Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

September 21, 2005

How to Investigate Intermittent Problems

Filed under: Computer Tips,News/Articles,Tech Related — Suramya @ 9:14 PM

A really really good post by James Bach on how to investigate Intermittent Problems. Any person who does product testing should read this. Even developers/programmers need to read this as this will make it easier to find and fix bugs.

Brief extract from this post:

Some Principles of Intermittent Problems:

  • Be comforted: the cause is probably not evil spirits.
  • If it happened once, it will probably happen again
  • If a bug goes away without being fixed, it probably didn’t go away for good.
  • Be wary of any fix made to an intermittent bug. By definition, a fixed bug and an unfixed intermittent bug are indistinguishable over some period of time and/or input space.

Some General Suggestions for Investigating Intermittent Problems:

  • Recheck your most basic assumptions: are you using the computer you think you are using? are you testing what you think you are testing? are you observing what you think you are observing?
  • Eyewitness reports leave out a lot of potentially vital information. So listen, but DO NOT BECOME ATTACHED to the claims people make.
  • If someone tells you what the problem can’t possibly be, consider putting extra attention into those possibilities.

Original Post:
How to Investigate Intermittent Problems

– Suramya

September 20, 2005

Finally got net access

Filed under: My Life — Suramya @ 11:56 PM

Hi Everyone,
This is my first blog entry from my room in California. I finally got online from the hotel I am staying at. They have a wireless network over here and I was able to signon to it thanks to the wireless card I borrowed from Tariq.

Now I can waste time in my room working on projects/surf the web without having to goto work and sit in a cubicle… 🙂

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


Now google can be used to find ancient ruins

Filed under: News/Articles — Suramya @ 1:43 PM

Now this is cool, I don’t this that even google knew that something like this could happen.

Luca Mori, Italian computer programmer stumbled upon the remains of an ancient roman villa while studying maps of the region around his town of Sorbolo using Google maps and Google earth.

Original Story: Enthusiast uses Google to reveal Roman ruins

Originally Blogged about: Here

– Suramya

thebroken dot organization

Filed under: Tech Related — Suramya @ 1:32 PM

Found this interesting site yesterday while surfing the web, it is ‘computer show’ that is a bit different than the average computer show. It goes a bit into the gray area and talks about hacking, social engineering, making exploding laptops etc. Not very technical but interesting anyways.

So far they have released three episodes but more are on the way…

Check it out:
thebroken dot organization

– Suramya

September 17, 2005

Ver 0.3 of the CollageGen script released

Filed under: Software Releases,Tech Related,Website Updates — Suramya @ 3:14 AM

I have just Released CollageGen, Version 0.3. Incase you are wondering, CollegeGen is an application that uses the Yahoo search API to create a collage for any search term entered by the user.

Changes made in this release:

  • The backend script was rewritten from scratch to make the collage generation faster and more efficient.
  • Redesigned the CollageGen access website
  • Threading support was removed from the backend

Check it out and let me know what you think.


September 14, 2005

Nice way of showing news using a worldmap

Filed under: News/Articles — Suramya @ 6:15 PM

MSNBC has a nice page that shows the current news items on a world map.
This is a pretty nice way of showing news, I wonder how hard would it be to use Google Maps and a news agency’s rss feed to do this… Maybe a project for when I get some free time…


– Suramya

September 13, 2005

Snooping on Text by Listening to the Keyboard

Filed under: Computer Related,My Thoughts,Tech Related — Suramya @ 8:25 PM

According to Bruce Schneier’s blog a group of researcher’s from Berkeley have developed a process that lets them identify the keys being typed by analyzing an audio recording of someone typing at the computer for about 15 mins.

There was some research done on this earlier but their method required specific training tapes where the system knew what keys were pressed and when to configure the listener before it was able to accurately deciper the input. In this case the training tape is an actual recording of a target.

This brings an interesting possibility for hackers/crackers to steal passwords/information by setting up hidden mic’s etc.

Saw a technique somewhat like this being used in a TV show called ‘MI-6″ (Or was it MI-5? It was 3 am… ) In it one of the spies gives a special cufflink to the target and gets him to type her resume out. As the spies knew what was on the resume they were able to get a readout of each key (They didn’t explain what readout’s they were taking in too much detail) and once they got that they were able to see what ever the target typed on the computer in realtime as long as he was wearing his cufflink. Neat eh?

But before you start panicking, remember the bad guy’s still have to either get physical access to your system and/or the area around your system in order to bug it and you know the law: “Physical access is root access”.

So to lower the risk of this attack all you have to do is follow the same basic rules you have been following about not granting unknown people access to your workplace and keep an eye out for people carying video camera’s and mic’s.

To make the risk go away completely play loud music to drown out the typing sound when working on sensitive data.

Original Source:
Schneier on Security: Snooping on Text by Listening to the Keyboard

Link to the Paper: Snooping on Text by Listening to the Keyboard (PDF File)

– Suramya

September 12, 2005

Setting up a SOCKS Proxy using SSH

Filed under: Computer Security,Security Tutorials,Tech Related — Suramya @ 8:13 PM

This article explains how we can setup a SOCKs proxy via SSH which lets you surf the internet securely from unsecure locations.


Open PuTTY (see the list of requirements above for a URL). You should be greeted with a configuration screen. First, you will enter the hostname or IP address of the SSH server. Type in a name for your connection settings in the box below “Saved Sessions”, and click the Save button.

Now you need to look at the tree of options to the left; expand the SSH tree, and select “Tunnels”. Enter 4567 (or any port number above 1024) in the Source Port area, and click the Dynamic radio button to select it. Leave the Destination field blank, and click “Add”.

Now go back to the Session tree (very top of the left section), and save again.

You will be prompted to enter a username, which is the username of your shell account. Type that in, hit enter, and then type in your password when it prompts you.

Original Article:
Security Engine: Secure surfing SSH

Programming PHP with Security in Mind

Filed under: Computer Security,Tech Related — Suramya @ 7:37 PM

Interesting article about how to write PHP code securely. A bit old but it still has a lot of good info and tips.

Article Link:
Programming PHP with Security in Mind

September 7, 2005

Moderation capability added to the Feedback section

Filed under: Software Releases,Website Updates — Suramya @ 6:53 AM

Just finised writing Version 3 of my Guestbook script. This version has a moderation capability and all comments posted in the feedback section will now need to be approved before they show up.

This was done to stop the idiots who post links to gambling sites/porn sites etc from posting messages. Earlier I had to manually edit the DB and delete the entries, now I have a new interface that allows me to edit/delete/approve comments all from one screen.

Next on the things to do is to move the rest of the admin interfaces to this new system. This will consolidate the admin function to one GUI making it easier for me to maintain and upgrade. Plus this GUI looks a lot nicer too. 🙂

You shouldn’t notice any differences but Let me know if you have any questions.


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