m i a o w


Tag: voip

VOIP. Take two.

In our last house I spent useless hours attempting to unlock a SPA-3000 that had been locked to Engin. I asked Engin to unlock it and found them surprisingly accommodating. Too bad that whatever they said they did never worked. Or I could never get it to work. This is all just part of my quest NOT to pay 30 bucks a month for the privilege of having a phone line.

Cut to the new house. I pay Telstra $60 to get the phone connected so as to be able to ask Exetel (our ISP) to notice it and cut it off in order to activate nekkid ADSL2. I know beforehand that if Telstra twig that I’ve had the phone line deactivated within the first three months, they hit me with a $100 slap on the wrist just because I’ve made them feel unloved. Another reason why I don’t want to deal with them Ever Again. Like I needed another one.

I tried again to make my SPA-3000 work, briefly, or maybe I just got it out to glare at it. I can’t remember. All I know is that in the last two weeks both M and I have lost our iPod headphone/microphone thingos, meaning that my iPhone is the only thing we can use VOIP on. Last weekend while at the world’s most excellent garage sale, I bought a cordless phone after much deliberation. Was I ever going to find the spare $70 to buy the Minitar MVA11A that would enable me to actually use the phone? Doubtful. But I hoped for serendipity.

Serendipity came to say hello yesterday while I was at my mum’s. T brought home a huge tangle of geekware from the op-shop where he volunteers. In it was an SPA-2100. I brought it home. I plugged it in. I dicked around for about half and hour on the interweb before stumbling over the default user/password combo. Der. Was momentarily happy with that as it’s further than I’d got with the other stupid one. Then I read that in order to do any decent customising to make it work I needed the administrator username and password.

I had established by this point that it was probably an ex-iPrimus VOIP box and read somewhere that the passwords were generated in some weird way. By this time, interupted many times by parenting crud, I was over it and frustrated. Finally, at about 10.45pm – waaaay too late for me to cope with, I gave up. And then I had one final puny thought. And dialled 1194 just to see. I remembered this number from when I was about eight – it still works – there is still the same man telling you the time. And…

It worked. I couldn’t fucking believe it. If I had tried it as soon as I’d plugged the thing in it probably would have worked then as well. But HOW does it work?! I am a n00b. I don’t know what I’m doing. When I have used VOIP before it has been under the guise of Pennytel via my iPhone, Engin via my old VOIP box and Skype. I am calling out to any geek who has been bored enough to read this far. How is it working? I have the phone plugged into the SPA-2100 which is plugged into my modem/router. That’s it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s fantastic, but I’d like to know how it’s happening. I wish I could configure stuff through the admin section, but don’t want to bugger around too much anymore because I might bust the magic!

VOIP. Take three.

Uh oh. My ‘magic voip’? The phone that worked by the power of my all abidingly good karma and little else? The logical explanation for its magical wonder became apparent this morning when I answered a call from a woman who sounded like she was restraining herself from being very rude. She said;

“Why are you answering my home phone number?”


“I’m calling my husband at home and he’s not answering and now you’ve just answered… I called his mobile and he’s at home. Do you know what’s going on?”

[My brain clicks into gear and I barely stop myself from shrieking D’oh!! D’oh!!!]

“Ah,” I say carefully. “How weird. What actually is your home number?”

She tells me and it sounds very familiar to the one I gave to Mr H last night while wittering…I don’t trust it but this appears to be our new phone number! I think the term is JINXED IT? Just mildly. She says she works for a telco and there has obviously been a problem with ‘provisioning’ and reels off some other impressive words that I fail to understand. She sounds like someone who works for a telco.

“Our number is a data number, a VOIP number – it’s not the normal phone line,” she says.

“Oh. I think that’s what ours is too. But we haven’t lived here very long and hardly ever use the number, soooo…”

“How long have you had the phone on?”

“Oh,” I say, sounding increasingly vague, “Probably just a week or two. Who’s your phone actually with?”

She clinches it. “iPrimus.”

Fuck it.

“What about you?”

For some reason I don’t lie, but I don’t think it matters. “Exetel.”

“Well there’s obviously been some doubling up and both of them need to be notified so we can sort this out….”

She continues in that vein for a while as I make the appropriate responses. We hang up after I assure her that I can call her back as I now have her mobile number on her phone. Thankfully, she doesn’t ask for mine. I run to the study and yank the power out of the VOIP box. Goddamnit, I knew magic VOIP was too good to be true.

Obviously she has forgotten, or her husband has neglected to tell her, that her whole former iPrimus VOIP rig has gone to the op-shop with all the settings still intact. So, was someone getting billed for my calls? Yes. Luckily I haven’t had a chance to call Small Brother in New York or Utah or LA or wherever he happens to be at present. Of course, they will probably be able to find out who I called using their number, but I doubt it will amount to more than 50 cents in calls.

If I had been able to get into the administrator section of the SPA2100 I would have realised this and been able to set it up for Pennytel or whoever. I may have a few more tries, but I am getting weary and my geekness in this realm is fairly limited and definitely doesn’t stretch as far as this

VOIP. I won. In the end.

Skulking around after various failures and still desperate to avoid paying for another VOIP box when I already have two that work fine…or would, if I could unlock them, I struck GOLD. Woot!!!

Whirlpool. The place that never lets me down. My SPA2100 – previously locked to the settings of the annoyed lady that called me up – has been freed!! By a dude called DogFace. It’s almost poetry…

I found him mentioned on Whirlpool.
I thought he sounded too cool…
But I joined up at the place where he hangs out,
Sent him over a desperate SHOUT
Paid him via PayPal. Fifteen bucks.
He emailed me how to set stuff up.
There I left it. Ready to be NAized…
And he did it. Like that.
Am. Completely. Amazed.

Dogface, you rock. Now I have a landline. Signed up with Pennytel and got myself a number. Get ready for me to pimp it around y’all because I have SOOOO much time to talk. (What – you thought I might post without including a whine? While I can’t drink it, I may as well emit it.) Must stop. Now. Miaow.

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