Uncertain times…

It is almost midnight and I’ve just spent a few hours watching and reading the news regarding Novel Covid-19. We are definitely in unknown territories in terms of fighting something that no one sees.

Three weeks ago, the family and I were supposed to have our overseas trip to South Korea for 10-days. Amidst a pending crisis of Covid-19 cases reaching 800+ at the time, we have decided to went ahead and take the trip. The evening before the trip, we received an email notifying us that all flights to S. Korea has been cancelled. We were given the option to either get a full refund or rebook our trip, I chose the latter and get it moved later this year. It was like dodging a bullet there as the cases of infected rise all the way to 8K+ at the time of writing.

My folks were scheduled to fly over here in Australia for a 2 month visit, with the number of cases still rising around the world. We then again made a decision to move forward their flight 2 weeks earlier. At the time we re-booked their tickets, the Philippine government imposed a community quarantine within the Capital Region a week and a half before my parent’s flight. As they were living outside the Capital this means they might find it difficult to get into the city on the day. I have convinced them to immediately moved to my brother’s house and stay with them until the day of their flight.

Over the weekend, the Australian government has issued that it will mandate all incoming people including citizen from any country to go through self-quarantine for 14-days upon arrival. This includes everyone that will be staying with them within the household. Obviously this means, once my folks arrive and stay with us. We have no choice but to self-quarantine  ourselves with them.

This means stocking up on food supplies good for 2-weeks. Giving a heads-up at work that we have to work from home.

Went to the groceries this afternoon and there were empty aisles. At this point, we would just have to check daily hoping they’ll restock so we have enough in preparation for that 2-weeks.

In all honesty it can be stressful. I told my wife and colleagues the other day, I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t predict anything the following day. I couldn’t even imagine what it’ll look like when this virus dies down. All I can do is just hope and pray…


Embrace the suck

Last month of summer here in Brisbane, Australia. After a series of bushfires and heavy rainfall reaping havoc in the state, it has finally calmed down. Aside from that, everyone’s back to work for a month from the Christmas break and everything is running full steam ahead again.

This year I have RE-started a passion, I’ve been playing table tenning again. Last time I played an actual scored game was back in the Philippines. It got re-ignited when work has a table tennis table and a gym on premise. How convenient is that?

Anyway obviously being the relatively “new” guy playing among the engineers who’ve been there for years playing table tennis. I suck! Like really suck. I couldn’t return a serve properly, could not get the ball across when I serve. Since most of the games were played in doubles, no one really wants to be partnered up (me) with a newbie where chances of us winning is slim close to zero.

Determined to be up to speed and be useful to whoever gets partnered up with me, I started investing in learning the game. Over Christmas, I invested on my own table tennis, bought bats, even got myself a robot, convinced my wife to occasionally played with me even to join me for a beginners class at a local table tennis club once a week.

I have improved though it still suck in comparison to the guys at work but the longer I play, practice and stick with it eventually I will get there.

I am always reminded when I started out my career here in Australia moving from the United States. I knew it will suck. I anticipated it will take time, resources, perseverance and patience with myself but eventually I will get there.

When I decided to pursue IT Networking from System Admin, I bought my first Cisco kit from ebay. I stacked them on milk crates and spent hours learning every command and annoying my CCIE friend even late at night for some answers to some silly questions (thinking about it now). My wife who endured everything in the process, I will be forever grateful for.

Worked my butt off until I get to managed a team of Network Engineers for a MSP/ISP, moved up from one company to another. Now I don’t do OPS and more into Pre-sales and Solutions creation. Every new job or situation I am subjected to the “suck” feeling. It keeps me grounded, It keeps me forever being a student.

Delan’s CCIE season 2 v1

Preparations are on the way for the new CCIE Infrastructure v1 lab exam for 2020. I don’t have an exact date yet but I am so looking forward doing the next attempt after a very heart breaking initial attempt almost 2 years ago.

Without going into 2 much details, one of the major changes for the new CCIE is there’s no more written exam. As long as you have a valid CCNP RS after Feb 2020 you are eligible to sit the lab exam. Looking at the syllabus the big addition is the network programmability section which is 15%.

