Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

October 7, 2007

Nintendo Wii and me

Filed under: My Life,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 5:16 PM

Vinit and Surabhi were in town the past few days and they brought their Wii with them to play with and I tried it out for the first time. Its a cool system and its fun actually swinging the controller instead of pressing a button to swing a bat. But (Yeah there’s always a but) I don’t think I will be buying one. I played with it for about 1/2 hour in the past 3 days and I think I have had enough.

This could be an effect of the games that they had which were really kiddish, so that could be a reason. But overall I don’t think so ’cause I am not a very big gaming fan; the only games I like playing a lot are Warcraft II, and Diablo (both of them) and Decent II. Doom , Duke 3d and Halo were good for wasting a little time and other than Warcraft & Diablo I haven’t spent a lot of time playing games.

So I am not going to be buying a Wii.

– Suramya

October 4, 2007

Free Burma!

Filed under: Interesting Sites — Tags: — Suramya @ 7:12 AM


Free Burma!
Free Burma

Burma in Brief

The people of the Southeast Asian country of Burma are locked in one of the world’s great freedom struggles. The country’s military rulers, the State Peace and Development Council, have run the country with an iron fist for the past 15 years, after they assumed power from a 26-year socialist dictatorship. In 1988, students, professionals, and others launched a nationwide uprising aimed at bringing an end to authoritarian rule during which millions of people courageously marched on the streets, calling for freedom and democracy.

The military responded by gunning down thousands of demonstrators and imprisoning thousands more in one of Southeast Asia’s most bloody episodes in recent history. The leader of the demonstrations, Min Ko Naing (pronounced Min Ko Nine), has been held behind bars ever since, where approximately 1,400 political prisoners remain. The most recognizable face of Burma, 1991 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced Daw Aung Sawn Sue Chee), has been in and out of house arrest and prison since 1988. Presently, she is held under house arrest.

Worried that they could not hold on to power in 1988, the ruling generals announced they would hold a democratic election. Aung San Suu Kyi and many allies formed a political party, which they named the National League for Democracy (NLD). The party went on to win the election in a landslide victory in 1990, garnering an astounding 82% of the seats in parliament, even though many pro-democracy leaders were already imprisoned. Tragically, instead of permitting the electoral winners to assume office, the regime has maintained its grip on power ever since.

In 1996, students again organized major protests on the streets of Rangoon, with thousands conducting sit-down demonstrations at key traffic intersections. The regime responded again by force, brutally beating them with batons and water canons, and arresting hundreds. This time, a videographer managed to capture some of the events on camera, which were then shown on CNN and other news stations.

In May 2003, Burma again made international headlines when Aung San Suu Kyi, just released from house arrest a year earlier, was traveling on a speaking tour near Mandalay, Burma’s second largest city. During her tour, approximately 600 members of her caravan were brutally attacked by the political arm of the regime, the Union Solidarity and Development Association. Up to 100 supporters were brutally beaten to death with blunt clubs, bamboo sticks, and spears, while Aung San Suu Kyi narrowly escaped assassination. She was held in prison and is now under total house arrest.

At the same time, many of Burma’s ethnic groups, including the Karen, Shan, and others, have been waging armed freedom struggles against the regime, some for up to 50 years. The regime, intent on dominating the entire country, has responded with brutal force — raping, slaughtering, or forcibly displacing millions of ethnic peoples. Reports of some of the world’s most horrific human rights abuses have been documented by governments and credible organizations in Burma’s ethnic regions, yet these peoples never give up the struggle to protect their homelands and way of life.

(Source for the text: Campaign for Burma)

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– Suramya

October 3, 2007

Automatic session logging/monitoring with GNU screen

Filed under: Computer Security,Computer Tips,Security Tutorials — Suramya @ 11:10 PM

Found this good article on how to setup screen on Linux/Unix so that it automatically logs all activity made in the session. Screen is a utility that I use very often on my Linux box. Basically its a program that you start and it attaches to a specific console and if you ever get disconnected you don’t loose your work/position, all you have to do is log back in and reconnect to that screen. You can also connect to a system via ssh/telnet and start a program then disconnect from ssh then move to another location and reconnect to server and join the same session from there. I use it all the time when compiling stuff or downloading large files.

The main issue I had with screen was that it would only keep 20-30 lines in the history so if you wanted to scroll up to read the previous logs you couldn’t. Now this article explains how to set up logging so that you can do that. For the impatient here’s how you do it:

I wanted to automattically launch a screen session when somone logged in so if I happened to be on the server I could monitor them in real time. I also wanted a log of the session in case I wanted to look over it later or if I was not able to monitor the session live.

