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Originally uploaded by fox2mike.
Like teemus said, after watching F1 on TV since 1999, I'll be in Malaysia over the weekend for this year's GP. Awesome. And yeah, I blew up some money on Grandstand seats right on the start-finish straight.

Looking forward to doing some catching up with teemus and code_martial there.

Sepang, here I come :D


Time really does fly :) Turned 24 on March 24th and the weekend was a blast. Spent the Saturday lazing and stepping out in the evening for some "exploration", photos and some awesome Turkish/Arabic food. Had Falafel after almost 12 years!!!. Thanks to everyone who wished via Phone/Email/Orkut/IM. Sunday was spent with friends and had a blast. Had been to the Jurong Bird Park a few weeks earlier and tons of photos are now up on Flickr...so thought I'd post a few I liked the most here :

Moon and Minaret

Somehow, the feeling that these birds aren't free is still playing on my mind. They're well cared for, probably better than most places in the world, but it's freedom that is above everything else I guess.

Have a few things to write about...so I guess I'll be making a few posts in the near future.

Another Trio

With the latest first :

300 : In one word, awesome. The tale of King Leonidas and 300 of his finest men defending Sparta against the great Persian King, Xerxes. Managed to catch the last show of the first day and it was worth it. The graphics are excellent, the film is a little gory at times. It's a story well told and a battle brilliantly depicted. The score is quite modern, but very nice. Found some of the beasts quite unrealistic , but that's that. Go watch this.

Dreamgirls : Pretty normal Harold Robbins kind of story about 3 girls who dream big and finally realise their dreams. I personally liked the music and the movie on the whole, but nothing too special. A nice one nevertheless, good performances by Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and the n00b Oscar winner, Jennifer Hudson.

Ghost Rider : Blah. I wonder why Cage took the role, to be honest. There's nothing in the movie, the story is straight and well, apart from the graphics there really is nothing. I think this one is purely for the comic book fans. Not worth wasting time in the theatre on this one.

More Movies

I'm planning to see quite a few movies this year...let's see how that goes :)

Managed to watch my first chinese movie today (with English sub-titles), called Protégé. I liked it and it's a story about an undercover cop in Hong Kong who's trying to bust on of the major heroin suppliers in Hong Kong. How he manages to do it while seeing how drugs destroy people is what that movie is about. Very well made and apart from a few slow scenes, the movie was quite fast paced and thrilling.

The second one was Mel Gibson's Apocalypto. Very well made, very nice, extremely gory and that is one of the reasons why this won't be approved for screening in India (and there are others as well). The movie is completely set in the Mayan Age about how people had to fight to survive. It's about one man, Jaguar Paw fighting to save his lineage from extinction. It is so authentic, that there is not a single word in English. Thrilling but again, quite gory. If you're someone who can't stand blood/gore, don't bother watching the movie.

It's Chinese New Year today...and everything here will be closed :) Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Originally uploaded by fox2mike.
And so we were heading back home from work by taxi and I managed to snap this beauty on the road :)

A couple of days later, I saw a red Spider 360 convertible on the same road, but didn't have the cam with me.

Oh well.

Life's been good (and busy) on the whole, tons of new pics up at http://flickr.com/photos/fox2mike/


Blood Diamond

I think this is one very well made movie about conflict diamonds. It actually shows the struggles of Africa, the civil wars, the greed which turns people into killing machines, the many million child soldiers in Africa and other issues. Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly (though in a limited capacity) deliver power packed performances. In the end, you leave the hall thinking that if you ever buy a diamond, you're going to make sure it isn't a conflict diamond.

Sort of a documentary (good amounts of information), but very well made. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and the ending is quite nice.

Night at the Museum

Another well made movie. Honestly, I wasn't too interested in going to see this one, but went for one reason - Ben Stiller and boy, I'm glad I did. It's a very well made story, nice comedy, overall a very good and enjoyable movie.

Kabul Express

More of a documentary of sorts. But then again, nicely made, good dialogues and scenes. Never a boring moment but had a predictable ending. Worth a watch for sure.

Sky on Fire

Sky on Fire
Originally uploaded by fox2mike.
I was in Bangalore for my parents 25th wedding anniversary and got a few sunset shots from the terrace. Rest of them in the set.


j3 degrees
Originally uploaded by fox2mike.
Very nice Jazz music, heard/saw/photographed them at Esplanade where they performed yesterday. For the rest of their snaps, clicky!.

