Tag Archives: howto

Setting up voicemail to email

Ever been annoyed at how long it takes to retrieve your messages from Vodafone, Giffgaff, EE, or whoever runs your phone service? Me too. Press 1 to delete. Sorry, you need to listen to more than half to do that….. Yeah…. It’s annoying. It’s much easier to just receive an MP3 file in your inbox immediately after the message is left.

Sample Voicemail Email

I found a cheap (£1.20/month) solution, which is actually pretty handy. You buy an incoming geographic UK landline from Andrews and Arnold in whichever area code you’d like. Set it up so that it directs straight to voicemail (or busy, if you want to take calls on this new number too. It’s up to you.) If you’re reading this then feel free to leave me a message!

AA Voip Settings

Once this is working, set your phone to direct on busy/failed/no service to forward the call to your new number rather than their voicemail service. That’s it!

AA Voip Settings

This is possible with an iPhone. It’s a little bit more annoying to set up, as Apple do not expose the more detailed call forwarding options within their interface. However, knowledge of the GSM commands means that you can set this up using the dialer. These codes can be found on Wikipedia with more detail of how they work. For a record, here are the (untested by me) activation codes that should work in Europe for iPhones.

If Busy

*67*[phone number]#

If Not Answered

*61*[phone number]#

If Out of Reach (No Service)

*62*[phone number]#
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Installing Plex on the NowTV Box

Sky has released a cut down version of the Roku LT in the form of their NowTV box which is available for £9.99. It’s a really good deal, even if you don’t want to subscribe to NowTV (which honestly is worth thinking about, £8.99 a month for more recent movies than Netflix isn’t too sad!)

Now TV Box

Anyway, you wanted to install Plex on it didn’t you? It’s not in the store on the device presumably as Sky would rather you signed up to their service but fear not you can still install it with minimal fuss!
To get started, you need to enabled the hidden development mode. Grab the remote and press the following buttons:

Home, Home, Home, Up, Up, Right, Left, Right, Left, Right

Once this is done, you’ll need to write the IP address of your NowTV box. If you click through the screen without noting it down, go into the Settings menu and find it out in there. I’m using a modified version of Plex called RARflix, which you can find here. Simply download the lastest non test NOWTV sideload zip to your computer and go to the next step.

NowTV Dev Screen

Once again on your PC, open your favourite web browser and navigate to http://nowtvipaddresshere. Once here, click Choose file and navigate to the zip file you previously downloaded.
Click install, and the channel will upload to your NOWTV box. You should see something like the following on your TV screen if all is well.

Rarflix

It should now connect to your Plex server as normal.

Happy Plexing!

Using a Linux computer in University halls

If you run Linux on a PC or laptop in halls of residence you may of realised that most universities are using 802.1x authentication on their networks. It’s great, secure all that. It can just be a pain to set up. I’m currently in halls at Bangor University and couldn’t figure out how to get it all working in Ubuntu or Crunchbang. To be fair, it’s pretty unreliable in Windows too… “Unable to authenticate!”… Grr but I digress.

I found this guide on Aberystwyth University’s website, and it worked great. Basically you need to download and make sure that wpa_supplicant is installed (It should be in pretty much all modern Linux distros), then create a config file for it using the details on the page linked. I’ll paste them below in case they ever take the page down.

Start up a command line interface and create a directory by typing:

mkdir /var/run/wpa_supplicant

Using a text editor create a wpa_supplicant.conf file in /etc/wpa_supplicant. Inside this file enter the following lines:
# BEGIN wired network configuration

ap_scan=0

ctrl_interface=/var/run/wpa_supplicant

network={ 
      key_mgmt=IEEE8021X 
      eap=PEAP 
      phase1="peaplabel=1" 
      phase2="auth=MSCHAPV2" 
      identity="your University email address" 
      password="your University password" 
}

# ENG wired network configuration

Open a command terminal window and type:
sudo chmod 600 /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

Edit /etc/network/interfaces with the following. (The bits in bold)
#BEGIN

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
wpa-driver wired
wpa-conf /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

#END

Restart your network card by typing
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

You should now be connected to the University network

You’ll have to do a bit of experimenting with the identity field. Aber wants your entire uni email whereas at Bangor I just needed my username for it to work. Try both until it works. I’m fairly certain these settings are going to be fairly universal for all uni’s who utilise 802.1x authentication systems.

WordPress, Lighttpd and Permalinks

For a few months I’ve been putting up with no pretty permalinks on my blog. It looked a bit crap, but now I’ve migrated Tupcast and this blog to a wordpress network I thought it was time to sort it out.

Turns out getting permalinks functioning with Lighttpd wasn’t actually that bad. I ended up with effectively the code found on this blog. He mentions a really good point however, running a php script for every upload isn’t exactly the most efficient especially since I am running on a pretty low spec VPS… I was mainly getting stuck on guides that said to redirect to ‘/wp-content/blogs.php’. This is old and has been replaced in newer versions of WordPress.

‘/wp-content/blogs.php’ in these examples should be replaced with ‘wp-includes/ms-files.php’ if you are following these guides.

