilising all four channels.  It enables me to have my Ivory 332 on the desk with its gorgeous real bell ring.  It’s a nice contrast with the Grandstream BT200 which keeps crashing every three or four calls – so maybe there’s been s dodgy firmware update recently.  Time will tell what happens to that.

Piano practice, and homework, has been patchy this weekend, despite some enthusiasm to win a competition to do the most piano practice this week.  Project work has been minimal – looks like someone’s going to have to learn the hard way that M&D aren’t joking when they predict Homework Club.