There was a nice visual arts exhibition going on as well titled As it is...


In other news, got myself a Flickr Pro account, so expect a lot more photos :)

And before I forget, wish you all a very happy and wonderful 2007!


Originally uploaded by fox2mike.
Splurged on a Nikon D70s and the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D along with the Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro lenses.

Fun. More pics soon!

Misha and Natalya

Misha and Natalya
Originally uploaded by fox2mike.
Self explanatory, isn't it? :D Misha's on the left and Natalya is on the right. They're both awesome.


If you've not registered yet, now would be a good time to do so. Clicky for the lazy ones ;) As always, there are a good mix of talks and I'll be trying to peek into a few apart from helping setup the event network and other general organizing work. I'm specially looking forward to meeting people. Bangalore, here I come!

Bond, James Bond

If you're a Bond fan, go watch Casino Royale like NOW.

Awesome. Easily one of the best Bond flicks to date. And whatever doubts I ever had about Daniel Craig filling in for Brosnan were totally unfounded. He's da man. He'll rank alongside Brosnan if not higher when he's done playing Bond.

I'd love to review the movie, but time + work + lots of other things are in the way, so shall do it later :)

For now, James Bond is surely back. Go watch the movie.

Testing frank the bot

This is a test post via Gaim. I think I absolutely love this feature.

In SingLand

Yup, I made it in one piece to Singapore :) Seems the IC flight from BLR - SIN is usually the one having all the problems, the one I flew left Bangalore 2.5 hours late and caused a good number of people to miss their connecting flights from Changi.

The first few days were a daze, nice hotel room, new smells and sights (photos shall follow later). Moved into the condo towards the end of the first week and love the place as well.

Office is on the 34th floor, giving us a fairly good view of Sentosa Island and surrounding areas.

Singapore is better than I last saw it in 1990 (obviously), the public transport systems are just fabulous (I'm a sucker for MRT systems and I love the ones in Madras just as much). Little India is aptly named, you'll find a copy of India there on weekends...tons of Indians in a place :)

Since Tamil is one of the official languages and also since quite a few people know the language here, I find myself using it quite often. Yay!

Yet to do some sightseeing, since work has been generally on the tighter side. Have been jogging and swimming and yes, it does feel good to have some regular exercise.

My T630 phone locked here and Sony said they can't do anything without losing my data. If you'd like to keep in touch, please leave your number here, I'll add you to my phone book. Comments are screened.

PS : Felt very homesick for an hour a few days back. Wanted to head back home...but the feeling passed, things are much better now.

PPS : Oh yeah, Schumi won the Chinese GP :D Awesome race, managed to watch it all live here and enjoyed every moment of it. Nice to see a sulky Alonso, I'm sure I'll see more of that next season when his McLaren doesn't finish races ;)


Life Updates, as promised

Okay, so a lot has been going on in life since July....and I guess it's time to update you all about the same.

I'd planned to join Portland State University to do my Masters this fall. Everything was fine until the visa officer at the American Consulate in Chennai saw that I was born in Dubai and had spent 12 years of my childhood there...reason enough for them to push my application into "additional adminstrative processing". Did someone say something about man proposing and god disposing?

Anyway, I was told that the processing will take upto 4 weeks and if it does extend beyond that, I'll need to check the website to see my status. It has been well beyond 4 weeks, still no status change and basically, I'm not going to be able to make it this fall.

In the meanwhile, I was offered a job with Ness Technologies at Singapore & after a wee bit of thinking, I decided to head to Singapore, since my US visa is just sitting for now.

I'm leaving for Singapore tomorrow night. Yeah, slightly short notice and a lot of things need to be sorted out before I leave. I'll be there for at least a year, if not more & am so looking forward to a lot of things, like the Malaysian GP 2007 as well as maybe a trip to Australia or atleast a few SE Asia trips (Cambodia, Thailand...)

I have less than 48 hours to leave and I've not started packing. Oh and if you're in/around Singapore, do drop in your details, I'll screen the post, try to call/meet up when I get there. Same applies to folks transiting through Singapore (I'm sure there'll be quite a few).

Oh and I've met a lot of wonderful folks in the last 6 months at HCL EAI. You all know who you are, thanks for everything and I'll miss all of you.

You'll be sorely missed...

