I've had my Asterisk PBX offline for a while now for no good reason, so I decided I'd upgrade and put the latest Asterisk on my new machine. I wrote about the last time I installed, that was on an older AMD Athlon 1200MHz Thunderbird. It worked fine but I got a Linksys PAP2T-NA ATA and became very lazy. The ATA just registers with Les.net and I plug a phone in to it, so there's no need for Asterisk for just basic VOIP phone service.
I decided that I'd just use the ATA for a while then I got into some sound quality problems. I switched out many parts of the system trying to determine where the problem was but the best lead that I have so far is that my modem has issues. I'm not sure that the entire problem is with the modem but I do know that my Internet connection overall gets faster if I reboot it and that shouldn't be necessary.
Anyhow, voice quality issues apparently are common with VOIP and more people are using it anyway - the balance of features and cost is still in favour of VOIP. So I figure that if I get used to my system I can work the kinks out of it later. As time goes on and there are more users it should be easier to find help on my specifics too.
Today I want to revisit some of the work I did getting Asterisk 1.2 working and see what I have to do to get Asterisk 1.4 running. It's apparently not that different.
This has bugged me for a long time but it just took a little searching to fix. I enter the URL http://copper/ and Firefox can't connect so it decides that I really meant http://www.copper.com/. This is never what I meant. I don't know who runs copper.com, but they can rest assured that they'll stop getting requests from me for the internal web services that I run at home. The same thing happens even if you use the name localhost. I fully expect that most visitors at http://www.localhost.com/ are Firefox users who are trying to access a web server on their own computer.
Corporate Websites and Middleware
Websites have come a long way from when everyone just had to have a presence to the point now where every large organization has not only many internal sites but also uses web-based applications for critical internal functions. These internal applications include time-keeping, expense reporting, document approval chains, personnel management, and numerous industry-specific tools for meeting the day-to-day needs of the business.
There are several ways to get Single Sign-On (SSO) working with new and existing applications. Some are easier than others and there are different security considerations with each. Kerberos, Shibboleth and even OpenID can be used for SSO but I'm going to focus on LDAP. LDAP is actually a protocol (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) but the acronym is often used to refer to the database, clients and servers that implement the protocol.
Many applications require users to log in supplying a username and a password before they can access the application or perform certain functions. Common examples where a log in is required include email applications, a Windows log in, and most web-based applications that store any personal information. Users don't want to log in to an application, what they want is to perform some task or get access to some data. The tasks and data are completely application-specific. When I log in to my email client it's not because I want to log in it's because I want to read or send email.
I'm trying to move forward with the plan I outlined the other day. In short I want to use LDAP to simplify my home network of five computers and six users. I haven't got as far as setting up a login yet but I have got the LDAP server running on one of the computers (named copper) that's running OpenSuse 10.2.
Today I just want to talk about the steps I've taken to experiment at getting something going. I'm learning this as I go and these are just notes to help remember how I got to where I am. If they help you too then that's great.
A lot's been going on at home lately, Candace and her brood are coming to live with me and my daughter. We're doing piles of construction in the basement to get bedrooms built. We're all excited and working hard to get stuff done this summer. More importantly though, it is now normal for there to be five computers in my living room (none of which are really meant for my use any more, but that's beside the point). Any of six residents can be in the house at any given time. There are also cases where we might log in remotely: for email, SSH access or a couple other web applications that I run on one of the machines like a wiki and calendar. Then there's Asterisk, which I haven't had up lately but desperately want to get back online.
Obviously we need to have some common file storage locations and control for access to those locations. So I've decided to look more seriously into setting up LDAP. Currently one of the machines dual boots Windows XP and OpenSuse 10.2. Another one (that I use for a Myth TV front end) runs OpenSuse 10.1. My desktop is full-time OpenSuse 10.2 for now, though I might be pressed to also install Windows Vista soon (resisting with all my might). Let's see... that leaves the two laptops. They run Windows XP. Oh, I almost forgot about the old DOS box I put in the garage to run the CNC. I'll not worry about it for the moment.
I have a GNet BB0060A DSL modem. It works pretty well but when I first got it years ago I screwed something up and couldn't get in to the web-based user interface any more. It also doesn't have a reset button on the back (though the manual claims it does). It does have an RJ-45 console connector on the back. RJ-45 connectors are the kind you find on normal ethernet cables - like a phone connector but wider. This isn't a network connector though. To connect to it you need an RS-232 null modem cable. RS-232 cables normally have a DB-9 connector on both ends (but are sometimes DB-25). I don't remember what I did to connect to it back then, but Steve at Teksavvy was helpful enough to tell me the connection settings I'd need with the null-modem and the command to recover my modem.
Fast forward to today and Candace has a GNet BB0060B that she got from a friend. They were both on Teksavvy as well and so Candace could use the modem with the same settings. Trouble is, the way the modem was configured was such that the username and password for PPPoE were stored right there in the modem settings. And the web interface username & password don't match what the manual says they are. According to the manual you should be able to go to 192.168.7.1 in a web browser and log in with the username 'DSL' and password 'DSL' (case sensitive). Failing that, the username 'root' and password 'root' should work. You can also try the same username and password over telnet. None of these options worked for me.
So my problem now was to figure out how to get in to the modem settings without a valid username or password and with no reset button available.
I'm going to try to keep this short but I wanted to make a note of a quick script I just did to desaturate and lighten a bunch of images in the Gimp. The workflow I used was basically to open a bunch of images then do exactly the same thing to each one of them then close and save each one. My first thought was that clicking Tools->Colour Tools->Hue Saturation... then doing an adjustment & hitting Okay was taking too long. I knew I'd been here before so I dug out the script I did before to do Hue Rotation in the Gimp. I remember that painful learning curve to figure out Scheme. Luckily this time I want to use roughly the same command but I want to leave the hue alone and change the other two parameters. So I modified the code and pasted this in to the Script-Fu console.
I've finally got the search plugin I made last month to work for European Realms. The idea is the same, so the info in the original release still applies but I'll recap here.
This is an OpenSearch plugin, it only adds a search provider to the list at the top, not generic functionality for Firefox. Since it's done with OpenSearch, my understanding is that it might work in other browsers too. My instructions and experience are specific to Firefox though. If you still don't have Firefox, you can go get it from Mozilla.
I've approached the search two different ways, one way is to search all realms for a character. The other looks for a character only on a specific realm. I think looking on a specific realm is a lot more useful since most of us only play on one realm or at most a few. You can install the realm-specific search for each of the realms you play on and the name shows up when you pick which you want from Firefox's search box.