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Showing posts from 2007

I'm a Git (User)

Ok, I'm not a git. At least I don't call myself so. I just wanted to say I'm now a devoted Git user (yet novice). There are quite a lot of articles about Git you can find by Googling, so I'm not going to give a detailed technical document. Instead I'll just say why I like Git and why I'm going to stick with it. Some of the things I state are features common to distributed Version Controlling Systems (VCS). According to my experience and according to what I've heard Git excells in these features in a way no other does. For example performance alone is enough to win over users to Git. There are quite a few benchmarks of Git compared to other VCSs.

I first heard of Git when Linus Torvalds announced that he was going to write a new Version Control System in 2005. A few days later the project was announced and in weeks it was out. After reading about it in the Net, I heard that it was aimed at kernel developers, to who I obviously had nothing to do with. Time pas…

For the Love of Rails..

Most people who know me personally know that I'm an Open Source enthusiast. And they probably know that I'm more of a SysAdmin than a developer. Well, thats quite true. Eventhough I enjoyed programming, my main interest was always System (especially Linux) administration. However in the last 6-8 months aor so I've started getting more and more into Open Source development. A major breakthrough for me was getting selected for Google Summer of Code 2007, to participate in Nmap! (Nmap is much like a grail among SysAdmins :) Unfortunately my persoanl circumstances didn't allow me to finish the work with them. Family matters and other things piled up and I have to give up. Nmap people has been very supportive though and the same was true about the Google people. So after some weeks here I was trying to look more into Nmap, Metasploit and other things. Then I realized that I could give sometime to this Ruby thing which I heard was on Rails or something.

Here I am now, after a…

MySQL and EnterpriseDB Launched in Sri Lanka

The two premier Open Source Database Management Systems were officially launched recently in Sri Lanka. While MySQL itself was launched, PostgreSQL availability was in the form of EnterpriseDB, which is not exactly PostgreSQL.

EnterpriseDB Corporation, the maker of EnterpriseDB DBMS (a commercial DBMS based on the advanced Open Source DBMS PostgreSQL), together with a new IT firm called Fossmart announced their partnership on 10th, May to provide EnterpriseDB Advanced Server to Fossmart customers. EnerpriseDB is well know for it's Oracle compatibly, which means applications written to work with Oracle DBMS (worlds leading DBMS) can be used with EnterpriseDB usually with no or little modifications.

MySQL, the popular Open Source DBMS was launched 31st, July in Sri Lanka by hSenid Software International. hSenid will provide MySQL Enterprise Server in Sri Lanka. MySQL, provided by MySQL AB is probably the more popular of PostgreSQL and MySQL.

I personally believe this expresses the aw…

Nmap is Ten

Nmap, the popular Open Source security scanner turns ten years old today (1st September)! Ten years ago, i.e. in 1997, Fyodor released first release of Nmap as an article with the Phrack Magazine. It has since come a long way from that humble beginning into one of the foremost network/security tools on the planet, and also was featured in a couple of movies, including "The Matrix: Reloaded".

Current Nmap stable release is 4.20 and it was released some months ago. However the Nmap developers have been very busy. Nmaps development branch includes quite a few hot and wonderful features including the NSE (Nmap Scripting Engine), a new GUI frontend (UMIT), and many more. You can download both the stable and development releases from the Nmap download page. For cutting edge development the Nmap SVN repository is recommended. The improvements made in the development include development contributions from the Google Summer of Code students (5 Nmap students and 7 UMIT students) also.…

Ant Invasion

I'm being besieged by ants, constantly during the past couple of days. For some odd reason, ants in my home seem to find my notebook computer attractive. Whenever I turn it on and use it, ants (biting red ones, not the harmless black ones) come in a line, get through the space between the lid and the base, walk right over the power button (some over the speakers) and go in through the keyboard. First day I just blew a few. Then I realized that they were really determined. A fair amount of them started to crawl near the computer. The odd thing was they only tried to go in, when it was on. Whenever the computer was switched off, the few who made it in started resurfacing as the computer was cooling down. Was it heat (they should be nuts to seek heat in this climate :) or was it something else? I'm not sure. I was wondering whether it's because I blogged about SugarCRM a few days ago. :)

I've seen what they can do to a keyboard (they literally bites it and takes chews wi…

Fasten Your Seat Belts, IPv6 is Coming!

