PBX Stuff

So, awhile back I used an old computer (AMD Duron 900mhz) as a PBX, I used PBX in a Flash to get it all setup, bought a Cisco IP Phone off ebay and was ready to roll. Setup Google Voice within the PBX to allow for inbound and outbound calls, but they’ve since removed the ability to make free calls. I stand corrected, Google has made calls within the U.S. and Canada Free through 2013. šŸ™‚

I used it for awhile and it worked great. I even setup a number for the Occupy Vancouver group to use as a phone tree. But when Google announced they were taking away the free calls, I took the pbx down and it sat unused for a long time. That is until yesterday, I had to find a way to stay up late as my work shift is changing, so i started playing around with the PBX again, I hooked it up and found a lot of issues with it, so I tore it apart and installed the PBX on a slightly newer but still old computer (Intel Duo 2ghz) which has been sitting unused since I upgraded my computer.

The PBX side of things is very interesting to me, I think it’s awesome to have my own phone system that I can control. Through SIP Solutions, you can buy a SIP Trunk for $24 a month with unlimited inbound and outbound calls, then you can buy a DID (the actual phone number) for $1 dollar a month, so basically for $25 dollars a month, you’ve got a full featured phone system. Custom everything if you know how to rig it up. The only downfall is that you need a decent internet connection. There are ways to rigging up an actual phone line into the PBX so you can use a legit phone line from the phone company, but I haven’t played with that side of it yet.

When my wife and I get a house, the first thing I’m doing is wiring the house for Ethernet and setting up a PBX, with 1 phone line from the phone company and a second line from SIP Solutions, that would equal two trunks, meaning two calls at the same time from any phone.

One draw back is you have to buy IP Phones that uses the SIP protocol, which can be a little spendy, but can you imagine the possibilities of what you could do? Tired of a phone number calling you? Blocked. You could even have hold music if you wanted to!

When someone calls and leaves a voice message, you can get an email with the voice message attached, so if you’re not home, you still get the message šŸ˜€

The best part is, once you have several IP Phones rigged up (if they have this feature) you can use them as intercoms, to communicate without having to scream across the house.

One really big requirement for all of this though, you need to know how to maintain a PBX and how to handle certain issues.

But aside from that, you’d be in complete control of your own phone system. Just like they do in an office.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asterisk_(PBX)

Thanks for reading.

Dan

The state of our education system.

As one of the people that “fell through the cracks” in the education system, I can relate to how Jeff Bliss feels about the education he is getting from teachers.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98_cmS-M9dQ?rel=0]

Our Education system is severely broken and needs to be fixed! No longer are students educated to provide them with a means to grow a career, students in public education, are taught everything they need to pass a test. A test upon which an overall grade is given to schools and districts. Better scores mean bigger budget for those schools and districts.

When I was in High School, the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) was the test we were trained to pass, and in 2004, a year after I graduated High School the Vancouver School District required passing the test Sophomore year in order to Graduate. From my understanding, that was cut pretty quick after low Graduation numbers.

During the course of my schooling (1990-2003) I can remember taking 3 or 4 WASL tests. I remember taking a test in 4th, 7th and 10th Grades.

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.) my Sophomore year in high school, and was taking a medication through my Senior year. I always had trouble learning in school because I would get bored easily, and when I was in 1st Grade it became clear to me I had issues learning. I can remember being given a math work sheet and just crying because none of it made sense and I couldn’t work out the problems. The teacher never made it back to me (Last name starts with W, we were seated alphabetically) and I was never given a chance to understand the work. This trend continued for as long as I can remember.

I had a few teachers during this time that realized I had fallen through the cracks and did their very best to help me, one teacher at Discovery Middle School when I was in 6th Grade, Mr. Joseph Balin (who now works at Hudson’s Bay) even took his own personal time to come to my house and help me with my homework! THAT is dedication to a student. He obviously couldn’t do this very often but I remember on a couple of occasions, he would help me with my work. The other teacher that really helped me, was Mr. Burpee who now works at Battle Ground High School as a math teacher. I had him for Math my Junior year (unsure if I had sophomore year too) and he really took the time to make sure I understand what was being taught and I actually started “getting” it and being able to pull a B in Pre-Algebra. Sadly because of my hectic Senior year, I was unable to continue taking math my Senior year, He really wanted me in his Algebra class my Senior year, even saying so directly to me.

