Suramya's Blog

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October 26, 2006

Update to the About me section

Filed under: Website Updates — Suramya @ 11:58 PM

Updated the About Me section so now it shows photos of most of the friends I have listed there. I didn’t have photos of some of the people over there :( but will add them as when when I find them. Also updated the part telling what they are doing right now.

Next on the to do list, is to update the actual About Me section and update some of the tutorials.

– Suramya

October 25, 2006

SSLBridge AJAX based samba and windows shares

Filed under: Computer Security,Linux/Unix Related — Suramya @ 11:26 PM

Interesting concept. Haven’t tired it out but it looks promising.

SSLBridge is an AJAX and DHTML enhanced web application for viewing and accessing shared files and folders in a network. SSLBridge uses Samba and an SSL connection to create a VPN tunnel into a corporate network. Basically a Samba web client.

Check it out: Here

Thanks to nixCraft for the link.

– Suramya

October 24, 2006

Just a rant on how the war on Terror is affecting my hobbies

Filed under: My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:56 AM

This is just a rant on how the war on Terror is affecting our regular lives.

Those of you who know me know that I love taking photos. I used to take photographs at the drop of a hat of anything and everything I found interesting. But now I am scared to do so. You never know when some idiot is going to decide that you are a terrorist because you are dark skinned male in his 20’s and doing something thats too complicated for his/her tiny brain to comprehend…

A couple of days ago I was driving back to New Jersey from New York via one of the tunnels and I saw the machine they use to clean the tunnel walls and I wanted to take a picture of it as its something unique and interesting. Surabhi and Vinit both told me not to because photography is prohibited in the tunnel and that it might get me in trouble so I didn’t take the photo, but I wanted to… and will always regret that I couldn’t. Whats there in the tunnel that I would capture with my camera phone that I couldn’t find on the internet? There are photos available online of the entire system and its not like the stupid thing changes every year…

When I took a photograph of an interesting advertisement I saw on the subway station a few days ago I actually stopped and thought about whether it was safe to take a photo of a stupid poster without getting in trouble. How bad is that? A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have even thought about it and would have clicked multiple pics from different angles. Now I had to look around make sure no one was paying attention and then take the picture. Basically I had to hide what I was doing… which I shouldn’t have to, I wasn’t doing anything wrong.

Then on my way back I was reading the PATH Rules and regulations (What can I say… I was bored) and they have some serious restrictions on taking photos in the Path station also. According to the rules I can’t take a photo in the path train without being accompanied by a PATH employee and after having filled out a bunch of paperwork. How sad is that? I agree with the fact that they won’t let you take pics of the emergency gear and the control systems but whats wrong with me taking a photo of me and my friends sitting in the PATH on my way to having a good time in the city? Though to be honest I haven’t been stopped by anyone yet.

Whats especially annoying is that we are missing out on so much… If this goes on and more and more photographers stop taking photos then the future generations won’t be able to look at how the local subway/shop looked a generation ago. They won’t have any pictures/references of the daily life of everyday people all they will have for reference are the glam shots and the posed pictures which are approved. This would suck…

The spontaneous photographers give you an unrehearsed snapshot of a particular moment. I hate taking posed pictures as I rarely like the way they come out. The best pictures I have taken are the spur of the moment random shot of something that looks interesting, of someone doing something silly or just a person going on with their life naturally. It gives you an deep insight into human nature. Think about it, if a person knows that they are about to be photographed they will act differently no matter how hard they try to be casual and act normal. It shows in the picture. A spontaneous photograph is a photo of a person/object that is taken when the subject is going on with its daily life. Its natural and it shows. Its an art form and unfortunately its dying.

The worst part is that I am staying in New York and the photo opportunities over here are endless and I can’t take it… :( Well its the same thing in any major city but… you know what I mean. New York is unique. Though Delhi also has some amazing photo opportunities and the next time I am there I will have my new camera so will photograph everything. Just wait and see…

– Suramya

October 23, 2006

Sorry Blockbuster, But I love P2P

Filed under: Funny News — Suramya @ 8:03 PM

Found this amusing: Sorry Blockbuster, But I love P2P

– Suramya

October 22, 2006

Diwali was fun

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 10:10 PM

Yesterday was Diwali [1] and I celebrated it by visiting friends for dinner and a party. It was one of the most fun Diwali’s I have had in a while. We all drove to Edison to Aarti’s place and we got there at about 7pm. Once we got there we spent some time talking and meeting everyone. (I had Bhelpuri which tasted great) then we got together for puja. We did the whole 9 yards with the puja and the prayers and the lighting of the diya’s.

Once the Puja was done the actual party started and it was a blast. We danced for over 4 hours and it was a lot of fun (Though my body is aching a but today) A lot of people showed up and none of them were of the weird kind and they all just had fun (Including me). Yes I took a lot of pictures and they are on Aarti’s camera and I will post them when I get a copy. A couple of other people were also taking pics so we should have a good collection to choose from. I also took a couple of videos so will also post them if they came out good.

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

[1] Diwali is an Indian festival. Its also known as the festival of lights. It is dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, in most parts of India. Check out Diwali on Wikipedia for more info on it.

