Saturday, 15 March 2014


Yes we are doing custom printed SIM cards!
What a week!

It has been hectic - for a start I have had a chance to do a bit of coding. The launch of the new SIP2SIM stuff has meant lots of work in all sorts of areas. We have the coding on the call servers themselves (FireBrick) which is pretty mature but had a couple of bugs. Some people have been testing SIP2SIM with IPv6, which is good. But then there are all sorts of other aspects - the SIM provisioning (loading on our database); the SIM printing; the SIM ordering system; the CDR (Call Data Records) collected and stored; the billing; handling texts each way; documenting feature requests to the telco; lots of testing. In short I have been busy.

Thrown in to the mix is that Zebra agreed that they would upgrade the card printer on site, free of charge, if we paid for the upgrade part, so that we have the proper card reader interface. This is all part of the provisioning for SIMs - pulling them in to the printer, reading the ICCID, checking details on our systems and at the telco, making up SIM specific artwork and printing, all in one seamless operation. Until now I have had  a bodged system with a Raspberry pi, a part from a cherry keyboard and an old serial lead. The new part will allow this to all be sorted as part of the Ethernet connection to the printer. Unfortunately they then decided they could not do it on site! So they sent a taxi to get it, and would return it later that day. Then they day they will not be returning it until Tuesday. So my plan to code the changes for the upgrade, and the whole new streamlined SIM printing and shipping process are somewhat thwarted.

Of course, on top of all that we have the fact that the main office was a crime scene all morning on Friday. We lost some iMacs, 30" apple monitors, iPads, and a laptop. Very annoying. Now we have to review what we could have done better. Most of the obvious things probably would not help in that they could have just broken a window and grabbed stuff while the alarm range and left quickly enough not to be caught. So practical steps are nothing to do with the door locks or alarm, but simple things like using Kensington locks to tie expensive kit to the desk. Anything they cannot grab quickly is probably safe, especially if the alarm is ringing. It has been an expensive week.

What gets me is they knew enough to turn off the iPads to stop them being tracked, but did not know enough to realise that a stolen iPad is useless. Anyway, the laptop is now on a Virgin Media line, so we'll let the police know that IP.

So, all in all, I am looking forward to next week - it has to be better.

They brought this along


  1. Looking forward to trying out the "new" sip 2 sim service! I quite liked the "old" service apart from
    1) No 2g fallback when out of 3g areas (had to carry a spare payg vodafone sim for emergencies)
    2) Inbound texts sometimes arrived as voicemails instead of texts.

    I'm hoping the new sip2sim is a good alternative to a conventional mobile service as I *hate* dealing directly with ee/o2/voda/three!

  2. Have you considered something like Smoke Cloak or Smoke Screen - - we've had it fitted in the last two business premises, and it's very, very effective (no connection with either company other than being a happy customer)

    1. Already on my list to check out.

    2. Thing to be aware of is that setting it off sets off the smoke detectors and the fire brigade pay you a visit with lights and sirens etc.

    3. Our alarm company replaced all the smoke detector heads with ones that Smoke Cloak doesn't affect (not sure what type they are, but they do exist)

    4. We have this at work too, it's well worth it.

    5. Just whatever you do, don't use 3rd party liquid as it makes everything go all sticky...

    6. We had a Credex 12v vehicle smokescreen fitted a few years back to our van. Sure enough 6 months later some scum tested it for us. No stock was lost but they trashed the passenger door trying to get in before setting it off. The concept does truly work and we would not hesitate to have one fitted to prevent loss again.

  3. Nothing will stop them.

    Our office had bars on all the windows, cage inside the door, monitored alarm, CCTV etc. etc. Still took them seconds for them to break in (they brought a petrol powered angle grinder along with them).

    Fortunately they didn't get much, just an ancient laptop. There wasn't much worth stealing that you could sell on easily in the office at that time. They obviously were not interested in desktops/servers.


  4. If the iMacs were signed into iCloud they now show up on find my iPhone as well. Even if plugged into ethernet it will try do a geo-lookup based on nearby wifi.

  5. A previous employer of mine was broken into about 5 years ago, about a dozen laptops stolen. Two weeks later we were broken into again, but this time had kensington locks securing equipment to desks. Laptops were instructed to be locked in a cupboard. But needless to say it was forgotten. Thieves pulled at the laptops, still attached to desks, until the laptop broke.

  6. What about CCTV? Why aren't you security cameras used here?

  7. Did that go through a window?