Monthly Archives: August 2007

DTMF in Asterisk

Had a small issue today with a GXP-2000 where Asterisk wasn’t correctly hearing the digits dialed for a user’s voicemail. It couldn’t pick up the username with a “Couldn’t read username” error when using sip set debug peer peername. Turned out that the settings had changed for that individual account for DTMF. Changing DTMF from “In-Audio” to “Via RTP” fixed it. I said it was a small issue, not an interesting one.

Common Misspellings and Mistypings

I’ve been writing long enough where I recognize certain patterns to my writing. I’ve also been writing for a sufficient length of time to recognize that the previous sentence was really awkward. That one wasn’t much better. But this being a blog means that I can be less formal with the grammatically challenged sentences that I write. This soon-to-be-rambling post was originally meant to be about the common misspellings and mistypings that I make but I guess I’ll see where it goes.

When writing, and especially when writing in lengthly sessions as I do when writing a book, as I am right now, I find patterns or commonalities with certain words, where I just can’t seem to type them correctly. It’s not so much that I’m misspelling the words because I don’t know the correct spelling (I’m morally opposed to spell checkers – a subject for another post) but more so that the electrical impulses going from brain to hands to fingers are firing just out of sequence.

The sequences might be misfiring because of patterns of words that I’ve typed numerous times, so many times that when the fingers begin to type part of the word, the fingers end up trying to complete the original word rather than the word that the brain had intended. Almost like a muscle-memory sort of thing.

I found this to be the case yesterday while writing on loops in JavaScript. An example sentence might be: “Using a for loop to iterate through an array.” The word iterate seems especially difficult for my fingers to type. I’m not sure what word they want to type, but iterate sure isn’t it. The word inevitably comes out with an “n”, like interate. Maybe my fingers are trying to type interact or interesting?

Another such word, and the one that prompted this post is the word more. It’s such a terribly simple word to type, yet I typed it as mot. Promptly recognizing the mistake, I deleted it and proceeding to type mot again. My brain knew that I wanted to type more but I typed mot, twice!

Yet another annoying thing that my fingers seem to do is to drag the shift key, meaning that I hold the shift key down one character too long when beginning a word with an uppercase letter. I’m not sure if there are certain words where I do this, but it’s annoying nonetheless. While I’ve been writing this post I’ve been thinking about this dragging of the shift key trying to determine if there are certain words where it happens. Naturally though, since I’ve been actively thinking about it I can’t get the subconscious shift key drag to occur.

All of these traits could be muscle fatigue too, or maybe brain fatigue. The clock reading nearly 9pm means that I’ve been sitting here for double-digit hours again today, I think, I can’t remember. Ah yes, the run-on sentence. Another sure sign of fatigue or writer laziness, not sure which.

Default Editor in Debian Etch

Somehow it appears that the default editor got switched to Nano on the upgrade from Debian Sarge to Etch. At least I think it did. I would certainly remember having to use Nano before and would’ve been sufficiently annoyed to change that.

I messed up a couple crontab entries, expecting to be editing with Vi but instead editing with Nano. Ouch. I caught it but it’s amazing how much habitual hitting ESC to switch between modes in Vi becomes, along with the other keys to come out of command mode within Vi. Those certainly don’t work so well in Nano.

Trying to switch gears mentally from Vi mode to Nano mode after 17 straight hours on the computer is somewhat difficult.

Anyway, /etc/alternatives holds all that fun stuff in Debian and this command will change the setting for the editor:

update-alternatives --config editor

As a side note, I have multiple categories in my blog and this one really fits into both “Random Rants” and “Useful Items That I Forget”.

Acrobat Updates

While viewing a PDF, I was alerted that the Adobe Acrobat Reader software that I was using had an available update. I’m not really sure what the update does or why I would care, that wasn’t detailed, only that I should update using their update wizard.

Gone are the days when upgrades only occurred because of new features. We’re now forced to upgrade and update simply in order for the software to work properly. I can think of no other industry that works like this. Imagine the software in your car becoming obsolete and the only way to continue driving would be to buy an entirely new car. Nevermind that the car is otherwise running fine, no, you need to get a new car because we’re no longer supporting that model.

Back to Acrobat, I don’t want to keep updating it to the latest version because each version of the Acrobat reader gets more annoying and more bloated. I don’t need every piece of software running its own widget, taking up memory, bandwidth, and cpu cycles just to look for updates that I probably don’t want anyway. If you come out with a new feature that I find necessary in order to do work, I can update the software. Until then, go away.