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Introducing U-Rang: Free Windows ScreenPop Utility for Asterisk

To close out 2006, it’s free software day again at Nerd Vittles. And today we have another application checked off the 2006 Wish List. It’s a screen pop application for Windows desktops that pops up and tells you who’s calling on any Asterisk® extensions you’d like to monitor. The entire installation takes about 10 minutes for the first desktop and about 2 minutes for any other desktops on the same network.

We’ve named the application U-Rang in honor of our favorite Addams Family character (the guy on the left). And today you also get a sneak peek at our new Best of Nerd Vittles site which officially opens on January 19, 2007, during the Nerd Vittles Second Birthday Bash. That’s where you will find the complete U-Rang download and documentation. We think you’ll agree that it’s a much better web format for tutorials, but don’t worry. Nerd Vittles isn’t going anywhere. We just want to migrate our best material to a format which is easier to maintain long term.

We plan to introduce Mac and Linux versions of U-Rang in the coming weeks, but we just couldn’t quite pull it off for today. Check back soon for updates. Or, better yet, subscribe to the Nerd Vittles and Best of Nerd Vittles RSS Feeds for instant updates. For the 75% of you that use Windows Desktops (ugh!), enjoy! Our usual warnings apply. Use the software at your own risk. Don’t sell stuff that you got for free. And, last but not least, it’s version 1, and you know what that means.

We’d love to hear suggestions for enhancements. Just post a comment here. Our comments are moderated to filter out the gambling and drug creeps of the world. Don’t be alarmed if it takes about a week for your comment to show up. You see we’re headed out on a cruise of the Caribbean tomorrow without a computer. Not to worry. We’ll read and post every last comment when we return sometime next year. Actually, this is a business trip to find a good ship to host the first Nerd Vittles GeekNik Cruise, but don’t tell my wife and daughters. Happy New Year!


  1. By far, you are the most outstanding contributor to the Asterisk community and certainly deserve a reward. How do we go about setting up a rewards recognition organization for Asterisk? Anyone have any ideas?

    [WM: Pick me. Pick me. Only kidding. No rewards necessary, but thanks.]

  2. Great little application. In my small office I usually pop up the FOP when I hear the phone ring in my assistant’s area. Now I don’t need to. Now, If I could figure out how to make it work from home where I have a remote extension.

    [WM: On the office side, add another "permit" line in manager_custom.conf with the public IP address of your home network. Then tell your router at the office to pass port 5038 traffic to the internal IP address of your Asterisk server. On the home side, enter the public IP address of your office router for ServerIP in the urang.dat config file. Finally tell your home router to pass port 5038 traffic to the private IP address of your desktop PC. Be sure to read the next comment before proceeding. There originally was an error in the documentation concerning the network mask on the "permit" line.]

  3. Ward, the new site looks great, but I kind of miss the ability to attach notes and comments to the article. Very often the comments on the original article are quite helpful.

    I actually do have a comment – I question your interpretation of the "permit" line /etc/asterisk/manager_custom.conf – maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that if you are trying to allow only an individual address, the subnet mask (the portion of the permit line after the "/") should be If you want to allow usage from anywhere on your LAN, you’d probably want to use a line like this:
    which would allow anything in the 192.168.0.x address range. But, that’s about the only place I’d consider using as the subnet mask.

    Especially if you are permitting access from an address outside your local net, you probably DON’T want to use as the subnet mask – that would allow entrance from the one address you do want to allow, but also from potentially 254 other address that you wouldn’t want to give access to. should limit it to just that once single address – unless, as I say, I’m totally misunderstanding how this works.

    Having said that, U-Rang works great. Thanks for a quite useful app.

    [WM: I’ve always hated network masks. You’re absolutely correct. is the correct mask. I blindly followed all the other entries in the manager_custom.conf file. Every one of them is wrong, but harmless since they all involve the 127.0.0 subnet. Thanks for catching it. I’ll correct our documentation once I wipe all the egg off my face.]

  4. Nice little app. It’s good to finally see something that isn’t Trixbox centric appear on the page.

    [WM: We make use of MySQL, PHP, Apache, and Flite for a number of our projects. All of those just happen to be bundled in TrixBox which makes our life (and yours) much easier.]

  5. thanks again for another great little app
    no just to get it to look up the number in sugar and bring all the details with the inbound call

    I’ll have to make a little donnation for this one this is great even with out the crm look up

  6. Nice App!

    I have just upgraded my FreePBX to 2.2.0rc3 and have enabled the Caller Name Lookup Sources – Now U-Rang shows me the caller name and number (Well, as long as it is listed in my database!) 🙂

    One improvement I can see needs doing is, currently the window takes focus as soon as a call comes in, this is very irritating when you are typing, as, all of a sudden, you are typing away, then it pops up and takes the focus away, you then end up typing into the U-Ran window, which is ignored.
    If it could slide a small window up, like the Outlook 2003 desktop notification, without taking focus, this would be a great improvement!

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