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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 Computer Security. I have developed a strong desire for that area in ICT. In fact I've been following OSSTMM for sometime, and now feel like contributing to it. Other than that I'm paying close attention to what ISECOM is doing. So believe people I'm strongly into InfoSec.

As usual I've been playing with interesting tools. Some people who knows me will remember I've been using Nessus, Nmap, Metasploit and several other tools all along. Actually, I've been writing an article about Nessus called How Nessus Works from February. You can expect it any day after today. It spans around twenty pages in A4 formatted OpenOffice.org 2.2 Writer document. The document is almost finished and will be posted here once it's done. I'll also put a link to the PDF version. Thanks for the people who's been waiting for it.

I applied for the Google Summer of Code 2007. I applied last year too, but wasn't successful. My this year's GSoC application was for Nmap Scripting Engine - Script Developer. The PDF version of the application can be found in my Google pages. For the people who don't know what's been going on with Nmap, try Nmap 4.21ALPHA4. This version includes a nifty and very useful feature called NSE (Nmap Scripting Engine). It enables one to write scripts which can utilize Nmap in complex and advanced ways. More on Nmap, later :)

As for the year 2007, one of the very interesting things I had was the opportunity to attend a seminar on ISO 27001 ((Information Security Management), ISO 20000 (IT Service Management) and TR 19 (Business Continuity Management). It was a great experience. I was naturally attracted to it since I already had experience with ISO 9001:2000 (Quality Management System).

And the biggest thing till now in 2007 for me was buying a new Notebook computer. It's a Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz (with 4MB L2 Cache) with 1GB (DDR 2 667MHz) of RAM, dedicated 256MB ATI Mobility Radeon x1600 GPU, 17 inch Widescreen XGA display, 100GB SATA HDD (5400 RPM), DVD Super Multi burner, Intel PRO Wireless 802.11a/b/g, Gigabit Ethernet, 56k integrated modem, 3 USB, 1 IEEE 1394, DVI, S-Video, 4-in-1 memory card reader (SD, MMC, MS, MS-Pro), PCI Express card slot amoung other things. As you can see, it was a big thing for me :)

I'm running a Fedora Core 6 Linux desktop on the machine. It was really cool to see CPU load balancing graph during the time we encoded 2 movies simultaneously using MEncoder (MPlayer's own encoder). With the x264 codec MPlayer/MEncoder can do magic (what a quality!) also. Many thanks to the FFMPEG team, too. And for the people who have no idea what MPlayer is (or who think it's Media Player), MPlayer is the best media player, the true universal player :) (Obviously I'm a big fan).

I also tried a few games in the new machine (wouldn't it be a sin, not to play any games in a machine with such power? :). I tried Doom 3, Quake III Arena, Quake 4, Tomb Raider - Legend, Prince of Persia - The Two Thrones, Unreal Tournament 2003. Anyway I don't have much time to play games, so apart from Linux, I'll be running OpenSolaris soon.

Nothing much to say about my academic things because there weren't much. I was much concentrated on my professional things. Since I have a plan where I'm going, that's what I was doing. Any way professionally, I was getting ready for the RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) hands on lab test (RH 302) which is scheduled on 23rd of April. I've registered for the test and looking forward to it. I found a lot of interesting reading regarding Linux in IBM Developer Works Linux section, especially LPI certification article series.

Other than OSSTMM, RHCE, Nmap, Nessus, I have allocated some time here and there to watch the Cricket World Cup these days, which is getting hotter and hotter by match in the Caribbeans.

So that's what's about me. I'm living happily (with Nadee by my side :) Lot more things are there to say. But I think this is enough for you to get a picture of what I've been doing. So other info, later. Thanks for reading and look for the paper, "How Nessus Works".

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