The moment he crossed the finish line, he didn't celebrate as much as he always does. The moment the race was over, Jean Todt was almost in tears. The moment he got out of the car, he was subdued, but made it a point to go over to almost every cluster of Ferrari team members and hug/shake hands with them. He didn't jump on the podium until he received his trophy. And just when the anthems started, he probably told Kimi (he spoke a few words in his ear) "The next year, I'd like to see you on the top step at Monza."

And then Micheal Schumacher just when into the press conference and in his new "drift off the question" style, announced that he was leaving Formula 1 for good at the end of the season.

God damn it. He could have been there for one more year. First Agassi and now Schumi. I've always wanted to see Agassi play a grand slam match and Schumi in an F1 race. Neither of that is going to happen now.

Bye Schumi, F1 will never be the same without you. And when you leave, take the championship since no one deserves it as much as you do.

Lots of life updates in the pipeline, will let you all know in a day or two.

Andre! Andre!

I just want Andre Agassi to go on and win this year's US Open. And then retire in style. Long shot, but if he could take out Baghdatis, anything's possible.

Go Andre. Show them who the boss is :)

PS : I woke up early to see the match. Was surely worth it.


Wow, what a race. I guess it ended up being fair to both Schumi and Alonso in funny ways...with both of them being penalised before the start.and then both of them adding nothing to their respective tallies. Since Kubica was disqualifed, both Schumi and Ferrari scored points.

Did nothing much over the weekend.

Oh and yeah, OpenTTD is nice.


Die VxWorks, Die!!!

A couple of months back, I brought a Linksys WRT54G v5 wireless router. The v5 was the latest back then, and the v5 also means, you weren't able to flash the firmware (back then *snicker*).

Everything was fine for 2 weeks, and then one fine day, the router just stopped working. Cisco being all rich and mighty, just decided to replace my router. Yay, good for me. One more week later, the second new one was gone. Dead in the middle of the night when there were no power fluctuations or anything. I was quite pissed off and wanted a different brand. In the meanwhile, I got the power adapter checked and found out the adapter was blown. Ah, so that was the culprit. Got a new adapter and the router worked fine with that. Turns out that Cisco or their support personnel don't care to even check if the router is bad or the adapter is bad...you're just given a new piece. Oh and I already know of 4 other people who had similar issues with the v5's power adapter.

Right, having ranted about that above, Versions of the WRT54G until v5, were all running Linux on them. This meant that you could flash the router and install better software on it like OpenWRT or DD-WRT. When Cisco bought out Linksys, they also ensured that there was only one opensource model, the WRT54GL and that too only available in the US (off the website(s)). The rest of their lineup would run VxWorks, which is what my v5 came with.

A while back zoneee pointed me to the Vxworkskiller link on DD-WRT and then proceeded to successfully flash the only v5 we have at work...and was needling me to give it a shot...so yeah, my v5 has now been running DD-WRT v23-micro for the last 13 hours or so without any issues. Yay.

w0000t for DOS Games

Well, back in 1994, when I got my first ever Creative Multimedia set..it was a big deal. Having a 2x CDROM Drive was an even bigger deal. Along with that pack, came a set of nice games (didn't realise they were nice until quite a few years later). One of the CDs was a combo pack of Syndicate, an awesome strategy + rule the world sort of game based in the future, Strike Commander, about which I've written before, Wing Commander II : Vengeance of the Kilrathi which was a space based game and finally a Diablo style game called Ultima III.

Cutting a long story short, I actually managed to finish WC2 & Strike Commander (somewhere in 1997-98-99) and Syndicate in May 2000 (I know because I've actually written this down in the game manual. I have got to be nuts.).

The other day, on #gentoo-dev (freenode), someone brought up Syndicate. I think it was robbat2 and a couple of us joined in....and well..ferringb pointed me to dosbox. And the rest as they say is history.

I dug out my 12 year old Creative CD, copied stuff off it and am now playing Syndicate (sadly Strike Commander won't work for some silly reason) and have plans to play WC2 again. Finally I can play Transport Tycoon without having to reboot. Finally I got my hands on Fire and Ice for which I've roamed the Internet since 1998 (and then forgot about it till today), after I lost my only working copy.

