Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

December 10, 2011

Thinking about changing Hosting providers. Any suggestions?

Filed under: Computer Related,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 10:57 PM

I have been using 1and1.com as my hosting provider for a while now (since 2005) and have been happy with the service for the most par, however after their recent pricing change the service is getting to be a bit more expensive than I am comfortable with so I am thinking about changing webhosting providers. What hosting providers do you use and would recommend? I need the following feature sets in the service:

  • PHP4/5
  • MySQL DB: Fairly large no of databases with large storage allocations
  • Full SSH Shell Access
  • Unlimited Bandwidth (Have gotten bit by this a few times)
  • Email Accounts: A fairly high no with large quota’s (I never delete mails)
  • Perl Support
  • Multiple Domains allowed
  • High availability/uptime

Thanks in advance.

– Suramya

October 12, 2011

Virus hits US Drone Fleet: Is Skynet finally ready to take over?

Filed under: Computer Related,My Thoughts,News/Articles — Suramya @ 4:28 PM

I typed an entire post while in flight back to Bangalore and then because the wordpress app for Android requires a netconnection to work and doesn’t allow you to work offline, I lost my entire post and now have to type it all again.

Looks like we are about ready for the end of the world and the start of the robot Apocalypse. A virus has infected the US Drone fleet and so far the admins have been unable to remove the infection. Now all we need is for the US military to hand over control of its entire system to a super AI and we are ready to go. To make things even better we also have early prototypes of HK’s (HunterKillers) in testing in various labs around the world.

Its funny how real life follows fiction at times. When I used to tell people that I was interested in Artificial intelligence, the most common reaction I would get was “are you crazy? Haven’t you seen Terminator?” Now if we have a rogue AI running around its actually possible for it to cause a whole lot of damage, maybe not to the tune of ‘end of the world’ but enough to make life miserable for a whole lot of people.

Maybe its time to stock up on my tin-foil hats and MRE’s ๐Ÿ™‚

– Suramya

February 15, 2010

Augmented Reality: Tattoo that transforms into a flying dragon

Filed under: Computer Related,Computer Software,My Thoughts,Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 7:52 PM

Augmented reality, the words bring to mind a science fiction world where people wear glasses hooked up to computers that give additional information on the item being looked at. I have read scores of novels where this technology is in use by humans (both in a positive and negative sense) but till date this technology was still in the realm of Science Fiction.

Now this has changed. ThinkAnApp studio based in Buenos Aries has developed specialized software that allows them to create a tattoo that when viewed through a camera gets transformed into a flying dragon. Or anything else you want. Pretty cool eh?

Here’s what the Tattoo looks like when viewed through a camera:

Check out the video demoing the tattoo in action here.

This is just a prototype and isn’t released for public use yet. But it is a step in the right direction and slowly but surely we are moving closer to the day when the virtual world will overlay the real world and open up all the awesome possibilities that entails.

Source: ThinkAnApp – Augmented Reality (tattoo).

– Suramya

October 5, 2009

Weird MSN Password reset logic

Filed under: Computer Related,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 11:45 PM

Yesterday I was organizing my system and found log files from an old MSN account I had which I used mainly for chatting with friends. I decided to enable the account in Pidgin and see if the account still worked. When I tried logging in to the account it didn’t let me because I guess the account had gotten locked down due to inactivity.

So I went to the MSN site and tried to login to the account. At first it didn’t let me, so I tried resetting the password for the account. But that didn’t work as I couldn’t remember what information I had initially filled when creating the account so I asked the system to email me the password reset instructions.

Now came the funny part. The system was going to email me the password reset instructions to the same account that I was requesting the password reset for. Below is a screenshot I took of the process.


Weird MSN Password reset logic

How I am supposed to access the account to get the reset instructions is something that they didn’t quite explain. The funny part is that the system finally let me login with the same password I had tried with originally. *shrug* Atleast it worked, though I am surprised that the account wasn’t deleted considering I hadn’t logged in for over 2 years.

