Just letting you know I had to reboot my telephone


Shortly after my group got switched over to new fancy-dancy IP phones, one of my colleagues sent me email to say "This morning, when I picked up the phone, I kept getting a 'URL not allowed' error. I fixed it by rebooting my phone."

So this is what the world has come to.

Bonus chatter: As many readers surmised, these "new" IP phones arrived over a year ago. On the other hand, I never did get to learn all the features of the device before it was replaced with a different model of IP phone. Progress.

Comments (34)
  1. Karellen says:

    John, I think these phones are way too complex to get away with using a basic boolean success indicator.

    :-)

    http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/What_Is_Truth_0x3f_.aspx

  2. Mike Dunn says:

    I’ve had my office phone crash twice on me. As in, it was just sitting there, then it made a weird beep and shut off. And both times, the contacts and call log were wiped out. So either the phone has no non-volatile memory (dumb) or there’s a worm going ’round that eats IP phones for breakfast.

  3. Falcon says:

    On my previous mobile phone, I noticed that after using the radio (FM broadcast), battery charge would be used up fairly quickly, even though I well and truly stopped the radio (or so I thought, anyway).

    Power-cycling the phone returned it to normal.

  4. Hayden88 says:

    Yes i agree that world has come to.

    today we have great and high power technology in which we can solve our problem immediately.

  5. Bryan says:

    When I worked in support, we had a period of time where our phones would reboot every 30 – 45 minutes.  This made dealing with customers interesting: "I’d like to take a moment to let you know that our phone systems have been experiencing periodic failures that can result in our call being dropped.  If this happens, I will call you back as soon as possible."

  6. Matteo Italia says:

    Mandatory quote:

    "I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone. My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone."

    — Bjarne Stroustrup

  7. AndyC says:

    Our "new" IP phones like to crash from time to time, thankfully it can almost always be fixed by the age old technique of "turning it off then on again." The wonders of modern technology….

  8. Hardware Junkie says:

    It’s not just phones. I now routinely have to reboot my Dell docking station (unplug all USB inputs and power), my newish KVM switch — same deal, you have to unplug all USB inputs and its power, which is a huge pain on a 4 port dual DVI switch — and my wireless router, which at least reboots when you remove and reinsert the power plug.

  9. Someone You Know says:

    @Hardware Junkie

    Have you downloaded all the latest hotfixes for Electricity?

  10. Chad Geidel says:

    We have one of those "one cup coffee brewers" (well known brand name) at the office here that has to occasionally be rebooted.  I wish I were kidding.

  11. SuperKoko says:

    We’ve IP telephones, running Java software, in our hospital (I’m a medecine student).

    The #1 issue with ethernet is the 8P8C connector. It’s far too easily disconnected.

  12. John says:

    Too bad it wasn’t ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND.

    Also, *insert joke about BSOD here*.

  13. MrPippy says:

    Rebooting my phone is nothing new–it runs Windows Mobile.

  14. I’ve had plenty of crashes on mobile phones as well as occasional misbehavior by my IP handset at work; what irritates me most is that any time the phone is rebooted, my call history is lost. Voicemail’s stored on the server end, but the call log is apparently stored only in RAM. There is certainly some Flash memory of some sort in there, but used only for firmware (which can be remotely updated), not for logging purposes. On the bright side, it does have some new features which are quite nice: my old analog handset lacked Caller ID, voicemail and a built-in phonebook, as well as conference calling. Some features are even easier to use: picking up another extension involved dialling some obscure code (*6 or something like that?) – now, it involves pushing the ‘pickup’ button.

    I’m on the fence regarding the new handsets really: they’re nice, and an improvement on what we had before – but eye-wateringly expensive, at a time we really can’t afford to be spending any more than necessary.

  15. Aaargh! says:

    The #1 issue with ethernet is the 8P8C connector. It’s far too easily disconnected.

    Most non-IP office phones use the same physical connector.

    t’s not just phones. I now routinely have to reboot my Dell docking station (…) my newish KVM switch (…) and my wireless router

    That’s why I try to avoid the consumer stuff if I can. E.g. instead of getting a cheap switch at the local box-pusher, get a used Cisco from eBay.

  16. Michael Mol says:

    We use IP phones at work.  I’m tempted to switch to a SIP client on my workstation and get a bluetooth headset, instead.  Cheaper, cleaner, and I might even get around to tweaking the software to have the features I want, with less of the pain of navigating multiple levels of tiny menus to get to a particular subset of the contacts list.

  17. Andrew says:

    Rebooting a phone may be bad, but at my old job we had to get a technician in to do a firmware update to fix the fancy device in the kitchen that dispensed boiling or chilled water depending on the button you pushed. You know technology has gotten out of control when your taps need their software updated.

  18. JB says:

    To change the time zone on my phone, I had log in to its internal web server and access the admin page.  My co-worker who coincidentally designed the page — we’re now in an unrelated industry — showed me how. That was definitely odd.

  19. Michael Mol says:

    @MrPippy *snark*

    My Samsung Omnia runs Windows Mobile, and I never have to reboot it.  Unless I leave it unplugged for a couple hours, anyway. (But that’s usually a side-effect of being in poor-signal areas or leaving the phone, Bluetooth or WiFi radios enabled when I don’t need them.

