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Archive for May, 2006

Remote Desktop Client

May 10, 2006 Leave a comment

Here are some handy links to download the Remote Desktop Client (RDC) from Microsoft:

Note The Remote Desktop Connection software is pre-installed with Windows XP. To run it, click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, click Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection. This software package can also be found on the Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition product CDs and can be installed on any supported Windows platform. To install from the CD, insert the disc into the target machine's CD-ROM drive, select Perform Additional Tasks, and then click Install Remote Desktop Connection.For previous versions of windows the installer can be downloaded from here.

For Mac OS X, the installer can be downloaded from here.

For linux, you can use rdesktop.

Categories: Software, Windows Server

Another great IPCop addon: Banish

At one of my clients we’ve been fighting a DDOS attack that their Sonicwall TZ170 was not handling very well. We replaced it with an old workstation running IPCop to take it up a notch. We got most of it under control, but noticed some activity still coming from certain IP addresses, probably zombies. I added Banish, and then we blacklisted all the IPs we found in the logs. It was very quick and easy to do. It basically adds entries in the iptables to restrict all traffic to or from certain sources: single IP addresses, ranges, or mac addresses, but from within the IPCop GUI interface. One more thing to make me an IPCop fan!

Categories: ipcop, networking, Software

Reshaping your corneas without surgery

May 9, 2006 1 comment

The limiting factor in my workday is often my eyeballs. Good monitors help a lot to reduce the eye strain. If I know I'll be working a long day at the computer I have lower powered computer glasses that helped a lot, but now I have something way better. I've been using these gas permeable contacts that you wear while sleeping that reshape your corneas. The next day you don't need any vision correction. It's amazing, and cheaper than most other vision correction options. We had to work very late last night on a few problems, and my eyes were not tired at all. I had my one week checkup today, and he said my vision should continue to improve for a couple weeks! I just can't explain how happy I am with them. They are called Paragon CRT

Categories: Uncategorized

Quick and Dirty CIC prompts using Asterisk and SoX

Here are the steps to make reasonably nice sounding CIC (Customer Interaction Center from Interactive Intelligence) or EIC (Enterprise Interaction Center) prompts using Asterisk voicemail and Sox Wrap on OSX. It assumes you have voicemails emailed to you as files with asterisk.

  1. Make a direct to voicemail call (i.e. dial *200)
  2. Record the prompt as a voicemail
  3. Save the voicemail file somewhere once you receive it in email
  4. Run SoX Wrap, and add the new file as an input file, auto-detecting input settings
  5. Output settings: .wav, sample rate:8000 Data Encoding: u-Law Data Size: Same as Input Volume 1 Channels 1
  6. Click Run Sox
  7. Rename the output file as needed, and copy to the resources directory on CIC.
Categories: Asterisk, DIY, Software

Sox Wrap for transcoding asterisk sounds

May 2, 2006 1 comment

Sox Wrap is an excellent OSX GUI for SoX. It makes batch operations on files very easy. I used to to transcode several sound files for my server tonight (Music on Hold and IVR prompts) and it was easier than any method I've used so far. The process we now use for creating high quality audio is:

1. Record prompts with a USB headset into Sound Studio for editing. Audacity would work fine too. Using a laptop that is not plugged in to AC eliminates ground loop hum.
2. Edit out pauses and noises, adjust volume, etc and save as a full quality wave file.
3. Use Sox Wrap to transcode – select the file(s) and let it auto-detect input. For output options choose: .wav, Sample rate: 8000, Signed Linear, 16 bit words, 1 channel. For music you may want to reduce the volume. Select the output path and hit the Run SoX button. This will product high quality native asterisk sounds. We may want to use gsm or uLaw instead of Signed Linear depending on the application.
4. Use Fugu to upload the files to the asterisk server.

For native music on hold you need to place the files in an accessible folder, and modify /etc/asterisk/musiconhold.conf

example:

Place files in new directory:

/var/lib/asterisk/moh-default

from an ssh terminal window:

nano /etc/asterisk/musiconhold.conf

Replace the contents of the file with this:

;
; Music on hold class definitions
; This is using the new 1.2 config file format, and will not work with 1.0
; based Asterisk systems
;
[default]
mode=files
directory=/var/lib/asterisk/moh-default
random=yes

Ctrl-X, Y to exit and save the file

asterisk -r

restart now (or restart gracefully to not interrupt calls)

asterisk -r
moh files show

You should see a list of your music files.

Categories: Asterisk, DIY, Software