Modems & UK Caller Id – Part 2

After upgrading the firmware and installing the latest driver I found I was getting the same problem as before, i.e. "Unknown Response" was appearing in the modem log.

The solution was to use the sound advice at the Talking Caller Id site which basically says that the modem driver doesn't see the <cr><lf> being sent by the modem as purely infomational text. To tell the driver to ignore them I added a couple of lines to the [CallerID] section of the modem driver, e.g.

[CallerID]
HKR,,CallerIDOutSide,,O
HKR,,CallerIDPrivate,,P
HKR,,VariableTerminator,,<cr><lf>
HKR,EnableCallerID,1,,"AT#CID=1<cr>"
HKR, Responses, "<cr>", 1, 01, 00, 00,00,00,00, 00,00,00,00
;00
HKR, Responses, "<lf>", 1, 01, 00, 00,00,00,00, 00,00,00,00
;00

HKR,Responses,"<cr><lf>DATE = ",1,93,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
HKR,Responses,"MESG = ",1,97,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
HKR,Responses,"NAME = ",1,96,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
HKR,Responses,"NMBR = ",1,95,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
HKR,Responses,"TIME = ",1,94,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00

After reinstalling the modem driver the log file stopped complaining about Unknown Responses and YAC popped up giving the correct number.


(example popup from YAC)

Now that YAC can identify the call I've installed the YAC listener on other computers on my network / When a call is recieved, the YAC server sends Caller ID to all the registered listeners. Simple!

There's a Caller Id script for Xbox Media Center which can receive YAC broadcast messages so that they're overlayed on the TV screen as you watch a film. The only issue I have with the standard script is that it employs no image caching & will spin up the Xbox HD whenever a call comes in.

That's why I've started coding in Python! :-D Caching the images proved a little problematical, but the other scripts available for XBMC are a good resource (e.g. Poker Timer 2 has image caching for the clock).

The script is pretty much finished and I'll release it after some testing.

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Modems & UK Caller Id

To get caller id off the line & into the PC requires a modem that supports Caller Id. The one I singled out during my search for a compatible modem was the US Robotics 56K Faxmodem v.92 Model 5630B. I bought one off eBay for £5.50 (£11 if you include postage) which turned out to be brand new & still shrink wrapped.


Once hooked up & drivers from the accompanying CD-ROM were installed I gave the landline a call from my mobile. Unfortunately the caller id software (YAC) didn't identify the number.. so I tried again a few times without any luck. At first I thought it was a problem with YAC, but then I checked the modem log…

06-20-2006 19:05:01.252 – Waiting for a call.
06-20-2006 19:05:01.262 – Send: at#cid=1<cr>
06-20-2006 19:05:01.382 – Recv: <cr><lf>OK<cr><lf>
06-20-2006 19:05:01.382 – Interpreted response: OK
06-20-2006 19:05:01.392 – Send: ATS0=0<cr>
06-20-2006 19:05:01.512 – Recv: <cr><lf>OK<cr><lf>
06-20-2006 19:05:01.512 – Interpreted response: OK
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: R
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: ING<cr><lf><cr><lf>
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: D
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: ATE = 0
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: 6
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: 20<cr><lf>TIM
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: E
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: = 1905
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: <cr>
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: <lf>NMBR =
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv:
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: 0883933
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: 5
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Recv: 612<cr><lf>
06-20-2006 19:05:50.182 – Unknown Response
(note, mobile number in the log has been changed to 08839335612)

The important thing highlighted in the log are the lines saying 'Unknown Response'. This means that the incoming string (from the modem) isn't matching up with what the modem driver is expecting.

I found all this out by reading a really detailed page off the Talking Caller Id site. It goes through the steps you can take to correct the modem driver so that the incoming strings will be resolved correctly.

Before I started modifying the driver, I went over to the US Robotics support page for the 5630 and downloaded the latest driver & firmware which were more up-to-date than the ones shipped on the accompanying CD-ROM.

That was it for day 1… I'll see whether the latest driver & firmware solved the problem and post the results in the next few days.

If you have any questions, please feel free contact me (click on Contact at the top right). 

XMBC and Scripting in Python

Over the past couple of days I've been looking into scripting in Python. It's an interpreted language which is used for stacks of things, but for me, the main thing is that Xbox Media Center (XBMC) uses Python for it's extension scripts.

One extension in particular that has sparked my interest is the Caller Id script. This pops up the name of the person calling your landline on the TV when you're watching a movie in XBMC. In the full article I'll go through all the steps I went through to extend the basic Caller Id script & test it on a PC before porting it over to the Xbox.

The script looks pretty good, but I need a modem that actually supports UK caller id (very few actually do). The one that's now winging it's way to me from eBay auction is a US Robotics 56K Faxmodem v.92 Model 5630B. Fingers crossed it'll work alright! The place I used to find a UK caller id compatible modem was here.

As I set up the modem and modify the scripts & document everything and post it here.

Changing Site Layout using Platypus & Greasemonkey

One thing that was bugging me was how much of the screen some sites were taking up with banners and welcome messages that never change. It means that I have to page down to see whether there's any new content. A great way round this is to use the Firefox extensions Greasemonkey and Platypus.

Platypus gives you a new toolbar from which you can quickly streamline websites & save off the results for future visits. Here's a quick example:

Once you're happy with the changes you've made, hit Save…

Then hit Install. Next time you visit the site, your changes will be re-applied.

(before)

(after)