In this age of Doom 3 and Half-Life 2....I'm quite content playing good old DOS games. It makes for a nice change. Amazing to see the amount of work that went into these games as far back as 1991 (Origin brought out WC2 in 1991) and SC as well as Syndicate were 1993 releases.

fugney, I know you're not the violent types, but you should take a look at Syndicate. And surely Transport Tycoon (I guess you would have, already).

Off to play now, and then catch up on Germany Vs Italy.

Sporty Weekend

1) England Vs Ecuador : All I can say is blah. England know they're not playing as well as they can (Beckham said so himself, post-match) and yesterday...they just scraped through. If they're going to play like this...they're going out. I so want them to win this time. Let's hope the pick their game up a few notches. Beckham scoring off a free-kick with his precision was something nice to watch, after a long time.

2) Canadian GP : Missed the first 10 laps or so because of Football. Actually, forgot there was a GP going on. I think this was a really exciting race. Everyone was having braking issues and sliding around, touching walls and whatnot. Thanks to Ralf and good ole Jacques as well as Kimi, Schumi managed to go up to 2nd place. Yay. It was fun to see some really close overtaking. Nice. More F1 analysis in a seperate post.

3) Portugal Vs Netherlands : If you missed this match, you've missed the most violent match in a Fifa World Cup in recent history. Stupid players (on both sides), Stupidest of refs. "Fair play" that Fifa is so particularly interested in promoting was one of the things that were non existant in the match (mostly in the second half) apart from a goal for Netherlands. Everyone was diving, acting and whatnot and cards were flying all over the place. It's a pity that Netherlands didn't convert any of their good chances into a goal...and so it will be England Vs Portugal in the Quarters with Portugal unable to play Costinha and Deco since they're both suspended and a host of other players including Luis "Give him an Oscar damnit!!!" Figo with yellow cards. That said, Maniche's goal was a real beauty and Van Der Sar as well as Ricardo made a couple of really awesome saves.

Ah well, the World Cup is truly alive and kicking now :)

Awwwww. Damn.

Andre "Kickarse" Agassi will retire from Tennis after this year's Wimbledon and US Open. I still remember the days he used to play in denim shorts heh. Yet another tennis great shall move on.

I'm sad already. I've been an Agassi fan for I don't know how long...

For more info : http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/5113046.stm

A trek to Kumaraparvatha

About 2 weeks back, theju, rattle_snake and myself had been on a trek to Kumaraparvatha (called KP in short). The last time I'd been on a trek was sometime in 1998 and the last time I was physically fit was I don't really remember when. Sucketh.

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My legs and thighs hurt till about Thursday or so :D. Overall, we really enjoyed the experience and the rest of the pictures are up at http://xinetd.accosted.net/gallery/kptrek2006/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/fox2mike/tags/kptrek2006/ . The next time, we plan to do this via the Madikeri -Somwarpet side and come down via Kukke.

Formula 1

It's been a long time since anything disturbed me as much as the F1 Perished Heros video from YouTube.

prashanthks had sent this link along quite sometime back and I watched it only today. Sad. The worst ones were those where the fuel ignites and the car burns with the driver still inside...the marshals are unable to stop it since the flames are simply too much to fight with fire extinguishers.

I still remember Senna...the others I was too young to know about but Senna is etched forever in my head.

12 years down the line, I'm extremely thankful to those who made Formula 1 as safe as it is today. No driver's life has been threatened post 1994 although there have been some very nasty accidents.

I hope it continues to be this way. No one should die racing in F1 again.


Lost with X-Men 3

Righto. An excellent way to start the weekend, is to go watch X-Men: The Last Stand, especially if you're a fan of X-Men. I am, and I absolutely loved it. Yeah, there are a few sad moments, but I guess this is a pretty nice trilogy. Well done. I'm impressed. Xavier, Pheonix, Cyclops, Magento, Mystique, Wolverine, Storm, Beast...

Just when I was sort of getting over it...I decided to catch up on the season finale of Lost. And boy-oh-boy, yeah, that was so worth it. The only downside now is waiting for Season 3 to begin. Really. Lost has always been fast paced and well written for the most part and now they've really turned the heat on, just like they did at the end of Season 1. And just when you were starting to think that things can't get better, they just stepped it up a few more notches, answered a few questions (yeah, just a few) and managed to leave the viewer hanging and craving for season 3.

