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My daily dose of rant & whine !

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) exam

Saturday, February 25, 2006
IBM Linux tutorials for its Linux certification.Registration is free & compulsory to gain access to these tutorials.

Linux Professional Institute (LPI) exam Tutorials

Knoppix:Live CD to the rescue

Saturday, February 18, 2006
Here are two very good articles of using the Knoppix Live CD in a rescue environment.A corrupted MBR,data loss,problems with authentican cause of wrong or forgotten password are just a few example of common problems anyone can face.

But if you have a Live CD of Knoppix(almost any Live CD could be used IMHO but Knoppix being the Godfather in Live CD's both in functionality & hardware detection,makes Knoppix a suitable choice) then with a little knowledge you could get that broken system up & running in a jiffy.
Keeping a hard copy of these two article is highly recommended.

Fixing Linux with Knoppix

Fixing Windows with Knoppix

Market share for Top Servers

Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I was checking with Netcraft for information regarding what a website was running & I stumbled across this news on their website.

Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains August 1995 - February 2006

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VOIP in India Part II

Monday, February 13, 2006
Continued from VOIP in India...

So finally I get a call from SpringTel Voice,Bangalore (at the time of writing the website wasnt opening up,maybe the coders took a leave for valentine's day lol).

It seems if one has to make calls outside of India say for example United States,you'll have to shell out roughly around 4k(for one line) a month for Unlimited calls apart from the Refundable Advance of 5k per line,Installation Charges of 2.5k per line & the travel charges you gotta pay for the Field Engineer who will be coming all the way from Bangalore for the installation in this case.
I've also been told the problems if any can also be rectified remotely from the Internet.Oh btw dont forget to add Linksys PAP2 ATA with 2 phone ports in that list.Phew !

Lemme upload the Chart they sent me to make things a lot more colourful & easier to understand.
Free Image Hosting at ImageShack.us

Incase you want to buy the Linksys PAP2 separately,you could opt for that too & just take their VOIP service.

I've uploaded their brochure incase anyone is interested.You can download it from here

One thing though the guy on the other end of the phone wasnt too keen when I asked him about deploying VOIP for residential customers.Corporate sector please!!
IMO its right on their part too,since to my knowledge way too many complications to provide service offsite.

I'll try getting more info from other providers if possible & get back here.Until then Adieu !

Phishing to a newer level

Sunday, February 12, 2006
Now here is something spooky..

Websense® Security Labs™ has received reports of a new phishing attack, using the brand name of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Users receive a spoofed email that provides a link to the phishing website, which is designed to mimic the Adobe online store. Users are given the option to buy and download Adobe products at substantially discounted rates. The site has links to awards hosted locally, which supposedly prove its veracity. When checking out, the user is prompted for credit card information.

This phishing site is hosted in China and was up at the time of this alert.

Check out the screenshots & other info here


Now you might have read my posts on 3rd party firmware available for Linksys WRT54G,the problem with that is you dont get everything that you want in a single magic firmware.

What I'm trying to say is,a particluar ver of Alchemy firmware might not have extended Port Forwarding options which you might find in the HyperWRT firmware (I've given a example here without checking whether what I've written is true).
The result of this is compromise in features.

But like most things in GNU/Linux,there is a widely explorable solution : OpenWRT

OpenWrt is a Linux distribution for wireless routers. Instead of trying to cram every possible feature into one firmware, OpenWrt provides only a minimal firmware with support for add-on packages. For users this means the ability to custom tune features, removing unwanted packages to make room for other packages and for developers this means being able to focus on packages without having to test and release an entire firmware

I've not not tried personally on my WRT54G,I'm game for this one,but before that I need a bit of reading & understand what I want to achieve through this.
My little experience with flashing firmware tells me to read,read & read & make sure you have all the text material needed incase anything goes wrong.

Caution:A wrongly carried out firmware flash can result in a brick.

You can find more information of OpenWRT from here

VOIP in India ?

