Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

November 30, 2004

Cool tools for sysadmins

Filed under: Computer Tips — Suramya @ 2:03 AM

Here’s todays list of software I like/recomend for sysadmins.

Dameware This software allows you to connect remotely to a windows machine and work on it as if you are sitting in front of it. Has two modes: Visible and invisible. In the visible mode the used sees a popup box letting him know that someone is connected to them. In the invisible mode you won’t even know that I am connected. The best part is that even if you remove the service from your system, I can install it remotely without your permission on the system if I have admin rights on the system (Domain Admins). You can also start and stop services/programs from the handy interface without the other person knowing.

Driftnet: Really cool program. This program listens to network traffic and picks out images/mpg video’s from TCP streams it observes. It has some serious privacy implications and must be used with care. One cool application is that it can pipe its output to xscreensaver and display those images as a screensaver. Useful for identifying what kind of sites people are visitng on a coporate network.

Well this is all for now. More later.

– Suramya

November 29, 2004

Cool tools for sysadmins and how they can be used

Filed under: Computer Tips — Suramya @ 1:48 AM

Was getting bored and thought you might like to know what kind of tools a system administrator/network administrator has in his disposal to monitor his network and systems and what stuff we sometimes find while using them. Most of the tools I will talk about are Linux based although some of them do have windows ports.

One program I really like called iftop. It tells you how much bandwidth is being used by what connection on a given interface. The main advantage of this compared to Etherape is that this is a text program so it can be run over a ssh connection (Secure Shell, lot more secure than telnet). Helps you identify what program is using up your bandwidth and who is running it.

If you want to be notified every time a new machine comes on the network then you should check out arpwatch. It lets an admin know whenever a new machine requests an ip address from his dhcp server. Very useful on a small network where not a lot of new computers are added each day. This helped me plug a hole in my wireless network.

This is all for starters. I will be posting more links as and when I get the chance but I plan on making this a semi-regular feature so check back often.

– Suramya

November 28, 2004

PPTP VPN Server problems

Filed under: Computer Tips,Knowledgebase — Suramya @ 3:07 AM

I was trying to get ppp based vpn working on one of my servers and it wasn’t working.

I was getting the following error message:

pppd[5019]: Failed to open /dev/pts/2: No such file or directory
pptpd[5575]: GRE: read(fd=4,buffer=804de20,len=8196) from PTY failed: status = -1 error = Input/output error, usually caused by unexpected termination of pppd, check option syntax and pppd logs

After spending a couple fo hours I finally fixed the problem. The steps I followed were as below:

  • Recompiled the kernel with ppp support (The first time I forgot to add this) and GRE support
  • Installed the latest stable version of PoPToP (1.1.4-b4) and PPPd (2.4.3)
    • When Installing PoPToP make sure that you don’t configure ppptp to give out IP addresses. This causes dhcpd to fail when attempting to give out IP’s
  • Re-started the services
  • Grin like an Idiot when it actually worked.

Hope this helps someone.

– Suramya

November 27, 2004

Text editor for Linux

Filed under: Tech Related — Suramya @ 12:29 AM

While looking for a good document editor for Linux I came across TextMaker created by SoftMaker Software ltd. Its is a very light weight program and requires no configuration, all you have to do if unzip it and run it.

TextMaker launches lightning-fast, needs little memory, does not require complicated setup and still has the full feature set of a modern high-end word processor. It reads and writes Microsoft Word 6/95/97/2000/XP/2003 files without losing formatting or content.

Unfortunately its not free or open source ($49 to buy) bu I think its worth the price. The site offers a 30 day free trial version so check it out if you are looking for a wordprocessor for linux.


– Suramya

November 26, 2004

Interesting day

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 1:14 AM

Interesting day…

Woke up at 6 am to drop Vivek at the EWR Airport so that he could pick up his rental car and drive to DC
Unfortunately for him Hertz has a wierd policy in the NY area regarding age limits, you have to be over 25 to rent a car in the NY area. Since Vivek is under 25 he couldn’t get the car, so we ended up driving to Avis which was also overbooked and had no cars available. Luckily the guy spoke to the manager at LaGuardia airport and reserved a car for him there. Then I dropped of Vivek at the path station and came home and crashed.

Woke up around 12:30 to get ready to goto a lunch/dinner party at Renny’s place. The weather was horrible so it took us a while to get there but it was worth it. We cooked pav-bhaji for dinner with me chopping all the onions and most of the vegetables. (It was either that or cook…) Vinit helped Renny in making the bhaji while Surabhi and Bina prepared the Pav (Buttered Bread). After we all finished eating, during which all of us overate (at least I did) we talked for a while and then split as they had to goto Renny’s sister’s place.

Finally we got home and lazed around for the rest of the day.

November 25, 2004

Changes to the Photogallery

Filed under: Website Updates — Suramya @ 3:24 AM

I changed the photogallery script to sort the section listing in reverse chronological order instead of sorting it by name as suggested by Vivek. I think it makes more sense to sort it that way.

Please let me know if you have any trouble with the gallery ’cause of this.

– Suramya

November 23, 2004

Uploaded more pics to the photogallery

Filed under: Website Updates — Suramya @ 6:12 AM

Finally decided to cleanup my image archive and post all the pics from the various trips I have taken over the past few years. I still have ~ 400 pics left to sort through so posting them all will take some time.

Sections Added to the Photogallery:

More updates coming soon.

– Suramya

November 21, 2004

Watched National treasure

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 9:17 AM

After spending all day at home relaxing for a change, I went to watch ‘National Treasure’ with friends. The original plan was to go for the 11:15 pm show. But since we got delayed while picking up Reema from her place and then driving to the theater we had to change the tickets to the 12:10 am show.

It was a decent movie, worth watching once but not that impressive. Everyone else (Surabhi, Vinit, Reema, Amit and Sanketh) really liked the move though. If you like treasure hunt movies you will probably like the movie.

November 17, 2004

Fixed broken links

Filed under: Website Updates — Suramya @ 9:06 AM

Found out that some of the pages in the Tech section stopped working when I reinstalled php and apache on the server.

I have fixed the pages, added some links and removed dead links from the various articles in the tech section. Will be adding more stuff to the tech section sometime this week.

– Suramya

November 15, 2004

Weekend was fun

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 6:42 AM

This weekend was fun. Ruth and Chetan came over from DC for Diwali.

On Saturday we roamed all over ChinaTown taking pics for Ruth’s Photo feature. Then we went to watch a Hindi Movie Veer-Zhara (This part wasn’t that much fun). Finally we went to Reema’s place for dinner. Her mom is an awesome cook and I think we all overate. 🙂

Sunday we again spent in NY (Chinatown + little Itlay). Then ruth spent some time shopping, thankfully that wasn’t as long or as boring as I feared.

Overall a fun weekend. Took a lot of pics, will put them up soon.

– Suramya

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