iPhone Renewal of Self-signed Certificate

I am generally pretty satisfied with Apple products, but Apple is a bit OCD about certificates, especially when they are self-signed. For small servers that only a few people use, there's no reason to spend good money on a real certificate just to encrypt a communication channel, when a self-signed certificate will do the trick. The only issue is that iOS will not trust the certificate until it gets installed, and iOS will only offer the option to install it if the certificate is loaded via Safari.

Copying Switchvox Phonebooks

One of the powerful features of Switchvox is its ability for each user to have their own phonebooks. Quick and easy dialing and monitoring, both on the phone and in Switchboard. Sometimes, however, it's really nice to be able to copy a phonebook from one user to another. Maybe it's a change in job and responsibilities, or maybe there's a master corporate contact list that needs to be distributed to a bunch of users.

Internet Explorer Not Displaying Embedded PDFs

Have you ever had the trouble where you connect to a particular site, frequently a financial site, and the embedded PDF files (Adobe Acrobat/Adobe Reader files) won't display in Internet Explorer? You've made sure that the right Add-ons are enabled in Internet Explorer, yet still they won't display. This seems to be a common issue, but there hasn't been an easy fix, until today that is!

Monitoring Switchvox

Switchvox is an incredible VoIP PBX! However, it is still prudent to monitor an awesome product, because things can and do go wrong. It is much better to know about these things before they cause an impact, than to try to dig out after an issue has been allowed to fester.

Self-Peering Switchvox

OK, the title sounds freaky, doesn't it? Why in the world would anyone want to peer a switchvox with itself? Well, one good reason is that it allows for post-processing of outbound calls with the full power and functionality of the Switchvox inbound IVR system. "Wow" should be the word your lips are uttering at this moment!

Let's build a simple self-peered Switchvox system, utilizing it to ask for a PIN number on international outbound calls and then saying the digits it could actually be dialing! We'll start by making a recording, asking for a PIN number.

TFTP Server on Mac OSX 10.8.5

In working with switches and routers, it is very common to TFTP a file to my laptop so that I can save the configuration or output or whatever. It is doable on OSX, but Apple has made a Microsoftian maneuver and requires that a file already exist before the TFTP server can write it. This is a royal pain to have to create an empty file, then TFTP the contents over, and repeat for every single file! Yes, I completely understand that this keeps it safer, but for a protocol that has to be enabled manually anyhow, it is simply a pain!

Call Screening

One of the great things about the old-style answering machine was that you could screen your calls. Just by allowing the machine to pick up, you could listen, in real time, to what the caller was saying and then decide if you wanted to answer the call. With the advent of the digital PBX, this all changed. Until now!

With the release of Digium Switchvox 5.8.5, it is now possible to screen calls in real time! And, in the tradition of Switchvox, this feature can be enabled or disabled on a per user basis. Let's look at how it works.

Asterisk and Skinny Phones

One look on eBay and it's very obvious that there are a lot of Cisco 7940 and 7960 phones out there! Though they are missing some of the features of some of the newer phones, they aren't terrible phones. Their SIP implementation is somewhat lacking and not especially convenient for doing busy lamp fields and paging, but the Skinny version of the code seems to be better at that. If only there were some way to use the Skinny protocol (aka SCCP) with Asterisk.

Simulating Lost Packets

I don't know about you, but if I can't fully explain why something is going wrong, I'm never sure that I really got it fixed. Gremlins that magically "disappear" are just in hiding, waiting to strike again, as far as I'm concerned. Case in point, a busy network and allegedly lost SIP packets. The customer reports a particular random occurrence, and there's just no way to know what caused it. But, investigation into the network yields a surprising number of dropped packets by various pieces of network equipment. Hmmm. How would things respond if certain packets are dropped.

Migrating from Dell 2850 to Dell 2950

We've all been there. You know what I mean, you've got some new(er) hardware and all you want to do is move that old data onto this new(er) machine. Unfortunately, if this old(er) machine is running Windows, you know you are going to get bit by the BSOD 0x0000007B when Windows doesn't recognize the new RAID controller. Yeah, there are packages out there that can make this transition work, but what if there was a free way to make it happen? Yeah, a free way!