Saturday, May 31, 2008


That's the most one could ask for.

A new running website, in just 3 days, thanks to drupal.

It all happened suddenly. Souvik who was originally supposed to do the website, suddenly called me and surrendered. He had lot more in his hands to worry about.

That night Debayan sends me a link to another CMS platform Plone. Says he has seen the videos, this one looks awesome, so lets make the website with plone instead of drupal. I told him no, cos i had been going through the 1st few pages of a Drupal manual I had downloaded and I didn't want it to be for vain.( it was not the 1st time I had gone through the 1st few pages of a book, but you know how it is!! )

So we dowloaded a few drupal videos that night,( it was after 3 am), mine being slower I was busy watching "The Usual Suspects"(nice movie believe me) and he had within an hour already seen them and installed the Website. Within 5 am we had a working website.

The next day Debayan was missing so I did a few things with the website( my favorite being changing the theme every 1 hour). The night I was asleep as Debayan worked.

By noon today we had all the correct modules and blocks and nodes is place, and with all the user management taken care of, I had already started publisizing the new website.

People pestering me about the theme: heres for you, this is just a for-the-time-being theme. Rahul Jha is supposed to have made a template for the website. I will change that into a drupal theme and trust me( if you trust Rahul, and trust me you can trust Rahul) it is going to be a treat for the eyes.

All people reading this: please register, you need not be a LUG member in order to register, and in case you are contact me or any other moderator, and they'll give you the necessary permissions of a paid LUG member(ofcource they enjoy more facilities).

A lot more work is to be done on the website and we will be ready to replace the old one. Please drop in comments on what you like and what you don't, we will try to follow most. (Arjun Lath your wishes have been answered!!)

I think me and Debayan have doen a great job with the website(and if that sounds as if I an bragging, well can't help it :D).

And as a wise man once said, "Give two Linux enthusiasts a Web Server and remote access to it, and get ready to see them do Magic".

.... Okay, that was me !!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

secure shell

just for the records(that's what blogs are for you idiot !!!)


seems that i have successfully configured the LUG server to manage SSH accounts. debayan was planning from a long time since after he had made the repository. the plan was to make ssh accounts for everyone in the core committee and the SDU, who was intersted for one. what the hell, he was not going to do everything and me just sit (read: sleep) and watch.

suddenly i discovered that logging through SSH as meant I had to provide the password of my personal username instead of the root password ( took so long for you to figure that out, you air-head).

just ignore the person in brackets.....

thus i had discovered that i had found a way of creating SSH accounts. but i kept implementing the thing for later.

later debayan pointed out that all users should be limited to a certain disk space or we would soon be facing space constrains on the server ( as if...).

so i researched a bit. linux adminstration handbook (ok i got it from the library to study in the vacations) mentioned a command:
#copy disk quota settings from
protouser to newuser
edquota -p
protouser newuser

which was no use as we did have a protouser to copy from. it aslo mentioned that using disk quotas was obsolete because disk space has become cheaper (i am a proud owner of desktop too and take it from me:
HARD DISKS are not cheap)

other than this it had no other opinion on the matter. so don't pester me about getting a book to read from the library because the only book
(only ????)

so where was i ... ya only book i got from the library was useless. (hope that was a sufficient enough excuse)

so i googled( should have done it earlier).

googling is a tedious but a sure method. none of the pages had complete information. but 4-5 results together and i had a idea what it was all about.

i also learnt that /home and /var/www/html had separate mount points. it involved me editing the /etc/fstab file to include quota support in those mount points and remounting them. also i had to make a aquota.something file in those directories to store quota info. (reminds me a lot of my youth for equality days)

i saw that the rest of the steps had me editing the quota for a user file using specific commands you don't wanna know about. so i did a good thing. i made a user named
sshidol (inspired by indian idol which in turn was inspired by american idol) and i edited that user to allow it 20 mb of space in /home and 10 mb in the www folder. thus i could use the 'edquota -p' (see above) command to copy the settings to any new user ( so that was useful in a way).

i have the settings copied for my and debayans account. so its out for a test.

soon we would be making SSH accounts for all concerned. if you think you deserve an SSH account in the lug server, please do contact me. (after the testing is over).

p.s i was on windows while i did all this and i used putty a SSH client for windows. so if you get an SSH account and don't have linux do try it out.

ps. ps. ill not be using capital letters as punctuations anymore, its better to type this way (you lazy @@!!@##!)


