Archive for 2011

Getting hands wet with a Social Media Application with PHP

As directed by my Todolist powered by Zoho Sheet, today I was making a small application in a non-profit non-governmental community page for 'National Do Not Call Registry'. The objectives of this application are below:
  1. Collect the telemarketing incident details and their calling numbers, victim's name, email and phone number.
  2. Prepare the report in a standard form. 
  3. Send the same to telephone operator and register in our database. Here there is a Catch-22 situation that I have described in the utility itself as a 'Data Handling Policy'. Hence I am not sending an email but just copying the standard format to your clipboard which you can send to your telephone operator.
Technical Details:
  1. The utility contains two pages one that is hyperlinked from within Facebook Developer page. It does the preliminary handshake with the Facebook and then opens our reporting page.
  2. The reporting page does all the hard-work like collecting the details and preparing the report and sending the same.
  3. Please note that the canvas page in Facebook would require a SSL URL mandatory after October 1 2011. Currently the application does not use SSL URLs. 
You can access the application in two ways:
  1. Deepak Labs 
  2. On the left hand side of 'National Do Not Call Registry' community page you should see a link called 'Report Telemarketer' to invoke this utility.
Feel free to use the application and share with me your comments on the same.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

PhpCredentials -- As a fork of Php Passmanager

Today just uploaded the first draft of files for 'Php Credentials' to Sourceforge. You can have a sneak preview of the same here. Some of the salient features of this application are:

  1. Built on the proven engine of Php Password Manager
  2. No need to remember another separate master password and to key in every time you enter your passwords.
  3. Does not depend on an external source of protection for the application and comes with its own login scheme. (Inspired by Keepass desktop tool). You only need to remember the login/password for the application and other authentication credentials are managed by the application for you.
  4. Simple Technology: PHP 5.3.2, MySQL 5.1 and Apache 2.0 [Opensource Combination]. 
  5. Whilst the application's own password is stored and hashed in the database your custom passwords are stored in a strong 3DES.
Check out the same and send me your views and comments for further improvements.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

An appreciation from OpenDNS

I would like to share the happiness of being featured in this week's interview with OpenDNS blogs -- 'Five Questions with Deepak Vasudevan'. I have also compiled the blog publication as a slideshow along with this note here:


Saturday, July 23, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

A 'Gentle Touch' command in C#

In Unix world we have a command called 'touch' which when invoked on the file updates the timestamp of the file to the current timestamp. I just thought would share a quick implementation of the same in C# for the benefit of beginners in .NET.  Check out the source implementation here.

Currently this supports only a single file. 

Things to do:
  1. Recursive touch of files and folderswhen invoked on a directory. If you are interested to contribute let me know and I can add you as a co-member of the Sourceforge project.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

My Desktop is Powered by LxDe


The illustration of 'X' in LXDE becomes like a lightening making L and D to sparkle bright and make a colorful environment.
Sunday, July 03, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

A Test Run of Opera Browser on my Ubuntu


A few people could remember that way back my mobile used to powered by Opera Mini browser.  Other than the Unicode limitation the normal websites have a powerful acceleration without giving a pressing load on my CPU.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

Hot Summer and Hotter Award from Symantec

My humble passionate contributions to Symantec forums community has been awarded with yet another award in the form of Amazon Gift Certificate. I am delighted to share this glad news with everyone. It just came in today via email.


24 Jun 2011$15 US Amazon.com Certificateshipped24 Jun 2011Email
Friday, June 24, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

Fun with Java Update

Oracle is trying to push some strange update for the past two months in the system which only meets this error. I am not sure why aren't they able to even correct this issue in the subsequent fixes. Big names but cheap products as there is a Hindi saying!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

Windows Server 2008 R2 -- Another Vista (Pig with a lipstick?)



For some reason, Windows Server 2008 R2 derives a sadistic pleasure in terminating non-MS applications when common Windows controls like File -> Open, File -> Save are being accessed. The most closest trace I found was the default location it was choosing like 'Favorites'. I reported this to Bugzilla (Mozilla) and they found out that the culprit was Windows and not Firefox.  Reported this to MS through forums. No responsible fix till now.
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

Safer Browsing Practices -- Make Your Browser To Prompt Download Location

I would prefer the recommended option in Download would be 'Always ask me where to save files' in Firefox instead of 'Save Files To'. That way I always know what is coming into my system and hence I can be sure that my system is not compromised with malware and/or hijacked by unknown persons.

It does take a couple of more clicks but it pays to pave a strong security for the computer. This screen is from Firefox 4.0.1.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

Internet Clearing Houses

I just thought would share a couple of words about a few Internet Clearing Houses which helps us to stay safe online.

