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27.03.2006 13:14

Automatically getting a list of all telephone city codes for Austria/Germany

Today I needed a list of all Citys, their ZIP-Codes and telephone city codes for Austria. Getting the ZIP-Codes wasn't that difficult, because the Austrian postal agency provides such a list for download on their website (see external links section below).

I searched quite some time on the web but didn't find anything similar for the telephone city codes, but I found a website that does have a quite recent listing of all austrian telephone city codes, so I started to write a script that downloads the information from this website.
This script should also work - after some minor modifications - to work with the german city codes part of this website, so if you are interested in it, write me an e-mail.

As this is only a q'n'd workaround I would be very grateful if anyone knows about a place where I can download a really recent list of austrian city codes.

One of the maintainers of this website asked me to put this script down to avoid unnecessary traffic to his site. As this script is nothing illegal and everyone with at least some knowledge in any scripting language is able to rebuild it, I'm putting it down to avoid bad blood.


External Links:

22.03.2006 13:43

Configuring VOIP (inode xDSL - Patton Smartnode - Agfeo AC12 USB)

A few days ago I had to configure the following setup:

Internet Provider: inode
Internet Modem: Zyxel Prestige 700series G.SHDSL modem
VOIP Gateway Router: Patton Smartnode 4552
Telephone Switchboard: Agfeo AC 12 USB

The VOIP setup didn't work at all, so I first checked if there is any DHCP server around in the LAN. I deactivated the DHCP server (it wasn't used anyway, all clients had designated IP addresses) and the VOIP Gateway was online the first time (FYI: Most/All(?) inode VOIP gateways are configured to get a DHCP address from the provider and if you have a local DHCP server that does not support excluding MAC addresses from automatic address configuration you have to turn off your local DHCP server).

Afterwards I figured out, that some of the cables weren't connected to the correct sockets, so here's an overview of the cabling setup:

POTS@wall                      -> Line@Zyxel_Prestige
LAN@Zyxel_Prestige             -> LAN@Patton_Smartnode
Phone(BRI0/1)@Patton_Smartnode -> ISDN_S0@Agfeo_AC12

Afterwards, the Phone and LAN leds on the Patton Smartnode should indicate the correct link status.

Now I was sure, that I correctly connected and configured my LAN but it still didn't work.
So I called inode and they told me to call Agfeo and ask them if they need Point-to-Point or Point-to-Multipoint Encapsulation on the ISDN line. And that was it. I called Agfeo (1,81€/min!!) and got the information, that the Agfeo AC12 USB only works if configured with Point-to-Multipoint.
Another call to inode followed where they switched the encapsulation to the correct protocol and one reboot later, everything worked fine.

Well, maybe that doesn't sound very interesting, but I spent nearly three hours to fix this problem, because before knowing anything about those encapsulation protocols and their relevance in terms of VOIP I presumed the misconfiguration to be on the Agfeo TK suite and tried to track down the error on this side...

Note to myself: Learn some internals about VOIP...

15.03.2006 17:08

Being daddy for two years now...

Today my son Justin has his second birthday. Two years. I mean: Two years!
How could it be two years now? I remember holding him the first time in my hands as if it was yesterday... The time seems to fly away once you have your own children.

But it's also time to draw up an interim balance:
  • I know "Finding Nemo" and "Lilo & Stitch" inside out
  • I now know, that a laptop is only stored securly, if it is placed at least on the top of your highest cupboard
  • I didn't realize how many different things one can build with approx. 50 Lego Duplo bricks
  • Don't buy matchbox cars that have tyres made of rubber - they'll definetely get lost once your child decides to discover the power of its teeth
  • Always double-check the inside of your shoes for Lego bricks, candies or other stuff that hurts if you step on it
  • Sliding doors without locks are very difficult to safeguard against children
  • My son is able to identify a BMW on the street faster than I am able to (also from the backside and only by seing its brake lights...)
  • Children don't get dizzy when turning around 100 times per minute but you do, believe me.
  • If you are missing lots of small things (spoons, forks, Lego bricks, matchbox cars, wrist watches or PS/2-Adapters), check the inner side of your subwoofer first before charging your girlfriend
  • Not even a Siemens ME65 cellphone (which is said to be shock resistant and water proof) will survive in the hands of your averagely "talented" child
  • Socket security installations don't work at all.
  • A DVD player doesn't work if there is more than one dvd inserted
  • There are not enough cafe's and restaurants where you can have a relaxing cup of coffee while your child can play with toys in some kind of inside playground.
  • Sugar. You learn to fear it. Children react strange on sugar.
  • Never ever leave a glass of coke or a nearly empty tin of Red Bull unattended.
  • Have copies of short Mr. Bean stories by hand and be not afraid of using them
  • Sell your alarm clock on ebay, you won't have any problems getting up in the morning early
  • ...

Of course, there are many other things I learned during the last two years, but the most important thing about having children simply is: They change your life completely and everytime they won't stop hugging you when you come home from work you forget about all other sorrows in this world.

So, let there be an end to this post:

Happy Birthday Justin, I wish you all the best and
please try not to strain your mother all the time.