– Suramya

September 1, 2009

Bio-computers – The downsides.

Filed under: Computer Related,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:23 PM

Was watching Eureka (Its a TV show, about this town with brilliant scientists) and they had an episode a little while ago where an organic computer got infected with a virus and got transmitted to a person when they used it.

This made me think, this can really happen once organic computers start becoming commonplace. After all human beings are pretty much an organic computer with a pretty face. So it would become possible to send an email attachment to a target group (lets say an enemy country) and infect their bio-computers. Then the virus would copy itself over to the human operator and set itself up as a background process in the human mind (There is more than enough processing power in the human brain for this) and once its set up it could monitor all actions/thoughts etc and keep a log of everything that person does, this data would then be sent back to the creator of the worm/virus to be used as seen fit by them.

The virus could even take over the human and make them do stuff that they wouldn’t normally do (like treason, or espionage) and I don’t think there is an easy way we could detect something like this and prevent it from happening. It reminds me of a novel I read a couple of years ago where humans had chips implanted in their heads to allow them to process/store data and one of the character’s chip got hijacked and they could no longer control their actions. Now the same thing will be possible without any extra hardware implanted in the target.

I guess to counteract this we would have to have an anti-virus program for the human mind: “Scan your brain for virus’s and trojans today”. Before any secret meetings all participents would have to have their brains scanned.

To make things scarier governments could release a worm that let them keep an eye on their subjects and stop any activity they don’t like before it got far. Think “Big Brother” in your head…

Makes you think scared doesn’t it?

– Suramya

June 15, 2007

Microsoft Vista WOW factor…

Filed under: Computer Related,Computer Software,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 1:30 PM

A lot of must have seen the advertisements on MS Vista where they talk about the wow factor. Well today I used it on a clients machine and it certainly made we go wow. Read on for the details…

I had a 90 MB file that I needed to extract on their system (224 MB uncompressed), so I copied the file to their system,right clicked and chose extract. Then came the wow factor. Vista told me that it out need ~13 hours to extract the file. Waited for a few mins and it didn’t go down. It really was going to take it 13 hours + change to extract it. Certainly made me go wow.

I didn’t take a screen shot of it at the time, but then as I was telling my cousin about it, I decided to blog it so needed to take a screen shot. When I took the following screen shot it was telling me that it would take 5 days to extract. I waited for a couple of mins in case it was just exaggerating like Windows XP and it would show the correct time in a few mins. But alas it kept showing me the same time.

So here goes:


MS Vista WOW
MS Vista WOW!!!

BTW, just as a comparison, my Windows XP system on a 1 GZ system with 512 MB of RAM takes ~2 mins to extract this file. Haven’t timed it on Linux yet. And this vista install is a running on a new machine thats pretty powerful. And i am not the only one who saw this. Another guy was complaining about it on one of the forums that I visited. His file was taking ~15 mins to extract on vista while on Linux it took about 11 secs to extract.

Ah well. I think I can do without the wow in my life. Pretty happy with Debian and XP for my systems. Don’t think I will be upgrading to Vista anytime soon.

– Suramya

June 5, 2007

The DRM is Like…

Filed under: Computer Related,Humor — Suramya @ 11:39 AM

Can’t figure out what the big deal is about DRM? Check out the following site, it will give you a visual representation of what DRM is and how it would affect everyday objects/tasks.

Flickr: The DRM is Like… Pool

Thanks to Open… for the link.

– Suramya

December 5, 2006

Congress raises broadcast flag for audio

Filed under: Computer Related — Suramya @ 3:34 PM

Anyone care to explain what exactly this is supposed to do other than annoy fans?

Congress raises broadcast flag for audio

– Suramya

November 8, 2006

Interesting response to Vista’s licensing change

Filed under: Computer Related,Humor — Suramya @ 3:08 PM

Thats one way of looking at it:

uf009708.gif

– Suramya

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

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