Category Archives: Hardware

Achievements of modern technology

It is often said that one picture can tell a thousand words. This is a picture of the tablet I bought in 2015 browsing the boot floppy I created in 1998. Yes that was 18 years ago.

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Portech MV-372 VOIP-GSM gateway

Recently I had the misfortune of having to deal with a Portech MV-372. It’s Asterisk compatible, and fairly easy to configure on it’s web based interface. It even allows you to send/read SMS on the web interface.
However unfortunately the web interface handles special characters ( like Hungarian öüóőúéáí characters ) terribly. In fact it doesn’t even show them while reading SMS.
No matter, usually you wouldn’t use it’s web interface for anything else but testing anyways.
Conveniently you can just telnet into it, authorize yourself, and communicate with it with AT commands. However here comes the first problem: It has no ducmentation!
This in itself makes it harder to use the device since one has to hunt documentation about other similar devices to get to know what commands it might know. Which wasn’t that much of a problem, other than usually it doesn’t react the way you expect it to the commands. That can be still dealt with. However here comes the next big problem: It likes to mess up the SMS headers ( that tell the origin, length, and whatnot ) if the header contains an origin that is not a number but text, and also contains special characters.
So I ended up having to learn to communicate with it using PDU messages when querying / sending SMS. Since then it seems to be working OK.