Friday, February 10, 2006
I dont know what got me suddenly but yesterday I wanted to know all that is legal & available w.r.t VOIP.So I made a call to Mr.Adil.Doctor who is the Linksys Sales Manager(India) & is located at Cisco Systems Pvt Ltd,Mumbai.

After getting a brief idea about where VOIP is in India he informed me that a call from a VOIP phone to a PSTN/Mobile isnt legal in India.International calling is legal through the calling cards which can be got from Internet Telephony Service Provider such as Phonewala.com.

Although he couldnt provide all the information I was looking for but he has promised he will forward me to someone from the Cisco Bangalore office so that I could get my doubts cleared.

I'm expecting a call sometime this evening.Oh btw this Linksys PAP2 Phone Adapter with 2 ports costs 3.5K !!
Sweet deal considering some of the Sipura 2 port ATA's costing somewhere between 5-7k on ebay.

Update:I recieved a email from Mr.Adil that a authorised dealer of Cisco/Linksys is gonna call me tomorrow.

WiFi for dummies

Thursday, February 09, 2006
An excellent article for people who use Wi-Fi in public places like hotspots & coffee shops.I would highly suggest this to anyone who cares about his privacy,data & security overall.

Wi-Fi for Dummies

Process Explorer 10 released

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
This is a must have program for everyone.ver 10 has just been released.

Head over here for the Changelog as well as more information regarding Process Explorer.

Download ProcessExplorer 10 for 32-bit NT/2K/XP

Hacking the Dlink DSL 502-T router

If any of you own the Dlink DSL 502-T ADSL router then you would love to have a look at some fun things you can know about it.

Hacking the Dlink DSL 502-T

Life as a Linux/Unix admin in a Windows world

Sunday, February 05, 2006
I'm sure Linux/Unix admins will have their say here hehe.

Life as a Linux/Unix admin in a Windows world

Is Your Website Hackable?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Acunetix,a Company which makes Web Security products is offering free security website audit.

" In an effort to stem the fast-growing tide of web application security breaches, Acunetix today announced that it is offering free website security audits to 5,000 enterprise organizations.

The company believes that these audits will prevent hundreds of security breaches that would otherwise have led to valuable customer details, credit card numbers and proprietary corporate data being exposed.

The free security audits will be performed by Acunetix staff using Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner, a comprehensive tool that automatically audits websites for SQL injection, cross site scripting, Google hacking and other vulnerabilities. "

Remember though this is a limited period offer security audit for free.Make sure you apply as soon as possible to get your website(s) audited by them.

Apply for Free Security Audit for your website from here .

Homepage: Acunetix

Cisco Packet Magazine

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Those who are interested in Cisco & its Products,here is their Cisco Systems Technical Users Magazine.Subscription is free.

You can subscribe from here

Back Issues can be downloaded from here

Free One minute call to a landline

Yesterday I came to know of a company (VOIPStunt) which offers free 1 minute call to a landline in select countries.Since I've a few buddies in the States,I decided to give it a try.Anyone using Skype/Gizmo or any other Computer softphone will know that to make calls you need to pay for Outgoing calls to Mobile/Landline.
I had to download their application which btw is still under BETA phase.Upon installation I had to choose a non-existent Username & a password ofcourse.Users who have used Skype or Gizmo will be familiar with this process.

After the validation process was over it was just dialing the number & talk,as simple as that.Ofcourse the call lasts just one minute.If you need more then you gotta pay for their rolled out tariffs.
Oh one small note here,when you call anyone on his/her cellphone,the phone display will just show as "Call" & not display any number(thanks neme aka vivek for informing me about this).

The voice clarity isnt superior & a second or two lag was throughout the call.

You might say whats the fuss about this free one minute call,well I feel if you were here in India where VOIP has yet to make inroad & calling someone who stays for example in the United States,then this one minute call really helps :)

RAID for the noob

Here are a couple of links for RAID:Redundant array of independent(sometimes also called inexpensive) disks.