Getting Spotify to run on Gentoo/Linux: A Gross and Cruel Hack

Spotify is a great way to listen to music. Unfortunately the official client only runs on Windows and Mac machines. There is an experimental unsupported client for linux, however it’s provided as a DEB (ubuntu/debian) package.

Here’s a gross hack for whom is desperate to get it working on Gentoo.
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Asterisk 101 – Ghetto GoogleVoice : Signing up for / using GV even if you’re not in the USA using Asterisk

GoogleVoice (GV for short) is a great service (I won’t go into the details, but you can read up about it here), but it is unfortunately accessible only if you are in the USA.
Granted there is already plenty of documentation about how to circumvent this, but I’m not aware of any of those using Asterisk.

So this post will document how to sign up for a GV account as well as how to use it with Asterisk afterwards, in the prospect of using it if you are not in the USA.

In order to be able to sign up for GV, you need to meet 2 prerequisites :

  1. You need to have a US IP address
  2. You need to have a US phone number, which will be used to validate your GV account

Step 1 is left as an exercise to the reader (“Good luck ! I’m behind 7 proxies !” :D).

Step 2 is the one we’re going to describe here, as an example of what you can pull with simple Asterisk configurations.

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Asterisk 101 : How to troll telemarketers (aka automatically send hidden Caller ID to a waiting music forever)

If like me you get tons of telemarketers calls, there’s an easy way to get rid of them with a quick Asterisk hack. The following Asterisk configuration snippet will immediately send any hidden caller ID (99% telemarketers, and I have a general policy of not picking up the phone for hidden caller ID anyway) to a holding music making them waste money and time…

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Asterisk : Basic SOHO environment VoIP PABX configuration

Asterisk is a free telephony software. I’m posting here sample commented configuration files for reference purposes, hoping they will help you get kickstarted if needed.

This config sets up :

  • SIP phones (for softphones or harware phones with SIP capabilities)
  • Voice mails
  • A few test phone numbers
  • Forwarding of calls to a SIP provider for outbound and incoming calls (from/to PSTN)

That should be plenty already for a SOHO environment !

Note to French readers : Si votre FAI est Free, cette configuration fonctionne pour passer / recevoir des appels via le SIP de Free (Freephonie).

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Firefox (Linux) : “Middle-click on page loads URL” annoyance

Firefox will load whatever URL is in the copy-paste buffer in the page if you middle click somewhere on a page. My mouse’s wheel also serves as the middle button, and I found it really annoying that when occasionally middle-clicking while scrolling the page, Firefox would try to load another page …

You can control this behaviour with this about:config property middlemouse.contentLoadURL. Set to true, the middle-click on the page will load the URL (if it is one) in the page, set to false it won’t.

Thanks Ayman !

Gentoo : Running Cacti with LigHTTPD

If you use Gentoo and tried to install Cacti with Lighttpd instead of Apache, chances are that you ran into this error message :

/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/WebappConfig/content.py:27: DeprecationWarning: the md5 module is deprecated; use hashlib instead
  import md5, re, os, os.path
* Fatal error: Your configuration file sets the server type "Apache"
* Fatal error: but the corresponding package does not seem to be installed!
* Fatal error: Please "emerge >=www-servers/apache-1.3" or correct your settings.
* Fatal error(s) - aborting

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Xfce4 : Bug with key bindings

There is currently a little bug in Xfce4 which prevents you to bind the key combinations involving SPACE and ESCAPE. For example you can’t bind <WINDOWS>-<SPACE>, but you can bind <WINDOWS>-C . This behaviour affects only the xfce-keyboard-settings GUI, which is annoying but leaves us with a workaround using the following command line :
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