Monthly Archives: January 2008

15 VoIP hours

Early last year I invested in a SNOM 300 VoIP phone for /dev/girlfriends’s house in Somerset West.. so I could make the odd 10min+ phone call (from Gardens or Newlands) without paying my most loved GSM providers and without frying my scone… erm, brain.

Looking at my E61’s call log tonight, I’ve used 905 VoIP minutes… ~15 hours.

voip minutes

My GSM contract per minute rate is between R1 and R2 (off/on peak). So even at off-peak rates I’ve recovered the cost of the SNOM 300 phone (-:

The other interesting thing to note is that my VoIP calls are 100% free. No such thing as a free lunch? In this case it’s really free (for me).. Calls route over the Amobia network end to end… (60km+)

More interesting is that I think the voice quality is usually better than a GSM call.

In April last year the Frogfoot office switched to using SIP/VoIP. Some pics.

Since then 4 people also use the SIP clients on their mobile phones to connect to the PBX. Nokia E61, E61i, N95 and E65 all work well.

I’m impressed by the adoption rates for VoIP/SIP, Asterisk and nomadic telephony (VoWifi).

We now have an SRV DNS record to start moving towards a UID-style dialing system.. (user@realm.tld).. but we’re still playing with this… it’s firewalled for now.

root@blue[~]# dig _sip._udp.frogfoot.com srv

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;_sip._udp.frogfoot.com. IN SRV

;; ANSWER SECTION:
_sip._udp.frogfoot.com. 86400 IN SRV 5 0 5060 pbx.frogfoot.com.

Quotes of the Day

I haven’t got time for this Mickey Mouse bullshit. You want cooperation, come to my office. Room 4602 ” — The Professional

In that envelope is some payoff money. We’re not negotiatin’. I don’t like to barter. That price is non-negotiable. What’s in that envelope is for my peace of mind. My peace of mind is worth that much. Not one penny less, not one penny more. — Clarence, True Romance

Quick Updates

The brain-dump posting..

I watched The Darjeeling Limited tonight.. Wes Anderson’s latest movie. It was kinda entertaining, visually pretty good… but not nearly as good as Life Aquatic or Royal Tenenbaums. The short movie before the main movie was interesting (Hotel Chevalier).

Attended my first SPIN meeting last night. I guess you would call the people that go to this kind of thing “software process geeks”. A number of the topics were good food for thought.

Suicide Gorge was great fun. It’s a real gem. I was pretty tired after the walk, fell asleep before dinner. In some ways nice to be that tired. Man, was I stiff the next day.

The Blio PBX sales process seems to be gaining momentum.

Teraco is still looking for ~90 bars.

Looks like Frogfoot will partner with Extreme Networks. We’ll do sales and consulting and probably standardise on using Extreme switches internally. Why Extreme? Well, it’s carrier grade kit and they are focused on building switches. They have a very nice OS (with Linux ancestory) and they offer a good layer 2 redundancy protocal (EAPS), way better than STP. I think Linux people have an affinity to Extreme’s design and thinking: focused, efficient, stable. Can you guess the two opposites of my analogy?

WAPA released some very impressive wireless industry growth figures from the annual member census.

Frogfoot and Amobia are on the list of Individual ECS licensees asked to meet with ICASA in Feb.

We’ve started a project to integrate the Frogfoot Wifi billing engine with the Amobia outdoor wireless CPE devices.

I attended a WAPA Spectrum Analyser Workshop last week. It was fun to explore some of the deeper physics behind practical wireless lingo and day-to-day working knowledge. I learned lots of useful things about radio’s, antennas and EIRP (power) measurement. I think the vision and goal of self regulation (in ISM) will be a reality sooner than we think.

Ok, must sleep. Think I’ll walk around Lion’s Head early tomorrow morning.

Suicide Gorge

Friends and I will be walking Suicide Gorge for the 3rd time this Sunday. It’s good fun. You basically keep jumping into big pools in a river. Jumps can be as high as 14m. Once you start down the kloof you have to go all the way. No turning back. Takes a few hours to complete, depending on how long you chill in the pools.

I took my GPS device along last time. There’s a bit of an urban canyon effect, but the track overlay gives you an idea of the route. I was not brave enough to risk taking a camera on the walk.

route.jpg

I have some pics from the previous walk (2006) and GPS track data.

More details..
Nearest Town: Grabouw
Region: Boland
Trail Distance: 17km (8 hours)
Booking window: 1 November to 30 April
Max people per group: 12 (I think)

What you need for a Suicide Gorge walk..
* A booking and R85/person
* Wetsuit, surf suit
* Walking shoes, old
* Snacks, waterproof
* Friends, non-quitters, reasonably fit

Hope I still fit in my wetsuit. I’ve had to do a crash course fitness session this week after the xmas / new-year laziness.

More info on the Cape Nature Website.

MacBook Air

I want one.

My G4 Powerbook is on it’s last few breaths anyway.. battery useless, disk is making weird noises, CPU is not keeping up. Guess I should be happy it’s still working after ~4 years of pretty heavy use.

I was waiting for a smaller, more portable MacBookPro’ish model. Something closer to my 12″ Powerbook. The MBAir seems perfect… only one snag:

$999 for 64GB SSD is a bit heavy… I could live with as little as ~25GB.

Blio IP-PBX v1.0

The first production batch of Blio PBX’s is complete and ready to ship. Doing the first sales demo for a client tomorrow (who is interested in buying 3 units). Busy with the first brochure. Exciting times.

pbx1 pbx2

Quick feature list:

  • Stylish black metal casing
  • 1U, Rackmount or Wallmount
  • Designed and manufactured in Cape Town, ZA
  • Low power, no moving parts
  • 1 * 10/100 Ethernet port
  • 2 * ISDN ports, 4 channels
  • 2 * Trunk ports, aka FXO (outgoing Analog incl. GSM/LCR)
  • 10 * Analog extension ports for standard desk phones, aka FXS
  • Tested to work well with the SNOM range of SIP Phones, including the reception (Star Trek style) console
  • Supports stacking, you can buy one now and add more later to grow one (virtual) PBX
  • Has a very nice user friendly web interface for management (DIY config)

Anyway, it’s the perfect small/medium office PBX, grows with your business, IP/SIP ready but enough analog ports for cost effective migrations.

Suggested retail price is in the range of R16k per unit for the first batch, depending on how good your haggling skills are 😛