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Tempus Fugit: Introducing Incredible PBX Alarm Clock for Asterisk and XiVO

So you’re in a hurry and need a quick way to remind yourself of an upcoming appointment. With Siri or your Apple Watch, you can say "Hey Siri, set an alarm for 9 a.m." On an Android phone, just say "OK Google, set an alarm for 9 a.m." And with the Amazon Echo, shout out "Alexa, set an alarm for 9 a.m." But, hey, everyone doesn’t have a fancy smartphone or an Echo. Besides that, they’re not always convenient.

If you have Incredible PBX™ for Asterisk® or XiVO® running in your home or office, it’s even easier. Just pick up any phone and dial *88 plus the time for the alarm using "military time." Dialing *880900 will set an alarm for 9 a.m. and *882100 will set an alarm for 9 p.m. If it’s already later than 9 a.m. when you dial *880900, then the alarm will be set for the following morning at 9 a.m. Doesn’t get any easier than that.

As we mentioned, this new application is primarily for Incredible PBX users, but it will work with any Asterisk server if you have previously installed Telephone Reminders. The Telephone Reminders app is included in all previous releases of Incredible PBX for XiVO, PBX in a Flash, Elastix, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, and even the Raspberry Pi.

Installing Incredible PBX Alarm Clock on the XiVO Platform

If you’re already using our latest Incredible PBX creation for the XiVO platform, then installation of the Alarm Clock application is a one-minute procedure. If you downloaded Incredible PBX for XiVO after July 13, the Alarm Clock application already is included. Otherwise, log into your server as root and issue the following commands:

cd /root
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/alarms-xivo.sh
chmod +x alarms-xivo.sh

Installing Incredible PBX Alarm Clock on the Other Platforms

As we mentioned, the Alarm Clock application requires an existing setup of Incredible PBX with Telephone Reminders on any of the following platforms: PBX in a Flash, Elastix, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Ubuntu, Debian, or Raspbian for the Raspberry Pi. If you’re using any of these Incredible PBX platforms, simply log into your server as root and issue the following commands to get the Alarm Clock application installed and configured:

cd /
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/alarms4incredible.tar.gz
tar zxvf alarms4incredible.tar.gz
rm -f alarms4incredible.tar.gz
cd /root

A Quick Introduction to Military Time for All of Our Civilian Friends

"Military time" means the day begins at 0001 for 12:01 a.m. The morning ends at 1159 for 11:59 a.m. For P.M. times, they start at 1200 for noon and end at 2359 for 11:59 p.m. Now’s your chance to play soldier in case you missed the draft. Enjoy!

Taking the Incredible PBX Alarm Clock for a Spin

Once you’ve got the Alarm Clock application in place, it’s time for a test drive. Check your watch for the current time and add 2 minutes. Convert the time to military time. Then pick up any phone connected to your PBX and dial *88 plus the four-digit number for the alarm time you calculated. Remember, if you choose a time that has already come and gone for today, your alarm will be scheduled for the corresponding time tomorrow so don’t cut it too close if your watch doesn’t keep perfect time.

For those wanting to learn how to write Asterisk dialplan code, now is a perfect time. The Alarm Clock application was written without a single line of code from any high-level language including PHP. On the XiVO platform, you’ll find the code at the bottom of /etc/asterisk/extensions_extra.d/xivo-extrafeatures.conf.

On the other Incredible PBX platforms, you’ll find the code at the top of /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf. Just search for *88 in the dialplan.

Reviewing Scheduled Alarms with a Web Browser

You can use the Telephone Reminders web application at http://IPaddress/reminders to review alarms which you have scheduled using *88. With Incredible PBX, they look just like other Telephone Reminders which you may have scheduled either using a phone by dialing 123 or using the Telephone Reminders web application.

Originally published: Monday, July 18, 2016

Need help with Asterisk? Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum.


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