Go watch Lost and X-Men 3. Worth spending sometime on ;)

Who's your F1 Daddy? :D

Awesome race. The Ferrari was the faster car through the weekend and well, although Alonso managed to steal P1 from Schumi, I guess he's been shown who the boss is. It was nice to see the old Ferrari pit-stop trick work to perfection after quite sometime. And they've now done it twice in a row...which is good. Massa drove a decent race and did well to keep Kimi off his back towards the end.

The joy on Schumi's face after the race explains why he's still in F1. I'm sure he'll continue to be here as long as he feels he can win, or as long as he's fit. I think it'll be the former more than the latter and as it is right now, I don't see him getting "tired" of winning at all. In fact, I guess 2005 was just the kind of break he needed...a year with one win to get his zest back for this season. Excellent.

This season is really starting to get all exciting now. Go Ferrari!!


Originally uploaded by fox2mike.
Felt bored, and was helping test NetworkManager on Gentoo.

A Quick HowTo on x11vnc

A quick follow-up to the last post...

So you're stuck somewhere and badly need to help your dad with something on the computer at home. I've been in this situation quite a bit and well, I've usually ended up trying to troubleshoot over the phone with minimal success. Enter x11vnc. Here's a quick guide on getting it working on Gentoo.

remote denotes the box I'm using to reach my desktop on the machine home.

  1. emerge x11vnc tightvnc. Substituting tightvnc with vnc will do as well, but I like some security, which is made slightly easier using tightvnc.

  2. Run vncpasswd in your home directory. This creates a /home/shyam/.vnc/passwd and you will have to enter a password not longer than 8 characters in length, which I found a little surprising. Oh well.
  3. On home, run x11vnc -rfbauth /home/shyam/.vnc/passwd -display :0. Adjust display as required (0 or 1..)

  4. From remote run vncviewer home and enter the password you setup when prompted. Voila, you're in and seeing the desktop now.

A couple of points:

  • For VNC to work correctly, home has to have the X Display active. From what I've seen, when I vnc into home with X running but I'm on the console, the vnc display is all distorted.

  • By default, VNC traffic is not secure. It is advisable to tunnel it over ssh if you're using it from an insecure network/across the internet. With tightvnc it becomes very simple. All you need to do is vncviewer -via remote home and tightvnc sets up the ssh tunnel automatically.

Missed Barcamp, but had a relaxing weekend for the most part. Schumi showed Alonso who the boss is and I'm extremely happy for him :)

Continuing with some useful stuff

rsync is a lifesaver. x11vnc is nice to have around.


t3rmin4t0r's post on Applications Unknown was fun to read through. I got both 3ddesktop (nothing great in front of xgl, but just works ™) and Stellarium, a planetarium on your desktop (which is awesome) up and running in like no time flat. I want to do some star-gazing, now!!! I'm getting Super Tux as I type this....just for kicks.

My little contribution to that list would be Celestia which allows you to move around in space and fly around objects etc. Real fun.

For the sysad types, (thanks to zoneee) there's this nifty cousin of top called htop which is quite handy and does a lot of stuff you would ideally want to be doing with your process list.

The song is really addictive.

Life Update!

trinity is currently a Dell Inspiron 4100 and yeah, I'm kind of attached to that name, so all my work boxen (the ones I use) have always been and probably will be named trinity in a salute of sorts to Carrie Ann-Moss aka the real Trinity (Matrix). Heh. Clicky for a screenie, maybe I'll post some photos later.

Work in the new place has so far been a learning experience of sorts, which is good. I've picked up more Java related stuff in the last 2 weeks that I've done in the last 2 years (prolly because I never had to/tried). Overall coolness. Yay.

louiswu, I now have Software Suspend working flawlessly on the laptop. Took like about 30 mins to setup, the maximum time being moving my stuff around to create a large enough swap space. Tested once with only command-line and once with X and works like a beauty :) w000t!

Oh, I almost forgot. I now have Wireless at home. Grabbed a Linksys WRT45G (yeah I know, I can't put OpenWRT or similar stuff on it, but hey, it works ™) and a D-Link DWL-G630 PCMCIA card to go with it. Wireless is quite addictive and well, mom's quite happy I'm not drawing cables all over the place. Getting the card to work with Gentoo was a walk in the park with net-wireless/madwifi-driver and net-wireless/wpa_supplicant. Thanks to Joshua Jackson for the recommendation (of sorts) for the card ;) Feels nice to be walking around the place and remaining connected.

