Record Skype in Audacity on Windows

Thanks to this post here, I was able to figure out how to record Skype in Audacity. Although, the solution seems strange at this point. The result is hearing yourself a fraction of a second later in your headphones.

Per that post, you must have the “stereo mixer” installed. I had to install the Realtek driver to get this working right. From there, here’s what I can figure…The Stereo Mixer, despite being listed in the recording devices section, actually seems to just take all audio sources in and mix them together. This means you can set Audacity to record from the Stereo Mixer and it’ll get everything that’s going on in the system. Unfortunately that also means that you hear your own voice just a fraction of a second later, like you’re in a big hall and there’s a hint of echo. It’s a little annoying but it might still be usable.

Broadcast ringing on Trixbox

I’m not bringing this up because it’s something new…but rather because it took Cisco ages to add this to their least expensive voice solution, the CME. I have an inbound SIP trunk set up with Vitelity for my business. It comes right into the same system that’s running the home phones. It’s so nice to be able to direct that inbound route based on the DID I get from Vitelity. From there it’s a pretty simple matter to send the call where I want. Right now I direct it at a RingGroup which does RingAll. I then have my office phone and my softphone ring for business calls.

At the same time I don’t have to change the house side of things. I also have a RingAll RingGroup for the home POTS line. The POTS comes in through a Cisco 1760 which is then plar’ed to my RingGroup extension via SIP. I have the same office phone in that RingGroup as well. I prepend either Vz or Anewvo (company name) to the CID and I can see where the call is originating from. That prepending is done either in the inbound router or the RingGroup. Flexibility!

Next up, I think I’ll try some “follow me” on the business line. It’s all in there, should be pretty easy to configure.

On a related note, I’ve been quite happy with the call quality on the Vitelity trunk. It’s not like I’m hammering my link when I’m on calls but so far it’s been excellent. Price is pretty reasonable too!

NorcoTeck RPC-450 install

I didn’t see much in the way of review info on the
NORCO RPC-450 4U Rackmount Server Case

.  On top of that, the pics almost always showed a microATX motherboard installed, which was nice for having lots of room left.  However, I had an Extended ATX or EEB motherboard that I wanted to get into this thing so it was  little bit of a gamble when I ordered it.  I’m pretty happy with the results  although there are caveats and some tight areas.  Without further ado, the review:

Newegg shipped this thing double boxed and it arrived in fine condition.  I don’t live very far from the New Jersey distribution warehouse and I’m lucky enough to get stuff from them within a day or two.

From NorcoTek RPC-450

The RPC-450 comes with 2 big 120mm fans up front. Once you remove those you can slide out the drive cages. What’s cool about this is that the drive cages are kind of like 5in3’s. As you can see in this pic the space could support 3 5.25″ drives vertically but with the cages installed there are slots for 5 3.5″ drives. The 2 cages slide in and out using the same locking tabs you’d use for drives.

From NorcoTek RPC-450

On to the motherboard installation. The EEB size motherboard really does fill the space. Making matters worse, the fans and heatsinks for the dual xeons are located way up at the front of the motherboard. Here you can see how close one of the fans is to the frame:

From NorcoTek RPC-450

In this pic you can see my thumb 🙂 and also how close the installed optical drive is. If the fans are any taller you aren’t getting the optical drive in.

From NorcoTek RPC-450

You can see here that this fan problem also means you can’t put more than 2 hard drives in the middle cage. Anything below that and the plugs would interfere with the fans:

From NorcoTek RPC-450

Just an overhead shot. The power supply fit easily and didn’t get in the way. I didn’t get my hands all hacked up either like is common when I’m working in some cases. Most of the edges really are rolled.

From NorcoTek RPC-450

So, in the end, it works. If you have a smaller motherboard you’ll have almost no problems. I got a second case for my Unraid setup and that used a MicroATX motherboard. Lots of space and the cooling has been excellent. The same setup in a Coolermaster CM690 had the 1TB Hitachi drives hitting 40C+. In this case with the 120mm fans blowing right across them I’m usually in the high 20’s on the Hitachi and only occasionally does it hit 30C. That’s a lot of piece of mind for the life of my drives.

All pics are here http://picasaweb.google.com/mdgeek/NorcoTekRPC450# although the rest are fairly blurry.