Phishtank: (http://www.phishtank.com/) is a service from OpenDNS. It helps us to stay away from Phishing websites.

Norton SafeWeb: (http://safeweb.norton.com/) is  a service from Symantec which helps us to identify bad websites so that we don't visit them infecting our computers.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

Cloud-based security


These days the most talked about term in every enterprise is cloud-computing and living on the clouds. However we need to ensure a few things in this cloud-era:
  1. Safety
  2. Security
  3. Reliability
Do we have these three musketeers always with us when we dial-in to the Internet and go online? How many times we have installed a new Windows computer, been online for a few hours and then found with an installed version of Antivirus/Antispyware tool which complains that there have been a few privacy infringing third-party tracker cookies on the light end or an extreme case of financial information/identify theft to a rogue website.
Though we can have the right antivirus software loaded we also need to ensure its patterns are updated. One more level of good security is to have DNS level  protection. There are a few services like OpenDNS, Norton DNS, ScrubIt which provides the following advantages:
  1. Rogue sites are automatically blocked for you. Since your name server is the only which guides you a route to a website and if that blocks a harmful website without letting the address you are not in any way left the way to fall in burning fire of hell.
  2. Unlike a few ISPs they have old DNS software that they do not update frequently and/or also have only a few DNS servers which are often overloaded at peak times, these expert specialised DNS services have name servers scattered across data centers throughout the globe. 
    If one name server fails in a data center the next one some where in other part of the world automatically assumes its roles and starts to protect you.

How to configure and use it?
Just set the DNS of your computer to the name servers given by that service and the next launch of the web browser would escort your journey in the internet superhighway with the security expertise of the experts.
Also read our Ubuntu/DNS-O-Matic script over here.
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
Tag :

Blogdrive Downloader ...

Blogdrive is a cool blog platform for novices and beginners. I have started to blog there around 2001 and then went ahead to diversify my blogs across Google Blogger and Wordpress. Whilst it endeavours to fulfil most of the bloggers' needs a few advanced features like 'Bulk Import', 'Bulk Export' when you want to backup the blog and restore it etc are amiss. This has been confirmed in a Wordpress forum too where people suggest to use Moveable Type format as an intermediate.  I have also briefly explained about this my new travelog over here.

The other way what I could suggest though a bit rudimentary would be to use the archive URL and download the contents to your local storage. A quick lines of code for the same using PHP would be as below:

Please note that I am using a system command called 'wget' to download the remote file. This is a built-in command for (Ubuntu) Linux and also the path format is a typical Unix. This is just a startup idea. There are a lot of things to improve that you can do and help yourself:


  • If it is a 404 error page you can filter out the file from being preserved in the local path.

    HINT: I think 404 page would not have the normal contents but 'Hello Mister' as one of the strings.
  • A nice GUI with a progress bar perhaps using PHP GTK :)




  $blogdriveBaseURL = "http://yourblogdriveurl.blogdrive.com/";
  $howmanyposts = 400; //You can get this from your dashboard
  $localpathtosave = "/home/lavanyadeepak/Desktop/blogdrive/"; //Local Path where you want to save the contents

  for ($j=0;$j<=$howmanyposts;$j++)
  {
     echo "Downloading post $j
";
     $downloadcommand = "wget --quiet -O $localpathtosave$j.html $blogdriveBaseURL$j.html";
     shell_exec($downloadcommand);
     echo "Download of $j complete
";
  }

  echo "All downloads complete. Thank you for using Blogdrive Downloader
";
?>
Saturday, June 04, 2011
Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

A Sizzling Summer Reward from Symantec ...

My humble passionate contributions to Symantec forums community has been awarded with yet another award in the form of Amazon Gift Certificate. I am delighted to share this glad news with everyone.

Perhaps it is a blissful gesture from Symantec and the Almighty to start a bright shiny rewarding jubilant, exhilarating and exciting Summer ahead!

Check out the status from Symantec Rewards Redemption Page here:


02 Jun 2011$15 US Amazon.com Certificateshipped02 Jun 2011Email


Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

Cloud-based Cross-Platform IP Address Updater for OpenDNS/DNS-O-Matic

When I moved from Windows to Ubuntu one issue I was facing with OpenDNS lack of an automatic IP address updater for Unix platforms. They do point to a ddclient utility but I wasn't comfortably able to configure it on my box. Hence I sat down to wrote a few lines of PHP code which can be used in either of the following ways:
  1. Through PHP_CLI commandline (and thus you can add it to the startup scripts in /etc/init.d)
  2. Most of the Unix installations have Apache PHP built-in. You can have this scripts in one of the aliased directories, have them bookmarked as home page in your browser. So when you launch the web browser your IP address automatically gets committed to OpenDNS catalog through DNS-O-Matic.
Note: OpenDNS takes three minutes to propagate the changes to the account to all related caching servers.  Hence in this period websites that do not fall within the context of your block settings may be browse-able on your system.
The PHP script to auto-update DNS-0-Matic (and hence OpenDNS) account (You only need to make changes in line numbers 2 and 3. You can download autoupdate.php from Sourceforge at this URL.