According to the researchers and technology experts, availability of IPv4 addresses will exhaust in 2010 at this rate, probably between march and may. Thats less than 3 years from now. Most probably the panic attack will come before that. So I guess it's safe to assume that migration to IPv6 is going to be big after around 2 years from now. So buckle up, road ahead is bond to be a bit edgy (at least for tech people).

Well, I'm not in a mood to explain what IPv4/6 addresses are for non-tech-savvy people. So I'll give a very simple (technically inaccurate) example. Your house is named "Big House", and people know it by the name. Your house also has a number to be refers by the town authorities 63/57. For people and for day to day use "Big House" is more easier and convenient. But the actual representation of your house is 63/57. Taxing and evaluating are done in association with it. Think of domain names (Ex: as "Big House" and IP ad…

Open Source doesn't count..... Says Who? Not Microsoft anymore

This is for people who try to argue with me that Open Source software is nothing serious. So read the article, research the Net and save me from the arguments. Of course, anyone else is welcome to read this, too.

This isn't going to be yet another 'Open Source is the best' article, or another 'Microsoft is evil' article (for that matter I'm not Anti-Microsoft, though I don't, can't and won't accept certain aspects of their vision and practices. Let's just say I'm Pro-FOSS). However this is a sort of an answer to Microsoft fanatics (not mere fans), then people who develop allergies when they hear 'Open Source' and people who are ignorant enough to refrain from opening up their minds.

All of them have been saying Open Source doesn't count, Open Source is for hobbyists and Open Source is not for enterprise. They as hard as they, could have been denying the influence the Open Source movement has done to the software, technology and cul…

SugarCRM going GPLv3.... Others?

SugarCRM, probably the most popular Open Source CRM project has decided to release their upcoming SugarCRM Community Edition 5 under the brand new GPL version 3.

It was nice for them to move to a real OSI certified Open Source license, rather than sticking with their own. Wait a minute...... version 2 of GPL doesn't appear in the OSI certified list yet. Well, I guess it's going to make it there. I have yet to study the GPL v3, so I cannot comment on technicalities or personal views. Should be an interesting reading (now, don't look at me like that), after considering the controversies linked with it, Linus Torvalds not being happy about an early draft and all.

SugarCRM is a promising project, but it has a little rough memory regarding the flame wars with their vtigerCRM fork. I guess SugarCRM people will have to get used to being used (their code actually) in other projects, if they are switching to GPL (ie: they cannot claim I stole their code, if I use their codebase to cr…

Howto Migrate from Thunderbird to Evolution

I know some of you are asking why, rather than how, regarding migration from Mozilla Thunderbird to Evolution. Maybe that's why there are lot of Evolution to Thunderbird migration guides, but not many vice-versa. Fear not, here is a guide, to assist who dare to migrate from Thunderbird to Evolution. The techniques described here are tested with the newer versions of both the software, namely Thunderbird and Evolution 2.10.2. On higher versions also this should work without an issue.

I think Mozilla people are doing a wonderful job with both Firefox and Thunderbird. From my point of view Firefox is the best general purpose web browser around. It beats most proprietary browser in speed, stability, security, modularity, etc. (and don't start commenting the so and so browsers are greater or so and so is cool too. I know they may be, Fx is simply my choice. This also applies to any comparisons with Evolution too :) However Fxs' counterpart in e mail business, is not yet …

Running Debian Etch on my Noebook with an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600

A couple of days ago I had a bit of a crisis when my Notebook running Fedora 7 refused to boot in the morning. It just hanged up after the line with 'Red Hat nash starting', after a package update. The update however, wasn't anything related to kernel, headers, nash or anything related. It was just a few regular package updates. The Fedora 7 crash was quite a disappointment as I was very impressed with how far Fedora 7 has come since FC3/4. I was using Fedora as my primary working distro, that was until the following incident.


So I was stuck with a crashed computer with all my e mails, svn check outs, bookmarks and so on. I tried with modified grub parameters (and various other things) without any success, before deciding to do a fresh installation. The real horror was there.