B'day bash

Had a small get-together on Saturday evening arranged mostly by rythm in sekrit collaboration with the others. Wow, it was fun. I mean, I don't even remember when the last time I cut a cake for a B'day was...hehe, maybe when I was 9 or 10.

Thanks guys, I had a blast!

Pics are up on Flickr, thanks to rattle_snake for those.

So, I'm doing n things online when I get a belated B'day wish from teemus. Since he'd already wished me, I was wondering if he had forgotten and well...then I see this little email that went...

(the following is a gift from LiveJournal user "teemus")

2 months of paid account time have been added to your LiveJournal account

Wow. Yay!

Thanks Dude(s) and Dudettes! You all rock. w0000t.


Quite a delayed entry...but better late than never. ti22 & myself reached the Yashwantpur Railway station at around 1930 on the 17th Night. The train (Yashwantpur - Cannanore Express) left about 5 minutes reached, pulled a passenger train stunt on us (by going pretty slowly through most of the journey) and chugged into Calicut 30 minutes late at 0845 the next day.

We caught a cab and headed to NITC, which was a good 22 Kms away from the city. Had enough time to freshen up and grab a quick breakfast after which we headed to the main hall. Found premshree & t3rmin4t0r there (who was compiling pnet on a borrowed lappie. Hehe). Pradeepto's talk was going on and t3 was up next, followed by yours truly.

The talk went well, had a few questions in the end like How Portage handles dependencies and GLSA's as well as Daniel Robbins and Microsoft...and a couple of others I don't remember. The slides are up at http://dev.gentoo.org/~fox2mike/talks/

Had lunch and then attended/participated in bluesmoon's talk as well as the BoF that followed. We then decided to catch the sunset and headed back all the way to the city and missed most of the sunset. Had a filling dinner followed by watching Coupling in the company of t3, pradeepto and ash while checking mail & catching up with people over IM/IRC. Coupling is fun and I'm now officially in love with Susan's British accent! :)

Day 2 started off with me reaching the halls in time to see most of kalyan's talk and spent the rest hanging around talking to people etc. say_yes04 wanted to demo Xgl and Pradeepto suggested Kororaa's Gentoo based Xgl LiveCD. So while those two went out to the labs to start the download, the volunteers helped us lay our hands on a cool P4 HT box with an nVidia FX5200 (256 MB) and about 786 MB of system RAM. While shres gave his talk, t3 and myself fiddled to get xgl up and running smoothly.

Wow. Kudos to the Kororaa guys for coming up with the cool idea of getting Xgl onto a LiveCD :) Clicky for a small sample of how Xgl looks...

We had just enough time to get back to Calicut and catch our train which was leaving at 1930. Landed up in B'lore on time and life continued as normal.

Had quite a bit of fun that weekend though :) And a big thanks to NITC & the volunteers for the facilities provided during our stay.

Rest of the snaps are up at http://flickr.com/photos/fox2mike/tags/fossnitc06

Twenty Two to Twenty Three

Spent like the last couple of hours fiddling with the local network setup (that I'm working on at home) only to find out the new LAN card is kaput. Yay! Fixing the LAN card (temporarily) doesn't seem to solve the issue, so there's something beyond just the card and I don't seem to heading towards solving that part just yet.

Fun. Or not really that much when it isn't working :D

Shall be fixed, soon.

For the record, being 23 seems no different than being 22. Yet.

Update: Soon turned out to be about 2 hours after this post :D Figured out that I'd messed up the iptables FORWARD chain rules...and once rectified, everything started automagically working :) Also, seems the LAN card is okay...since there's a 1 year warranty on it, I'm not getting it replaced unless the problem happens again.

Off to give a talk

I'll be giving a talk at NITC on Gentoo Linux as part of their FOSS.NITC event.

Looking forward to a fun weekend :)

PS: ti22 is coming along with me and I'll meet up with the usual bunch of suspects at the event :)

To the love of my life...

Originally uploaded by fox2mike.
Happy B'Day Spike! These 2 years have been soooo wonderful, words can't express the joy you've brought into our lives.

So, Spike got to start off his B'day with a whole big slice of Pineapple Cake for breakfast and ended up with some fresh cream cake in the evening. w00t!

PS : Getting a good shot of him is tough since he's rarely in one place long enough for me to focus...



I'm joining HCL tomorrow.


Ohhh yeah.

I'm a Lamborghini Murcielago!

You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.


