So if you have installed Centos 5 and want to watch movies, what packages are needed to make this happen?

yum install gstreamer-plugins-good

yum install gstreamer-plugins-bad

yum install gstreamer-plugins-ugly

You should be rockin! Totem will now play your videos without issue. However, I still use vlc media player for my DVDs.

From my research gstreamer still has a little work to do on the DVD menu front, VLC works flawlessly.


Well, I have to say that when Redhat thumbed its nose at Opensource, and mandated a fee or no up2date, I calmly kicked it’s ass out of my life.

I turned instead to debian. Tougher to install, sure, but do it via PXE over a network with straight up ASCII and a minimum package install, and its fast, lightweight, and damn near impossible to screw up. Oh yeah, it’s truly free.

Problem with this is most corporations are slow on the uptake, grounded in reality, a switch to another variant would do nothing but make their already taxed IT department collectively explode. This is old, old, news for a lot of you, but a frustrating reality for a select few.

So as I gravitate towards what might be a more rigid environment in the halls of buisnessdom, what are my solutions to familiarize if I don’t want to pay the Big Red One? Centos Baby.

Once again, you guys know this, I however am having to familiarize myself with a distribution I long since shelved, thinking its bloated inefficient carcass would do nothing more then weigh both me and my clients machines down.

On to the install

So I decided what the hell, why not dual boot my laptop so I can get a feel for what is really going on.

Lets install centos, but do I want to download 6 freakin cd’s? I mean really, install linux with a cd, what is this 2000?

I did find a boot.iso hidden, tucked away on the third shelf back in the corner under a couple issues of Boy’s life, what the hell is up with that? The netboot image is tough to find, and is not in your face like the iso’s that is for sure. They want you to download 6 cd’s, I ain’t havin it. So what’s a man to do, I just downloaded one cd, the first one, and booted that, why not.

From the boot prompt you can use linux askmethod, and I found a mirror that will point me to the source files. After the basic menu, I was whisked away to , gasp, an Xwindows session installer. Sure is perty, and very Redhatty if I do say so.
LVM by default, sheeeeeut

After the partition message it did indeed configure and install the OS to LVM, all by itself. Now, I have to say in debian, this can be a bit tricky. And if you were to hammer something and the LVM is on top of RAID, well thats two layers of crap you need to have to recover your data. Lucky for me, I had infact had to recover data that was RAID, and LVM before, so this is not an issue. I don’t know why I would need LVM on my laptop, but what the hell.

The gui install, it’s beautiful

Yup, It’s whirring away installing, nothing but net, a sweet sweet victory. And it does look pretty good. There is probably a way I could do this old-skool text style, in fact I saw it in the options, but it does give me a warm fuzzy feeling with a mouse. I feel, um, safe.

Wrap up

Ok windows and centos sitting side by side from scratch in under an hour, pretty freakin cool. Centos on boot, nice, and it looks like it detected my wireless, that’s probably going to be the hardpart, as broadcom to my knowledge still has no linux drivers for my wireless. But I have used the wrapper before, it works pretty good.

Upside? looks like it detected my sound card right off the bat, point for that for sure. Downside? It only plays on my headphone jack, I have solved this before, guess I need to look at my notes.

Package updater came online and started updating, nice. Looks like openoffice is installed by default, and a lot of other goodies.

All in all very easy, almost too easy for this type of convoluted install, I must say color me impressed.

Will I ditch debian, hell no, but for now I am digging centos, and if it continues to impress me, it might be a regular in my digital bed.

Time shall tell

EDIT: ok seems http://linuxwireless.org/en/users/Drivers/b43#devicefirmware contains the utility and the firmware source that you need to extract to /lib/firmware, please, do it from that directory!

once thats done, I cranked up the wireless, and it froze my system, sweet :<

Upon reboot, everything seems to check out however, I am testing now, none the less, pretty easy.

EDIT2: The make and model of the laptop is an Emachines m5405 with a broadcom bcm4306, and using the native bcm46xx drivers produced nothing but problems. However, I was able to install the ndiswrapper, works without a hitch. I actually redefined the device to wlan0 and left the eth1. Now this allows me to use Kismet and some other tools, I just need to bring down the ndiswrapper and load the bcm module. However, if I try to remove the bcm module and load back the ndiswrapper, it can no longer find the device without a reboot. I am in the process of communicating with the devs of this module trying to find an answer.

The sound was fixed with the asla mixer, first I choose the external amplifier option, then deselected it, sound now works perfectly.


So halo 3 is getting the buzz literally and figuratively as thousands of frat boys fall in line and kick it up a notch online.