Instead of the usual 3-part exam, its down to the original 2-part exam which is tshoot and configuration. I am just glad I had the chance to get trained in ACI, Viptela back with the previous company. At least I have the bare minimum experience what they are and how they operate.

I am currently going through DevNet tutorials, so far…well…Let’s just say I am trying to convince myself anything new I am going to suck until I get some decent traction. Most of their labs in my opinion is sort of all over the place and still trying to get my git-bash/python setup sorted at the time of writing.

Ok let me get back at it. A few hours have already been spent trying to sort out an error I keep getting on my git-bash which looks like I’ve sorted by doing the uninstall-reinstall trick.

Asterisk 16 LTS on Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS

I have been re-building my linux server, this time moving from Fedora to Ubuntu as part of re-learning and improving on my linux skills. Decided to resurrect my Asterisk lab, which means having an excuse to fire up my Cisco 3750 PoE switch and my SIP phones.

I remember it gave me so much pain building asterisk over Fedora, so much caveats to consider that I did not get to document everything. Moving to Ubuntu, there are so many resources online and seems more straigh forward. Here were the steps I took to get Asterisk 16 LTS running on my Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS.

First step, best practice would be just to make sure your server is up to date.

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y upgrade

sudo reboot

Obviously, if you are currently ssh’d(if there’s such a word) into it this will cut you off your connection.

Before we proceed, I would suggest to download the dependency package. Take it from me, doing this prior to installing asterisk would save your sanity. When I initially installed asterisk over Fedora and did not follow this step, it drove me mad.

sudo apt -y install git curl wget libnewt-dev libssl-dev libncurses5-dev subversion libsqlite3-dev build-essential libjansson-dev libxml2-dev uuid-dev

Now, it is time to do the install. Go to the following directory:


sudo curl -O http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/asterisk/asterisk-16-current.tar.gz

Once the file is downloaded, extract the file.

sudo xvf asterisk-16-current.tar.gz

ok, it has been extracted time to go to the asterisk folder and install mp3 source and pre_requisite files.

cd asterisk-16*/

sudo contrib/scripts/get_mp3_source.sh

sudo contrib/scripts/install_prereq install

Note, this may take some time. Well it was on my PC. Actually the next few steps, make take some time to finish so you can use this time to maybe do your laundry, watch a cbt-nugget videos as there is some waiting involved.

Another note, I have done installs where you’re going to get an error message saying “svn: not found”. To fix this you will have to install subversion:

sudo apt install subversion

That should fix the issue and you can go ahead and install mp3 and pre-requisite files.

Time to configure the pbx, this is where the fun begins!..well I think it is. type:

sudo ./configure

After maybe making yourself some coffee you’ll end up with the screen below:

To install additional feature set type:

sudo make menuselect

Just look at the screenshots below and make sure you follow along what has been ticked. Don’t forget to Save & Exit.

Once you are back at the CLI, run the following commands:

sudo make

sudo make install

Each one would take time, I would probably be able to cook an entire meal while I wait for each item to finish its install. If you did cook yourself or your family a meal, have some lunch or dinner. Go back to your server and maybe install the documentation. You can do this by typing:

sudo make progdocs

This is going to take a while again so take this opportunity to have a stroll by the park and visit the neighbours and have a chat. Then when done, run the following to finish configuration:

sudo config

sudo make samples

sudo ldconfig

Now let us create the asterisk user group and user. Just follow along as per the screenshot below:

Using your preferred text editing tool, for myself I use nano.

sudo nano /etc/default/asterisk

Remove the # infront of AST_USER and AST_GROUP. Make sure you save your work. If you are using nano, Ctrl+O to save, Ctrl+X to exit out.

Next we will edit the asterisk.conf file. Again don’t forget to save your work.

sudo nano /etc/asterisk/asterisk.conf

Make sure you run the following command to wrap up your configuration with:

sudo systemctl restart asterisk

sudo systemctl enable asterisk

The first one restarts the service specially making any change on the system, while the other enables asterisk to start after a system reboot.

Moment of truth, to access asterisk just type the following command as per the screenshot below. Once you see *CLI> next to the cursor then you good to go.

