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I corrected Google maps!!!

Few weeks back, Google released the updated google maps that supported bicycle routes. Of course I immediately map my route from home to work and I found that they did not connect a segment of the Inter-urban trail. So I wrote to them and today I got a response back!!! Woo hoo!!

Hi Min Hsao,

Your Google Maps problem report has been reviewed, and you were right! We’ll update the map soon and email you when you can see the change.

Report history
Problem ID: 5D86-46E6-CFDF-4DA5

Your report: After step 35 there is an interurban trail from 52nd Ave W linking to 44th Ave W. this is a much better route than what is suggested on the bike directions from google.

Thanks for your help,
The Google Maps team

Google Voice Turns 1

It’s pretty interesting…  Just recently I figured out how to use google voice and my old packet 8 ATA to get free phone service within US and today I found out that Google Voice turns 1.

Happy Birthday Google Voice!!!

Free land line phone with google voice, sipgate, and an old packet8 ATA!!!

So I don’t know what got into me yesterday, but I guess it was because of the awful AT&T services in my area. I cannot make a continuous call on AT&T’s 3G in my area without call drops. This is not only my problem, but everyone that I know with AT&T 3G service in Maple Leaf area. But anyways, that is not what this post is about.

So it’s been 2 over years since I moved to Seattle, and I’ve been thinking about moving my 509 number to a local 206 number for home, however, I never felt the need to do so. However, as weeks and months go by, I started to realized that I almost never use my land line a.k.a my home phone line or my plain old telephone service (POTS). So I’ve been thinking about dropping the service. The problem is that AT&T have such poor service in my area that I can not just depend on my iphone, no matter how awesome it is, I still need to have a home number. but $20+ dollars a month just to hold a number is pretty pricy. So here comes my solution…

At one time I have 2 lines with packet8, when I cancelled the 2nd line, the analog telephone adapter (ATA) from 8×8 was not returned. I have a bit understanding about VoIP so I figure since Packet8 uses SIP (Session Initiated Protocol), I can probably use the same ATA to point to some other SIP provider and get by really cheap. I’ve also already have a Google Voice (GV) account, so if I can link my google voice to my home phone that will be just wonderful. The following is what I found I can do and what is my plan.

The following are my steps and comments…

1) I know that I want to use GV as my home phone number, However, I need GV to point to an actual number since GV does not provide a physical phone service yet. One option is to use Gizmo5, but since they are being integrated into GV that is currently not an option.  So I register to SIPgate for a free account.  The advantage of a SIPGate account is that they provide a free 206 number and also they do not charge for  incoming calls.
Check out this article.

2) The second step is to convert my DTA-310 ATA from packet 8 into a usable ATA. After reading online and playing with couple of different firmwares, this is what worked for me
– Downgrade to packet 8’s firmware version 1235 (sip1235unl.bin)
– From there load the leadtek firmware version AR171 (sip_bva8051s_ep1_voi86171.r0)
… it took me many tries to find this version of the firmware. Look in DSLreport for the firmware if you can’t find it in the archives.
– once load is successful, make sure you reload and restart the DTA-310 by using the reset button.

3) Once the new firmware is loaded it should look like this.

4)I found this site to help fill in the configuration. Use the SIP credentials in sipgate under settings to fill in the configuration. your sip-id is also the sip number in the DTA-310 configuration. Also make sure to change the server to point to So after I finished this configuration, I was still unable to connect to the sip server until I configured the STUN server settings. ( STUN= Simple Traversal of UDP through NAT. By configuring this server setting, it let you get back the local firewall. This is also the reason why we need to install the AR17I version of the firmware. The Packet8 1235 firmware also has a SIP server configurations page, however it does not have STUN settings. Only the Leadtek firmwares have those settings.

5) Finally, reboot the DTA-310 ATA and check to see if it is registered with SipGate. You can use Sipgate to test the connection.

6) Since I am using GV # as my primary number, I changed the outgoing caller ID within SIPGate to my Google voice number. and forward all google voice calls to my SIPgate number.

7) Test and all done!!!

Comments: Ok, I know that the title states that it is free.. well it is free for all incoming calls to SIPGate, however out going calls will cost 1.9 cents per minutes. But if you really think about it, for 9 bucks, it will give you around 450 minutes of talk time. So typically, those unlimited VoIP services are charging for 9 dollars a month. While SIPGate is a pay as you go solution.

Comment 2: There are also concerns about replacing land lines with this service without 911 services. Well, that is not entirely true. SIPGate do offer E911 service for $1.90 per month. That’s not too bad for a peace of mind.

Comment 3: SIPgates offers few other things in additional to GV, such as Free online FAX and they also provide additional phone number for a price.

Ultimately, it is a pretty cool deal… by using the GV frontend, when google finally allows SIP connections, it will be a very seamless switch over from SIPgate to all google. Gosh I am such a google fanboy… So this afternoon, I will go get me a DECT 6.0 wireless phone for my new home phone setup. Yeah!!!

Oh … and if you look in the diagram above, yes there is an even cheaper alternative shown it my hand drawn diagram, by using IPKALL and More on that method maybe later.

