Cisco's 7900 series IP phones have some powerful programmable firmware that you can harness for your own unique purpose, answering the age-old question, "Doesn't this LCD display seem a bit large for just caller ID?"
That expensive Cisco phone on your desk has some great hidden capabilities. Additional tools and toys that lurk beneath the 79xx's gray exterior could increase your productivity and foster some innocent fun. I'm talking about things like automated weather reports on the phone's display, simple menu-driven applications (like a time card, say), and just about anything else you can program using an XML web site.
In fact, you'll probably build so many cool tools and toys that you'll need a way to sort through them, like a directory or a menu. Using the Cisco VoIP phone's XML application capability, you can set up such a directory.
For this hack, you're going to use XML to create your own custom menus that access hidden features of the Cisco phone. To make your menu appear on the phone, you'll need to configure the phone to look for your custom menu file.
Cisco phones, like most IP phones, have a Flash storage device onboard that is checked and optionally updated at every startup. During startup, the phones contact a TFTP server and attempt to download settings stored in files on the server
. By setting the
services_url property on the phone's console to the URL of your menu, you can configure the phone to ...