Saturday, 7 January 2006

Prank callers revenge

I mentioned previously that I got Caller-ID (or CLI) enabled on my line because of prank calls, or more likely, a broken call centre dialler.

As I expected, knowing who is calling doesn’t stop them calling, it just gives me a strong hint as to whether or not the caller will hangup as soon as I answer.
In the UK, CLI is passed before the first ring; so with a bit of cunning I should be able to get my PC to answer and hangup on these idiots without even disturbing me!

Time to try and get my built-in modem working under linux. I’m very pleased with my PC, it’s a Medion brand from Toys-R-US who for a long time know have done the best value PC’s, followed closely by ALDI. A bit of help from the scanModem utility at identifies my modem as being based on the intel 536EP chipset. It’s hard to get up-to-date drivers that compile and work, but this message led me to what appears to be a hidden intel download of version 4.71 hurrah; that works, although make-install fails, so I have to do a few copies by hand (boo, hiss). As far as I can tell AT+VCID=1 will turn on CLI, te rest can be done with a bash script, but first I need to set up a phone extension cable…

My ADSL modem is in a different room to my PC, I don’t have a convenient phone socket near my PC, but I do have some CAT5e network cable from my ADSL modem to my PC, so I can use the two spare CAT5 pairs to carry the phone signal. I take a modem cable and cut it in half and attach an RJ45 network connector to the cut ends. I can now transfer my phone line over my network cable. As I only have one network cable and I’m already using it, I borrow a couple of network economizers like this from work; they are a sort of Y junction that map the regular UTP network pins on one socket to the spare strands in the cable so you can carry two network connections over one cable.

I’ll probably use my new phone/network cable to allow me to put my ADSL modem next to my computer and take the splitters back to work.

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