October 18, 2006

How I broke Windows XP Genuine Advantage test and then fixed it

Filed under: Computer Related,Computer Tips,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 11:50 PM

A couple of days ago I had a slight problem with my internet connection, basically what was happening was that I couldn’t access google.com and associated sites (Orkut, gmail etc) but I could access everything else with issues so I spoke to a Comcast representative and she told me to run the following command on my Windows XP laptop (I told her I was using XP because I didn’t want to get into an argument with her that the problem was because I was using Linux.):

regsvr32 softpub.dll

I ran the command and it didn’t fix the issue. So I decided to un-register the dll using the following command:

regsvr32 /u softpub.dll

as I wasn’t sure what this dll did and didn’t want to register random stuff on my system. I ran the command and everything was fine for a couple of days, I could browse the net without issues and everything seemed to work.

Then all of a sudden after a couple of days I get an error message stating that my version of windows could not be validated so I must be running a pirated version of XP. The funny part was that I had installed WGA two months ago on the laptop and it had validated the license and the license is valid. So I went to the Windows update site and tried to validate my copy but ActiveX refused to run. It told me to try a manual check where it downloaded the ActiveX and then tried to run it but that also failed… Finally I tried a check using an executable I downloaded but that validated my license as valid. Now I was confused and tried to force a validation test but every time the system would refuse to run ActiveX and the validation would fail.

After beating my head on the issue for a little while I finally remembered the dll that I had unregistered a while ago so I went through my command history and found the command to re-register it and went ahead and registered it. Then I had to reboot the box and when it came back up I was finally able to run the online validation tool which verified my version of windows was valid. After it verified it I had to reboot again and that fixed the issue.

Moral of the story: If you don’t know what a dll does then don’t uninstall it.
Second Moral of the story: Its a good habit to keep a log of all the commands you run, and any changes you make to the system. Having this will save you a lot of time an energy when something gets messed up.

This is all for now, will post more about my experiments with computers and the messes I caused later.

– Suramya

October 17, 2006

Microsoft Restricts Vista Transfers

Filed under: Computer Related,My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 12:09 PM

As some of you know Vista is supposed to come out next year and its going to require a big upgrade for most of the users. Now in a move to alienate even more of its customers MS has changed its licensing terms, limiting the number of times that Windows Vista can be transfered to, to ONE. Thats right One, Uno. In the older versions of windows if you bought a new computer you could install your old version of windows on it provided you uninstalled it from the old computer. With the new licensing you can only do it once so if you upgrade your computer more than once you need a new Vista license.

Hows that for utter stupidity. It is supposed to restrict piracy but the only thing its going to do is annoy regular users. A lot of people upgrade their computers a lot and if MS thinks it can force people to buy a new license every time they upgrade its sadly mistaken. Its going to be a pain for everyone involved and the only people it won’t affect are the software pirates as the pirated version will probably have this check disabled.

I know I transfered my windows XP license from my original 350 Mhz system to a 1.1 ghz system to another system before it got its final home in the machine its on now (All the older systems are now running Linux).

If I had vista I would have had to spend additional money to install an OS that I have a license for on a system that I am going to be using. You know what, I think I will stick with Linux and XP for now. I wasn’t planning to upgrade anyways but with news like this I have even less incentive to try it out.

Original Article: Microsoft Restricts Vista Transfers

Update: Some more thoughts on the new MS Licensing: Lxer.com

– Suramya

October 14, 2006

Burmese food tastes awesome

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:58 PM

Last night I went out to dinner with friends to the Burmese place in New York called Village Mingala It was a lot of fun and the food was great.

The restaurant was recommended by Meghna and she was worried that she would be blamed if no one liked the food but she need not have worried as the food was good. Vinit, Surabhi, Meghna, Madhur, Aarti, Vivek, Pranav, Sandeep, Gaurav and myself all dug into the food and we all ate a lot The best part was that the place was pretty cheap too.

The only down side of this place is that they don’t have any good deserts… They only had three dishes for deserts so we went to another place to get desert. We got kheer and Gulab Jamun’s and took them home to enjoy them while watching this hindi movie called Don (No its not the new one, This one was the original one…) We watched it on our projector so for a while our living room looked like a cinema. (Actually it still does, ’cause we found the arrangement to be more efficient so we left it as such)

In case you are wondering about all the restaurants I am writing about then its just that we are on this quest to try every kind of cuisine in the world, and so far we have tried: Indian (Duh..), Chinese, Burmese, Thai, Italian, Cuban, French, American, Egyptian and Turkish. I have probably missed some others we have tried but… I will post about my experiences with each kind as and when I try them…

Well this is all for now. Will post more later.

– Suramya

PS: If you know any good places to try any particular cuisine let me know so I can try it out.

October 13, 2006

Microsoft Vista feature presentation on a Mac

Filed under: Funny News,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 12:31 PM

Somebody took the audio from a Microsoft Vista “we’re so brilliant, we’ve invented all this new stuff” shill session and overlaid it on a video of themselves doing it all on their OS/X desktop.

Pretty amusing stuff. The best part is that I can do most of it on my Linux box as well.

Check it out at: Here

Thanks to Ben Okopnik for the link.

– Suramya

October 12, 2006

Signs to show that you are getting old

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:09 PM

Signs to know when you are getting old:

1. Most of your batchmates are either married or about to be married/engaged.
2. Some of your batchmates have already had kids or are expecting
3. You don’t find it strange when you see an invitation to an event that includes the line “Also bring your significant other”
4. You start to get pressure from everyone that its about time you married/engaged
5. You actually answer when someone calls you mama or chacha

– Suramya

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