I’ve certainly had a few teachers who could really care less about the students and are there to simply collect a paycheck and fill a seat. I have really mixed feelings about Mike Goodpastor who taught my U.S. History class Junior year. I have to admit I did learn a lot from his class, but there were many things I learned after High School that I was shocked weren’t taught in his class. For instance, he was (and probably still is) super against unions (even though he’s part of one…). After my graduation, I learned about Bloody Thursday which was between Longshoremen and San Francisco Police. There was one day, our whole class was listening to “In a Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly.. Good song, but NOT something that fills an entire class period.

Education shouldn’t be something that is taught strictly to garner a better budget or at the discretion of the teacher. Anymore, High School is more like an advanced day care! It wasn’t made aware to me during my time in High School that places like the Clark County Skills Center existed, or that my credits even mattered. From 1st Grade through 8th Grade, I was under the impression if you just showed up to school and played along with what the teacher was teaching, you’d just move on to the next year of schooling.

So when I got to High School, I was under the impression that none of it mattered. That is until I got to my Sophomore year and my counselor pulled me aside and explained that if I didn’t start passing classes I wouldn’t graduate. Realizing I was in deep shit, I didn’t take any time off from school, buckled down and made up 2 years while keeping grades up for the last two years of High School. Doing 4 years of work in only 2, including two summers of summer school, night school and taking an online class. I found out I was Graduating just days prior to Graduation, when all the seniors were doing our practice walks into the gym and rehearsing everything. I maintained a B or better Junior and Senior year.

Our whole education system needs to be revamped, there needs to be more interactive education, more hands on, more information openly available to students. Being a low income student, I was always given the impression I couldn’t take part in things because I was one of “those” students. Looking back, there were so many things I would have loved to take part in.

Sorry for the long drawn out post.

Thanks for reading!

Dan

 

2013 Garden

In February, I had all the stumps that were crowding up the garden, ground down and cleaned up. The only issue I had, was the garden sloped down into the parking lot.

So, in order to fix that, I’ve built a stone wall extension of the current raised bed. All in all, this added about 7 feet of length and 7 feet of width to the garden area.

This year, I’m growing Corn, Cucumbers, Dill, Walla Walla Sweet Onions, Lettuce, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Garlic and attempting to grow Watermelon šŸ™‚

There won’t be a garden cam this year (at least not yet. the old laptop I was using to power the cam, finally died). I will be posting pictures of everything as it all starts to sprout.

garden1 garden2 garden3

 

Idiots shouldn’t drive!

It’s time for a bit of a rant about idiotic drivers.

1. Don’t be an ass, if you’re going to park your vehicle, use one spot likeĀ the rest of us. Damages to your vehicle should be expected as people attempted to park next to you. And, No. Those aren’t marks from a baseball bat, it’s collateral damage.

2. The on-ramp was created to give you time to get up to highway/freeway speeds.. so when you enter the highway/freeway at 35mph don’t expect me to slow down to let yourĀ lethargicĀ ass in. Either get up to the proper speed, or get off the road.

2a.Ā MERGING.. Holy crap, people. Merging isn’t that hard. If you’re already on the freeway/highway, there is NOTHING that says YOU need to slowdown for the traffic entering the highway/freeway. Ā The person getting onto the highway/freeway needs to beĀ responsibleĀ for either speeding up or slowing down to get into traffic. When idiots who are already in traffic slow down to let someone who isn’t up to speed into traffic, they cause people behind them to slow down, which causes a big slow down. You can always just change lanes to get around the idiot who just entered a freeway/highway at 35mph.

3. If you’re going to drive, DRIVE. I am sick and tired of seeing people who are too busy fumbling with something in their hand or the radio and either not staying in their lane, or driving way too slow. If you cannot correctly navigate your vehicle and do whatever it is you’re doing in addition to trying to drive, then don’t do anything but drive!

