Archives July 2006

LugRadio Live 2006

As most people know, I’m a linux geek and a member of the Lancaster Linux User Group (LUG). Well, Martyn and I travelled down to the LUGRadio Live meeting in Wolverhampton last weekend. If you don’t know what LUGRadio is, it is a podcast run by four rather funny linux guys. Once a year they have a get together for all their listeners and lay on all sorts of entertainment, speakers, and exhibits. To read about what went on, take a look at the Lancaster LUG website.

We’ve got a library!

Between us, we’ve got one or two books! Too many for the current amount of shelves, so books were starting to pile up everywhere and finding them was getting increasingly hard. I also wanted somewhere to chill, with (nearly) no electronics. The only gadgets in the room are a squeezebox (and speakers) from Slimdevices. Its a fantastic bit of kit, which not only lets me play all my MP3s off my server in the cellar, but also listen to pod casts, streaming radio stations (including Radio 1, 2, 3, etc) and play tetris! It doubles as a handy clock too! The other gadgety type things in the library are a dimmer switch and remote power switch, both using X10, a protocol to control electrical goods over your existing wiring. Eventually, the speakers attatched to the squeezebox will be powered on and off automagically when needed.

Thanks go to my parents who bought me the worlds most comfy chair for my birthday. Believe it or not, it is from Argos, but is exactly what we were looking for. It is quite easy to fall asleep in, as a few people have already found out. Argos number: 6409492

Thanks to the Emilys and co. too for the fantastic reading lamp they bought for Joy’s birthday. It was exactly what we needed, but that could be due to Joy being with you when you bought it!

The room is nearly finished. The curtains went up yesterday and I may (yeah, right) get round to tidying up the network cable to the squeezebox this week whilst I’m off. The only major job left to do is paint the radiator cover, but thats a job for the artist!

Feel free to come round and have a look! Friends are equally free to come and relax if they need to get away and read for an hour or two!


Asterisk and a Linksys SPA-941

Linksys have done it again, produced an excellent product with a build quality to rival Cisco’s main offerings. I’ve just become the proud owner of a shiney new Linksys SPA-941 VoIP hardphone.

Getting it out of the box, it looks like its come from the same heritage as many of the Cisco VoIP phones, which isn’t surprising seeing as Cisco aquired Linksys about 3 years ago. It has a solid feel to it and the buttons respond nicely, unlike by Grandstream BT-100 which feels rather (very) cheap in comparison.

The next model up, the SPA-942 comes with a backlit display and an extra ethernet port, but neither of these were a major problem for me.

Getting the phone working with Asterisk was a total doddle. I already had a sip account set up in Asterisk, so I simply plugged the phone in to the network and power. The phone got a DHCP address (which you need to lookup what IP address it gets given) and I went to the web administration page with a browser. All that had to be done was set up the username, server address and password, then apply the changes. The phone rebooted and was online with Asterisk ready to make and receive calls.

I’ll write up the configuration at a later date. I’m going to see if I can write up some instructions for doing an autoconfiguration process for rolling them out at a commercial site.

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