Updating Asterisk (minor version) 13.0 to 13.5

In order to update Asterisk a minor version e.g. 13.x to 13.y you need to follow the steps below.

If you need instructions on upgrading asterisk to a newer major version e.g from 11 to 13, please leave a comment.

Official instructions for installing Asterisk are here: https://wiki.asterisk.org/wiki/display/AST/Installing+Asterisk+From+Source

1. Download the latest asterisk to /usr/local/src.

cd /usr/local/src

wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/asterisk/asterisk-13-current.tar.gz

2. Untar Asterisk

tar -zxvf asterisk-13.5.0.tar.gz

3. Change into the untarred directory and check your system.

cd asterisk-13.5.0/

4. If you have missing dependencies after running ./configure you can use the install script to install everything that is missing.

./install_prereq install


./install_prereq install-unpackaged

Note: you may also use: ./install_prereq test

5. Choose modules to install

make menuselect

Here you’ll need to choose the modules your required. Also remember to choose the core sound package you require (i.e. American vs British English or a different language altogether).

6. Now we can make and install asterisk. The first step, will show you the creation of the modules you selected in the make menu select step. The second command ‘make install’ will actually install asterisk.


make install

7. That should be it. We won’t install the sample scripts since this is an upgrade. If you want them please make sure you backup your existing asterisk installation first by tarring up the /etc/asterisk folder at a minimum. If you do want to install the samples and documentation you should run:

make samples
make progdocs

You may also see a warning like this:


 Your Asterisk modules directory, located at
 contains modules that were not installed by this
 version of Asterisk. Please ensure that these
 modules are compatible with this version before
 attempting to run Asterisk.



You’ll probably want to remove these if incompatible.

8. If you had asterisk running you’ll want to stop it

asterisk -r
core stop now

You’ll then need to start the new version of asterisk

asterisk -r
core show version

You should see the following

Asterisk 13.5.0 built by user @ host on a x86_64 running Linux

That’s it! You should now be running the latest version of Asterisk. Please remember to test thoroughly and read the release notes / upgrade notes before releasing asterisk to production.

TalkTalk Fibre with a Draytek 2820vn

This post is about using Talk Talk Fibre Broadband (aka BT Infinitiy) with your own router. You might have guessed from the title, I have fibre broadband via TalkTalk. They sent me a new router (thanks TalkTalk) but I already have everything set up with my lovely Draytek 2820vn.

BT Openreach left me with a VDSL modem that plugs directly into the master phone socket. I plugged this in to the TalkTalk router and everything just worked. However, when I plugged it into the WAN (2) port of the Draytek I had no internet.


I searched online for the settings, but different people said different things, none of which worked for me. Below I’m going to show you how I configured my Draytek to work with Talk Talk Fibre.

1. Plug the LAN port of the BT OpenReach modem (mine’s a white box) into the WAN port of the Draytek 2820vn.

2. Navigate to the Draytek management page (usually

3. Click on WAN (in the left menu) then General Setup

4. Under WAN2 you’ll want these settings:

  • Enable: Yes
  • Display Name: TalkFibre
  • Physical Mode: Ethernet
  • Physical Type: Auto Negotiation
  • Active Mode: Always on
  • VLAN Tag Insertion: Diable
  • Click OK

5. In the left menu navigate to WAN -> Internet Access

6. In the INDEX column select WAN2

7. You’ll see PPoE, Static or Dynamic IP or PPTP/L2TP – SELECT Static or Dynamic IP

8. Fill in the screen as follows:

  • Enable: click to select
  • Enable PING to keep alive: [unchecked]
  • PING to the IP: [blank]
  • PING Interval: 0
  • Wan Connection Detecion Mode: ARP Detect
  • Ping IP: [blank]
  • TTL: [blank]
  • MTU: 1500
  • Enable RIP: [unchecked]
  • Obtain an IP address automatically: [select this]
  • Router Name: [enter your phone number e.g. 02081231234]
  • Domain Name: talktalk.co.uk
  • Default MAC Address: [select this]
  • Click OK

Et voila! Your draytek will restart and hopefully you’ll be able to access your fibre via the BT Modem.

Hope that helps 🙂

One simple thought to keep you motivated on your startup

Working on your side project or business idea takes a lot of motivation. Deep down you know you should be working.

But it’s tough. Tough to get started. Tough to avoid distractions. Even tougher when you’ve just put in a full day at your 9 to 5.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’m in the same boat too.

In January this year I started the web app challenge. My goal was to build software for the property management industry. Initially I worked extremely hard. I knew I needed to make a dent into my new product before I began to second guess myself.

Every time I came up against a difficult problem I would get a bit disheartened. I didn’t want to start work when I got home.

I was tired.

Eventually I’d set aside a weekend and put in the hours to solve my problem. Most of the time the solution was simpler than I thought it would be. So I began to ask myself “Why am I finding it so difficult to sit down and work on something I actually want to work on?

