Asterisk Testing

I’ve installed Asterisk on two machines now, an old PowerMac G3 and a Linux box running Fedora. It all went pretty smooth. Configuration is another issue.

While I’m not a huge phone-dork like some people, Asterisk is cool to hack at. I managed to get Xten’s X-Lite SIPphone working with it, though I’m getting a bunch of crashes on one machine that I’m not sure if they are due to my Mac, or the Linux box. I’ll keep hacking at it.

My ultimate goal is to be able to use my Asterisk box which sits at home, behind the firewall as an answering machine for SIP calls from the internet. Not sure if that’s (easily) doable, but it’s worth a try. The Asterisk section of the VOIP-info wiki should come in handy.



Mark my words… As more and more features get added to the iPod (Audio? Photos?) it will eventually become the Newton.

Yes, you read that right. The Newton.

It will happen, and when it does, Steve Jobs will be the one laughing, and you will all be calling him some sort of genius. Maybe ‘marketing genius’ or maybe ‘evil genius’ I’m not sure, the only thing I am sure of is the price, it will sell for $2,499 – wait – I mean $666 – ok, I’m not sure of that either, I’m just sure that I still won’t be able to afford one. :(


iHalloween Costume iDea

iPod costume

Need a Halloween costume? I won’t be using this, so feel free to take it and run with it.

  • Get a large piece of cardboard
  • Make it white using paint or white paper glued onto it
  • Make it look like one of those fancy iPod Photos all the cool kids are drooling over
  • Go Trick or Treating!

Details: Make sure you cut a big hole for your face to fit in, right where the photo would be displayed, and fasten something to affix it to your body/head/shoulders, like string, or gum or something…

Oh, if you use this, Send me some candy!


Wifi Adventure #3

Our latest wireless adventure is the one that should not be. See, I connect to the wonderous web through my cable company, and while they are experts at estimating the time they will arrive at your house (give or take 4 hours) they are not experts at internet connection problems.

I mean, I am a professional computer geek, and can troubleshoot everything up to the ethernet cable between my router and the cable modem, but once it hits the cable modem (which they own) it’s all up to them. So when the connection gets flakey, I call them. They have me redo everything I did before on my own: reset things, unplug and plug things in, say magic words, stand on one foot while holding the cable in the air while Woz laughs at me… I assume the guy on the phone is staring at some diagnostic screen and not just guessing, but I don’t know for sure. Anyway, none of this works, and they decide to send someone out. Oh, keep in mind that the connection goes between working and not working. At random.

So they send someone out, and someone who is not me is home to greet them while I’m at work, and they leave because they can’t find the splitter. Sigh… Thanks guys!

What to do? The connection is still semi-working sometimes… Ah! I plug the wifi adapter into my Mac and try to reach the neighborhood wifi point known as ‘linksys’ and I can’t. Hmmm, is it down too? Wait… Could these thick concrete walls and all of the dirt surround the basement of the house have something to do with it? I again stand on one foot, waving the wifi adapter near the basement window, but nothing. Finally I remove a piece of the drop ceiling and stick the adapter in the rafters and I can see the network!

So I worked that way for a while, with the adapter wedged into the ceiling, borrowing a wifi connection. I need to start recommending those Linksys products to all of my neighbors.

The connection seems back to normal now, and I realize that I really do need to write that app that monitors my connection and logs the disconnects so I can send them to my cable company and demand to know what is up with that!


Wifi Adventure #2

As you learned in Wifi Adventure #1 we have entered the wireless age, and what an age it is!

Since we achived wirelessness, we had to test it. But wait, we have to go back in time first. How can we get to where we are now without going to where we were then? Hmmm?

Weeks earlier, I asked the local wifi expert a few questions, and got a few answers. He suggested I use WEP to secure my wireless network. I know, some people maintain open nodes, and we all say a big “thanks” to those people, good work all! I was not overly concerned about securing the access point, but figure I’d look into it. I’m not sure of the range of the WAP11, but behind me is a park, and I’m 99% sure 3 closest neighbors have neither wifi or even computers, I know the people across the street have no wifi gear, I assume I am teh most 13373 h4x0r around these parts, but still, there might be a nerd or geek lurking somewhere right? Oh yeah…

So when I set up the access point I still had no way to connect to it. I ran a port scan and found an unfamiliar IP address. What!? Is someone already using my access point? No, turns out it was Virtual PC running on my Mac… Whew…

As we all know those fine folks at Linksys give a default name to their gear, hence you might see a wireless network named ‘linksys’ while out and about. Well, I’m no dummy, I changed the default name on my access point. (See where this is going?)

So I’m testing the new Belkin 802.11b Wireless USB Network Adapter, and I finally figure out the software that controls it, and I see my access point, with the name I gave it. Then another wireless network appears, one named ‘linksys’ and at first I think it’s some odd error, or my access point is screwy, and then I realize, it ain’t me!

Yes, that’s right, I’ve found another wireless access point while in my own house. I know, this is not news, this is a non-story, except for the fact that if you have been to my house, and met my neighbors, you too would be as surprised as I was.

Well, I’ve always been the curious hacker-type, so I try to jump on this ‘linksys’ network, and it works! I’m on… Ok, a bit more… Ah, looks like they are using a Linksys Wireless Router, as I was able to log into it at with – yes, you guessed it – the default password ‘admin’ – I kid you not…

Ah, I feel just like one of those 414er’s – except they changed our area code from 414 to 262 many years ago. :(