Randy Cannon: Computer Science Information

Randy Cannon’s Virtual LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) AKA The Freenet


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Randy Cannon calls for the liberation of communication and information; let freedom ring! Let the hills be made low as the satellites rise and orbit the skies, and let the silicon valleys be exalted in the age of information. The geek shall inherit the earth and Randy Cannon welcomes the day when information flows free without restrictions of private and government organizations controlling the means of communications. Bring on the Freenet!

Some developers have created and continue to work on systems that allow people to communicate with smartphone applications that use each other as routers to transmit and receive messages like the following:

Serval Mesh from The Serval Project http://www.servalproject.org/

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Firechat from Open Garden http://opengarden.com/home/

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Commotion Android https://commotionwireless.net/

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These are a few examples but there are many more organizations and communities pushing towards the liberation of communication and information. For far too long, giant telecommunication companies have controlled the flow of communication to the point where government had to step in for regulation to break up the monopoly of AT&T, Ma Bell System in the early 1980s. Now the flow of information has been further restricted and compromised by the FCC and other branches of the Federal government and sometimes in conjunction with private corporations. This has pushed for various movements to give the power of communication back to the people through open source technology. Randy Cannon wants to be a part of this movement of creating Freenet, a network that does not depend on government or privately controlled infrastructure. Even now, regulation exists, to further control routing devices that would allow people to control their routers using open source firmware like dd-wrt and open-wrt. These devices allow anyone who would care to do so the ability to set up wifi hotspots to share Internet access for free or for profit or to create access to their very own private server for whatever purpose they choose. In fact, a few developers have already created such systems using the micro circuit board computer called the Raspberry PI:

Raspberry Pi: https://www.raspberrypi.org/

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PirateBox: https://piratebox.cc/

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LibraryBox: http://librarybox.us/

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Randy Cannon has been working on his latest project in the past few weeks of creating an ad-hoc, wireless mesh, wordpress intranet on a computer with a i686 processor using VirtualBox and a 300Mbps Paud6 Panda Wireless adapter with an attached 2.4GHz 8dBi Indoor Omni-directional Antenna for starters. Randy Cannon has faced some challenges in this project of finding the right Linux distribution for the job. Of course, the tools of Apache, MySQL, and PHP are easily installed on any Linux distro, that has not necessarily been the problem. Randy Cannon has experimented with a few distros including, CentOs using MariaDB instead of MySQL, the latest version of Ubuntu, the latest version of Debian, Jessie, and today, Randy Cannon has been researching the possibilities of using Gentoo, Linux From Scratch, and Slackware Linux, which was installed today for testing. The project calls for using Apache2 as the web server for the WordPress setup, MySQL, for the database server, hostapd for the access point, and DNSmasq for routing all incoming traffic to the localhost wordpress website.

Randy Cannon used the command line to set up the system with success but experienced some setbacks with directory permissions. WordPress was easily enough to install but would not write to some directories without changing permissions to 777 and then back to 755. Today, Randy Cannon took a different approach and installed webmin for the graphical user interface approach to see if the software would behave any differently. This was before going to sleep a 6:30AM so the development has not yet been tested at the time of this writing. Randy Cannon will test to see how the system operates once it is migrated from the virtualbox on the developing station to the virtualbox on the testing station this Monday.

Another setback involved establishing a connection to the access point. Randy Cannon used Hostapd to establish an access point primarily on Centos and the ssid was visible on the testing client device which was an LGMS659 running Android version 4.1.2. Although the AP was visible, the phone would not connect. Randy Cannon suspects it could be the configuration of dnsmasq as it ran into some dependency issues during the installation on Centos, the panda wireless adapter, the phone. Next, Randy Cannon will attempt to connect using a different device and review the configuration before switching out wireless adapters. Randy Cannon may also use a different Linux distribution if the system on the current hardware doesn’t measure up to standards. Some of the problems faced were due to the fact that Centos version 7 does not yet have epel repository developed by Fedora for the I386/I686 so Randy Cannon may have to switch to an older version of Centos, or find another way to fix the dependency issues. Perhaps at a later time but for testing purposes, Randy Cannon will use a different distribution for the sake of saving time.

All in all, it’s been fun testing the different distros and services finding resolves. The intranet will eventual serve as a way for people to communicate by sharing pictures, music, videos, and conversations offline, with no internet connection whatsoever.

If you would like such a system for your organization once Randy Cannon gets this setup, Randy Cannon will post the copy of the virtual disk image for a fee so you can just download, plug and play. Of course, if you want customization, give Randy Cannon a call for a quote at (213) 537-3363. Download this flyer for a 25% discount of Randy Cannon’s hourly rate:

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Long Beach Job Corps


April 3, 2016
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