By the way, if you are running the linux firewall (ufw) make sure you enable ports 5060 & 5061 as per below:

To verify your firewall rules just type:

sudo ufw status numbered

There you have it! Probably the entire process is less than 3 hours from my experience it may be quicker from your end depending on the laptop, PC or infrastructure you are using. In the next related post, we’ll configure this bad boy to make its first internal call.

I hope you guys were able to follow along.

Stay tuned!

Journey into Linux (Ubuntu 18.04)

The other day I was fixing my laptop that was running my asterisk setup, it was installed over Fedora it just works so well that I have not bothered to log into for months.

Returning from my trip to Japan trip, I’ve decided to play with it and after a reboot, it never came back to life. I spent the day researching on-line for the solution but was not successful. I’ve decided to rebuild the system but mid-way changed my mind again and instead downloaded Ubuntu server.

Rather than do the old school bare-metal install, went for the usual vm workstation approach. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a great odd feeling getting into the CLI like feeling. Since becoming a solutions architect which entails doing a lot of pre-sales work and number crunching, it has been awhile since I’ve touched a Cisco device apart from the devices I have in my home lab. So installing linux was very refreshing.

This then led me to the idea of creating content despite there are tons out there regarding linux and who have done it for years. At least if you are like me, have decided to get into the journey of (re)-learning Linux particularly Ubuntu server, this is a great opportunity. I still need to figure out if I will create youtube content. It takes (a lot of) time creating YT content for me especially if it entails doing screen captures.

It is a great segway into programming as well like Python that may eventually lead me back into network programmability as what I’ve initially started way back.

So…here we go then.


What is keeping you up?

It is 4am on a cold Friday at the tail end of May here in Brisbane, Australia. I am undecided whether if I should start working out, either to go out the street and do my run or jump into my elliptical or rowing machine to get that blood pumping.

Instead I am right in front of my laptop, typing away a blog. I was reflecting what specifically made me rise this early today despite sleep a little later than a usual. Leaving the office later due to a task that needs sorting within the evening.

I realized this is what some would say having a vision waking you up before your alarm clock. Yes most definitely I would get some blood pumping in a bit but I need to provide more time to get closer to an immediate goal.

That immediate goal is to reach that next level at work. Next level where its time to create and I get to create once I am familiar with the rules of the game.

I remember being on training and there was a team game where a team member would have to guess a hidden word. Where you are given a single clue and you guess the word. Everything to make a guess, your team mates would either respond with Yes, No, Maybe. The rules were simple.

Since I am familiar with the rules, I can be creative by saying “Is the first letter…A? B?” Spelling out each letter of the word until I had enough letters to complete the word.

Pretty much in work at the moment, a totally new environment. Where I am learning everyday and waiting for that point of familiarity, leading me to the next phase which is creativity.

And that’s what is keeping me up. Working hard will eventually lead me to working smarter…..

Delan v2.0

I randomly decided to open my blog site and totally forgot I made a post from last month about designed for greatness. Writing reflections on certain things can truly be life changing and a good reminder of things.

I am now on my 3rd month in the new role. Still learning my way around and days were I tell myself it sucked. But that is completely ok as I have been in this situation so many times in the past. It always suck in the beginning, mistakes will be made, but that’s fine. It is just a sign there’s progress. The moment things becomes “as usual”, for me, I noticed I endanger myself of getting bored and starting to look for something else or challenging.

I just received an email from Janet, Narbik’s wife, informing me that there will be a Microniks bootcamp happening in Brisbane in October 2019. That is just unbelievable! I never thought that wouldn’t happened. Though I was hoping to do a bootcamp in 2020 while I give myself enough time to learn the ropes in the Collaboration space particularly Alcatel Lucent Enterprise. I am praying about it as the opportunity just presented itself in my own turf/city.

We are approaching mid-year and I could say it has been a year of sharpening for me. New role, company, salary cap, learning. Outside work I have intentionally allotted time to play music, heck, I am even contemplating to get some classes.

Speaking of classes, i just enrolled in my first martial arts class. I am taking up Battojutsu. It is amazing to be a student.