I can’t say as I blame them, my brother happened to glance at the game in play while on an appointment and immediately began to drool as he watched the events unfold on a rather large flat screen .

I made a deal with my brother a while back, and the gist of it was the purchase of a large ticket item for him in the near future. Needless to say, he wanted an xbox 360, and of course, halo 3.

I did some research online, and figured I could purchase a couple of core systems and be online rather inexpensively, both of us owning the unsuspecting rather quickly. At one time we were devastation to egos personified in UT, I didn’t see the reason that halo should be any different.

After doing my research I was out and about, and spotted one of those chain game retail stores and decided to stop in and check my facts as it were. I wanted to make sure if I bought the core, I could later upgrade at will without any complications. Just to make sure, I think I needed to talk to a real hardcore gamer.

Unfortunetly, I talked to this other guy instead. It went down like this:

Me: Hi, I would like to buy 2 core systems, I was wondering if you can upgrade them no problem after you buy them?

ubergamer: You really don’t want to buy the 360, the xbox has peaked. Halo3 is it for the xbox, you want a ps3, much better system.

Me: uh, ok. Well what about the fact the ps3 has had abysmal sales? Isn’t that going to deter developers from making games for the system?

ug: No, no way, there are a lot of good FPSs coming out , like “blah” and “blah blah”.

Me: What about all the great games coming out in November? What about Bioshock?

ug: …..

Me: What about the fact the xbox360 outsold all other consoles.

ug AND his manager at the same time: no no! the xbox 360 got its ass kicked.

Me: Really, according the Wall Street Journal, sales data for September show the 360 in a clear lead that month, and over 300 million in sales for halo 3.

(Yes, I actually quoted the WSJ, I play the market, sue me)

ug AND his manager in unison : Yeah, but that’s because of halo 3.

Me:….. Hey thanks for all your, uh, help

I glanced for the sony rep behind the curtain before I left, but he must have been well hidden.

In retrospect I wonder how many other unsuspecting consumers have been consumed by either:

a> some ps3 fanboys overzealous sales pitch about a real non-contender

b>actually shady bonuses being paid to people at these shops that push the ps3

I can’t prove either one, I can say with all honesty that I probably looked like a guy who knew nothing about gaming, but in fact, I have been involved in the industry for quite some time. I have owned or played every console since the 2600 and I worked with SGI in developing the N64.

Oh, and I have been schooled by the industry. My sega saturn and dreamcast will be chains on my heart for a while.

Be careful and tell your not so savvy friends. They pray on ignorance and will sell you a ps3 when you least expect it.

I already have one in my family, thanks mom, long story but that’s for another post.


Linux can boot faster if a PC’s BIOS is replaced by an open BIOS. Among other benefits, open BIOSes can save the time wasted by proprietary BIOS legacy support for MS-DOS and other unnecessary functions.

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Create one of the most highly reviewed games in history, then cripple my computer with a rootkit. !@##@ awesome. No thanks.

Edit: Ok, perhaps not a rootkit at all. A malformed directory and file structure that prevents removal, some freaky drivers perhaps, but not ring-0 control.

But who’s to say its not, without a breakdown, we don’t know exactly what it does. And why the breakdown? Well its doing funny stuff to start with.

Why the hell would you ever install this software?


Hey there, back in the saddle and fine thanks for asking!

As you can see the site has changed, but our focus will remain the same.

If you are a Small to Medium size business who wants their IT problems solved, we are looking for you.

If you are an IT manager who is looking for solutions, they can be found here on this blog. We also provide consulting, contact me for more information.



Asterisk install and network quality of service feature. Telasip is the provider.

Asterisk is an Opensource Public Branch eXchange system that does all the things a PBX should do.

When installed with a decent provider and the proper network configuration, it is a reliable and reasonably easy to configure service.

When you are done with the HowTo you should have a 2 extension phone network and a decent call waiting queue.

This document assumes that you are using a fresh standard system install of Debain Etch. It also assumes that this server is an image that is running on a Vmware server. It will most likely work for your flavor of linux.

Asterisk is great, but to make it fantastic you need some other tools.

These tools are metrics that provide you with all kinds of information in real time.

Call Data Recording is handled by Asterisk internally and then stored to a database. There is a module for Asterisk that allows Mysql functionality, but Asterisk comes with an Open DataBase Connectivity module, so thats a no brainier. You will have to configure ODBC and Mysql to work together, of course I will provide those steps.

This HowTo is sparse on theory and takes a route that lets you have a working install the first time.

Section 1. Installation

Let’s install the backend we are going to need to see all that calling data.

Ssh into the box:

debian:~# apt-get install apache2 mysql-server php5-mysql
debian:~# apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5 phpmyadmin
debian:~# apt-get install asterisk asterisk-sounds madplayer

It’s a good idea to add an admin to mysql at this stage, then we can configure the asterisk dataset.


