Whole house phone system using Callcentric.com VOIP + Bluetooth + Traditional phones

After porting my land line to Google Voice I decided to add a backup VOIP line. Some co workers recommened Callcentric so I went with it.I already had an Xlink BTTN to allow me to integrate traditional phones to make calls from cellphones utilizing bluetooth.

Devices I'm using:

  • Callcentric Pay per call plan - VOIP line where you only pay for what you use. Small setup fee and monthly charges are based on their current rates. Currently US calls are $0.0198 which works out to $1.19 for an hour.
  • Callcentric Pay per minute DID - Direct Inward Dialing- this is simply a phone number that interfaces with the phone network so I can recieve calls. Small setup fee and $2/ monthly.
  • Grandstream HT502 - Device that talks VOIP to a provider (Callcentric) and outputs an analog dialtone. Supports two lines, currently using one.
  • XLink BTTN - Device that outputs a dialtone and inputs an analog line and up to 3 bluetooth phones

Port land line to Google Voice

A few people have documented porting a landline to Google Voice by first porting to a cell phone. I was going to cancel my landline so I thought I would try this first. It appears that for about $30 total USD I can transfer my landline to Google Voice. T-Mobile's Transfer your phone number to T-Mobile page says my landline (TDS Metrocom) is OK to port.

  • 2011-06-03: SIM arrived. Didn't do anything with it for a few days

  • 2011-06-06: A co-worker had a spare phone (T-Mobile G1) that I was able to borrow for activation.
    • Activated at http://www.t-mobile.com/PrepaidActivation which required this info
      • Activation code - 11 digit code comes with activation kit in the booklet.
      • Sim Serial # - 19 digit code written on SIM card in difficult to read grey text. Don't enter trailing letter.
      • Phone Serial # / IMEI - 15 digit code found under Settings-> About Phone-> Status. Probably also written on phone under battery, didn't check.
      • Personal info - name/email/password
    • Last step of activation is choosing a plan. I just chose Pay as you Go.
    • It immediately gave me my phone # on the website and also texted it to me.

  • 2011-06-06: Port phone # to SIM card. Do so by calling 1-877-789-3106. Info I needed:
    • Newly activated T-Mobile phone #
    • My name
    • Mailing address of the number I'm porting

OpenBGPD configuration notes

Notes below on experimentation with OpenBGPD


  • Neighbor with password that will work with Cisco, Juniper, etc. Also setting attributes using methodology here. Even though this is an EBGP peer we're still going to announce all instead of announce self because self will only announce originating prefixes. All will allow you to pass your customer or peer prefxies as well.
AS 65000

neighbor {
	remote-as 65001
	announce all

	descr "ebgp1"
	tcp md5sig password secret

	set med 10
	set localpref 80
	set community 65000:180


Specific examples for OpenBGPD's filter syntax seem hard to come by, here's some documentation from my experimentation based on the bgpd.conf man page.

  • Apply community, med, localpref to a prefix
match from any prefix set med 10
match from any prefix set localpref 120
match from any prefix set community 65000:220

  • Same as above but with macros matching multiple prefix
match from any prefix $PREFIXES_TEST set med 10
match from any prefix $PREFIXES_TEST set localpref 120
match from any prefix $PREFIXES_TEST set community 65000:220

  • Same again but condensed
match from any prefix $PREFIXES_TEST set { med 10, localpref 120, community 65000:220 }

  • Previous examples are for exact matches. Below will match anything in (/9 is what's actually currently being advertised)
match from any prefix $PREFIXES_TEST prefixlen >= 8 set { med 10, localpref 120, community 65000:220 }

Replicate WebOS (Palm Pre) on your Android

User experience with WebOS is a far friendlier

  • Access dock/launcher while any app is full screen:
    • Wave Launcher - Does a decent job of replicating WebOS's action

  • Calendar with option to Compress/Squeeze free time
    • Calendar Pad Sort of does this but not cleanly. See Settings-> Day View-> Hour Splitter. Will emphasize events by time, not automatically by when there are events.

