How to make the world ring for you...


What do amateur radio operators, small businesses, giant corporations, E911 systems, and Linux hobbyists all have in common?

Well, besides using Linux, they all are using an application called Asterisk, in one of its many forms, to handle telecommunications.

Amateur radio operators can interlink plain old telephone systems with repeaters, small businesses can appear to the world to be a large corporation with custom interactive voice response menus, and hobbyists can lower their home phone bill to as little as a $1.00 per month with $0.0015/minute call charges.

Not to mention to have a phone number virtually anywhere in the world termin ate at your home,

The presentation will introduce Asterisk, its applications, basic Python scripting, and many other things.


Dr. Paul Wilkinson holds a PhD in Computer Science from Durham University, one of England’s foremost, and third oldest, universities. His also holds undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Physics as well as a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics. During the course of his career, he has worked for a “think tank” doing mathematical modeling, then the U.S. Navy, thins the senior civilian, and reserve, for one of the largest police departments in California.

Now he is a Professor of Computer Science at Pasadena City College. He holds and Extra Class amateur radio license and is very active within the hobby as well as integrating Linux and amateur radio into one cohesive unit.

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P2P and the World of Tomorrow

This month, SGVLUG and InfoSec Syndicate member Ray S will give a brief history on P2P software technology, applications and implementations.


The P2P and the World of Tomorrow presentation will address a brief history on the development on P2P software technology, applications and implementations by the end user. Applications such as Audio Galaxy, Napster, Direct Connect, Gnutella, Freenet, eDonkey2000, Kazaa, Morpheus, BitTorrent and Soulseek will be discussed in the presentation. End user usage patterns based on net cultural behavioral norms will be addressed as well as the development of conflict as result of practicing such norms on a end user case-by-case basis. Media attention and changes in policies of governance in relation to P2P technology and usage are topics that will be touched on in the presentation. New changes in P2P technology being made to maneuver difficulties that have arisen from changes in governance policies are addressed later in the presentation. The presentation's conclusion addresses technological responsibility and safety practices the audience can use to prevent themselves from becoming a marginalized end user as in the cases discussed earlier in the presentation.

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Survival at C: swallowing the Red Pill


Many good, experienced high-level language programmers do not learn C or C++ well until they suddenly need to write an FFI extension, make an emergency patch to an existing C or C++ codebase, re-implement the bottleneck component in the application stack in a fast language, take an attractive job with a low-level programming component, or otherwise move from their comfortable language of choice and swallow the Red Pill of coding closer to the machine. If you are already a programmer, you don't need to be taught how to program, and your google-fu is strong for looking up detailed syntax. Instead, this will be a crash course in leveraging skills you learned in a high-level environment and transferring them to these low-level tools, acquiring some new skills you simply never needed before, and a building a mental picture of where the road to expert, idiomatic mastery lies. We will focus on plain C because C++ is too complex to cover well in a single talk, but much of the material will apply directly to C++. Perhaps surprisingly, some of it will even make you a better programmer in your favorite comfortable, higher-level language.


Some little-known facts about Dustin Laurence:

  • His first exposure to computers was playing Colossal Cave
    Adventure and the bootleg Fortran IV version of Zork on his cousin's work mainframe using a glass teletype and a modem with a cradle for the handset.

  • His first good programming language was C. He lies and pretends that C is where he learned to program because 8-bit BASIC is embarrassing.

  • He once gave up trying to learn the libc low-level I/O functions from the Ultrix man pages because he thought a buffer must be some kind of abstract data type provided by the C library and he couldn't find any documentation.

  • He once confidently predicted that Linux was a temporary fad that would be replaced by BSD for serious work once the Berkeley codebase was completely free. It's probably a good thing he doesn't gamble.

  • He avoids social media for the same reason he doesn't do crack cocaine.


OpenX is located in the One West Bank building @ 888 E Walnut St. Pasadena CA, 91101. Entrances to the building are eastbound on Walnut, right hand side before the Lake St. intersection or southbound on Lake St. right hand side after the Walnut St. intersection. Once through the driveway, please park in the 888 Lot that has the OpenX logo displayed out front. Pull a ticket and bring it with you to the Meetup, we will validate your parking.

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Git/GitHub, CLI Text Processing Tools, OpenSuse

We are doing informal, short presentations this month.

  • Lan will provide a basic introduction to Git and GitHub

  • Joel S. will do a survey of commandline text processing tools.

  • Drew, our resident openSUSE guy, will also get the floor.

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Webification (w10n) and NASA data collections

The wonderful folks at OpenX are hosting this meeting, and they are also providing pizza. We need to provide a list of names to building security. RSVPs will be capped at 50.


In this talk, Zhangfan Xing will present webification (w10n), a data virtualization technology that simplifies use of resources on the web platform.

He will discuss science data challenges and share his experience on developing open source solutions for NASA/JPL. In particular, he will use webification for science (w10n-sci) as an example to demonstrate how one can bring together a diverse set of data and visualize them, using modern web browser, in a rapid and effective fashion.

He will also introduce the audience to the rich data collections available at NASA data centers and elaborate on their potential values to web data innovators.


Zhangfan Xing is a technical lead at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For over a decade, he has been architecting and developing Information Technology solutions for many NASA funded mission operations and research projects. He is specialized in search technology, data analysis, web services and their application to mission critical information and massive scientific datasets. His recent work on webification has lead to novel web-based applications that have had impact on NASA's mission operations and opened doors for the creation of advanced data access and visualization technologies. He is among the first in realizing the potential of the Web Platform as it applies to science data.

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A Cloud-based Architecture for Processing 3D Mars Terrain

The wonderful folks at OpenX are hosting this meeting and providing pizza and drinks. We need to provide a list of names to building security. We require RSVPs by 5pm on Tuesday, March 8th. Please keep RSVPs up-to-date, particularly if we have a waitlist. RSVPs will be capped at 70.


OnSight is a tool that allows scientists to work on Mars through the power of virtual reality. The Mars terrain displayed in OnSight is produced from real images sent back by the Curiosity rover, and rendered at 1:1 scale, as if the user were actually standing on Mars. Behind this exciting user experience is a powerful backend infrastructure that continually produces 3D terrain reconstructions as new images are sent back by the Curiosity rover.

The terrain build system automatically detects when new images are available, dynamically starts and stops computing instances to handle the workload, and presents dashboards to view the progress of terrain builds. The system runs on Amazon's cloud services platform, using a mix of Linux and Windows virtual computing instances. The system leverages a variety of open source projects including NodeJS, LoopBack, Ansible, Jenkins, AngularJS, and BootStrap. In this talk will focus on the cloud computing aspects of the terrain system, rather than on image processing. I will present a detailed look at the parts of this system, and discuss the team's experience adapting a desktop data processing workflow to a cloud architecture. Please join me for an applied look at how data processing challenges can be addressed in a cloud computing environment.


Parker Abercrombie is a software engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he builds software to support Mars science missions. He has a special interest in geographic information systems, and has worked with teams at NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy on systems for geographic visualization and data management. Parker holds an M.A. in Geography from Boston University, and a B.S. in Creative Studies with emphasis in Computer Science (which he swears is more technical than it sounds) from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In his spare time, Parker enjoys baking bread and playing the Irish wooden flute.

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