“I aim to misbehave”

It’s crazy how right this is.  http://libertygirl.org/2009/03/26/the-first-step/

I’m not a radical.

I’m not even that committed to anything, outside of my family and my marriage.

I express a passing interest in things governmental, but that’s probably more because of my proximity to the Beltway.

But now they’ve gone and done it.  Now they’ve made me mad.  They’ve gone too far.  They’ve pushed beyond stupidity and moved into enslavement.  They’ve made a mockery of the already complicit “journalists”.  They’ve flouted the lack of accountability.

They’ve made me want to act.

Join a Tax (enslavement) Day protest!  It’s time to make it clear they can’t get away with this.

Shawshank Redemption

As I’m sitting here working on some client stuff I’m also listening to the Shawshank Redemption soundtrack.  There’s something about that movie, the amazing music and the original story that stirs up my emotions.  It reminds me that perseverance over adversity will lead to great things.  It always fills me with hope.  And not that silly political kind but real hope that I can find the joy that Andy Dufresne found.

Broken flower

I just tried SoundFlower on my new…uh…(m)acintosh and it made things very unhappy.  It basically gave me a choice between showing my ethernet being connected or having wallpaper.  Every reboot one of those two would break.  How weird is that???  I guess I’m paying for Audio Hijack Pro if I want to do some podcasting.  At least I can trial that.

I hate java.

I might have mentioned that before.  In case I didn’t…I hate java.  Now, today’s issue didn’t come directly because of java but it was the result, and an obscure one at that.

I’ve been struggling with a client issue that basically boiled down to slow or non-responsive websites that were passing through IOS firewalls.  Most websites would work fine and if we re-routed the traffic to another outbound connection that had an ASA it would work perfectly.  Also, if we connected a laptop directly to these remote site internet connections it would be smooth sailing.  So obviously something was unhappy on the IOS firewall.  I tried changing MTU, MSS, disabling the websense (urlfilter) connection.  All kinds of different things!  Nothing made a bit of difference.

I decided to run the Tweak Test over at dslreports.com to see what the MTU and MSS results would be, thinking that’s still what I needed to fix.  Tweak test is a java applet.  I had someone onsite run it and I happened to be watching the console at the same time.  All of a sudden I start seeing “FW-3-HTTP_JAVA_BLOCK” messages popping up.  WTH!  So, I figure out that java is blocked by default on IOS firewall.  Here’s the fix:

access-list 3 permit any
ip inspect name inspect http java-list 3

Yep, basically add the acl for any and then add java-list to the end of the http inspect.  I also have a urlfilter on the end to maintain the websense checks.  ARGH!  I decided to try my problematic website, of which enterprise.com happens to be one, and it popped right up.  I never got an error message about java before trying to run this app on dslreports.com.  I never saw reference to a Java problem in any of my debugs.

I know this wasn’t java’s fault directly, but if java wasn’t such a piece of garbage it might not have to be blocked by default.

Rack it!

I’ve ordered some rackmount cases from Newegg finally.  They should be arriving today and I’ll try to make a point of posting some pictures with my success (or otherwise!).  I’m getting the Norco RPC-250‘s since they have plenty of space for motherboards and drives and also include two big 120mm fans in the front.  I’ve been running some of the Hitachi 1tb drives in my Unraid and they tend to get a little warm.  My plan is to give them a little more room and hopefully some more cooling.

One of the cases will have a slightly older dual xeon transplanted into it.  I have a small concern about the spacing on this but the case is advertised as supporting EEB or Extended ATX motherboards.  We’ll see and I’ll post pics.  The cpu heatsinks are pretty huge and the processors are all the way at the front of the motherboard.  Could be tight vertically.  This box will be the ESXi server and will run a couple of different things such as some websites (this one) and some customer VM’s for VPN’s.  It’s nice to have a known working config in a VM that you access at the “console” when you need to connect to a non-split-tunnelled VPN.  Also avoids VPN client conflicts.

ESXi again?

I had posted previously that I had some issues getting ESXi to install on a Compaq DL360.  Well, I have a slightly newer Intel white box server and it’s installed just fine with that, recognizing some of the older SCSI cards as well.  So, I’ll be implementing this soon and reaping the benefits of a lightweight host OS.