OMG, the F1 Season begins in like 30 mins with qualifying in Bahrain. Schumi baby, go kick some ass & show them who da b0ss is :D



Your Birthdate: March 24

You understand people well and are a natural born therapist.
A peacemaker, people always seem to get along when you are around.
You tend to be a father or mother figure to friends, even to those older than you.
You enjoy your role, and you find that you are close to many people.

Your strength: Your devotion

Your weakness: Reliance on others for happiness

Your power color: Lilac

Your power symbol: Heart

Your power month: June


Byeee AO 2006

A few more awesome matches that were played this year...

1) Kim Clijsters Vs Martina Hingis
2) Paes/Damm Vs Bryan/Bryan (the best ever doubles match I've seen to date I guess)
3) Marcos Baghdatis Vs David Nalbandian

Awesome. Seems that the competition just gets better and better every year. And here's this year's A-Z of the Australian Open.

The really sad bits were the retirements of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne. And Baghdatis ran out of steam like Safin did when playing Federer.

I think Federer will surpass Sampras if he hasn't already (in terms of overall ability).

January has gone by. Time does fly.

Update, AO

So what if you're at work and missing all the fun of the Australian Open? There's always AO Radio which covers all the important matches live :)

Fire up a console, and hit mplayer -nocache mms:// to enjoy live commentary. The -nocache ensures that mplayer doesn't cache the stream...can be pissing off to hear commentary from the first set when the second is going on.

IE/Windows users should be able to listen to it directly, since it's Windows Media Player stream.

In case you've not been following this year Australian Open, you've missed some really good matches...in no specific order:

1) Andy Roddick Vs Marcos Baghdatis
2) Martina Hingis Vs Samantha Stosur
3) Roger Federer Vs Tommy Haas
4) Nicolas Kiefer Vs Sebastien Grosjean
5) Ivan Ljubicic Vs Marcos Baghdatis

And Martina Hingis is playing Kim Clijsters right now. Clijsters won the first set 6-3 and is down 2-5 in the second. Awesome.

PS : Thanks to louiswu and teemus for helping LiveJournal test out their Nudge a friend feature :)

Looneyness :)

One fine night on #gentoo-doc, irc.freenode.net...

22:36:17 <@fox2mike> Groningen
22:36:28 <@fox2mike> is that pronounced Gro nin gen ?
22:38:03 < rane> we still didn't agree how to pronounce Gentoo...
22:38:13 < rane> and wonder how to say Groningen? :)
22:39:18 <@neysx> Gentoo pronunciation is explained in the faq, groningen: depends on where you live
22:39:35 < rane> we should provide an mp3 with it

22:40:39 < rane> so, who's got a good voice and microphone? :)
22:42:47 <@fox2mike> I have a mic
22:43:09 <@fox2mike> quick way to correctly record sound?
22:43:27 < nightmorph> in gnome, there's the sound recorder utility
22:43:45 <@fox2mike> nightmorph: brilliant :)
22:47:46 <@fox2mike> ready to cringe on hearing my voice?

That resulted in http://dev.gentoo.org/~fox2mike/misc/gentoo-indian.mp3 (.oggs are up for all these as well)
Convo again...Collapse )
So, http://dev.gentoo.org/~fox2mike/misc/gentoo-american.mp3 and http://dev.gentoo.org/~fox2mike/misc/gentoo-australian.mp3 came into existance...
More ConvoCollapse )
Ended with http://dev.gentoo.org/~fox2mike/misc/gentoo-arabia.mp3


PS : Welcome ra_ne (rane in the logs above) to LiveJournal :) He's our Polish Lead Translator...
PPS : nightmorph has a little write-up about this here :)
PPPS : I need new userpics.


Goodbye 2005!

Wishing you all a wonderful and prosperous 2006!

Link of the day - http://www.stwing.upenn.edu/~jenf/writing/rant04.html



How not to get overbilled on BSNL Dataone

BSNL's billing system for Dataone is totally messed up with respect to the "Night time unlimited" thingie.

Here's how you beat the system : Use software to control you connections (don't do the PPPoE using the modem). Use something like rp-pppoe and simply have a cron job that re-connects you at say 0210 (10 mins into the "unlimited period") and then again at 0750 (10 mins before the period ends) and schedule all your downloads in that session.

Done. Download all you want and you won't have to bother about excessive/wrong billing.

