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Old 07-15-08, 07:21 PM   #1
RubenX 
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The nerdiest thing you have done?

Short Version:

I had an IVR at home. I made it myself. IVR stands for Interactive Voice Response. That's the machine that answer you when you call the bank, asks you for the account #, pin#, etc and give you balance and other account info.

Long Version:

I was working as a UNIX admin at the time, managing 4 IVRs (Mosaix, Aspect CCS, Nortel Periphonics and can't remember the other one, it was from IBM) handling about 100k calls daily. The cheapest IVR was $60k for the software alone. It was on the cellphone industry, the one that tell prepaid customers their available minutes was the busiest. But the customer care one also took a beating.

I was amazed at how expensive those things were. I had excellent UNIX programming skills (had been UNIX programmer before). I was fluent in C#, C++, Perl, PHP, SQL and all popular shells. I told myself "I can do this... and keep it under $1,000.00". I took the project as a hobby for almost 2 years. I give the box the ability to perform all the functions that the big IVRs at the office did.

At home, I had 12 extensions. Some of them analog and some VOIP phones. All of them going to my IVR. The box had 2 land lines (regular phone lines). Available, there were 3 extra VOIP lines (from VOIP providers on different states), reaching the outside world through a broadband connection.

From inside the house, the system was transparent to a normal person. You just needed to pick up the phone and dial... not need to dial "9" first. But a lot of things happened internally. Long distance calls were routed trough the VOIP lines taking into account what provider had the cheapest rate for that specific number. Local calls were routed via local land lines, always trying to keep the main line free for incoming calls. Through a webpage, you could look at all the phone activity and even make queries. The webpage had a section to handle special numbers rules like, collection agencies going directly to voicemail and different rings for either my friends or my wife's friends.

Calling from the outside, it would first ring as any phone would. But the voice mail was really clever. Based on the called id, you could be routed to a shared house voicemail, my voicemail or my wife's. The voicemail had a 'follow me' option, that would try to reach us on our cellphones if possible. The machine also asked the user if the message was urgent. For urgent voicemail, the system tried to reach me on the cellphone every 30 minutes to let me know I had an urgent message (and play the message too if I choose to hear it).

I even had a "guess where I am" sub-program. I could call home and tell the IVR to call any number, and tell it to dial it using the VOIP lines with any caller ID of my choosing. Meaning, I could call you from my cellphone and make it look (caller id wise) as if I was calling you from the office, your mama's house, or whatever. The last thing I added was a "wake me up" program, to deliver pre-programmed wake up calls.

I printed the whole code once in a book, it was 500+ pages of code. I was using Asterisk hardware, if anybody cares.

So, what's the nerdiest thing you have done?
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Old 07-15-08, 07:23 PM   #2
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I'm an accountant, by definition everything I do is nerdy.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:29 PM   #3
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I have never done anything nerdy.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:30 PM   #4
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^^^
Build things like that.
Worse, I fly them in competition against old men.
Oh and that shirt does not help.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:32 PM   #5
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I belonged to the Computer Club and took band class in High School ... in the early 80's. Does that count?
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Old 07-15-08, 07:33 PM   #6
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I belonged to the Computer Club and took band class in High School ... in the early 80's. Does that count?
Did you play Whip It by DEVO?
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Old 07-15-08, 07:33 PM   #7
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^^^
Build things like that.
Worse, I fly them in competition against old men.
Oh and that shirt does not help.
049s? or real engines? and please none of that .20 bumble bee stuff.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:36 PM   #8
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Rubber power free flight baby.
The one in the pic is a tow line glider.

I've got a CO2 powered Gollywock.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
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^^^
Build things like that.
Worse, I fly them in competition against old men.
Oh and that shirt does not help.
Cool! I had one of those too. Somebody build it for me and I crashed it during it maiden flight. Mine did had a .20 *cough*engine*cough*. I suck at RC piloting more than I suck at road bike racing.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:38 PM   #10
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Probably writing a computer program to propose to my wife of 2 years. I got her an mp3 player for her birthday, and figured she would go put some songs on it right away. When she hooked it up, the program kicked off and I was behind her with the ring.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:39 PM   #11
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op, that is awesome
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Old 07-15-08, 07:39 PM   #12
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Somebody's going to say it! I can feel it building.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:40 PM   #13
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I have never done anything nerdy.
What are you talking about. You live the life. Look it up in the dictionary and there's a picture of you holding a bass. Spell your name backwards and it's nerd. You pickin' up what I'm puttin' down?
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Old 07-15-08, 07:41 PM   #14
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Somebody's going to say it! I can feel it building.
yeah, ok, the class salutatorian my senior year...I hit it. She was pretty nerdy. There, are you happy now?
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Old 07-15-08, 07:51 PM   #15
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One of my more nerdy things was buying a cheap car alarm that had remotes. I then disabled the horn, found the relay that controlled the arm/disarm state.

I then hooked that up to the serial port of my Linux firewall machine, and had two scripts run when the state change from high to low. One script disabled outgoing access from all machines (only enabling ssh in), the other script disabled ssh in (if I'm at home, why have that port open), and enabled outgoing access.
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Old 07-15-08, 07:53 PM   #16
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Gave a hand-job to a philosophy professor?
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Old 07-15-08, 08:04 PM   #17
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Gave a hand-job to a philosophy professor?

Too...many...questions. brain...exploding...
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Old 07-15-08, 08:04 PM   #18
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I take back my never done anything nerdy statement. I enjoy flower arranging, esp. Ikebana. Studied at the M. Buddy Benz school of floral design. Most of my relatives have something I created in their homes.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:05 PM   #19
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I used to play AD&D in highschool.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I belonged to the Computer Club and took band class in High School ... in the early 80's. Does that count?
Yes it counts. More than that, doing nerdy stuff at school in before the "revenge of the nerds" movie gets you extra points for bravery.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:10 PM   #21
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I take back my never done anything nerdy statement. I enjoy flower arranging, esp. Ikebana. Studied at the M. Buddy Benz school of floral design. Most of my relatives have something I created in their homes.
You did that in the hope to meet chicks.





When I was a kid, my mother owned a nursery/florist.
I see the skill in the art.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:21 PM   #22
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The day after Sputnik 1 went up I set up a short-wave radio in the HS cafeteria so everyone could hear the Beep-beep-beep. I told no one until now that I had just tuned it to the USBS time signal station.
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Old 07-15-08, 08:25 PM   #23
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The day after Sputnik 1 went up I set up a short-wave radio in the HS cafeteria so everyone could hear the Beep-beep-beep. I told no one until now that I had just tuned it to the USBS time signal station.
I feel young now...

sorry, could not resist...
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Old 07-15-08, 08:35 PM   #24
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Wow. The OP was quite amazing. I am in awe.

I also played ad&d in high school.

I am an ETL programmer so I guess everything I do at work qualifies as nerdy. I can talk for hours on ETL design methodology. Exciting....
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Old 07-15-08, 08:41 PM   #25
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I didn't have to "do" anything, I just am. Or maybe I'm a geek... I don't recall, but there's a whole thread on the geek v. nerd classification.
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