Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Buying electricity via mobile cell phone or online [Solved]

There’s only one thing that I hate doing more than putting petrol in my car – that’s buying electricity… the pain of drawing cash, then imagegoing to the local cafe or garage to get that electricity token is sooo painful!  But that was until I found other ways of buying electricity without even getting into my car :)
You still get your free units per month and there are no extra costs.

Most of these sites allow you to purchase using your credit card.

After registering I can now purchase electricity (for no extra charge) using my credit card. I can use my PC or my cell phone's browser or use SMS to purchase.
Using my credit card is much more convenient (no more queuing for cash, and for purchasing the electricity), and so it's safer too! [those ATMs are becoming dangerous]
Additionally, if I run out of electricity in the middle of the night then I can purchase more by sending an SMS from home.
Oh, and the cherry on the top is that the bill comes at the end of the month along with "reward points" and even cash back discount.

Here is a list of sites that I’ve found that cater for City of Cape Town electricity:
FNB mobile: dial *120*321# from your cell phone and navigate thru the menus.
image   image   image  (not accepting new registrations)  image  
(Via SMS: SMS "secret code cvv amount" to 41658 to buy electricity) [currently offline for Cape Town electricity purchases] register meter number and pay by credit card.
image image  No credit card purchases, but EFTs are processed under 5 minutes (24/7). Also offers airtime. you can save your setting so that you can easily buy from your phone
image  There’s even a lucky draw and you could win your electricity for free (PowerWinna)

Outside Cape Town:

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Polycom IP SoundStation IP 5000 call lasts exactly 20 seconds and then disconnected [SOLVED]

A colleague had this nasty problem that he managed to solve – he found lots (hundreds) of people on the Internet had the same problem but there were no solutions out there – so I convinced him to share how he solved the nasty problem:

The problem:
Polycom IP SoundStation IP 5000 - calls last exactly 20 seconds and then they are disconnected.

The logs on the SwitchVox PABX showed the following error when tracing the SIP messages passing between PBX and Polycom IP 5000.  This is the error code that I suspected was causing the issue:

(Critical Response) -- See doc/sip-retransmit.txt

image image
It took a while, but changing the protocol that IP5000 uses to connect to the PABX from TCP/IP to UDP seems to have fixed the problem - now the calls work properly :)
It now also connects to the SwitchVox PABX immediately compared to previously when using TCP/IP it took at least 10 seconds. 
So now, once the phone is plugged in and boots up, it immediately connects and calls longer than 10 seconds are now no problem!


For others trying to figure out how to log onto the phone’s web page to change the settings:
use username (upper case ‘P’):  Polycom
password:  456 
(This is the default username and password)

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