Brute force attempts over SSH

Somewhere around July 2004, there was this nuisance script that attempted to break into machines running sshd. All the script did was try to log in to machines that weren't secure enough like for example if you had an account with guest/guest as username & password or if you were dumb enough to not set passwords at all, you could be in a spot of bother.

Then, somewhere along the line, the script just became better. What started with the standard guest/guest, root/root, admin/admin grew up to trying out other username and password combinations, found more foolish people on the Internet and started keeping track of the new additions.

The log entries on your machine during an attack would be something likeCollapse )
From my sshd logs between May 2005 & today, I've had 2930 unique usernames trying to login from abigale to annette, david to takahashi. If you're curious, all the 2930 are up in alphabetical order here.

The attacks originated from the following addresses.

To be on the safe side :

  1. Don't have dumb accounts even for a small amount of time. A dumb account would be one with the username as the password.

  2. Don't run sshd unless you really need it.

  3. Use key based authentication only as far as possible. This eliminates the need for passwords and there is no chance of a brute force attack succeeding.

  4. Never have blank passwords.

  5. Run sshd on a non-standard port if you can afford to.

More info on ssh -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Shell

Update : Found a nice wiki page on this -> http://wiki.clug.org.za/clugwiki/index.php/Defending_Against_Brute_Force_SSH_Attacks


3x Dual Xeons 3 GHz with HT, 4 GB RAM...


What is common between FOSS.in/2005 and NASA?

True, but don't come kill meCollapse )

FOSS.in/2005 all done

Frankly, I don't know where to start. There have already been countless posts/updates/write-ups on FOSS.in/2005 that I don't think mine will add any value to the existing ones. Anyway, here's my perspective :D

Pre Day 0Collapse )

Monday morning was fun. louiswu & me were supposed to pick up Seemant from the Airport. The BA flight was supposed to land at 0500 IST, which it did. And well, we were at the airport at about 0615 and couldn't find Seemant anywhere. Spent the next 45 mins or so looking all over the place, calling up his wife in Boston to confirm that he indeed left and then finally heading over to the good BA staff for help. They confirmed that a Mr. Kulleen, Seemant was indeed on the flight and had landed in Bangalore. Crud. So we decide to go take a look again at the Arrivals lounge and there he was...he'd been there all this while and we hadn't looked carefully enough. Yay!

Days 0,1,2,3,4Collapse )

I'm sure everyone will agree that when we sat down in August, the one thing we all wanted was active participation. I am really, extremely happy that the idea of the BoFs+A specific area for them worked very well. Yes, it needed some pushing and shoving that happened only after Day 2, but it worked. People met, People talked. Unlike the previous years, the venue this time facilitated such discussions.

A round of special thanks to Devdas, Arun/louiswu, Ashish/ti22, Kaustubh/kaustubhhere, Shreyas/say_yes04 and Partha for spending sleepless nights and making sure things were working. You guys are awesome. Arun, Ashish & Partha -- thanks for stepping up when you were needed the most.

Lastly, to the Volunteers of FOSS.in/2005. Great job guys, you can happily pat yourselves on the back for a job well done (apart from forgetting to turn on a few switches ;) but then, we're all human aren't we? :p).

Things were quite hectic, so very few snaps were taken. I'll put them up later tonight.


Okay, with just about T-30 odd hours to go, preps are at a frenzy. Seemant is landing up tomorrow in a couple of hours and well, there's a _lot_ of work to be done :)

Oh, and I need to polish my talk slides. Whoops.

So we have a .gov.in

If things went according to plan, http://india.gov.in would have been officially inaugurated about an hour and 20 mins ago in New Delhi. I don't really care about official inaugurations. What I do care about -- usable sites. As far as a normal user on the internet is concerned, the Indian Government Portal is kickass. I'm hugely impressed by the amount of information it has and well, how neat the site looks on Firefox. Kudos to the NIC for bringing out an excellent site.

With FOSS.in/2005 right around the corner and things starting to get into the final phase, what pleased me the most was this...

shyam@trinity ~ $ curl -I http://india.gov.in
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 10:47:39 GMT
Server: Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat)
Last-Modified: Tue, 08 Nov 2005 09:35:55 GMT
ETag: "8f92d-b639-7f9314c0"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 46649
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1

There's FOSS for you at work, at nothing less than the official portal of the Indian Government. w000t!

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