  20. J. Peterson says:

    That reminds me of funky 80’s workstation optical mice that had to be re-booted now and then…

  21. Chriso says:

    I really wonder if we all get used to reboot or restart our stuff like phones, coffemakers, hair dryers, cars, thermometers, tv sets, radios, microwaves, stoves, blenders, lights and so after it crashed.

  22. Ian says:

    I have not yet managed to reconcile myself to the fact that I have to log into my telephone every morning with a user ID and password.

  23. Cheong says:

    JB: At least they don’t make you visit the web page in order to make (or even receive!!!) phone calls… :P

    I did have one that requires users to login the web interface in order to hear back the recorded voice messages… very weird…

  24. Vilx- says:

    As a fan of SciFi and general progress, I actually see this as a good sign. Sure, it’s a mild annoyance now, but in a few decades the technology will have matured and stabilized, and we will live in a better world with no more reboots but far more possibilities than we can even dream about now.

  25. SuperKoko says:

    > The #1 issue with ethernet is the 8P8C connector. It’s far too easily disconnected.

    Most non-IP office phones use the same physical connector.

    Our old phones had F-010 connectors, which is quite standard in France.

    Moreover, the phone wire was plugged onto the wall, rather than the wall wire plugged in the phone, so that, shaking the phone couldn’t unplug it!

    However, I’m now used to the nice features of new IP phones: Caller ID, LCD interface, conference mode.

  26. Leo Petr says:

    We are now required to log into our phones every day by entering two 8-digit numbers (extension: 12345678, password: 87654321). The password has to be changed every 60 days, and we can’t repeat passwords.

    I no longer use the phone.

  27. Alexandre Grigoriev says:

    @J.Peterson:

    "That reminds me of funky 80’s workstation optical mice that had to be re-booted now and then…"

    Knew that horrible contraption. Mirror mat with color grid?

    On the other hand, early MS optical mouse that I had, also had to be power cycled occasionally, if it went dead or crazy… The latest one is OK. But now I busted an arrow key on the low profile MS wireless keyboard, while having long forgotten fun of playing Descent I. The plastic membrane is too soft…

  28. Tyler says:

    I remember a time at MS when the local DHCP server was running at about 100% with all the devices on the network. We had a power outage in the building and when it came up every IP phone was hitting the DHCP server and brought to a crawl.

    It took DAYS before all the phones in the building were back online.

  29. DWalker says:

    There was an old joke about a toaster designed by a committee of engineers, which would include a 4-bit microprocessor, able to save preferences for each family member, etc…. of course, it would be more prone to failure than a standard "non-electronic" toaster.

    Last week I was in a store and their fancy toasters had momentary contact buttons with LEDs in the buttons.  I presume there was some sort of curcuit board that controlled the LEDs and the toaster.  

    I don’t think a toaster needs a microprocessor, personally…

  30. Cooney says:

    but in a few decades the technology will have matured and stabilized, and we will live in a better world with no more reboots but far more possibilities than we can even dream about now.

    Thanks to MS, reboots are now tolerated. I didn’t used to have to reboot my phone, and finding a Broadband router that didn’t die every few days was a challenge. Reboots will go away when we demand it and not a day before.

  31. Stephen says:

    For completeness, I must point out that the phone Raymond’s coworker had to reboot runs Windows (CE).  Is this any surprise?

    [For the record, this was one of the pre-Tanjay phones, so no, it wasn’t running Windows CE. Thank you for making up facts. I’ll try to return the favor someday. -Raymond]
  32. Boogaloo says:

    I recently had to reboot my Motorola Razr cell phone.  Everytime I called my wife I got *MY* voicemail: "Please nter your password…".

    I ended up having to turn it off, take the battery out, wait.. wait… wait, insert battery and power on and only then did it start letting me call my wife again.  

    Don’t worry.. I called her something nice.

  33. Aaargh! says:

    Our old phones had F-010 connectors, which is quite standard in France.

    Never seen that type before. A bit of googling turns up the we (the dutch) also use a quite uncommon connector. (google for ‘dutch telephone plug’, I can’t even find a type number). Usually, these plugs convert to an RJ-11 socket. I don’t think these kinds of connections are still used in new installations, AFAIK we use standard RJ-11 nowadays.

    Office buildings and office phones usually use 8P8C so you can patch any wall outlet as either ethernet or phone.

    Moreover, the phone wire was plugged onto the wall, rather than the wall wire plugged in the phone, so that, shaking the phone couldn’t unplug it!

    8P8C connectors lock into place, you have to press a little plastic tab to remove it. Unless you have a broken connector, it should not be possible to shake it loose during normal usage. Also, in my experience most phone cords can be detached on both sides. (both the phone and wall socket have an RJ-11 or 8P8C connector and you use a patch-cable to connect the phone to the wall).

  34. Tanveer Badar says:

    You guys are talking about soft reboots. When my cell phone (which runs S60 OS) sticks on something I have to take out the battery before it will let me play with it again. Poor thing.

    Usually happens when I don’t disconnect internet properly, which I sometimes use the cell phone for connecting the PC to internet. Go figure.

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