References… — a place where all the old packet8 firmwares are located. — another step by step instructions on working with DTA-310 — look for additiona information on DTA310,13924154~start=40 — Leadtek AR171 firmware — sipgate website — ATA configuration Wizard

UPDATE 01/2011 : I’ve been having some problems with SIPGATE on dialing out. I have an Apple Airport Extreme wireless router. Unfortunately it doesn’t handle the VoIP/SIP traffic properly and it doesn’t support UPNP so after 30-45 seconds into an outgoing call. The call will drop. I have two options.

1) Replace the Aiport Extreme with a much more standard wireless router where I can configure the firewall/NAT better.

2) I’ve been using my google voice to dial out, which basically calls me first and then calls the other person. This is also what make it a free land line.

UPDATE 10/2011 : I’ve updated my router, so I did take option 1 from above. I’ve also starting to have a humming issue, after a long trouble shooting it was determined that the power supply was causing the humming and causing phone issues. after moving the power supply and replacing it, that fixed the problem.

UPDATE 02/2012: I’ve updated my old 8×8 ATA to a Grandstream HT-502.  Why? because I purchased an old analog rotary phone for my office and I want to use it with my phone setup and the Grandstream ATA supports pulse dialing.   I believe it is one of few ATA that still supports pulse dialing.

UPDATE 10/2012: For anyone else that  is thinking about using their Google voice as their voice over IP services… save your trouble of doing anything I’ve shown above… unless you really want to learn and hack… just purchase a OBi 100 ATA or OBi 110 ATA.  It is under 40 bucks and you are up and running in minutes.  less stress less trouble. :)

UPDATE 9/2013: Since Sipgate has shoutdown, I am now using an alternative.  Instead of going through sipgate and forwarding number to google voice, I am using YATE (Yet Another Telephone Engine) as my own gateway to Googlevoice.  If you don’t want to host your own, you can use Simonics‘ free service.  But be warned, that they require you to provide your google username and password.  Use Google’s 2 factor authentication just to be safe.  I will write a post about YATE at a later time when I have time.

Back in the days when I had one gigabit per second to my home…

Years ago before I moved to Seattle, I was working in Grant County PUD as a telecom engineer.  At one time, I was actually the responsible engineer for their Fiber to the Home project there.  It was super interesting when we were  providing 1 gigabit connections to all the houses in Grant county.  We were also doing triple play at this time.  Triple play is when a service provider is providing voice, data, and video.  This may not be a big deal today, but this was in 2003 in Grant county Washington.

So today, I learned that Google is going to try to provide Gigabit Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network.

Interesting… but we’ve done it before already in GC.  But with that said… I am sure google will do a better job.  it just seems like we had some good ideas but just not at the right time.

Just like this Google power meter thing… we did that too… 😉

Google Wave initial reaction.

So .. I got an invitation to the new Google Wave, and I even got 8 invitations to give away… but so far my impression is not that great. I watched some of the videos on this uber cool sharing and collaboration platform and how it suppose to be how email will be if email are invented today….uh… right… I don’t think it is an apples to apples comparison.

First my impression was that Wave was just another Twitter or Facebook or basically a virtual chalk board. It is a way to virtually have everyone at the same table all screaming or writing at the same time. It is a little bit crowded and messy and a confusing when there are multiple waves going on. I might as well write XYZ on the chalk board at the ShinJuKu Station and wait for the sweeper ;).

Second, the email comparison they make is not really fair. Emails are for multiple systems, any one can setup an email system, while the wave is a google contained system. it is not the same. They maybe opening the system or the protocol up in the future… but until then … it is no email.

Finally… it is just another social networking attempt… few new ideas in the product but … nothing too new or too shocking.

I maybe wrong or missing something, but I will update my experience in the next couple of day.

mean while … bye bye google wave… I hope version 1 will be better 😉

Last day of July 2009

July 2009 has been an interesting Month.

1) 10 bike rides to work this month, yes today is my 10th trip to work!!! only 87 more to go!!! So with the total work days of 22 work days this week I rode 10 trips.

10/22 = .454545 = 45% of my working days are riding to work.

2) Seattle hits the record heat temperature this week. 103F+ Super Hot!!!

3) I started to count calories in conjunction with my bike riding. Yes I am trying to get fitter and maybe get back to my goal of 175. I have a long way to go

4) I discovered the Seattle Public Library this month!!! Wonderful Place!!!

5) I wrote my first Iphone app this month.

6) Tried to do online ads this month and got shut down because of suspicious clicks. What gives google???

7) We won our first volleyball game this month. Hopefully next month we will win our first set!!!! Current record 3-37.

Overall, it has been a good month… there are few things that I do need to change and improve. School work needs to be completed!!!

But all in all I think I am making a little progress.

Feeling good and Google Voice

So I got a new number today… Google voice number. :) Will this be the last number that I ever get? who knows… maybe few years later I will look at this entry and laugh. So yeah.. I rode my bike back from work. I am not as tired this time as last couple of times. I will try to ride again later this week. I think it is good for me. I am building up my strength and endurance. Sorry guys, no everytrail post today. 2 things happened. I forgot to log off after I got home until 30 minutes later so the data is all mess up, second, for some reason the GPS was acting up and the map was messed up. I believe it is because it doesn’t handle pausing very well.