  • Combined IM and Text messaging - Nothing
    • this guide shows you how to have your Google Talk client integrate with other things such as AIM, ICQ, Facebook chat without additional software. However, no SMS/MMS.

  • Replicate gesture area under screen for Android phones without hard buttons - Nothing

Sprint HTC Evo Shift 4G Root and ROM Replacement

Original guide is available here.

Detailed Instructions

Required Software

  • Download and install the Android SDK onto your PC.
    • run tools/android which will launch a GUI.
    • Choose Available Packages -> Android Repository. I installed Android SDK Tools, Android SDK Platform-tools and SDK Platform Android 2.2. Platform-tools requires adb which is used for this process.
    • Close the GUI
  • Download fastboot from HTC. Once unzipping the download I placed fastboot into the platform-tools directory of the SDK which is where adb is.
  • Install VISIONary+ onto your phone. This will give you temporary root to then perform the permanent root.
  • Download Shift-root.zip. These are the files that will permanently root your device.
  • Unzip Shift-root.zip and place its contents into the root of your SD card. Keep the path in tact. Your phone should now have:
  • Download recovery.img.zip. This is the recovery image. Unzip it to somewhere on your PC, the resulting file is recovery.img. You do not need to copy this to your phone.
  • My local mirror of the required files is here.

Sprint LG Optimus S Root and ROM Replacement

After rooting an HTC Hero, the phone was upgraded to an LG Optimus S. Below are instructions. Rooting was done from a Linux laptop, you should be able to root using any OS the Android SDK runs on (Windows, OSX, Linux).


Sprint HTC Hero Root and ROM Replacement

The Sprint HTC Hero seems like a decent phone. Unfortunately it runs HTC's Sense UI which is a bloated hog, even though it looks decent. By default I consider the phone nearly unusable- even typing on the soft keyboard is extremely laggy at most times and it doesn't give you immediate feedback as to which key you've pressed.

A coworker with an android phone recommended the Cyanogen ROM 6.0 stable which is based on Anrdroid 2.2 (Froyo) which Sprint/HTC are not porting to this phone officially.

These instructions were written by someone who's rooted/touched/flashed an Android phone for the first time. I was using Cyanogen's instructions as a guide but they're horrible and miss several things so I'm writing my own to document.

  • Note that when this mod is installed the phone cannot be activated. You have to install a stock rom to activate.


  • Backup
  • Install original official Sprint Android 2.1 rom (HTC_Sprint_Hero_MR_2.27.651.5.exe).
  • Root it using Universal Androot
  • Install 3rd party stuff using ROM Manager (Rom Backup, Cyanogen ROM, Google Apps)
  • Enjoy

RANCID - Mikrotik Routers

RANCID is a system that lets you fetch router configs into CVS. It supports many devices by default but not MikroTik which is sort of a new kid on the block. Someone was nice enough to create a patch for MikroTik. This patch doesn't cleanly apply so here's all you need to get it going in a non-patch method. These docs were made on a FreeBSD system, paths may be different in your case.

  • Edit /usr/local/libexec/rancid/rancid-fe and add this line to the %vendortable hash:
    'mikrotik'		=> 'mtrancid',

Then just add a device as type mikrotik to your router.db file. like so and things should work as expected:



  • Mikrotik generates a random mac-address for openvpn server when the config is displayed. To fix this bug, force its mac-address:
/interface ovpn-server server set mac-address=00:00:00:00:00:01


  • 2012-08-15 - updated "mtrancid" line 226 to fix up line splitting code. - Kristian Hoffmann
  • 2011-03-09 - updated mtrancid adding without-paging per timoid's suggestion

Karate Champ Arcade Cabinet

Picked up a Karate Champ arcade cabinet from a local Craigslist posting on Thursday, Oct 7th 2010. Yes, it has the wrong Marquee, depending on how much I care I may replace it.

Old stuff from Usenet

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