Joe Terranova // I do stuff with people. Wed, 20 Oct 2010 04:15:12 +0000 en hourly 1 What have I been up to? LARPing! // // Wed, 20 Oct 2010 04:14:06 +0000 joe // Last month was White Wolf’s first annual convention, The Grand Masquerade. I decided that I was going, but then saw that half the convention was events for The Camarilla, a LARPing group for White Wolf games. I’d previously ignored the Cam, because of the stigma on LARPing in my roleplaying group, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

To that end, I joined the Philadelphia Domain of the Camarilla, which has games on Saturdays in the Philly area. I went out for a Requiem game, and to my surprise, it didn’t suck! And the people didn’t suck! I’m now playing in both the Requiem and Sabbat game (ie Old and New World Vampire), and it’s a blast! Now I’m in charge of their website, and trying to get the word out (*cough* *cough*)

If you’re in the Philly area, in to Roleplaying, and around on a Saturday, look us up for a game. You (probably) won’t regret it.]]>
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Re: David Rubin: Down Time, Changing Hosting Provider To Fsckvps // // Mon, 08 Jun 2009 14:54:27 +0000 joe // A while ago David posted about how he switched to using FsckVPS over Linode. He showed that it was cheaper, faster, etc.

Today I saw this on Reddit. Take a look at the linked picture. Basically, it’s Fsck saying that it’s too hard to not store passwords in plaintext, and then an email saying that they were hacked, and lost tons of data.

This is David’s original post. I went to go comment, but his site is down…

Btw, David, that’s the difference between Linode and Fsckvps.]]>
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Presenting Asterisk at CHLUG Tonight // // Fri, 05 Jun 2009 16:16:08 +0000 joe // I’ll be presenting on Asterisk at CHLUG tonight, so if you’re in the Cherry Hill (New Jersey) area, come on down! I’ll be presenting to what I think will be a mostly empty room, so if you have questions about Asterisk, tonight’s a good time to get them answered.]]>
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Anyone need graphic design work done? // // Mon, 18 May 2009 01:35:56 +0000 joe // Christina is looking to get into graphic design, but doesn’t have much experience in it. Does anyone know/recommend an open-source project (or other similarly noble effort) in need of graphic design?

I posted a thread on reddit asking the same question, so if you have any suggestions, I’d prefer you post there (but here is also OK if you’re Web 2.0 phobic).

Of course, the obvious elephant in the room is “why not Ubuntu artwork/marketing”? She’d like to, but from our impression it’s mostly “post something complete and maybe we’ll use it”. If she can do graphic design for Ubuntu, while getting direction and feedback, she’d be more than happy to.]]>
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TCF, Asterisk Presentation, installing FreePBX in Ubuntu // // Sun, 17 May 2009 23:31:34 +0000 joe // The LoCo Team went to the Trenton Computer Festival on April 25th and 26th.

Here are some pictures (courtesy of Christina):

The rest of the pictures can be found here.

While at TCF, I gave a presentation on VOIP, Asterisk, and FreePBX. As promised, here are the presentation slides.

I’ve also written a how-to on how to set up Asterisk and FreePBX in Ubuntu. The how-to can be found here. If I’ve left out a step, done something incorrectly, or if you have a better, cleaner way of doing something, feel free to edit the article, or let me know. I’m open for putting the how-to elsewhere (the Ubuntu wiki,, etc) if people want me to.]]>
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How to write a great FreePBX extension // // Sun, 08 Feb 2009 08:50:20 +0000 joe // Update Voicepulse replied in a comment to this post. Though my post was a bit venomous, they replied thoughtfully, and they’re considering GPLing their FreePBX module. Keep in mind, while the Freepbx module annoyed me, and the contract annoyed me, I’m still using their service, I’ve switched to it full time, and I may be switching my mother to it if she goes VOIP. A 19 ping (versus 100-120) and 4 channels will do that.

  1. Write a FreePBX plugin that automatically creates trunks and inbound routes for people using your service.
  2. In the process, do the following
    1. Blindly try to install curl (using yum. On my Ubuntu machine.)
    2. Include FreePBX and your own function files with hardcoded paths for Trixbox, instead of using relative paths.
    3. Make tar.gz backups of my /etc/asterisk directory and quietly add them to your modules directory. Make sure not to do any checks for file size or free disk space.
    4. Write to my sip_general_custom.conf and extensions_custom.conf (bad FreePBX extension! bad!)
  3. Use PHP Obfuscator on your code, and copyright it, so that no one can see all the horrible things you’re doing to their system, or figure out why it doesn’t work.
  • I installed the extension and saw the paths didn’t work.
  • I looked at the code, and was appalled that they obfuscated it.
  • I symlinked /var/www/html so that it would install, then found out none of their actions (adding trunks, adding inbound routes) actually worked.
  • After seeing some of the fun things it does, I’m quite glad it didn’t work at all!