    Saturday, May 21, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Maverick Meerkat to Natty Narwhal on my Virtualbox

    Just yesterday Ubuntu 11.04 (Codenamed as 'Natty Narwhal') got released. I had my Virtualbox upgraded to the same. See the screenshot  below.

    [Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal]
    The upgrade is little heavy and it has its own desktop environment called Unity. But because of Virtualbox hardware Ubuntu automatically chose to boot with Classic Environment.
    Friday, April 29, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    A Tamil New Year Gift from Symantec Connect

    The Kara Tamil New Year gift in the form of Amazon Gift Certificate seeded from my humble contributions to the Symantec community has just come in.  You can find the update from Symantec Rewards Redemptions page over here:


    26 Apr 2011$15 US Amazon.com Certificateshipped26 Apr 2011Email
    Tuesday, April 26, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Ubuntu Terminal Server 'Auto-Connect' drives me crazy ...

    In Ubuntu tsclient when you disconnect from the terminal server and/or it is disconnected it again tries to connect by itself. This can  be annoying at sometimes when you want to hangup the VPN connection. Whilst browsing the Ubuntu kb, I found that this had gathered a lot of interest amongst co-Ubuntu users too. Check out http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/idea/1035/.

    A quick and working workaround for the issue is open the appropriate .TSC file from your home folder and add the following line:

    reconnect_policy: never

    Now it should not bug you in auto-connecting till Ubuntu releases a patch for this bug.

     

    Sunday, April 10, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Blogilo -- Another desktop blogging client

    This is the followup of Scribefire discussion. If your desktop session has KDE tools you should be having Blogilo too. Or you can quickly install it from your repository.

    Blogilo

    Saturday, April 09, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Scribefire -- Chrome Extension Desktop Blogging Client

    On a truly cloud computing spree when your web browser is the one stop window to the world, ScribeFire is a surestop resource that you would like to empower your Google Chrome with. It is a browser-based desktop blogging client. Originally for Firefox this is a new port for Google Chrome.

    For those non-Windows users not able to use Live Writer, I think this is a very attractive proposal to blog from the comfort of their desktop without ALT+TABbing to another application.

    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Interesting Text Editor in XFCE Ubuntu


    Whilst playing around with my XFCE desktop environment of Ubuntu I just observed an interesting name called 'Mousepad' in the programs. When I started the same, it turned out to be a simple text editor like Notepad. Just thought would share this amusing finding with others too.
    Sunday, March 27, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    XFCE -- Smart Cute Light-weight Desktop in my Ubuntu


    Today I was doing a little maintenance on the system and set up XFCE in lieu of KDE which is fairly heavy with unneeded components.  In the process I kicked off the KDE daemon which resulted in the system turning to commandline mode. Slowly groped through the dark and rebooted it to get XFCE to the fore-front.

    Saturday, March 26, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Java complete in my Ubuntu ...

    After a lot of struggle got Java installed on my Ubuntu. The catch is that by default Java is not allowed directly in my Ubuntu. I need to enable partner repository in Ubuntu Software Center and only then Java was displayed to be installed besides Java plugin for all browsers.


    Wednesday, March 09, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    From when Visual Studio started treating 200 OK as Http Errors?

    From when Visual Studio started treating 200 OK as Http Errors?

    Recently I encountered a strange error dialog in Visual Studio TFS. All of a sudden it threw a messagebox that that it encountered a 200 OK from the server. :) See attachment. The other day I had fiddler open in my system and I could see web service requests carrying checkin/checkouts of the files from Visual Studio.

    It is really excellent that Microsoft is extending patronage and embracing an Open XML format for Visual Studio too.
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
    Tag :

    Gnome or KDE?

    After a lengthy debate and debacle with KDE I have reverted my system configuration to GNOME which seems to be practically good and productive for my purpose. KDE is all the more good but power-packed with services and utilities which I do not get to use at the moment.

    And I also want to share one thing. One of my friend who is new to Linux but got inspired by the simplicity and elegance of it always gets confuses between Ubuntu and Kubuntu. I would like to clarify. Ubuntu and Kubuntu are two flavors of Debian Linuxes. GNome and KDE are the desktop environments. Trust this makes things clearer and cleaner.
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    A 'Segmentation Fault' with KDE...


