Archive for category Phones

SEP.cnf.xml for a Cisco 7975G with chan-sccp-b

This is an annotated/censored copy of the SEPxxx.cnf.xml I use with my 7975G and chan-sccp-b/asterisk.

Read the rest of this entry »

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iPhone gets Delivery Reports – finally!

iPhone Delivery Report SettingsThanks to the incredible efforts of francois.guilleme, the iPhone finally has delivery reports!

By intercepting calls to/from CommCenter, his library modifies outgoing SMS headers (adding the delivery report flag), and captures incoming SMS reports (displaying them either as a flash message, a regular sms message, or a simple ‘tick’ mark).

All the details (including source) are up on the google code site. Installation is simple, just add or as a cydia source, install the iPhoneDelivery package, and robert is your relative.

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OS X: Fix Argentina DST October 2009

Date%20&%20TimeWell, at almost the last minute, DST was cancelled in Argentina this year. And this broke things, mostly computers. (Not for the first time either, the same thing happened two years ago here).

The debian folk came out with a fix at the last minute: so that fixed the linux machines, but OS X is a slower beast to move, so it’ll be a while before any change works its way through. In the meantime, Mac users in Argentina are left with broken clocks.

If you just want your clock to show the correct time for Argentina again, and don’t really care about the why, then just download and install the following:
Argentina_DST_Update_2.pkg – for 10.6.x only!
(Updated 2010-03-15)

I am no Mac expert, and this isn’t entirely tested, so be warned.

Anywho, this is how to update the tz data (aka zoneinfo), which should, in theory, fix the problem:

mkdir tzfix
cd tzfix/
curl | tar -zxvf -
vi +219 southamerica

Change the two lines:

Rule Arg 2008 max - Mar Sun>=15 0:00 0 -
Rule Arg 2008 max - Oct Sun>=15 0:00 1:00 S

to the following

Rule Arg 2008 2009 - Mar Sun>=15 0:00 0 -
Rule Arg 2008 only
- Oct Sun>=15 0:00 1:00 S

(i.e. just two words to change). If it makes you feel better, here’s a diff.

Ok, save & close, and then compile it as follows:

sudo zic southamerica
sudo cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Buenos_Aires

The sudo is necessary because you’re changing /usr/share/zoneinfo.
And that’s mostly it. Verify that it worked as follows:

zdump America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires
America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires Sun Oct 18 20:43:42 2009 ART

(note that the timezone is now ART, not ARST as previously).

So that fixes things for most of the command-line stuff. But you’ll notice that the clock on your desktop, iCal, and others, are still incorrect. We need to fix the ICU database also. Thankfully the latest sources are available for this from apple itself:

curl -O
tar -zxf ICU-400.37.tar.gz
cd ICU-400.37/icuSources

ICU doesn’t come with the tzdata, but the readme in tzcode helpfully notes that if we place the tzdata*.tar.gz file in tools/tzcode/ it will be compiled automatically. You can pack up your own tzdata2009n.tar.gz that we used earlier if you wish, or use the one I prepared here:

cd tools/tzcode/
curl -o
cd ../../
./runConfigureICU MacOSX --with-data-packaging=archive
sudo install -o root -g wheel -m 0644 -Sp data/out/icudt40l.dat /usr/share/icu/icudt40l.dat

And that’s it. We have a new ICU database. Reboot to see the changes.

Update (21st October): This technique works on the iPhone too. The iPhone already has zic (well, at least my one has), so you can simply copy your modified southamerica file onto the phone somewhere, and run (as root):

zic southamerica
cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Buenos_Aires

And you can simply copy the data/out/icudt40l.dat you created for OS X into /usr/share/icu/icudt40l.dat on the iPhone. It causes Springboard to crash, but after a reboot everything works perfectly.

Update (10th November): I can’t believe it, today 10.6.2 update broke the damn icu stuff again.

mkdir 10_6_2_fix
cd 10_6_2_fix/
curl -O
tar -zxf ICU-400.37.tar.gz
cd ICU-400.37/icuSources/tools/tzcode/
curl -O
cd ../../
sudo install -o root -g wheel -m 0644 -Sp data/out/icudt40l.dat /usr/share/icu/icudt40l.dat

Thanks to Jonathan Tapicer for pointing out that the tzdata file name has been updated (now at version R).

