Friday, March 27, 2009

Asterisk PBX & Cisco System Install - 01 Step by Step Example

Configuring Asterisk and connecting with Cisco Call Manager using our existing Cisco hardware.

Asterisk is an open source VOIP PBX system. The problem we are going to look at is how to make this work with our existing Cisco Equipment.

What we have to work with:
-Cisco 7940 series IP Phones
-Cisco 1760 VOIP router with FXO cards
-Cisco 3550 Catalyst Switch
-POTs line (plain old telephone
-Dell PowerEdge 860 rack mount server

Over a series of posts I will see what it takes to put together a working phone system.

Being that I am not a Linux or Asterisk guru at this point I will look for some online resources for help.

At there is a link to a free book that you can download as a pdf file so I am going to start there.

Preface - Says this is a book about anybody new to Asterisk and that is me. Here it claims to be a full featured system with features like voicemail, hosted conferencing, music on hold, and the like. Sounds good so far.

Chapter 1 - A Telephony Revolution - Says Asterisk is very flexible but not so simple to configure. I expected as much but let's see if we can figure it out. States there is an active and supportive Asterisk community but warns that they may not be very friendly to those who have not done some work to answer the easy questions themselves.

Where else to go for Help
Mailing lists Located at
-Asterisk-Dev for developers only - end user questions not welcome here
-Asterisk-Users This is a place where I can go for help (after I have done my home work)
Users Mailing list archive is here
Lists as the best place to go for Asterisk knowledge after the mailing list archives.
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel #asterisk on is another source of help.
You may also be able to find local asterisk user groups

To search the mailing list archive for cisco 1760, use google like this:
"cisco 1760" site:

To post to the mailing list you need to send your post from the same email address that you subscribed with and send to:

The books says they are going to cover just the basics of getting things going and that you can build on from there.

Chapter 2 - Preparing a System for Asterisk -
Linux and Asterisk will run on most any hardware but I need it to run well so I'll take a look at this chapter.
I need a system for a small group of about 50 users who are not on the phone a lot. So it looks like my dual core Dell with 2 GB of RAM should be more then up to the task. In fact I think I may build a virtual server as a backup. They mention that large organization can grow Asterisk using multiple servers but probably not a task for the new user to tackle. See page 12 of the book for more information.
There is a lot of stuff in this chapter but I am going to assume for now I am OK and continue on.

NEXT Asterisk PBX System Install - 02 OS

Asterisk PBX Install - Index

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fill Out Paper Form Using Word As Typewriter

Issue: You need to fill out a paper form and make it look nice.

Quick: Scan Document insert in Header resize set layout "behind text"

Saw this on this blog link and thought it may come in handy.
1. Scan the form into computer as a picture
2. Open word
3. Go to View => Header and Footer

4. Go to menu Insert => Picture and insert the picture of the form into the header area.

5. Size the form picture to fit the page

6. Right click picture select format picture Behind Text

7. Click out side header area and type in text. User returns and spaces to position cursor.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Email Scrambler for Blog Page

Issue: Want to put your email on a blog or web page but want to avoid bots harvesting your email address.

This site has a free tool to generate code that will hide your email address in plain view.
Or you could create a jpg picture of your email account and post that to your webpage.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Organizational Forms Library Setup

Issue: You have an Outlook form and you want to publish it on the Exchange server. Before you can do this for the first time, you must setup the Organizational Forms Library on the server.

Quick: In ESM / Public /Folders (view system folders); Eforms Registry / New / Create Folder


In order to install forms you need to setup an Orgainzational Form Library in the Exchange server. This is something that you only need to do once. In fact you can only create one library for each language. After it is created the library you can add as many forms as you like.

You also need to give permissons to people who need to add forms to the library.

This Microsoft link explains how to Create the Folders. Somtimes links change so I have also pasted in the text down below. (Skip Down To See How To Add Permissions)
-----------Text form link -----------------
To create an Organizational Forms Library in Exchange Server 2003, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, point to All Programs, click Microsoft Exchange, and then click System Manager.

2. Expand Folders, and then click Public Folders.

3. On the System Manager toolbar, click the Action menu, and then click View System Folders.

4. In the left pane, right-click EForms Registry, point to New, and then click organization form.

5. In the Name box, type the name of the folder.

6.Under E-forms language, click to select the appropriate language.

To create copies of the Organizational Forms Library on other servers, click the Replication tab, and then type the name of server that you want to contain the copy of the Organizational Forms Library.

Note An Organizational Forms Library is a special type of public folder that is listed only with system folders. You can have only one Organizational Forms Library for each language per organization.

To set storage limits for an Organizational Forms Library, click the Limits tab. To create a description of an Organizational Forms Library, click the Details tab. To set permissions for each user, click the Permissions tab.
-------------End Text form link ---------------------

For permissions you will want everyone to be able to open the forms but only certian people should be able to install new forms.

Right click on the new Forms folder.
Click on the permissions tab.
Click Client permissions button
Set the default to Reviewer
Add users who need to add forms with rights that allow them to Create items. You can pick a preconfigured role from the drop down list or add individual rights using the check boxes and radial buttons.

Note if you get the error:
"The token supplied to the function is invalid" when trying to get to the folders then you need to turn off "Require secure channel (SSL)" in IIS for Exchadmin folder"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

AutoCAD Error - Unable To Save To Drawing

Issue: Get an error message "Unable to save to drawing . Drawing saved to

Quick: Set .bak file for that drawing to all inherited rights and be sure it is not read only.

Very strange problem showed up. Engineer trying to save a AutoCAD drawing got the following error message:

Saving as any other name works fine but every time he tried to save as that name it removed both the .dwg and .bak files and saved the file as .tmp file.

Verified this behavior on 2 different machines.

Found a link to some information that was helpful stating at the end that the .bak file might be read only.

I check and the .bak file was not read only, but when I right clicked the file and checked the security settings for the file it was not inheriting security from the folder. I set the .bak file to inherit security and now it works.

Still odd because I would think that with the .bak file coming and going it would get the correct security but not the case for some reason.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Outlook Sync With Palm -Categories Fix

You syncronize your palm device but the categories to not sync up on your hand held device.

Found this link that was helpful.

-----Text From Link----
When I sync my Palm with Outlook, my categories don't transfer over (my todos are listed under the "unfiled" category). How do I get my categories in the handheld to match my categories in Outlook?

You will need to properly configure PocketMirror in order for your categories to transfer.

You will need to do the following:

1. Go to "PocketMirror Settings" by clicking “Start/Programs/PocketMirror/PocketMirror Settings”.
2. From the “Chapura Settings” screen, select the handheld user name you wish to edit, and click on the “Settings” button.
3. From the “Change Synchronization Preferences” screen, select the Outlook application you wish to edit, and click on the “Change” button.
4. From the "Preference Settings for Outlook …” screen, select the “Categories/Folders” topic.
5. From the “Categories/Folders” screen, select how PocketMirror will synchronize your categories/folders. The options are: "Handheld category = Outlook's 'Categories' field", "Handheld category = user-defined field 'PalmPilot' category", or "Handheld category = Outlook folder" (The last option, "Handheld category = Outlook folder" is a feature which is only available with PocketMirror 3.0 Professional.)
6. Exit PocketMirror, and synchronize.

-----End Text From Link----

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ubuntu Video Mode Not Supported

Issue: Ubuntu Linux server plugged into kvm comes up with error "Video Mode Not Supported" and the screen is blank.

Quick/Visual/Learning: Work around - Login blind with user name and password then video works normally after it is logged in.