My Fedora 7 DVD refused to boot into the installer and hanged at Running /sbin/loader. Every time I tried to do an installation it just hanged the same way. By this point I wasn't even sure …

I Know What Happens to Harry Potter

Ok, there's a lot of buzz going on about the upcoming Harry Potter book. And not so surprisingly, there are quite a few individuals who claims to know what happens in the book. And there are quite a few versions of the book out there in the wild. If you are someone who are unlucky (actually, lucky) enough not to get your hands on one of these fakes (my, they actually wrote complete books, fake or not), here's my version. Er.. actually a couple of versions.

l33t v3rs10n:

I hacked as fast I could into the Bloomsbury server (or whoever it was) just now. I used several advanced out of this world hacks and kicked the hell out of their server defense systems. And being one of the l33t (a Scr1pt K1dd13) it was nothing for me. So just hacked into their poor box and managed my way to their 3D display of the filesystem. From there on, it was just a few clicks away to navigate and get to their fileserver. I got to the file "HP_Deathly_Hallows.pdf" and downloaded it to my box. The… Turns 7 and Member Count Hits 300,000

The popular Linux Community site (LQ) has turned 7 years old on 17 June 2007. "jeremy" the root annonced this officially on a forum thread. Just within a day, the member count has now reached 300,000!

That's a big number. Community driven sites with 300,000 members, isn't something you are going to come across daily. To be more amazing, the 300,000 count doesn't include members who have been staying with 0 posts. For example, the user 300,052 actually has the uid number of 349,117.

I (SkyEye of LQ) happened to be that enthusiastic member who kept counting (of course by looking at the counter) and announced both the 200,000 and 300,000 member counts. By revealing this I am practically giving up my anonymity on LQ. :) Anyway I'll consider it as a tribute to LQ.

However the distinction of LQ is not just in the numbers. LQ has always been know for the friendly Linux community which was always there to help. Started in 2000 by Jeremy Garcia who is …

My Nmap Survey

Here's a chance to all the geeks who read this blog to contribute to your favorite Open Source security scanner. If any of you have used Nmap please take a couple of minutes to complete this survey I created to capture end user feed back of the new NSE (Nmap Scripting Engine). FYI: I'm working with Nmap as a GSoC 2007 participant. I've already contacted some SysAdmins regarding this and this is the turn for you folks of the Blogospere :)

Gaveen's Nmap Survey

Nmap, the popular Open Source scanner have seen significant and rapid growth recently. Nmap being always a buzzing, swarming active Open Source collaboration, always attracted many (great many) users worldwide from it's early ages. If you are a SysAdmin (I mean a real one :) most probably you have already used it and loved it.

As a GSoC 2006 improvement there's a scripting system now available for Nmap. If you want to taste the latest things, try Nmap version 4.21ALPHA4 or the latest SVN snap. The new NSE syst…

Good Bye Prof. Samaranakaye

Here's my message in the electronic condolence book for Prof. V.K. Samaranayake. If anyone still haven't signed it here is the link. Come on people, show the respect he deserves, if this man was not there, most of you wouldn't even be reading this.

"Despite whatever some may say, this is the one who brought the Sri Lankan ICT to this light. Had it not been him and his inspirational presence, a great number of Sri Lankan ICT professionals including me, would not be what we are.

So may this be a tribute to he who spent a well spent live life, proactively shaping the Sri Lankan ICT; Prof. V.K. Samaranayake. Sri Lanka bows down to their ICT pioneer.

Good bye. May you attain the solace you deserve!"

Google SoC Launched on Fyodors B'day

Google Summer of Code 2007 which has the most number of Sri Lankan students in the 3 year history of the program, is now officially underway. It started on 28th of May which happened to be the birthday of the popular Open Source developer Fyodor. This reminds me that I haven't posted anything about me being participating GSoC. Well, in fact I am taking part in GSoC 2007, obviously with Nmap :) Sorry, I forget to post that. It has been a very hectic (yes, hectic) few weeks for me (about which I don't feel like writing right now :)

Ok, I know I have to slow down. Well, Google Summer of Code (GSoC or SoC) is a program where Google pays selected students who in turn will work for an Open Source software development project during 3 months of the summer (from end of May to end of August). It draws attention of thousands and thousands of students all over the world. I'm not yet aware if the number of applications received this year, but the number of selected students for this ye…

Just Another Week

Just another week. Not with too many interesting things (except a lot of personal affairs), but some troublesome situations which I can smile at as usual. Well, as usual patchy telephones lines caused Net connectivity blackouts forcing me to stay offline much. This was the centerfold of my week.

