Showing posts from 2007

How do I protect my computer from the Interne(t)Devils?

People keep wondering how to keep their computers free from viruses and worms and other Internet (d)evils. I have tried to put in some information for those who would be seeking answers to the questions regarding Internet Defence in this document.

The Internet is no more a safe place. You are vulnerable the moment you are connected to the Internet. As a regular Internet user, you would be advised to follow some basic rules to distance yourselves from the threats that are impossible to avoid completely.

I assume that you are using a Windows machine (such as XP or Windows 2000).

If you are not very familiar in using the computer, ask your computer technician to
1. Install a personal firewall and configure it
2. Install an antivirus utility
3. Install Firefox browser
4. Install Ad-aware
5. Install Spybot S&D
6. Download Process Explorer and Hijackthis

After installation, your computer has to be checked once for viruses and spyware, immediately.

Alternately, you could prefer to do it yourself. F…

A few things that I heard about Azim Premji (Wipro Chief)

A few things that were said about Azim Premji (hearsay from the mouth of an employee who had seen him up close). I had to record it since I found it interesting and inspirational.

He is not finicky about the mode of travel. He always travels Economy Class. He is also not worried about the brand of car or taxi that he uses to commute. Once when the car that was booked for him did not turn up, he coolly took an auto-rickshaw to his destination.

Compare this with another boss, who waited for 2 hours for a Mercedes to turn up (the time it took to get a replacement when an alternate Toyota or Skoda were available immediately)

Whenever he can, he always stays at the company guest house. He takes food from the company canteen. He says, "What is good for my employees is good for me".

His son was refused stay at the company guest house, since it was only for employees. mmm!

He sees professional and personal lives differently and doesn't mix business with personal.

At one point of time,…

How to send email from a form ?

How to send email from a form ?

I had asked this question a few days ago myself. And have been scouting
google for the answer. To be honest, I did get quite a few answers.

But, the problem lay in finding the compatible tool for my installation.

My limitations were:
- I do not own the server
- I cannot install or uninstall any tool on to the server
- The server help was not very familiar with the installation either
- I had to scout the server details (info like the MTA used by the server)

So, was born a script that does not rely on the server configuration, for sending mail.

This script is in php (I tried to use the formmail script, but found that
this is easier) and relies on direct communication with the SMTP server to send mail.

The script uses SMTP AUTHentication for sending mail. This script assumes that you are using the Exim MTA for your email transport.

As you see in the script, though the SMT Protocol (SMTP) is standard, the request and response for different servers are slightly differen…

Is there a science beyond science (or) Do you believe in magic?

This is a log of an incident that happened a few weeks ago.

One definition of magic on the Internet:
The practice of using charms, spells, or rituals to attempt to produce supernatural effects or control events in nature.

Magic is part of a larger science, that has not yet been accepted or understood by the scientific community.

We have seen magicians make trains and planes, even the Taj Mahal disappear, on TV live. We have always been interested and fascinated by such activities, if only in the hope to find the trick that cheats the audience.

I met with such an interesting individual in the recent past. I am logging the meeting since something interesting and fascinating happened during that time.

He is an islamic mystic with universal beliefs. A colleague had mentioned about him during a casual conversation and I had evinced an interest to meet with him.

He frequently visits Chennai. And it was during one of his visits that I happened to meet with him. He was staying in a lodge in one of t…

Hypocrites all, You, I and the World!

Have you heard about the new role of the Chennai Metropolitan Police? Yes, they have decided to clean up the muck in Chennai's famous Marina Beach. Indeed.

That's a good thing, you say. Why is it hypocrisy? Because, you and I do not go to the beaches of Chennai in the morning or mid afternoon. Those that come there since they have free time. Isn't this the land of the Kamasutra? Why cannot a few lovestruck couples have a good time necking with each other?

Don't the police have anything more important than to do this, is the question. Ask any citizen in this country about the image he has of the Police and you will know. It reminds me of the sequence in the Bible where Jesus speaks to the crowd thus: "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."

mmm... Do you see the television channels these days, the song sequences, the movies, the mega mega serials, the comedy shows et al? The people who can get corrupt are watching the televisio…

Personal Magnetism - Psychic Powers and how to develop them

Following are extracts from a book called "Your Psychic Powers and how to develop them", by Hereward Carrington, Ph.D.

Use the contents at your own discretion.

We all know the difference between a positive and a negative personality; between an individual who is naturally successful and one who is not. The former seems to attract to himself success, happiness and prosperity; the latter seems to repel it. It is not necessary for a naturally positive person to say anything or to perform any action in order to make us feel this power within him. It seems to radiate silently from him as a form of power. Many times, doubtless, we have all stepped into a room, an elevator, etc., and immediately felt the strong personality and presence of an individual of this character, possessing much natural magnetism. They may know nothing of this power; perhaps hardly realise they possess it, although they do, -in many cases, to a remarkable degree. Properly developed and utilised, this power he…

Omens and their Interpretation, Interpreting Omens!

This article is about experimenting with the inherent power of the human being, which have been lost in course of time, due to ignorance and/or disuse.

This is about Omens or Portents as they call it.

Portent, a definitionHow do you define portent? It is a signal from outside or inside about a future occurrence, which may happen in the next few minutes, hours or later. 

Have you ever had a feeling that this is not going to be right? And did you experience later that it was not right?

This happens to us all of us sometimes. Some of us may experience it more than others. Some may not have experienced it at all.

On the other hand, something happens to us when we are about to do an action such as, visit a friend, go to the supermarket, starting for office and so on.

You may slip when starting, encounter an obstruction or see a particular sight within a few meters of starting.

Two different kinds of experiences, the first one is popularly called intuition; the other one is called omen.

Intuition i…

Install Ruby on Rails on Windows - Step by Step

Updated install instructions, as on 15th June 2007:
Updated Install instructions (5.18 KB) can be downloaded here. These modified instructions may be used in lieu of instructions found in "Step_by_step_RoR_Install_For_Windows.txt" and the original instructions.

Original instructions below:
Download the ruby pack from the link here (29.69 MB)

Unzip the package in a directory of your choice.

The following files are part of the package:
rubyInstall <dir>
standaloneInstall <dir containing all dependent packages of Rails>

Now, install Ruby, by double-clicking on the "ruby185-24.exe" file.

Next, gems needs to be installed.

Create a directory C:\Ruby\Src\ as
shell> md C:\Ruby\Src
Extract the "" file in the "C:\Ruby\Src\" directory.
Now, the gems package is extracted in the directory "C:\Ruby\Src\rubygems-0.9.2"

Next, copy…