The better way is to manually code the ID as shown on the same blog linked. Better for your server, and it probably means pages get loaded faster too. I have had to adjust it slightly to allow for my podcast files to still be accessed directly despite permalinks being setup. If you have any folders that you need, just substitute them in!

My final code is as follows for tupcast.co.uk (which has a network ID of 2)

$HTTP["host"] =~ "tupcast.co.uk" {
url.rewrite-once = (<
 "^/(.*)?/?files/(.*)" => "/wp-content/blogs.dir/2/files/$2",
 "^/(wp-.*)$" => "$1",
 "^/favicon.ico$" => "$1",
 "^/xmlrpc.ico$" => "$1",
 "^/robots.txt$" => "$1",
 "^/([_0-9a-zA-Z-]+/)?(.*.php)$" => "$2",
 "(?.*)$" => "index.php$1",
 "." => "index.php"
)}

Sending mail from a printer, scanner or app – Google Apps Help

If your device or application does not support SSL, connect to aspmx.l.google.com on port 25.

via Sending mail from a printer, scanner or app – Google Apps Help

It’s amazing what happens when you do some more research. Turns out I don’t need the Pi to act as a mail bridge between my scanner and the outside world. Google already has that covered, although I wonder when they set this up? It wasn’t like this a few years back when I did have to set up a mail server to act as an in between!

Now to find something else to use the Pi for!

How to get Vodafone UK to unlock a contract 3G iPad.

If you look on Vodafone’s eForum you might find conflicting advice on whether the company can unlock 3G iPad’s bought from them on either PAYG or on a contract. The answer is a definite yes, as I have managed to get mine unlocked with relative ease.

Don’t bother phoning customer services they won’t be much help. Instead, head over to this web form. If your account is Pay as you go, then apparently you’ll need to top up £20 to cover the service (but don’t quote me on that, I’m not on PAYG. Try phoning customer services… I guess).

Type in your iPad’s  phone number (which should be on your contract paperwork, if it isn’t like mine you can try another number on the same account (which worked fine for me!) otherwise again you might have to try calling customer services)

Complete the form, wait about 3 working days (you can leave your computer and go about your life during this time) and you should get an email back from Vodafone telling you it’s been completed. Enjoy swapping sim cards in your freshly unlocked iPad.

Unlock a Vodafone UK 3G iPad

If you look on Vodafones eForum you might find conflicting advice on whether the company can unlock 3G iPads bought from them on either PAYG or on a contract. The answer is a definite yes, as I have managed to get mine unlocked with relative ease.

Don’t bother phoning customer services they wont be much help. Instead, head over to this web form. If your account is Pay as you go, then apparently you’ll need to top up £20 to cover the service (but don’t quote me on that, I’m not on PAYG. Try phoning customer services… I guess).

Type in your iPads phone number (which should be on your contract paperwork, if it isn’t like mine you can try another number on the same account (which worked fine for me!) otherwise again you might have to try calling customer services)

Complete the form, wait about 3 working days (you can leave your computer and go about your life during this time) and you should get an email back from Vodafone telling you its been completed. Enjoy swapping sim cards in your freshly unlocked iPad.

Apple Airport Express and the case of the wrong region

My Airport Express has been used for about six months via ethernet to stream audio, but recently I moved stuff around and had a tidy up and now my wireless signal in my room is (now, was) rubbish.

Initally I tried reconfiguring it to be a wireless access point, but nothing I could do would make it work. There was apparently no wireless signal being transmitted. Digging around the configuration pages in Airport Utility it seemed my Airport Express thought it was a US unit, those being the only countries available to select in wireless settings. I was informed this shouldn’t really cause an issue (it would only cause two extra channels to be missing) but it was bugging me.

Downgrading and upgrading the firmware didn’t help. You can’t even manually download recent firmware anymore, it all has to be managed completely (downloading and installation) through the utility manager.

Just about to give up, I stumbled across this article on MacBook which details how to fully reset the Airport Express. It worked! Basically, unplug the device hold down the reset button (near the connections for speakers and ethernet) and plug it back in whilst continuing to hold down the reset button.

I held the button for around twenty seconds whilst the notification LED flashed orange really quickly. A quick trip back to Airport Utility and I have a functional wireless network again! Yay!

Send to Kindle works on the new cheap kindle

The Google Chrome extension Send to Kindle works with the new £89 kindle perfectly. Install the extension, pop over to your Amazon Kindle management page and make a note of your personal email address (It’ll end in @kindle.com). You’ll also need to add the extensions email address to your allowed senders before it’ll work (kindle@klip.me)

Chrome Extension: Send to KindleKindle Management Page

 

 

Slingbox Pro Power Supply Issues

Recently acquired a Slingbox Pro (known to be functioning fine!). Plugged it in, it didn’t want to see the network. Wasn’t the cable, the same one worked fine on the PS3.

Didn’t want to reset itself at all.
Turns out the power supplies burn out quickly; and thankfully I also acquired a Slingcatcher which uses a similar power supply (5A instead of 4.5A). It however has a sticker saying “DO NOT USE WITH SLINGBOX PRO”.

I figured I’d try it since it was only 0.5A difference, and my Slingbox sprang to life after one more reset. Apparently it is quite a common problem.