Sunday, May 18, 2008


Finally I achieve what I had set out to achieve right from the middle of 3rd sem. Combining my two biggest passions after DJing...

LINUX and Counter Strike

I had found both at almost the same time.

Fire in the Hole:

The Hall 1 LAN was not connected to the outside world, neither the other halls nor the internet. They had put up a switch in the common room that would connect all the different wings to a single network. I had heard or the thrill of counter strike on LAN (bots had become very uninteresting then) and i wanted to taste it badly.

I remember how I had taken the initiative of buying a switch for the wing. I held a wing meeting and the joint decision of a switch being bought was passed.Considering the fact that there were only 3 computers in a wing of 8 rooms consisting of 24 people, that was a great achievement.

I had some Rs 1000 saved with me then (another of those great achievements) and the next weekend home I bought a 8 port hub. It cost sum Rs 650, Rs 50 lesser than what they were charging in Durgapur(yupp, I had done a market research as well).

Money collection after the thing was bought was what I didn't want to get caught in. I knew that once I start collecting money for what had already been bought I would get stuck in this great never seizing infinite loop and would never get my money back. So I had an idea !

I told my wingmates that I was still to buy the switch, (only Souvik and Abir knew the secret, others reading the blog... sorry !!!). I had my money in one day itself, roommies paying for their non-present mates.

And then the switch was installed that day itself!!

Having a computer at that time would mean you would use the LAN for just two things, file sharing using LAN surfer(movies & music you perverts) and Counter Strike.

Counter Strike was awesome. There was these group of pre-finals who played really well including my personal favorites:- RAVAN, KUMBHAKARAN, YKAS, 21st Pulikesi etc. I loved playing with them. All day (and night) I would be looking for new servers to join into.

Then one happy day all the hostel LANs were connected. And net came.

And I suddenly lost most of my enthusiasm towards CS.


Right from the time I had installed windows on my computer I was looking forward to install Linux.

Mukti '06 had had a great impact on me including my favorite tagline:

I worked like a Slave for Mukti '06

I knew what Linux was all about. Somehow I had ended up on the Mukti helpless in 1st year and that was a minimum requirement for the job.

The 1st Linux installation I got was Ubuntu Live CD.

Within hours I still had the Ubuntu CD in my disc drive and my windows drive lost, never to be found. Apparently Ubuntu cound not detect my hard disc, and in the process of making it detect, I had somehow deleted my C drive.

Then 2nd year came, and with it the prospects of better distros for my computer.

About 3 new windows installation and 4 distros later, none of which could detect my hardware properly (Suse 10.2 DVD could not detect my DVD drive, the same one in which it was spinning) I was finally about to give up when I found Mandriva 2006 in 4 CDs.

An issueless installation and I had my 1st Linux system running.

I was quick enough to find out that I could do everything on Linux that I did on Windows, except for Counter Strike.

That was the beginning of my eternal quest.

I had set up a target to install Counter Strike successfully on Linux before Mukti '07 so that people could play CS instead of Quake 3 in the gaming compitition on Linux platform named C9H13NO3 which was the chemical formula for adrenaline (don't have a clue why it was named that). had an opinion on the matter which I seriously considered.

Installation was successful. But I had no idea how the game could run.

I could even read rounds start and finish, but there was no graphics. That was not Counter Strike. A Counter Strike which was running but I couldn't play was no valid game. Sorry.

People suggested WINE (no I wasn't yet frustrated enough to go alcoholic). WINE stood for "WINE Is Not an Emulator" which fell under the category of those Linux softwares whose developers weren't capable enough to give them a name which was NOT recursive in nature (GEEKS... I hate being one!! ).

Wine unfortunately is an emulator (a software which allows things from one platform to run in another; of cource with degraded performance), so this one allowed me to install the windows version of Counter Strike 1.6.exe on Linux. It's very ingenious though, how Wine created windows C drive, Program Files, Registry etc to install a windows software.