At my job I’d be reminded about how much I really wanted to work for myself. And how much I want to build a business that allowed me freedom. Freedom to travel.

Then it hit me. I kept losing sight of that goal.

My goal is to quit my job within two years and have a business that meets my financial needs. Every day that I don’t work on my goals is a day longer I stay employed.

That’s an empowering thought for me.

Now, my aim is to spend at least one hour each day working towards my goal. This small shift alone has increased my productivity.

I keep a score. 730 (365 days x 2). Each day I don’t work at least an hour on my new business, I add one to the score.

Each day I do work at least an hour, I minus one from the score. Hopefully, by the end of two years I will have spent roughly 730 hours or more on my own business.

That’s about 20 full time working weeks! Time that could be easily wasted watching the latest TV shows in the evening.

So here’s my challenge to myself and to you. What can YOU build with 20 full time working weeks?

Web App Challenge Status Report

Back in January I threw down the gauntlet and decided to take on the web app challenge. I said I would make a profit. I also said I would be transparent.

So here it is. An update.

The past couple months have been a crazy journey. I’ve taught myself Ruby on Rails. I’ve written 80% of a web application that works. And I’ve even learnt how to deploy it to a VPS myself.

That’s not all. I also had the time to make a marketing site and get the app tested by a potential end user.

Let me be honest. My app is nowhere near finished or ready for sale, but I am getting there. To be perfectly honest I’m finding it really tough to juggle my full time day job, family and social commitments and working on the app. I’m getting there, but not as fast as I’d like.

In case you don’t already know I am building software for property management and lettings agents in the UK.
I haven’t been tracking my time so I can’t say how long I’ve spent on the app so far. I’ve spent under £300GBP on a VPS and domain names.

Right now I think I’m over complicating some functionality and that’s stopped me from implementing anything other than bug fixes for a while. If you’re good with modelling data or would like to test my app please get in touch!

Scratch your own itch

When you’re building a product, web app or otherwise, the de facto advice is to “scratch your own itch”. It makes sense. Find a problem which bothers you enough to take some action to solve it. Ideally, you won’t be the only person with the same problem and others will be experiencing enough pain to do something about it i.e. pay you for your solution.

If you’ve been following my posts lately, you’ll know I’m midway through month two of my web app challenge. Going against conventional wisdom I’m not scratching my own itch – I’m scratching someone else’s (that sounds wrong…but you get what I mean).

Now although the itch isn’t mine, it belongs to someone close to me and I feel their pain.

What’s the pain?

90% of their business activities are recurring repetitive tasks that could be automated. Right now they do everything manually – yes, manually.

Is there a solution out there?

Yep, plenty. We could use one of these existing solutions but decided against it. After speaking to several businesses in the same industry the consensus was that existing providers were either too expensive, too hard to use or a combination of the two.

Another thing I noticed was that many of the existing providers didn’t offer an overly “user friendly” web based offering. Instead they required to customer to have on site equipment (severs etc) to run their applications. On top of this most providers (in the UK at least) seemed to have websites that looked dated and didn’t demonstrate their product well.

There were some exceptions to this of course and I made use of free trials where available. I found that whilst many performed the job they were not intuitively easy to use.

What am I building?

I’m building a property management application. The person who’s itch I’m scratching is my Father. Whilst his business is a lot more than just property rentals, this is the area I’m choosing to focus on as it’s where they are experiencing growth and need a solution thats more scalable than spreadsheets and files in filing cabinets.

It’s nice to have access to a “subject matter expert” at home, but I’m also in touch with similar businesses to ensure I build a tool that caters to the majority of needs rather than something bespoke for my Dad.

How much time have I spent?

Keeping in mind I have a day job, I’ve had to make some hard decisions about how to spend my out-of-work hours. I try to make it to the gym 3 times a week and leave Friday/Saturday evenings for socialising. The rest of the week I try to work pretty much immediately after getting in from work until bedtime.

I’ve found staying motivated is hard. It’s even harder to get to work after “relaxing” in front of the TV for an hour. In my head I keep telling myself, I’ll have more time to watch TV after July. It’s been tough and some days I get nothing done, but having limited time is keeping me focused.

I haven’t done any specific time tracking, but my guess is about 10 -15 hours a week.

“The one human quality that must be developed is self discipline for success. The will power to force yourself to do what you know you should do when you should do it, whether you like it or not, whether you feel like it or not. Success is tons of discipline.” — Brian Tracy

Where are the links I promised last post?