AMR – Fiber to the Home – google powermeter

Few years back, back when I was working for Grant County PUD, we had this grandiose idea about reading power and provide a graphical view of the power with our fiber to the home. The idea was it will provide the users/rate payers a ways of seeing their power consumption and maybe assist in the more efficient use of power. The bigger benefit was for the power company to accurately predict the power requirement of the system at anytime.

So how we did this or the plan to do this was to use the meter which can provide us with a pulse and with in the fiber gateway there is a dry contact specified in the gateway specification. The gateway also have a buffer which hold the count and this can be accessible via SNMP. So the idea was pretty simple. The meter will spin and the butter in the gateways will keep count of the number of spins. There for keep track of a relative power consumption during a period. With an integration with a database and calculation, this can produce some nice graphs and estimate… so we imagined…..

Well… recently I read about Google’s power meter. I was like… “Oh my Gosh”… that was what we were working on…. Sigh… just did not have enough resources to make it happen like Google though.

But all in all… this is pretty exciting news.


This was in a green field cow land in middle of nowhere in Iowa. Mooo moo

So busy… :(

Why is everything so busy and I am starting to get stressed… it is not that I can’t get all my work done, but the problem is it is very time consuming to have work with overtime and then come home tired and watch an hour of class lecture. This class lecture is pretty tough stuff. What is it? Real time computing systems. yeah… what the heck is that right?

But work has been pretty fun. I am writing scripts and programs again similar to what I did at the end of my time at El Paso. But this is pretty cool stuff. I am working with the FCC database and using google map to visualize the database information. Cool huh?

I guess out of all this the good thing is … I am working toward my annual bonus and also I get paid for my overtime. Sweet!!!!

DVP-642 blinking red standby FIXED!

So… as you all know… last weekend… my roomba broke because I was trying to change the cells on the battery… now that is fixed… My Philips DVP-642 DVD player also broke.

But this weekend… everything is fixed.
I fixed my DVD player but looking blinking red light on google and found some articles on a blow capacitor. So as an EE, I thought.. I will open it up and see. Yep sure thing… I had a blow cap on C316. So I replace it with a 1000uF 35v cap. It works perfectly now… yeah… and it only cost me $1.80 from radio shack.

for more details look here

So here we go again for another week… oh… uh… I will be in Vegas for most of next week for IWCE… SWEET!!!

Find the Indian Head

Look here and find the indian head on google map.

Unlocking Debranding Sony Ericsson T616

After hours of working on the Sony Ericsson T616 to unlock/debrand, so I can use my T-mobile SIM card in that AT&T; phone, I finally did. I have to say, it is not worth the $20 that I saved. But I guess I am a better person for figuring out how to unlock it. Well… it is not really hard but if you have all the right equipments. I … well… did not have all the right equipments. It is a very interesting underground industry of unlocking cellphones. There are so many unlocking services available and some are remote unlockers. So what it is, is they send you a cheap T28/DSC-11 serial cable, which then ask you to use thier software to login to their website and they will decode and unlock your phone. This is a one time deal, meaning once it is unlocked, the cable is pretty much useless, unless you pay for another unlocking. Well, my friend did that to unlock his phone and had the cable leftover. To me it seems like if they can unlock it from remote, I should be able to unlock it locally. After searching long and hard, I found that there are softwares available to unlock it, but it is for another type of cable using parallel ports/ printer ports, or USB. The software did not work for the T28 serial cable. In trying to figure this out, I want to see if I can see and thing from the serial port. So I used tera term to console into my phone. With the speed set to 115200 bps 8N1, I was able to see scrolling text. Some that actually made sense. By this time, I know that there got to be a way to crack this.

After a long look on google and in different forums, such as, I finally found the rosetta stone.


a google search on, you will find many places to download it.

This was the key… this was the key program that will decypher the text and let me unlock the T616 over a serial T28 cable. Yeah!!!

I quickly download it and ran the program…
During the process … I found that you need to start the phone up after to select the jobs and push “do selected jobs”. Also make sure the baud rate is at 115200

it started to work…

Connect to phone
Check if RSA is active
Bypass boot authority
…. then boom…
ERROR 0001A1

oh no… it crashed and it did not continue…
I was about to give up, I was looking for different programs and trying to find ways to resolve then, then I found a forum message that says …
“keep pumping the power button until you get pass the boot sequence”

What?… ok … I will give it a try … then IT WORKED!!!

Connect to phone
Check if RSA is active
Bypass boot authority
Initialize boot
Load data to phone
Clear all SP locks
New SP Lock area format
Reset user code
Read all codes
New SP Lock area format
IMEI: 010193005165199
NCK: 82110220
NSCK: 70985399
CCK: 80152156
SPCK: 59993314
Operation succesfull


I popped in my T-mobile sim… and it worked like a charm!!


I hope my adventure will help some poor soul that is trying to do the same.

Good luck.

So what is Ash Wednesday? Well, click here and find out. But since today is Ash Wednesday their server seems to be overwhelmed so click here for google cache instead. I love google!!!