Suramya's Blog

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May 31, 2005

Whitewater rafting is fun.

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 3:02 AM

Today I went white water rafting with Vinit, Surabhi, Aish and Sameer. It was a lot fo fun. We drove for about 2 hours to get to this place called Narrowsburg in Pennsylvania. We got there at around 10:30 am and spent the next hour inflating the rafts (We had bought them at walmart earlier). The reason it took so long was that one of the rafts had a hole in in that we didn’t know about and it kept deflating. We finally saw the hole and figured out that it was causing the problem. Since we didn’t have anything else to fix it with we used a band-aid Vinit had in his wallet to tape the hole. Surprisingly it actually worked and held for the entire 5 hour trip. I am defenitely investing in the company that makes the adhesive for band-aids.:-)

Then when we were finally ready to launch this park ranger walked up to us and told us that we couldn’t launch if we didn’t have 5 life jackets on board with us. So we had to go and buy 5 life jackets even though all of us could swim :( But then we finally launched for an awesome time in the water.

The best part was our lunch which we had while we were floating down the river in two rafts. It was one of the most peacefull moments of my life. Then once we had lunch we started rowing as it was getting kind of cold and it looked like it was about to rain. Unfortunately about 1/2 way through the ride it did start to rain and it was cold rain. Since we didn’t feel like going to shore and freezing over there we decided to continue rowing and braved the cold rain and the hard rocks. :-)

The rain stopped for a little while after about an hour and the sun came out for about 15-20 mins to warm us. Then it was back to the stupid cold rain and freezing water. Thankfully we made it back to the car in one piece. The only casualty of the trip was Sameer’s Slippers which kind of floated away when none of us were paying attention to them.

Once we got dressed and picked up the other car from our starting point we drove back to NJ feeling really tired but awefully good about the trip. When we got home we ate great pavbhaji that Vinit had made and Surabhi reheated/served and now I am so full that I don’t want to move out of my really comfortable chair. Lets see how long it will take for me to motivate myself enough to move from the chair to the bed and fall asleep.

- Suramya

May 25, 2005

Tools for configuring iptables

Filed under: Computer Security,Security Tools,Security Tutorials — Suramya @ 8:20 PM

Configuring firewalls is not easy if you don’t know what you are doing and most of us don’t have the time of the paitience to spend hours figuring out internet security. But having a badly configured firewall is worse than having no firewall ’cause it gives you a false sense of security.

Thankfully there are tools out there that allow you to configure a decent firewall without needing a degree in rocket science. Chris Lynch has written an article on Newsforge which looks at Three tools to help you configure iptables.

Check it out.

- Suramya

May 17, 2005

My Article was plagarized

Filed under: My Life,Website Updates — Suramya @ 2:26 PM

Got this email from a Professor in a NY college today. Turns out that my paper on Hinduism through the ages was plagarized for his class. Cool right. :-) Knowing this certainly did wonders for my ego.

Original Email:


Be flattered: one of my students turned in your page on the history of Hinduism as his paper, claiming he had written it. It is word for word as on your website, but with no credit to you.

You get an A. He doesn’t.


The name of the prof and the college has been withheld on request. Oh, in case you are wondering my original paper is available here

- Suramya

CLI Magic: ldconfig and friends

Filed under: Tutorials — Suramya @ 1:56 PM

Another great article on how to harness the power of the Linux Command Line Interface. In this edition Joe Barr tells us how ldconfig is used.

- Suramya

May 16, 2005

Encrypting partitions using dm-crypt and the 2.6 series kernel

Filed under: Security Tutorials — Suramya @ 4:22 PM

Good article on how to Encrypt partitions using dm-crypt.

- Suramya

May 14, 2005

Should privacy end when you die?

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 3:14 AM

I was reading the archives on the GPG mailing list and saw this really interesting conversation going on about what all should you put in a safe to make life simpler for your loved ones in case you die. One of people suggested that you should always put your PGP/GPG key in a safe deposit box so that if anything happens to you your documents etc can be decrypted.

This started me thinking, do I really want people to be able to read my emails/personal correspondence etc when I die? I don’t mind them having access to my financial stuff/legal papers/programs etc but I am not that comfortable with anyone reading my email’s.

The reason is not ’cause I don’t trust my family or friends, its just that my emails/documents might have some stuff that I don’t want people to know about and this cover’s not just my secret’s but other people’s information also. You might ask, What other people’s information? Its your email isn’t it?

