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notyourtim last won the day on March 10 2017

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About notyourtim

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  1. Some time ago I got a third-hand Avaya Partner Advanced Communication System (ACS). It was the latest revision at the time (R7). I figured I'd take it home and have the world's most overly complex household answering machine. Now, after a year of it sitting neglected in a cleoset, I've finally got it configured. I'd never played with this kind of system before so I figured I'd take some notes and pics and post them here for anyone else who might be curious. This system seems to be designed for small businesses. Mine came with a pair of 400EC expansion modules enabling the system as a whole to handle 13 incoming phone lines two be answered by 9 system phones - it seems the original owner planned to keep at least 4 people suffering on hold or bouncing around through automated attendant menus pressing 1 for this and 2 for that. It's got the "large" version of Avaya's Voice Messaging PC Card so everyone can have voice mail with maximum total storage across all mailboxes of about two hours. The documentation has some interesting warnings about "criminals called hackers" who will either take up residence in the unused corners of your voice mail system or dial in to a mailbox and then transfer themselves to another outgoing line and proceed to make calls at your expense. The system's defense against both of these scenarios seems to center around the use of four-digit numeric passwords to control access to mailboxes and lines and to a lesser extent educating users to recognize signs that the system may be p0wned (for example, all lines are busy all the time). I think I'd want a stronger mechanism standing between me and paying for somebody else's toll calls than a 4-digit PIN, but since I have only one line, I figured I'd be safe from people trying to dial in and out again. It took me a couple of afternoons of fiddling to program the system. For the non-voicemail functions I programmed the system using a phone with a small LCD character display. You make a series of button-presses described in the manual to get the system to do what you want. For example, Feature 0 0 System-program System-program # 5 0 6 1 1 0 Next-data Feature 0 0 sets the number of rings before callers go to voice mail (feature #506) during the daytime (1) for extension 10. Next-data is a button you can use to cycle through a list of valid values. Hitting it once as shown above might change the number of rings from 2 to 3, for example. I suspect you could do the same task with the PC administration software using a GUI, but I did it with the phone for novelty's sake. You program voice-mail features by listening to audio prompts and pressing 1, 2, etc. as instructed. After my first attempt to get things right I was surprised to find that the default behavior for handling incoming calls was to ring one phone at a time, "hunting" from desk to desk with a couple of rings at each one until someone picks up. I was expecting all the phones would ring simultaneously. Apparently this "hunting" behavior is more appropriate for businesses, but for my usage I put the system into "night mode" where all the phones ring at the same time whenever anyone calls. So now the next step is to hook the system into my household phone wiring. Presently all my "extensions" are wired directly to the single incoming line in a 66-block. I've picked up a second 66-block and I'll (hopefully) be able to use it to separate the lines and plug them into the Partner ACS as separate extensions. I don't think I'd go out and drop the money to buy one of thesesystems for home use, but since I've got one it's fun to play with.
  2. So that's two people attending. Anyone else? If you're planning on attending, please post in this thread. If we get four or more attendees, I'll fill out the form to register a BR campsite, just for laughs. If we somehow hit the bar of 10 or more attendees and qualify for the 10% discount, I suggest we choose the option to give everyone the discount on their admission to keep things simple. If this occurs, I'll use my share to become a binrev donor to thank Stankdawg for running the site and bringing us together for this historic event. If anyone has a better idea, please post. I'd be happy to pass the baton to someone who wants to do something more fancy.
  3. Is anyone thinking of going to Toorcamp this July? It's advertised as the first European-style hacker camp in North America on the grounds of an abandoned Titan-1 missile silo. I registered back in April. I think it'll be worth it just to see several hundred hackers outdoors being exposed to direct sunlight. This weekend I'm going to attempt to puzzle out this activity normal people call "camping" so I'll be prepared. In my experience this whole "outdoors" thing just makes it hard to find an Ethernet jack, but I'm trying to keep an open mind.
  4. I'm planning to purchase a windows mobile 6 smartphone in the near future---a t-mobile wing aka HTC Herald. I've got some questions that I think Binrev might be able to answer better than my google searches: (1) What precautions should I take when I connect to a public wi-fi network in order to avoid getting my device owned? I know how to lock down a GNU/Linux machine. I'm not as familiar with Mac OSX, but at least I know enough to get the firewall configured the way I want it. On Windows, I'm totally lost. (2) I'm going to use the device on my employer's wi-fi network and synchronize with their MS Outlook mail system. How much can I trust a device like this to work for me and not for my employer after I put it on their network and let their mail system start manipulating it? For example, I'm never going to do any personal stuff on the Windows laptop my employer gave me because I know their admins can take full control of it remotely any time they want and snoop around. I'd like to believe that setting my phone up to synchronize with their Outlook system wouldn't give them any more access than if I set it up to do POP or IMAP, but I don't know Windows. Any advice? Thanks!
  5. Back in the "UNIX Wars" period of the 80s/90s many corporations sold their own machines running their own flavor of UNIX. Towards the end some of them like Sun, DEC, HP, and SGI produced UNIX workstations with a wide variety of CPUs. As the dot-com boom began, all their customers seemed to start falling over each other in the rush to dump this old hardware in favor of generic PCs running Windows NT. Consequently, UNIX hobbyists could go to their local hamfests and pick up slightly outdated commercial-grade UNIX hardware for cheap. Those were good days. I ran Debian GNU/Linux on a series of Digitial Equipment Corporation Alpha workstations as my home machines until it became too much of a PITA to find SCSI I and II replacement drives. I had a Sun ULTRASparc box for a while after that until its Sun-specific power supply got fried in an electrical storm. Now I'm down to a PowerPC Mac Mini. For years I was adamant about not running a box with an Intel CPU. But I have to admit that the virtualization support in the latest Intel Core Duo CPUs is a cool feature that can't be easily dismissed.
