2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health: The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow. Crunchy numbers A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats. About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 39,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it. Read On →

Update for Asterisk: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition)

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update on my blog, but that’s just because we’ve been so busy at work on the next edition of the O’Reilly published Asterisk book! Asterisk: The Definitive Guide is the next update to the Asterisk: The Future Of Telephony books and is thus the 3rd edition. We’ve changed the name for two reasons: 1) This is pretty much a complete re-write of the book based on Asterisk 1. Read On →

Video of '5 Things You Didn't Know Asterisk Could Do' Presentation Now Available

Check out the AstriCon website for my presentation that was recorded this year. I did three presentations this year (5 Things You Didn’t Know Asterisk Could Do, Distributed Call Centres, and the Asterisk Project Update with Russell Bryant) but unfortunately the only one I see so far is the 5 Things presentation (which is a very good presentation! :)) The link to the presentations are here: http://www.astricon.net/videoPresentations.aspx#Digium7 with mine being at the top of the list. Read On →

My Presentations from AstriCon 2010 are Available

Check out http://leifmadsen.com and click on the presentations tab. Under that tab you will find my presentations from AstriCon 2010, ’5 Things You Didn’t Know Asterisk Could Do’ and a slightly updated version of my ‘Building Distributed Queue Systems’ presentation. Both are in PDF format. Both presentations went over extremely well, and I think both probably ended up being, or nearly being, my best presentations ever given. In previous years I’ve given presentations on distributed Asterisk systems and last year at IT360 I gave my ”5 Things You Didn’t Know Asterisk Could Do” presentation, so perhaps being somewhat familiar with the format helped. Read On →

Wow, lost ticket recovery for VIA Rail is pretty much garbage

Here is the response I got from VIA Rail for a lost ticket, which was printed off at the time of departure for my return trip. Why they insist on printing the return ticket the time of departure I don’t know, but how ridiculous is this? “VIA Rail will not issue a free ticket against a lost or stolen ticket being reported. Customers are required to purchase a new ticket at the original fare and complete a Lost Ticket Indemnity Bond. Read On →

AstriCon 2010 and my talks!

NOTE: My presentations are available on my website at http://leifmadsen.com under the Presentations tab. Hey all! I’m at AstriCon 2010 in Maryland and it’s going great so far! Russell Bryant and I spoke with several keen users and developers last night in the Code Zone at a fairly late hour, which shows just how dedicated Asterisk users are. There was pretty much no one else around and we had a room of about 20-30 people just having a great discussion about Asterisk development. Read On →

Scheduling automated calls between two participants with res_calendar

Here is a little dialplan snippet I wrote this morning for the next edition of the Asterisk book. While I’m not going to delve into all the aspects of setting up res_calendar like we do in the book, I thought for those of you who might already have this working might enjoy it. (The calendaring modules are available in Asterisk 1.8, which is currently in release candidate status. Check out http://www. Read On →

Asterisk IMAP and Gmail

Today I was working on the next edition of the Asterisk book and wanted to see if I could get Asterisk IMAP voicemail support to work with Gmail. I had tried doing this a few times in the past without success, but since I had spent some time documenting and testing against Dovecot last week for another client and gotten everything working, I figured I had a good base to start trying to connect to the Gmail IMAP servers. Read On →

Interesting article about *not* tracking holidays at Netflix

The following is an interesting article about not tracking workers time spent at work, or on vacation, but rather tracking their productivity. As a consultant who doesn’t have a fixed set of hours in the day that I work, I tend to judge my productivity by the number of hours I get to bill each week (i.e. how productive was I working for customers, rather than playing Flight Simulator :)). Read On →

MindMeister: Online mind mapping

Russell Bryant just sent me a link to a neat site that allows you to do online collaborative mind mapping: MindMeister. If you’re not aware of what mind mapping software does, it is a method to quickly and easily allow you to brainstorm ideas without getting in the way too much. It works by starting from a central node and breaking out in lines from there where you start with an idea or thought, then break that thought down further with additional lines from that node. Read On →