Go through your email archive, look for any correspondance you had with a friend that is supposed to be a secret. You might be discussing a person issue with a friend or giving them advice on how to deal with something that they don’t want to have publically known. Or just something thats embarrasing for them. In my case there is a good posibility that I have archives of emails where I discuss some friend’s personal issue with them and that issue is something they don’t want to disclose to anyone. Did you find anything? I sure did. There are a lot of things that you don’t want to tell, or more accurately there are a lot of things that your friends don’t want you to tell.

So what gives me the right to disclose all this information to my survivors when I die? Just because I am dead doesn’t de-classify the information. The person whose secret it is might still want to keep it that way. So what do you do in such a case? Do you remove the ability of your family to access your emails/diaries etc to protect the secrets, denying then the pleasure of remembering you by reading stuff you wrote, your thoughts etc, or do you go ahead and tell all?

What would you do? There is no one solution for this and I am sure people can argure about this both ways. If you have some time do post a comment and let me know what you think about this issue.

- Suramya

May 13, 2005

Had fun at Surabhi’s Birthday

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 6:45 AM

Yesterday (12th May) was my sister Surabhi’s 22nd birthday. Its hard to believe that she is 22 (Maybe ’cause she usually acts like a10 year old on a sugar high)…

We (Vinit, me and Surabhi) cut the first cake at 12 am on the 12th. Since it was late only the 3 of us were there for the first cake cutting. But we did celebrate her birthday properly by going for dinner at Olive Garden on Route 3. It is a great restaurant and the food there is amazing. We got there at 9:45 pm and were joined by Piet, Emily, Pranav, Reema, Sandeep, Hanny and his Girlfriend.

Spent a good 2 hours enjoying the food and the conversation. Then drove home to cut the second cake. After the cake was cut we all stayed up till 2 am talking. Then since everyone had work the next day they all decided to split. I did take a lot of pics and will post them sometime soon.

Now I am tired but can’t sleep. Let see what I can do to pass time till I fall asleep.

- Suramya

May 12, 2005

Web Browser Forensics

Filed under: Security Tutorials — Suramya @ 3:41 AM

The following article on SecurityFocus teaches you how to perform a basic forensic analysis of web-browsers and find the information they cache about our surfing habits.

Article Part 1: Web Browser Forensics, Part 1

Article Part 2: Web Browser Forensics, Part 2

- Suramya

General update of my life

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 3:22 AM

Hi Everyone,
As some of you probably have noticed I havn’t been posting stuff on my blog for the past few weeks. It has been a crazy couple of weeks and I blame: Lazyness -> Lack of time -> Lack of sleep (In that order) for the delay in posting stuff on the site.

Site Update:

Site is back to normal. Working on the new versions of the various scripts I wrote (IM2Email, Collage Generator) and should have the new versions up soon.

Life Update:

These past few weeks have been especially good as I have gotten back in touch with friends I hadn’t talked to in over 5-7 years. first I met-up with Karishma (We were in 11th & 12th together) for lunch 2 weeks ago as she is also working in NY right now. The funny part was that we have both been in NY or the tristate area for the past 2 years(5 years for me) but neither of us knew about the other person being in NY. We had a awesome time catching up with each other’s lives. I did take a camera with me to the meeting but got so caught up in talking that forgot to take any pics. :(

The got in touch with Shashank (we were in 9th and 10th grade together) on Yahoo Messenger. It was nice chatting with him after such a long time. Wish I could have met him Face 2 face also but he is in India right now so unfortunately that isn’t possible right now.

Weekend Update (7th May – 8th May):

Drove to DC for Ruth’s graduation. Me and Vivek left NY at 3:45 am on Sunday and got to DC at 7:15 am after driving nonstop the entire way. Attended the graduation, had lunch roamed the city, had dinner and slept for a few hours and then left from DC at 4:00 am to arrive in NY at 7:30 am. Unfortunately both of us had work so we left for work almost immediately. (I will post a more detailed version of the trip in the Photogallery when I post the graduation pics)

As you can guess a lot more happened during this time but I don’t feel like typing it all out. If you are very curious email me and I might tell you about it.

- Suramya

May 11, 2005

New article posted

Filed under: Article Releases,Website Updates — Suramya @ 6:58 AM

Hi Everyone,

Just finished writing a new article on How to Install Debian from Scratch and have posted it in the Linux Tutorial’s section of the site. Debian From Scratch (DFS) is a special version of Debian which gives the user complete control over what software is installed and where it is installed. Think of it as Linux From Scratch install but with the Debian advantages (Ease of maintainence, installation etc).

Since DFS give so much control over what is installed where on the system its esp suited for servers as there are no unwanted programs installed which in turn makes it easier to harden the server

Check out the article and let me know what you think.

- Suramya

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