I can relate…

Just got the urge to pull up Wil Wheaton’s blog after a good year or two of not reading it…sorry dude.

I found this tale of woe about our inability to turn off the geekspeak sometimes and it had me in stitches.  I can totally relate.

Yes, the glazed, far away look…or the “hey, what’s that over there” look.  But….it’s just so cool sometimes!  🙂

Cisco FXO with Asterisk still getting a lot of play

I keep an eye on my logs and for as long as I can remember this post has been the most popular:  http://www.thecruftofmybrain.com/2006/03/14/cisco-router-with-fxo-as-an-asterisk-gateway/

It’s funny that almost 3 years later very little has changed.  I’m running Trixbox CE now but the configuration is still pretty much the same.  I’m pretty happy with how TB has progressed and I’ve stuck with it.  For a while I was running it virtually and while that worked ok it always had problems with the clock slipping.  I’m now running on an older P4 and all’s well.

Regarding my old config, a couple of things seem to come up with the folks that find that post.  First, you don’t want the OPX version of PLAR.  I’m not really sure why Asterisk isn’t happy with it but it has to do with the order of going off-hook.  Just use the regular PLAR and you’ll be fine.  Also, make sure you put the trunk into the proper context on Asterisk.  I say “proper” because everyone will be different.

If someone has a good resource for understanding the proper way to configure contexts, please let me know.  I understand the basic nature of it, after all it’s similar to Partitions and Calling Search Spaces on CallManager.  But it doesn’t seem clear to me that there’s a simple way to manage them.

Arc express attendant console

It’s been a while since I looked at what was formerly known as the Cisco Attendant Console. Color me unimpressed. I found the new version’s install process to be tedious mainly because it’s java based. Key buttons would disappear repeatedly during the install and I had to reboot several times. The original promise of java creating this coding utopia has been completely corrupted by the large volume of incompatibilities between java versions.

Once I got it installed it seemed to work ok, after yet one more reboot.

The funny thing is that Arc is one of those weird companies that likes to do things differently. They just seem to make things more difficult than it needs to be.

But hey, at the end of the day they’re the only game in town so what can you do. I guess it’s nice to be a monopoly.

New theme…and one I might stick with

Wow!  I just installed this new theme called Atahualpa and it is amazing!!!  The length the author went to to make it easy to modify every aspect is simple astounding!  This thing is incredibly customizable.  I have a lot of tweaking to do on it, including doing something about the big full width rotating image in the header.  More to change later but I think I might stick with this overall theme.

2 weeks down

Well, I’ve been in semi-independent now for a little over 2 weeks.  I’ve been incredibly busy, which is a good thing, but work will be slowing a bit starting next week.  Now’s the time where I start to worry about paying the bills I suppose.  I need to keep the work flowing in, perhaps not at the same pace, but building a buffer wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

There are moments I’m thrilled about the prospect and then there are moments I wonder how long I can go.  This experiment still has a lot of life left in it but it’s not without risk or concern.

Let’s also hope the market decides this is the bottom, as I watch the DOW currently at 7600…at least it’s climbing a tick!

SIP to Skype finally, with some caveats

Gizmo5 is finally the one to break the Skype barrier.  They have a new service now called OpenSky (har) that is essentially a proxy between Gizmo’s SIP network and the Skype network.  I imagine they’re doing something like the non-free Skype Asterisk channels that have been out for a while.  This is cool but it would have been even more interesting when Skype was offering free out-calling.  Now, I’m not sure how big a deal it is.

Ultimately, the SIP world needs to come together, perhaps with XMPP as the discovery mechanism, in order to support universal and open calling.  I’ve been fiddling with IM on domains for Google and it works great!  More of that is needed!

And yes, I’m aware of ENUM but that doesn’t seem to be making progress in North America.  Someone show me that I’m wrong about that.

PXE booting using an IOS DHCP pool

It took a lot of fiddling and googling but finally I got PXE booting to work using my DHCP scope on IOS.  So, here’s the code:

ip dhcp pool ITS
network 192.168.1.0 255.255.255.0
bootfile bootpxeboot.com
next-server 192.168.1.3

I have other things in the scope but these are the important parts.  Why am I doing this?  I want to get Windows 7 on my old HP TC1100.  No optical drive so network boot is about the only way to make it happen.  I used these instructions and tweaked them a little to use the IOS DHCP scope.  Looks like it’s loading just fine now.  Slow via tftp but it’s working!

Day 1

Today I begin the next great adventure of my life.  From here on out I only get paid for what I can bill for.  I’ll still be employeed by FTDATA but they are only paying me for my billable hours.  I’ll be looking for direct work as well.

Time to get to work!

iPhone VPN and Cisco IOS

I had quite a bit of trouble getting this to work the other day.  After some googling I came across this thread over on 6200networks.com.  I had matched up the config he had listed just by chance because I was also enabling an L2L VPN.  However, I still couldn’t get it to work.  The trick was to change the IPSEC transform set to AES-256.  After that it was smooth sailing.  I posted a comment over there but he hasn’t approved it yet.

I’ve discovered ISAKMP profiles too.  Very cool!