  6. You can use dd on /dev/mem or /dev/kmem to examine kernel memory. You can detect some simple kernel-modifying rootkits this way (where simple means the rootkit author hasn't taken steps to make /dev/mem or /dev/kmem lie to you). Take a look at this 2006 thread on the Enyelkm rootkit for more details.
  7. I bought a copy of "Zen mind, beginner's mind" yesterday. I'm told it's the canonical English-language introduction to Zen. Read a few chapters so far... interesting, but I just can't imagine how I could sit like a pretzel. ;^)
  8. My employer wants to be rid of an Avaya PBX. It used to belong to the previous owners of the office space and conveyed when we moved in. However, since it has no documentation and the vast majority of the phones mysteriously disappeared before we took posession, The Boss doesn't want to keep it. Should I take it home to play with it? What kind of fun can you have with this kind of equipment? Here's what's there: One module marked "103R1 R7", two modules marked "400EC module R3.1", one box-like bracket that holds the other modules marked "Carrier slot (5 slots) 103H5A(28)", a PCMCIA card marked "voice messaging system", and two phones.
  9. I think the idea was that the Russian speakers possessed only Latin keyboards for some unexplained reason and were therefore spelling out Russian words using Volapuk's phonetic system for writing particular sounds with particular Latin characters. Actually, they were texting with phones IIRC. I had never heard of Volapuk at the time I was reading so I didn't pause to think about it. Does this scenario make any sense?
  10. Curiously, the plot of William Gibson's latest novel "Spook Country" involves the use of Volapük by Russian speakers trying to cope with Latin alphabet keyboards. (FYI, W. Gibson is the author who is credited with coining the term "cyberspace"; an achievement that apparently won him the dubious honor of being name-dropped in the movie "Hackers".)
  11. The "Tor for Freedom" thing doesn't require you to run an exit node; you can just be an entry node. So that's a little less scary than running the full Tor node, but you can still feel you're doing some good. A local friend and I were discussing doing this together and forming a little corporation to own and operate the node. Our theory was that, if the worst happened, the little corporation would take the legal bullet for us. Of course, we aren't lawyers, so this could be wishful thinking. Still, the costs are looking prohibitive at this point so the question of whether or not it's too risky may be moot. Thanks for all the above advice so far. Anyone else have any ideas?
  12. Can anyone suggest a good colocation provider? I'd like to colocate and manage my own 1U box. I don't think I need many extra services beyond being able to get the machine power-cycled when I mess up. I recently heard Roger Dingledine give a talk about the "Tor for Freedom" project and it got me interested in running a Tor node. Of course I know I could probably just run it off my residential broadband, but I'd like to see how much it would cost to do it "right" without violating anyone's terms of service. The problem is that the "right" solutions are priced for businesses who expect to turn a profit, not for hobby projects. Business broadband costs $160US or $170US per month in my area. 1U colo for $100US per month seems to be the best rate I can get within driving distance. I'd like a monthly fee lower than that, but I'm wondering if I can trust a provider that charges only, say, $50/month not to sell my machine for parts given that I'd be dealing with them remotely from another state. Has anyone had a good experience shipping a machine to a distant and/or possibly foreign colocation service? Apologies for duplicating the 2004 colocation thread; I thought I might ask for some more recent information. Thanks for any info!
  13. You could fall back to this and run the machine as a "headless" server without a monitor. If you have a second machine with a monitor, you can configure X-Windows applications to bring their windows up on your second machine's monitor. Or you could just SSH into the UltraSparc machine and operate on the command line only. I used to connect actual physical serial terminals to my headless servers for maintenance purposes. It always took me a little trial and error to figure out if I needed a "crossover" or "straight-through" serial cable. I'd just try one, and if I didn't see any output on the terminal I'd try the other. Then it took a while to figure out what the proper baud rate was. But at least for this problem, if I had the baud rate set wrong on the terminal, I'd see garbage on the screen. Garbage was a good sign, because it meant that I got the cable right and I just had to try all the possible speed settings until the output showed up right. You might be able to google up the docs on what the proper baud rate is by default. I don't mean any insult to Solaris fans, but you could always just download the Debian Sparc Netinst CD-ROM and install that. The Netinst CD-ROM will get your machine booted and your network card up and then you download the remainder of the software to install.
  14. I ran Debian GNU/Linux on a Sun Ultra V until a thunderstorm zapped its power supply. Here is one page with specs for your machine. I think this machine dates from around 1996 or so (incorrect?); that date might give you a better idea of what to expect for performance than the specs. It'll probably do everything you want except play DVDs. Also, I've found that it's hard to get a flash player for non-x86 machines. It's surprising how many websites need flash these days. Old hardware is fun! Enjoy!
  15. So this morning the page has "The Last HOPE" announced for 18-20 July 2008. Seems it was an announcement, after all. I wonder if "Last" is mainly just a theme, or is it because the HoPenn *might* be going away and there's no other affordable place in NYC for future HOPEs, or is it because this is definitely the last one they'll be putting on?