    An interesting error message whilst removing the unnecessary packages in bulk from KPackageKit. Recalls my C Programming the college days. 'Segmentation fault. Core dumped'.

    Saturday, March 05, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    My new KDE Screenshot

    I had replaced my Ubuntu desktop with a KDE environment because that is more light-weight, cheerful, enticing and creatively productive. Just thought would share the screenshot of my KDE-powered desktop here:


    Friday, March 04, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Which city in India is best for hosting Tech.Ed

    This is a quick response to MSDN India's query on the Facebook campaigning for particular cities which are most best candidates to host the premier technology event of the year 'Tech-Ed'. Without doubts we would all like to vote 'Bangalore' (aka) 'Bengaluru'. Also dubbed as 'Silicon Valley of Asia Pacific' I am sure Bangalore has the best in store with respect to the events. A few good points on why Bangalore should be the most impressive candidate are the following:
    1. International ports and good transportation system for ease of access.
    2. Premier software houses in and around the city which thus would give a good helping hand for everyone to attend and get benefitted.
    3. A better known geography for anyone to get adapted.
    I hence thought just would share this view and polling to support Bangalore as a best candidate for Tech Ed 2011. Even for first time people who visit Bangalore for Tech-Ed it also offers a lot of general non-technical tourist attractions besides the ease of locating anything in the city.

    Hence beyond doubts our votes for most admired and most coveted city for Tech-Ed would go to 'Bangalore.
    Friday, February 25, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    My Ubuntu has a love for LavanyaDeepak (ld)...

    One cute thing I observed with my Ubuntu (and in general Linux) is that the most commonly used and significant program 'ld' and 'ldconfig'. Whenever you install/deploy a package you would get the message like

    'ldconfig deferred processing now taking place'.

    Today as part of my gcc (GNU C) explorations and trying to recall my college day C programming when I tried something I got the following error from the compiler:


    lavanyadeepak@LavanyaDeepak:~/Downloads$ gcc a.c
    /tmp/ccRQQLcH.o: In function `main':
    a.c:(.text+0x11): undefined reference to `println'
    collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
    Sunday, February 20, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    A beautiful Unix calendar 2011 in terminal



    I was playing around my Ubuntu terminal and just recalled my DEC Unix experience during my college days. Just thought of sharing the cute one line command that draws the calendar for any specific month of year.

    A simple 'cal 2011' draws a calendar like the one illustrated in the screenshot attached in this post.
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Auto-reconnect feature of Terminal Server Viewer in Ubuntu

    In Ubuntu if by error the terminal server disconnects it gives an elegant reconnection dialog giving a wait time dialog that normally counts up to thirty seconds as in the dialog below.


    This should actually help typically when rebooting the remote box. Instead of we waiting for the other box to come  up and periodically sending ICMP ping packets this takes care of the onus.

    Saturday, February 12, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    From CAD to CAE...

    My work desktop is Windows Server 2008 R2. My home desktop is Ubuntu Linux 10.04. When I connect via Openconnect and remote desktop to work, the frequent keys that I needed to use nowadays is CTRL+ALT+ENTER. This keystroke is a signal to Ubuntu Remote Desktop Viewer to toggle full screen options.

    A variant of the third key (DELETE) is an indicative to Windows to signal the SAM Security Manager to attract its attention. By default, the RDP viewer does not have a maximize restore option to full screen in Ubuntu. You ought to use the CAE option to avail the same.
    Friday, February 11, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    Fedora installation names and abbreviates my 'lavanyadeepak' very cute ...

    My installation of Fedora linux with the default system name as 'lavanyadeepak' seems to be creating interesting abbreviations. Just thought would share this along here.
    Friday, January 21, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    SuSe Linux Installation reminds me of the new SQLServer 2008 Installation Screen

    The newer SuSE Linux installation screen with its left bar indicating the components and the right hand side the various actions reminds me of the SQL Server 2008's integrated installation screen of the various components. Just thought I would share this observation along.
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan
    Tag : ,

    The Three-Fingered Salute which starts a timer for me


    This is what appears in my system when I press CTRL+ALT+DELETE. Ubuntu seems to be helping the users to auto-shutdown in a minute if no action is chosen by the user within the stipulated period.
    Saturday, January 15, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

    How to disable automatic screen locking in Ubuntu?

    My default operating system through Virtual Box is Ubuntu 10 LTS. The catch is that when I work on host Windows for a while and ALT+Tab to my Virtual Box it gets locked and I have to  unlock. The simplest way of disabling the automatic locking is through the screensaver panel that is available from System -> Preferences Menu as illustrated in the screenshot below.

    Tuesday, January 04, 2011
    Posted by Deepak Vasudevan

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