Update (5th February): I’ve had several requests to package this up in an installer, so here goes:
Argentina_DST_Update.pkg – for 10.6.x only!
(I don’t have a 10.5.8 any longer, so I can’t compile for it, sorry)

Update (15th March 2010): Yes, the ICU fix is broken again today. The problem seems to be more to do with automatic timezone detection (which OS X is now seeing as GMT -4) than anything to do with zoneinfo. For now, to fix it:

  • Download and install the new Argentina_DST_Update_2.pkg – for 10.6.x only!
  • Open a terminal and type:
    systemsetup -setusingnetworktime off
    systemsetup -settimezone America/Argentina/Buenos_Aires

This is fairly straightforward: it disables automatic timezone detection, and sets the timezone manually (you can use the -listtimezones switch to see a list of available timezones). If anyone knows how to update DateAndTime.prefPane (which appears to use GeoKit) please let me know.

Update (4th April 2010): I’m pleased to announce that 10.6.3 includes updated tzdata for Argentina (and elsewhere) that fixes all this silliness. Get it now (via software update) to make this problem go away.

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iPhone 3.0 Update, but no delivery reports

How could apple develop things like MMS, vCard support, and even peer-to-peer connections for the iPhone, and yet omit gaping holes like SMS delivery report support?  I’m starting to think that SMS delivery reports don’t work in Cupertino.

Edit (July 2009): If you’re interested in getting this feature added to the iPhone OS, please vote for it here: Please Add Delivery Reports to the iPhone.

Update (October 2009): No more silliness with prefixes needed – if you’ve a jailbroken phone, you can now get genuine delivery reports. More info here.

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O2 Ireland Roaming in Argentina does not work

Just a brief grumble here:

For the last year or so I’ve been entertained by a humorous work of fiction from O2 Ireland: their supposed roaming agreements with various Argentinian Mobile Phone operators.  Said document proclaims that various services (such as the ability to make a phonecall, or use GPRS) are available to Irish O2 customers travelling in Argentina.  This is quite simply not true.

I just spent 40 mins on hold to the O2 customer support in Ireland.  They proclaim that I can make calls, and that there is an issue with my mobile phone – despite being able to hear a spanish voice (from the mobile operator) telling me that I am not permitted to make calls.  Obviously this means that my phone has learnt to speak spanish and is playing a little trick on me.

Interestingly enough, I can receive calls and (usually) send/receive texts – it’s just making calls that my phone has decided to refuse.

Also rather interestingly: no one else has complained.  When I suggested that the reason no one else has complained was because they were unable to make calls, my suggestion was rejected as ludicrous.

So I’m stuck with an online grumble.  I never thought the day would come, but I believe the time has come for me to switch back to vodafone.  At least their roaming claims are not works of fiction.

(For the googlers: O2, Movistar, Personal, Ireland, Argentina, Roaming).



How not to run a gsm provider

Personal LogoLiving as I now do in Buenos Aires, I decided it was time for me to get an argentinian mobile. Off down to the shop with me to buy the cheapest prepay mobile they have (costing me a whopping €40), from what I believe is the largest mobile phone operator in the country: Personal Telecom Argentina. In fact this happened many months ago, and since then I’ve been marvelling at just how pathetic a mobile phone operator can be.

  • You can’t send text outside the country. This is not a limitation with my phone package or anything of that sort. It appears that other (read “Irish”) operators simply ignore any sms from Personal. Possibly because of their complete disregard of any gsm standard?
  • If you send a text to a Personal phone from another provider, you will get a successful delivery report immediately, regardless of whether the text was delivered or not.
  • If you send a text from a Personal phone, you will never get a delivery report. I’ve never seen an exception.
  • They seem to have no concept of a time zone. Their gsm servers believe they are in GMT, so any communication with the outside world is off by 3 hours. In short this means that
    • Texts from the outside world appear to have been sent three hours previous
    • Texts to the outside world, if such a thing were possible, would appear to be from three hours in the future
    • If you have a phone that is aware of timezones (most modern phones are), then every time you wander into a Personal coverage area, your time will be set wrong by 3 hours.