In my last post I mentioned I had been in touch with a great bunch of guys working on their own web app challenges. They’ve been a great source of motivation and inspiration so far. Here are links to their blogs/projects:

App Name App Author Target Monthly Income
by July 2013
App Description
Convert Kit Nathan Barry $5000 (USD) An app to help improve the conversion rate of your landing pages and make the set up of auto responder email courses easier.
Xander.io Martyn Garcia 10 paying customers The best conversion optimization platform the world has ever seen. Developer and designer friendly.
The Niche Finder Paul Devlin $5001 (USD) A tool that scans eBay recording product metrics such as how many of each product the seller has sold each month. The products are then displayed in a best seller list so users can find popular products at a glance.
ThankBee Rob Chava $1000 (USD) With ThankBee, Android app developers can:

  • Invite buyers to friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, or to join their mailing list.
  • Invite users to give them valuable comments and feedback (possibly solving issues that would normally end up as negative reviews).
  • Promote their other apps and services.
  • Offer special discounts or trial codes to users who cancelled their purchase.
Procedure Office Will Claxton $500 (USD) Virtual Assistant Management Software

  • Manage any number of Virtual Assistants easily all from one simple to use dashboard
  • Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for quick reference to common repeatable tasks
  • Custom Tasks & SOPs have colour coded Priority Levels
  • Set SOPs to Re-occur on the VA’s to-do list
  • Business Owners receive notifications if scheduled SOPs not completed on time
  • Statistics on task completion timing and scheduled SOP completion percentages
  • VA’s can have multiple clients, this makes managing daily workload much simpler as everything is in one location.
Property Management App CD £3000 GBP (~$4700 USD) An easy to use, web-based Property Management Tool for UK based Letting Agents

Planning an application

Since the last update on the Web App Challenge a fair few things have happened.

To begin with, I’ve been fortunate to connect with some amazing people, also taking part in their own web app challenges. We have a Google Group where we are currently sharing ideas and advice – you’d be surprised at how much overlap there is even though each of our apps are different.

Each participant has their own blog and I’ll post with links in my next post.

Now, an update. Nathan and the others have all been decided to spend 20 hours or less per week working on their app. So far I’m managing about 10 hours per week at best. Regardless, I am still making progress.

My app has a home, about, and pricing pages as well as some “internal pages”. I also have secure (in my opinion) user sign up and authentication built.

With any luck I will have a basic version out and being used by the end of February so I can start gathering feedback.

So far I am happy with progress, especially since I lost the last 5 days to poor health. I know the big picture of all the features my application should have. I also know which would provide the most value and therefore be included in version one.

My plan is to clearly map out the “flow” and user experience to make sure if nothing else my app does this one thing beautifully and adds real value for the user.

Once I’ve got a clear idea of how it should work I’ll get back to coding and hopefully be done by Feb 28.

Writing this now, I don’t think I’ve actually explained what I am working on or given much context. Keep with me and I will reveal all in the next few posts.

I got a Raspberry Pi!

Sitting at my desk on Tuesday morning I spontaneously ordered a Raspberry Pi. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking but I went on the site and just ordered one. I ordered a Raspberry Pi with a clear case. Unfortunately the package where the Pi comes in the case was out of stock, but I could order the two items separately and have them the next day for £1 or so more. (Surely it’s more expensive to put the Pi in the case and ship it?)

As promised the Pi turned up on Wednesday and I began to play with it. I decided that most things I could do with a linux box I could do with my VPS, so I decided to make a home media center with my Pi. Some swift googling led me to OpenElec – reviewed as being one of the better XBMC distributions for the Pi and only required a minimal amount of space, which was good because I only had a 2GB SD card handy rather than the recommended 4GB.

Long story short, I love my Raspberry Pi + OpenElec. It’s taken me a good few days to get it running the way I want and scan my media, but now all my media is just a couple taps away (using any android phone in the house as a control).

On the flipside, playing with the Raspberry Pi has totally distracted my time away from my Web App Challenge. I haven’t made any progress since Tuesday night. I’ll be getting back to business tomorrow night and will write more about how I set up the Raspberry Pi and more details on how I am progressing with the Web App Challenge!

The Web App Challenge: £0 to £3000/month in six months

It’s a new year. Time to re-focus on those life goals and keep life heading in the desired direction.

I was reading Nathan Barry’s blog today and have decided to join him in the Web App challenge. Unlike Nathan, I have some idea about the web application I want to build, but I’m still researching and planning at the moment. To be honest Nathan’s post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m hoping to be just as transparent and take inspiration from his aggressive approach and tight timeline (leaving me less time to procrastinate!).

What our challenges have in common

– Extracting ideas in the style of Dane Maxwell

– Building a web application

– Using Ruby on Rails

– Looking for to create a SaaS (software as a service) product.

How our challenges will differ

Unlike Nathan, I’m assigning a budget of ZERO. I plan on doing the design / development / marketing etc by myself, whilst working full time at my job (which is often more than the usual 9 to 5).

I have experience in programming with Ruby and Rails, but have never built a full web app, especially one I intended to sell. I’m hoping the next few months will solidify my knowledge of Rails and allow me to create software that provides real value to my eventual target market.

Join in?

Whilst the Web App Challenge isn’t an official challenge (as far as I know), I encourage you to join in. It would be nice to have some community to share the ups and downs and building a software product with. Besides, what better way to start the new year than to start working on a new project?

To our successes in 2013! Happy new year 🙂

— CD