There were some notable sports events with mix results from my perspective. Shahid Afridi leading Pakistan to victory against Sri Lanka with his impressive brute force :), wasn't my favorite sports event of the week, naturally. My favorite sports event was Chelsea beating Manchester Unites for the FA Cup yesterday. It was Drogba with support of Lampard, got the goal in the 116 minute of the game (extended time) and won the cup for Chelsea. Not to mention, Chelsea is my favorite Football (Soccer, if you prefer) team. United had already won the FA Cup for 15 times or so where this was Chelsea's 4th time. Chelsea is the winner of this years League Cup too. They also ended up the 2nd in Pre…

Bad Weather even for Ducks!

"Bad weather even for ducks" was the term which was used by Arun Dias, who was a presenter at yesterdays ceremony to receive the national Cricket team. He was describing yesterdays bad weather. It was said rain was 121mm during a 3 hour period in Colombo. I didn't think what Arun said was real, not just colourful presenting until I had to reach Colombo from outside today morning using public transportation. What a joy ride it was!

I was out of Colombo and today I had to reach there for some important matter. So I took a bus hoping to get to my destination. It was raining heavily (in fact very heavily) in Colombo. Even before we reached the city limits, we were diverted from the main road to take an alternative route. The reason we learned later was a caved-in on the main road which created a huge crater. So we took the alternative route and joined the traffic jam only to be greeted with frequent lightning. The rest is just history, at least for me :)

For your information I…

Warm Welcome Home for the National Cricket Team

"Before this battle is done, even a god king can bleed"
- quote from "300" the movie

I remembered this quote today when I tried to recall Sri Lankan Cricket teams feat at the World Cup. Some people thought of Aussie team as an invincible unit. Although they have been the most dominant team of all times they surely are beatable. Everyone watching the game felt that, when Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya were going at Aussies before the officials claimed "mornie utulie" (darkness has come :) Anyway todays post is about the welcome home the Sri Lankan team received today.

"I've taken my bows and my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all but
It's been no bed of roses - no pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race and
I ain't gonna lose

And we mean to go on and on and on and on

We are the Champions my friends....
And we'll kee…

Online on Vesak

To day despite being the May Day, is also the Vesak full moon poya day, a day with immense importance to the Buddhists all over the world. Think of it as the Buddhist equivalent of X'mas. To day Buddhists celebrated the birth, enlightenment and passing away of lord Buddha, the great one. Anyway, when all the others were out there in the streets and temples, I was right here because I had to try some software very urgently.

I tried Pentaho BI Server and Alfresco CM. Pentaho is the premier Open Source Business Intelligence product while Alfresco is its Content Management counterpart (WebGUI is a very close contender). I have tried Pentaho beforehand, but it was my first experience with Alfresco. Pentaho is a great product. Alfresco seems great, too. But it's too soon to comment on that.

Yesterday I've been playing with Nessus (after updating the plugin set) and Nmap, running them against my new Ethernet router. Results were amazing as usual. Other than that, yesterday was my f…

Before I start ...again

I stated in my previous post that I'm going to be back. Anyway, before I start, I think it's better to give a brief description about what happened during the time I was not blogging and what I'm up to.

For the people who were [blank - fill to your satisfaction] enough to read my blog know that I bought "The Lord of the Rings" book trilogy. I am more than happy to announce that it was long ago I devoured the books. And about movie fests, what to say? We passed several movie fests of our own (in fact many, many) until movies became a Saturday night ritual. The movies we watched (quite a lot) deserve a separate post. So look forward to it. Other than that I've watched several TV serials on DVD including Millennium, X - Files, Friends :)

Our little effort to create a live Linux CD for computer forensic purposes didn't succeed, since we gave it up on other priorities. But that effort and several other things took me more and more close to Information and Comput…

I'm Back with year 2007

Hello world,

After several months of non-blogging, I'm back!

I'll be using my blog more and more open and express my views on whatever I think is interesting. So if anyone still bothering to read this blog, stay tuned.

Anyway, wish everyone a very happy new year, 2007!