Root is given access to Mysql sans password, so connect to :


Login as root, no password.

Probably a good idea to change your root password here.

Great, we can now port over the dataset.

First create the user asterisk and select create database with the same name.

Edit a file: /etc/odbc.ini

Description = MySQL test database
Trace= On
TraceFile = /var/log/mysqlodbc
Driver= mysql
SERVER= localhost
USER = asterisk
PASSWORD = xxyy123
DATABASE= asterisk

and we also need to edit odbcinst.ini

debian:~#vi /etc/odbcinst.ini


Description             = MySQL test database

Trace = On

TraceFile = /var/log/mysqlodbc

Driver = mysql

SERVER= localhost

USER = asterisk

PASSWORD= xyourpasswordforasterisk

DATABASE= asterisk

Test the odbc install with this line:

debian:/etc# isql -v mysql
| Connected!
| sql-statement
| help [tablename]
| quit

ok all done. Let’s add the database structure to the Mysql database.

First here is the database structure.


Database asterisk

Table structure for table cdr

Field Type Null Default
calldate datetime Yes 0000-00-00 00:00:00
clid varchar(80) Yes
src varchar(80) Yes
dst varchar(80) Yes
dcontext varchar(80) Yes
channel varchar(80) Yes
dstchannel varchar(80) Yes
lastapp varchar(80) Yes
lastdata varchar(80) Yes
duration int(11) Yes 0
billsec int(11) Yes 0
disposition varchar(45) Yes
amaflags int(11) Yes 0
accountcode varchar(20) Yes
uniqueid varchar(32) Yes
userfield varchar(255) Yes

And here is the command to build it.

Copy and paste below to the sql command window in phpmyadmin


`calldate` datetime NOT NULL default '0000-00-00 00:00:00',

`clid` varchar(80) NOT NULL default '',

`src` varchar(80) NOT NULL default '',

`dst` varchar(80) NOT NULL default '',

`dcontext` varchar(80) NOT NULL default '',

`channel` varchar(80) NOT NULL default '',

`dstchannel` varchar(80) NOT NULL default '',

`lastapp` varchar(80) NOT NULL default '',

`lastdata` varchar(80) NOT NULL default '',

`duration` int(11) NOT NULL default '0',

`billsec` int(11) NOT NULL default '0',

`disposition` varchar(45) NOT NULL default '',

`amaflags` int(11) NOT NULL default '0',

`accountcode` varchar(20) NOT NULL default '',

`uniqueid` varchar(32) NOT NULL default '',

`userfield` varchar(255) NOT NULL default '',

KEY `calldate` (`calldate`),

KEY `dst` (`dst`),

KEY `accountcode` (`accountcode`)


Now we should have a database structure, you can review it in phpmyadmin to double check.

Back up your existing asterisk configuration at this point.

debian:/etc# cp -a asterisk asterisk.back

On to the configuration.

  1. Asterisk Configuration

sip.conf- this file controls your peer access and settings to your service provider. You will need to register with your provider and set up passwords for your connecting phones in this file.

register=username:password@gw4.telasip.com [review the domain, it may be different]
host=gw4.telasip.com [review this, it might be different]


To set up an extension that is a sip phone, like our Grandstream Gxp-2000:



username=user name phone
secret=password phone

Edit a file: /etc/asterisk/extensions.conf

Change the value TRUNK:


[from-trunk] exten=>_2403961450,1,Dial(SIP/201,30,r)

and add the dial plan.

You can delete from the context [demo] and after, everything.

Then add this dialplan



exten => s,1,Ringing

exten => s,2,Set(CALLERID(number)=${CALLERIDNUM})

exten => s,3,Wait(2)

exten => s,4,Answer

;exten => s/4074322547,5,SetMusicOnHold(private)

;exten => s/4074322547,6,Macro(stdexten,1234,SIP/grandstream)

;exten => s/4075923644,5,SetMusicOnHold(private)