There’s lots of other interesting stuff too, some of it bordering on hilarity. For example, my girlfriend and I recently travelled to Ireland (for my sister’s wedding), and, while there, my girlfriend received some texts from home (her phone is also a Personal offering). Each text arrived 100 or so times! We had to turn off the phone at night coz it was so annoying (we could disable any sounds, but we couldn’t stop it’s lights flashing).

Anyway, that’s it. It seems that the argentinians don’t know or care that this is pathetic. There are other mobile phone operators in this country (who, from my limited experience, do a far better job), so I expect market forces will eventually resolve these issues.

In the meantime I should of course complain, but my meagre few words of Spanish would hardly handle the assault … so I blog it :)


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Email to SMS gateway

This is something I’ve implemented several times over the last few years. The principle is simple:

  • You send an email to with TXT in the subject, and the actual text body in the email body,
  • This goes to your mail server, and gets forwarded to the user smsuser
  • A procmail recipe in smsuser‘s home dir strips out the mobile number and the body of the message, and, using o2sms, sends a regular sms to mobile_number
  • The output from o2sms is sent back to you via email, so you know it all worked out ok.

It’s all free, and reliable.

This is how I went about setting it up on ubuntu: Read the rest of this entry »

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SIP TCP support in Asterisk

Edit: This post is now quite out of date. There’s a more recent discussion of this at the trixbox forums.

Original Post:
Despite digium‘s screwed up licensing restrictions, and its diabolical coding standards (something which Callweaver will hopefully make a thing of the past, but that’s for another day), SIP over TCP support is now finally available in asterisk (at least for the 1.2 branch).

Brief instructions how to upgrade your 1.2.x installation are given below: Read the rest of this entry »

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Converting an AVI to an MP4 to play on your phone/ipod/whatever

I’m sure there are millions of ways of doing it, but this is the way I use. YMMV

  1. On Windows, download The Unofficial FFmpeg Win32 build. It’s a .tar.bz2, so you’ll probably need Winrar to extract it.
    On linux simply apt-get/yum install ffmpeg, whatever is appropriate for your distro.
  2. Use the following command line to convert the avi to a mp4:
    ffmpeg -i INFILE.AVI -acodec libfaac -ab 32kb -ar 32000 -ac 1 -vcodec mpeg4 -mbd 2 -flags +4mv+trell -aic 2 -cmp 2 -subcmp 2 -s 320x240 -r 12.5 -qscale 8 OUTFILE.MP4
    • -s is the resolution (320×240 here, coz that’s the screen size of my phone),
    • -r is the framerate (12.5 fps here),
    • audio is encoded at 32kbps 32kHz mono aac,
    • video is endcoded at around 175kbps mpeg4 (h263+). The video bitrate is controlled by the qscale value: lower qscale => larger file + better quality, values of 6 or 8 are common. Valid range is 2-31.
  3. That’s it! The OUTFILE.MP4 will now play on your phone/ipod/whatever. A 45min episode of Heroes in a 50MB file.

As stated above, it works for me. It may not work for you. :)

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Nokia E65 supported codecs

Based on a little sip debugging, these appear to be the supported audio codecs on the Nokia E65

  • AMR
  • PCMU
  • PCMA
  • iLBC
  • G729

The above is the order they’re presented in, so it’s probably also the order of preference.

Note: These are for VOIP calls only, the media player supports a much broader range of formats.

Update (15 Oct 2007): Nokia have released a simple application called SIP VOIP Settings which now allows you to change the preference order of codecs.

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Nokia SIP settings for Irish VOIP providers

Well it took me long enough to work out what works, so here they are in case someone else finds them useful. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nokia E65 Woes

Nokia E65I’ve quite a bit to get off my chest about this phone, so be warned :)

It’s billed as a “business” phone, with basically every type of connectivity available (3G, GSM, Wifi, Bluetooth & IR), and a price tag to match (around €400). But for that money you get so many great undocumented features: Read the rest of this entry »

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