gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon

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Archive for March 2005

First cache of the Spring!

March 26, 2005 @ 09:37 By: gordon Category: Geocaching

The weather yesterday afternoon was very nice, so I took advantage of it to do my first cache of the Spring. I loaded up my GPS and headed out to find GCN6NJ, one of a series of caches with a railroad theme.

As you’d expect, it’s near a railway line in the west end of the city where a derailment occured about twenty years ago. I found it quite easily and did the usual swapping of goodies in and out. It’s nice to be able to go caching without having to worry about frostbite.

Psst… hey buddy… ya wanna buy a monster?

March 21, 2005 @ 08:08 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

Found while trolling eBay: Item 5566772697

The futility of email

March 19, 2005 @ 14:47 By: gordon Category: General

I don’t know about you, but a disturbing percentage of the email I receive each day is spam. It’s gotten to the point where I cringe every time I open my emailbox because some days the percentage of spam is almost at 100% — and that’s after SpamAssassin and SpamBayes have done their thing. Soon, the useless of email as a form of communication may be completely marginalized. Hopefully there will be a replacement for SMTP that is less prone to abuse before then.

Anyways, I need to go — some email has just arrived. Oh look… I may have won the lottery…

Experiments in VoIP

March 11, 2005 @ 17:53 By: gordon Category: General, VoIP

I bought a new server at the end of December and installed Fedora Core 2 on it. At the same time, I started playing with Asterisk, an open-source PBX. Initially, I used it in conjunction with Firefly, a soft-phone, to chat across the Internet with Rob for free. That’s fairly cool, in and of itself. However, this wasn’t cool enough.

So, I soon signed up for a free phone number in the UK with voipuser, so I could receive inbound phone calls from a traditional phone line. Cooler, but not quite there, yet.

Off to eBay, where I found interface cards that would allow me to hook my phone line at home into my server and allow Asterisk to handle all my phone calls. $20 and a week later they arrive. Getting closer.

Of course, if Asterisk answers all my phone calls, then I really need a “hard” phone rather than a soft phone. So, off to The Clones Society to order a SIP phone. $150 and 3 days later, I’m the proud owner of a SIP phone. Neat.

So, now I have an Asterisk server answering my phone, a SIP phone and various inbound phone numbers in the UK. Still not enough, though.

Aha! A local Ottawa number from Unlimitel for $2.50/month and 1.1 /minute. Now we’re talking. (Small pun intended.)

Added to that is a phone number in Columbus, OH so that I can virtually eliminate some of my long distance charges and at the same time have the ability to provide a cheap way for a friend in Columbus to call back to Ottawa. I think we’re there.

So, let’s recap things: a Linux-based PBX with connections to the PSTN, local and international inbound and outbound DIDs and terminations, voicemail, conference bridges, the ability to dial into my system from elsewhere and then dial out through the various connections. And there’s a calling card application for Asterisk that I’m going to play with.

Hang on, I think I’ve just become a phone company. Now, that’s cool.

YAT (Yet Another Trailer)

March 11, 2005 @ 08:37 By: gordon Category: General

YAT for the movie. (Link updated)

I want to work for these guys

March 10, 2005 @ 00:22 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

You just know that they spend their days thinking: What can we shred next?

WordPress 1.5

March 04, 2005 @ 22:45 By: gordon Category: General

Well, I’ve upgraded to WordPress 1.5. It’s been an almost painless process.

Now if I could just find the nifty calendar I had in the previous version…