Lightbulb Moments

It’s always refreshing to have a “lightbulb moment” every once in a while. You know the feeling, you’ve been working with some system or on some problem for hours (or weeks or months) and you suddenly find that one piece of information that makes the whole thing fall together and make sense. It’s usually a satisfying feeling.

It’s less satisfying when the lightbulb that comes on is shining very brightly on a bad assumption you made at the outset.

Important Differences

< mgcp default-package hs-package < no mgcp fax t38 ecm < mgcp fax t38 inhibit < no mgcp fax-relay sg3-to-g3 < no mgcp explicit hookstate

There’s something important in there. Without those lines, a Cisco 3845 Voice Gateway controlled by Cisco Unified Communications Manager won’t answer inbound calls. With those lines, suddenly inbound dialing works. Amazing.

Cisco complaining and other things

I’ve been spending a good part of my time at work recently reading large amounts of Cisco documentation for Unified MeetingPlace, Unified Communications Manager (formerly Call Manager) and all the necessary parts and pieces that an enterprise needs to make those work. The most aggravating part of the reading has been finding that no one seems to ever do a “sanity check” on the documentation. For example, our technical engineers keep telling us that the MeetingPlace Network Backup Gateway runs on Windows 2003, even though the release notes for the most recent version say:

Network Backup Gateway must be installed on a 7800 series Cisco Media Convergence Server (MCS) with the Cisco version of the Microsoft Windows 2000 server operating system installed.

Also frustrating initially, very little of the pre-sales technical work seems to have been transferred to the post-sales technical group. Cisco claims to have made a serious effort is correcting this, but we haven’t had another conference call since our concerns got heard by the right people.

In a completely unrelated event, a coworker has joined the ranks of us bloggers, and she’s trying to write one entry every day. I also need to document my thoughts on the record US$100 million fine against McLaren for the Stepney-gate industrial espionage event in F1, but that really should be another post.

Silly, Silly vendors

Your DNS May Be EOL

So, I’ve gotten 2 separate notes from 2 separate vendors over the last couple of days proclaiming similar things. Recently, ISC has declared several older versions of BIND “End of Life“. These older versions are no longer supported and may or may not have security issues. But, if your boss gets one of these, you can be sure that he/she will forward it on to the technical people out on the pointy end of the stick to answer for. I hope you don’t even have to think twice, you shouldn’t be running this stuff anymore.


First day down, 9 hours in the same room with 4 presenters wasn’t bad, but I was at least expecting some hands-on time with the software. No such luck, we were subjected to “death by PowerPoint”.

I now have a much better understanding of the parts and pieces of our creaky CallManager system, but the new one won’t be Call Manager, Cisco has changed the name to “CUCM”, “Cisco Unified Communications Manager” I think.

Dial plans, calling search spaces, route points, SIP, SCCP, CTI, my head is spinning in the acronym soup.

Keynote from the CEO in 45 minutes or so.