I ended up adding the following to my .bashrc

# — if $STARTED_SCREEN is set, don’t try it again, to avoid looping
# if screen fails for some reason.
if [[ “$PS1″ && “${STARTED_SCREEN:-No}” = No && “${SSH_TTY:-No}” != No ]]; then
STARTED_SCREEN=1 ; export STARTED_SCREEN
if [ -d $HOME/log/screen-logs ]; then
sleep 1
screen -RR && exit 0
# normally, execution of this rc script ends here…
echo “Screen failed! continuing with normal bash startup”
else
mkdir -p $HOME/log/screen-logs
fi
# [end of auto-screen snippet]

and add the following to your .screenrc

# support color X terminals
termcap xterm ‘XT:AF=E[3%dm:AB=E[4%dm:AX’
terminfo xterm ‘XT:AF=E[3%p1%dm:AB=E[4%p1%dm:AX’
termcapinfo xterm ‘XT:AF=E[3%p1%dm:AB=E[4%p1%dm:AX:hs:ts=E]2;:fs=07:ds=E]2;screen07′
termcap xtermc ‘XT:AF=E[3%dm:AB=E[4%dm:AX’
terminfo xtermc ‘XT:AF=E[3%p1%dm:AB=E[4%p1%dm:AX’
termcapinfo xtermc ‘XT:AF=E[3%p1%dm:AB=E[4%p1%dm:AX:hs:ts=E]2;:fs=07:ds=E]2;screen07′

# detach on hangup
autodetach on
# no startup msg
startup_message off
# always use a login shell
shell -$SHELL

# auto-log
logfile $HOME/log/screen-logs/%Y%m%d-%n.log
deflog on

Keep in mind that this is not a very secure setup. Anyone with any technical knowledge can edit the logs as they are located in the user’s home directory and are editable by them. So don’t rely on it extensively to keep a system secure.

Complete article is available here: Automatic session logging and monitoring with GNU screen for the paranoid.

Thanks,
Suramya

October 1, 2007

Receiving people at the airport

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

Receiving people at the Air Port is a pain and I have been doing a lot of it this past year. First it was Surabhi’s wedding where everyone was arriving by flight and of-course since none were arriving at the same time I ended up making a lot of trips to the airport. To add to the ‘fun’ they were arriving at all times of the day, including one particular arrival at 3 am. After the wedding it was relatives coming to visit, Surabhi & Vinit’s flights in and out of town and a whole lot of others. Its gotten to the point where I don’t need to think about the way, I know it by heart.

I think its a rule somewhere that if I manage to get to the airport at time the person I am receiving would get delayed making me wait for a couple of hours and if I am running late then the flight would be on time.

Today Vinit and Surabhi arrived in Delhi and I had to go receive them. I made it there on time so they took ~2 hours more to get out. The airport parking is expensive so I usually stop before the Airport and wait for a call from the person I am receiving. Today I did the same but for some reason luck wasn’t on my side. At first I was parked on the road with my blinkers on (there was hardly any traffic on the road) and was reading a novel. About 1/2 an hour later a tow trunk approached me and asked me to move along. So I drove off and after a few mins of driving I found an area with a lot of buses and taxi’s parked so I decided to stop over there and wait.

After about 15-20 mins the same tow truck showed up and the guy told me that my car had been flagged for un-authorized parking and they would have to tow me. So I told the guy that I was waiting for my sister and would move the car if it was causing a problem. They told me that a call had come in for them to tow the car so they had to do it. I then told them that I would put it in the parking if stopping here was that much of an issue so he told me that he would tow the car to the parking lot and I would have to pay 700 Rs. as a fine. After arguing with them for a good 15 mins they let me go.

I was told that my car no had been flagged and if I stopped anywhere except in the parking they would tow the car forcefully. So I drove to the gas station and after filling up the tank stopped for a little while at the store over there. Then spent a little time just driving around exploring the area. Finally Vinit and Surabhi arrived and I could pick them up. It was the first time I had so much trouble over there. I guess it could be because I was driving the Honda City instead of the Esteem.

Then I drove to Connaught Place and spend 1/2 an hour baking in the Sun while Surabhi and Vinit finished some work in the Bank. Once they were done we we drove home without any futher issues and I was back in my AC room. Atleast the AC in the Honda City is very effective so I didn’t boil too much in the heat, plus the weather wasn’t that bad either.

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

– Suramya

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