4. I can understand the mind set of an elderly person wanting to continue to drive until they physically are unable to anymore, but sweet baby Jesus! Some of these people! Moving along at a snails pace in the slow lane. There should really be annual driving tests for anyone over the age of 70 to ensure their still capable of properly operating a motor vehicle withoutĀ  issue. How many times have you seen an older person driving way too slow OR they “mistakenly” press the gas instead of the brake and plow into a business? Exactly.

5. Can their be a mental evaluation included in driving tests? Are we able to rule out the people who are just too stupid to be driving? I swear to God, I’ve seen a lot of people recently who have that deer in the head light look on their face while their driving, they pay no attention to their mirrors, their heads don’t move while their driving to assess the area around their vehicle, they just go forward. Cutting people off, or not obeying traffic signs, blowing red lights, changing lanes without looking to see if someone is next to them.. Ugh. sometimes I wish my car had a battering ram on it.

6. For the love of God people, if there is a cop that has someone pulled over, THERE IS NO NEED TO SLOW DOWN! However, Washington State Law does state that we need to provide the officer with one lane between us and them, so change lanes to do so. BUT, You don’t need to slow down to look, or be freaked that he’s going to somehow, stop what he’s currently doing and chase after you!

6a. STOP SLOWING DOWN TO LOOK AT WRECKS!!!!!!!! It’s obvious what happened, someone who wasn’t paying attention, crashed their vehicle into another vehicle or object. YOU don’t need to slow down to look at the scene. If you’re so damn curious, park whatever it is you drive on the side of the road and get your rocks off.

6b. The police will always see you before you see them. Just because you suddenly notice a police officer on the side of the road, there is no need to slow down! If you’re obeying the law and driving the speed limit, he shouldn’t have a reason to pull you over (unless of course, you have a problem with your vehicle that he deems unfit and wants to inform you.. i.e. light out). Seriously, if you were speeding, the cop saw you a quarter of a mile away and has already got his eye on you and is probably already getting in his car to pull your ass over.

7. Your vehicle comes with these wonderful things called LIGHTS. You have head lights, turn signal lights, brake lights, emergency flasher lights. A. Make sure they ALL work correctly. Bulb out? it’s like $4 dollars to buy a replacement bulb! B.Ā USE THEM!! Your head lights aren’t there just so YOU can see, their also there so I CAN SEE YOU! If it’s near dusk and it’s getting dark, don’t be an asshole. turn on your head lights. What’s that? You’re changing lanes? There’s a little thing behind your steering wheel you can flip UP to indicate a right turn or push DOWN to indicate a left turn. What’s that? Your hands are too full to do that? Excuse my french,Ā GET OFF THE GOD DAMN ROAD! It’s people like you who don’t deserve to drive!

8. See that sign that says, “Lane closed ahead”? When you wait to the very last possible moment to get over, I’m never going to let your sorry ass in. You had your chance to merge. Grow up and stop bitching when nobody lets you in. I can see you nearly tearing your steering wheel off when nobody lets you in. You now what that’s called? Me being satisfied. šŸ™‚

9. Sitting at a red light? Good, WATCH that light! Because when you happen to look up from your phone and notice the car in front of you has suddenly gone missing and you turn into speedy gonzales and go flying through the intersection just as the light turns red, everybody behind you is wishing death upon your good for nothing sorry ass. Plus everyone else sitting at the intersection knows you’re the idiot they hate, or their just too busy playing on their phone to even notice.

10. For the love of God people, stop being egotistical moronic, sophomoric retarded morons. Have you consumed alcohol? Smoked weed? done any kind of drugs? You had better not drive! You seriously need a cab. can’t afford one? too freaking bad! God gave us legs and feet for a reason. Get to stepping twinkle toes!

It’s idiots like you who make life hard on the rest of us, you are incompetent and shouldn’t be allowed to operate a motor vehicle. It’s because of YOUR actions while you’re driving that causes wrecks, and traffic jams. If everybody that is operating a motor vehicle, did just that, OPERATE the motor vehicle and NOTHING ELSE there would be a lot fewer wrecks, fewer traffic jams and everybody would arrive at their destination when they wanted to be there.

Oh and one more thing, If you do not have a drivers license or insurance, and you hit my vehicle and try to talk your way out of it, rest assured, I will take the cost of the damage out on you.