Home > Uncategorized > ET can phone home now, if it’s a local call

ET can phone home now, if it’s a local call

February 23, 2009

This seems to be the week for phones.  At work, we’re starting to install VOIP phones in our classrooms.  This will allow professors to call our office instead of using the less-informative room ‘help’ signal.  I just installed the first one Friday.  It’s a Cisco and it works great!  The installation requires a small modification to each console, but it’s no big deal.

Then this weekend I tackled the noisy phone line at my house.  I really couldn’t care less about the phone, as long as we have Internet, but that’s the problem.  Our phone line had gotten so noisy it was interfering with the DSL.

So this morning, I ripped out a whole bunch of old phone lines and junctions in the house, a tangled assortment of Radio-Shack grade 4-wire, dynamite wire, twisted bell wire, and a lightning arrestor that looks like it dates back to the early Eisenhower administration.  Installed uniform CAT4 cable and new junctions and jacks, while eliminating several of the old lines that are no longer used.  Noise, gone; DSL, working better. 

In the process I saw some network wiring that isn’t up to standard, but my Ethernet wiring kit is at work so I didn’t do anything with that.  All the cable is CAT5, so it won’t need replacing, but I’ll install a new punch-panel in the closet instead of the current tangle of junk.

I also modified a new piece of exercise equipment that I bought.  It strengthens the lower back, but it had an uncomfortable design flaw.  Now it has much better clearance, uh, in front below the waistline.

I am planning to buy a unicycle soon.  Does anyone have any tips?  What brand to buy, features to look for?  If possible I want one as good as my mountain bike, which is fairly high-end.

Coming up soon on this blog is a review of a book written by one of my old college buddies.  He and I went in completely different directions after graduation; he’s a fundamentalist minister and I’m an evil atheist blogger.  He said he wanted my honest opinion of the book…

Oh, and Happy Birthday, Heinrich Herz Hertz!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. February 23, 2009 at 03:44 | #1

    That’s ‘Hertz’, with a T.
    Without a T, it hurz ;-)

  2. February 23, 2009 at 07:50 | #2

    Ach!  My typing was not “perfect to a t”!

  3. February 23, 2009 at 16:57 | #3

    The phone wiring in our home is kaput, which is one reason we went to VoIP.  We actually have two services … one analog phones with an ATA from Packet8, the other a Cisco 7940 tied into a virtual PBX from my employer.

    Just out of curiosity, why did you not use Cat5 for the new phone wiring?  That way you could terminate both Ethernet drops and analogy/legacy phone line off the same bundle.

  4. Dr. Pablito
    February 23, 2009 at 17:41 | #4

    Have you ridden a unicycle before?  If not, then you want an inexpensive one, with good bump cushions on the front and back of the seat, because you will be dropping it quite a lot on the ground as you learn.  You should also look for something tall enough to fit you.  Many shops only carry one unicycle, maybe two, meant for novices or learners, of the small persuasion.  You want big, cheesy friendly pedals the way you remember from your childhood bikes.  No clips, baskets, funky stuff.  While learning, the pedals will whack your ankles.

  5. February 23, 2009 at 18:16 | #5

    WeeDram – most of the phone work consisted of removal.  I only installed three lines – one for bedroom, one for DSL modem, one for Mrs’ desk, and they were very easy to access using the cable guides on the basement ceiling joists.  Someone once gave me a thousand-foot roll of CAT4, and for phones it’s easier to work with because the wires are not twisted together.

    For all network wiring, of course, I’m using CAT5e.

    Dr. Pablito – good advice. Unfortunately there are very few unicycles available locally so I will have to buy online.  What size wheel would you recommend?  I am five-foot ten.

  6. February 24, 2009 at 23:48 | #6

    Please please please have Pete take a video of you while on it. :) Also, I still like the idea of you doing service calls to the unruly customers while on it…

  7. March 2, 2009 at 11:13 | #7

    Dr. Pablito, took your advice, a used Torker LX 24” seemed pretty close to what you describe and not too expensive.  I can learn about high-end uni’s while I learn to ride this one.

    Webs, please don’t hold your breath.  I’m getting a uni to help rehabilitate my balance which has not fully recovered from my accident. It may be a while before there’s anything to videotape.

    I also got some juggling balls.  Learning to juggle may help.  I’m a lot better than I was four years ago (when I’d still lose my balance sometimes while walking) but there’s a ways to go.

  8. March 2, 2009 at 11:33 | #8

    One wheel to rule them all
    And in the darkness bind them ? ;-)

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