;exten => s/4075923644,6,Macro(stdexten,1234,SIP/grandstream)

exten => s/8138904500,5,Macro(stdexten,1234,SIP/grandstream)

exten => s,5,Background(greet1)

exten => s,6,WaitExten(10)

exten => s,n,Set(CALLERID(all)=No Selection-<${CALLERID(number)}>)

exten => s,n,Macro(stdexten,1234,SIP/grandstream)

exten => 1,1,Playback(transfer)

exten => 1,n,Ringing

exten => 1,n,Wait(2)

exten => 1,n,NoOp,(${CALLERID(all)})

exten => 1,n,Set(CALLERID(all)=Sales-<${CALLERID(number)}>)

exten => 1,n,Queue(example_queue|tT|||150)

exten => 1,n,Voicemail(1234)

exten => 2,1,Playback(transfer)

exten => 2,n,Ringing

exten => 2,n,Wait(2)

exten => 2,n,Set(CALLERID(name)=TechSupport-)

exten => 2,n,Queue(example_queue|tT|||150)

exten => 2,n,Voicemail(1234)

exten => 3,1,Goto(mainmenu,s,3)

exten => 1234,1,Playback(transfer,skip) ; “Please hold while…”

exten => 1234,n,Set(CALLERID(all)=Direct-<${CALLERID(number)}>)

exten => 1234,n,Macro(stdexten,1234,SIP/grandstream)

;exten => 1234,1,Voicemail(dug)

exten => 1235,1,Playback(transfer,skip)

exten => 1235,n,Macro(stdexten,1235,SIP/grandstream2)

exten => 1235,1,Voicemail(queen)

exten => 1238,1,Playback(transfer,skip)

exten => 1238,n,Macro(stdexten,1235,IAX2/user01)

exten => 8500,1,VoicemailMain

exten => 8500,n,Goto(s,7)

exten => 666,1,Goto(mainmenu,s,1)

exten => i,1,Goto(mainmenu,s,3)

exten => 129,1,Queue(example_queue|tT|||300) ;dont set n option until really needed

exten => 129,2,Playback(some_announce_after_leaving_queue)

exten => 129,3,Voicemail(s1234)

exten => 333,1,SetMusicOnHold(stream)

exten => 333,n,WaitMusicOnHold(600)

exten => 334,1,SetMusicOnHold(private)

exten => 334,n,WaitMusicOnHold(600)

There are a few more options in there, and in later tutorials I will show you how to activate these features.


Let’s add our extensions to the queue.

Edit the file queues.conf:



member => SIP/grandstream

member => SIP/grandstream2


Edit the file cdr_odbc.conf



Install the stats software from


untar in /var/www/stats

Edit a file /var/www/stats/asterisk-stats-v2/lib/defines.php

define (“WEBROOT”, “http://testasterisk/asterisk-stat/”);

define (“FSROOT”, “/var/www/asterisk-stat-v2/”);

define (“LIBDIR”, FSROOT.”lib/”);

define (“HOST”, “localhost”);

define (“PORT”, “3306″);

define (“USER”, “asterisk”);

define (“PASS”, “asteriskdbpassword”);

define (“DBNAME”, “asterisk”);

define (“DB_TYPE”, “mysql”); // mysql or postgres

define (“DB_TABLENAME”, “cdr”);


Install the operator panel from


untar in /var/www/monitor

Edit the file op_servers.cfg


replace your username and password with your username and password for the manager in asterisk.

Edit a file


debian:~#vi /etc/asterisk/manager.conf

It should look like this



enabled = yes

port = 5038

bindaddr =


secret = mysecret



read = system,call,log,verbose,command,agent,user

write = system,call,log,verbose,command,agent,user


Notice the username is in [] and the secret is listed below. These values need to match the onces in your op_servers.cfg

Now launch your op_server.pl and watch the output to see it connect to your asterisk box and the information it provides.



Now we need to start asterisk and record our greeting.


Call your number provided by telasip, it will fall back to the 1234 extension, now record your greeting.


Do this until you are satisfied. Navigate to:

debian:~#cd /var/spool/asterisk/voicemail/default/1234/INBOX

And copy the file you want as a message.


debian:~#cp -a msg000.gsm[Replace with good message] /usr/share/asterisk/sounds/greet1.gsm

debian:~#asterisk -vvvvvvvvvvvvvc

Asterisk Ready.

*CLI> sip show registry

Host Username Refresh State

gw4.sip.telasip.com:5060 username 105 Registered

This command shows you are registered, and now you should be able to take incoming calls.

Comments are welcome. A nice link with pics is on its way!




piccoz close bottom


Nice link that checks the status of Debian mirrors.



Has the time finally come for the least-privilege user — you know, setting your Windows client machines to run without system administrator rights? With Vista in the wings, it may just be. But does it really matter?

–I like how they dismiss running limited user rights because they don’t know how to adjust the application to run in that environment. If it wasn’t built that way, how can it be possible. Boooo. Then trying to equate a DOS attack from a network service run amok to key loggers and bots running on administrative accounts on a domain is silly. Limit your users accounts, lock down these apps, then focus on those other problems with IDS and packet filters. Turn off the prompts in Vista to bypass the security restrictions, der. Read more on my site about how to lock down your Windows clients.

read more | digg story