Thanks Voicepulse! Your rates are good, the voice quality seems great, but emailing you a signed contract and waiting for “verification” was annoying, and I wouldn’t touch your FreePBX extension with 9 1/2 foot poll. Your customers (including me) would probably clean up your mistakes if you GPL’d it. The only downside would be the possibility of helping someone you didn’t intend to.]]>
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Flash Media Server 3.5 on Ubuntu // // Fri, 30 Jan 2009 18:01:15 +0000 joe // On Linux, Flash Media Server only supports Redhat. In February, Markus Bertheau posted a patch for FMS 3, so that it would run on Ubuntu. Based on that patch, here is a patch for FMS 3.5 . It’s patched in a similar way. From the installer directory, run:

patch -p1 < fms-3.5-ubuntu.patch

That gets it to install. I’ve not tried running it though. If you run into problems running it, please let me know.]]>
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ICQ woes for Pidgin // // Tue, 01 Jul 2008 18:22:56 +0000 joe // ICQ just broke support for pidgin in Ubuntu. There’s a thread about it here, the patch is here. If you don’t want to apt-get source, apply the patch, and build it, you have the following option: if you are on Hardy, x86, and trust me a lot, I have the packages built here. I’ll leave them up until the update gets released, or my server goes down.]]>
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Second Day of TCF // // Fri, 02 May 2008 22:31:07 +0000 joe // This is about the second day of TCF. You may recall the first day of TCF, which I posted about five days ago.

Bryan shows two boys the XO Laptop

Bryan talking to a potential user

Overall, Sunday was much slower than Saturday — we gave out around 75 CDs, as opposed to 300 on Saturday. However, this is to be expected; despite their best efforts, TCF is very much a one day event. However, on Sunday we still talked to a lot of interested potential users, so it was definitely worth being there both days.

I also bought a rack server. It’s 2U, dual Xeon 2.8Ghz, 2 GB of ram, and a 80GB SATA hard drive. Cost? 90 bucks. This was a steal, except for one problem: I don’t own a rack! I was later amused by the juxtaposition of me building a microatx server to use 40 watts of power and make no noise, and then sitting a 2U rack server next to it, which consumes 300+ Watts of power and sounds like an airplane. Lucky for me, my boss was interested in it, so it’ll be our new Asterisk server in the coming months.

Overall, I was pleased by our outcome this year, and will consider going back next year. Next year, I’d like to try to have multiple presentations on Linux and Linux-related topics. Perhaps I can get someone else to do the general Linux/Ubuntu stump speech, and focus on a more specific topic — such as Bash, PHP, or Asterisk.

In other news, I’m almost done with University forever. I have about 2 weeks more of wrapping up work, and then I graduate on the 17th. After that, I’ll only be working full time, so I’ll have some time to pursue actually developing open source software, instead of just shilling it to crowds :D]]>
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TCF – Day 1 // // Sun, 27 Apr 2008 01:06:59 +0000 joe // Today was the first day of the Trenton Computer festival. Bryan and I left for Trenton around 8:30 AM (after a few false starts) and got there to set up around 10 after 9 — Mike and his brother arrived soon after. This year we had two tables — one for demo machines (one Kubuntu, one Xubuntu, an OLPC, an n810, and an Ubuntu Desktop running Compiz Fusion on dual LCDs), and one for handouts (and room to talk).

Bryan and Gary talking to two TCF attendees

Attendees on Foreground, Gary in background; Dual-monitor Ubuntu Machine to the right

(Author’s Note: Wondering why these pictures have so few people? I was the cameraman, so these are from times when I could actually stop shilling Ubuntu CDs and take a picture).

girl trying the XO Laptop

I brought 200 Printed Gutsy CDs, and I planned on bringing 200 burned Hardy CDs — unfortunately, mtx had other plans, so I couldn’t get my media changer to burn more than one CD before losing permissions on the cd burner. There were 5 machines there, burning Hardy CDs continuously — they were still going as fast as we could burn them.

At 1:20, I left to give my presentation on Ubuntu. As Matt mentions here, early in the presentation, the projector went to sleep on me. He doesn’t mention that a) the projector was limited to 640×480 resolution, b) the internet was borked in that building. I didn’t get to show off everything I wanted to, but overall it went well. As I left, I led a train of around 20 people back to our LoCo Table.

Room full of people at my TCF presentation

Overall, today went very well; we gave out around 300 CDs total, and, more importantly to me, talked to a lot of people about Linux groups in their area (I expect a rather good turnout for the next LUG/IP meeting). Tomorrow will be just as fun, albeit a bit slower than today turned out to be.

Bryan, the lucky owner of a laptop with working wireless, Mike, Me, Thomas]]>
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