Installation was one thing, but the game actually running was me asking too much of it. Another failure.

Quake 3 was a major attraction at Mukti '07. Counter Strike on Linux stayed a distant dream.

6th Semester, things were quite different now. Even Mukti '08 has passed.

ENTER Stage Left : Debayan Banerjee with a LUG repository.

Jealous of Debayan's OpenSuse Drive, I had Mandriva 2008 downloaded on the LUG server. And I had people installing it.

The twist came when I learnt that a group of Counter Strike enthusiast had installed Mandriva 2008 for playing Counter Strike !! And they looked upon me to make it possible for them.

I went back to . I installed Counter Strike again, but I was quick to perceive this time that I had actually installed a Counter Strike 1.6 Dedicated Server, which could only host a game on LAN which others could join on Windows and play, but you couldn't play on Linux itself, which put me back to square one.

Then people mentioned Cedega. Cedega is a derivative of Wine itself meant specially for emulating games. But the problem was that Cedega is a Propritory software, and it kept asking for a Transgaming(that would be the company that owns Cedega) username and password. I hate it when they do that, asking for things I didn't have and would have to pay for to acquire.

It also had no option for installing games and supported only mountable CDs which I didn't have for CS.

And finally, RESULT:

I stumbled upon this package named "Windows in" in my hard disk in one of my cleaning sessions (that's what I do to find space in my Hard Disk, find and delete trash from it) which I suddenly became aware of, and have no idea where I got it from. I was trying out all the stuff in it, when I stumbled upon Cedega, and this time it had a engine upgrade that came along with it.

I installed it as the manual directed, installed an upgrade, ignored all queries for transgaming account, and suddenly there is an option to install games from windows installers alongside the "Mount CD" option which I had written off earlier. I installed Counter Strike 1.6 digizone, had to look for the main exe, and there I was shooting terrorist bots at sight.

The graphics was not good enough compared to the what we find in windows, but it certainly was playable.

Sometimes I find it sad how intersting stories like these have such boring ends!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Dear all,

Its finally time when I blogged again, and because this is after a long time, this is going to be long.

Loads of interesting things happened from then to now. But I´ll try and stick to the main features.

1. Raha Travels Pvt. Ltd.

To start it off was the 10 hour long bus journey from Durgapur to Kolkata in an AC bus (which was basically no use as most of the time we spent outside the bus( we as in me and Mayank Daga the new LUG NITDGP president). The journey consisted of a non stop 1.5 hour ride from Durgapur to Saktigarh(that´s midway) and the rest of the time on the other half. There were times when :

  • we had about 20 lorries with drivers-in-deep-sleep that had to be woken up and requested to move their vehicles out of the way so that our bus could move ahead.
  • ten of us tried in vain to push a trailer that suddenly finished all its fuel and refused to move further disrupting more traffic.

We had experienced about 8 jams that day within 8 hours. Some people stranded with us were of the opinion that the traffic disruption was because of the IPL T20 match between Kolkata Knight Riders and the Mumbai Indians but none could explain how that jam could extent, more so devided among 8 smaller jams to midway between Durgapur and Kolkata.

Not to mention KKR lost the match that evening.

2. Error 678

The first thing I had done after returning home for the holidays was to apply for a BSNL broadband connection. The whole Cossipore Telephone exchange knows me by now. Mine was a special case. Not that no one applies for a HOME 500 plan, no, but then I required the connection within a week (that was some 7 weeks before normal) and I would be surrendering it within 3 months( dunno what´s the norm in this case! ).

So there I was practically almost everyday at the Exchange making my presence felt personally or over phone.

I managed to squeeze out a DSL modem within 3 days... my dream of getting an internet connection close. Was maybe only 2 days more till I got my username and password. Meanwhile I was trying all different usernames and passwords even Anish´s valid ones with the same result.

Error 678 "The remote computer did not respond"

There came a time when I finally got irritated of the error message. But I did not stop connecting.

3. Mantra: The Lifestyle Management Club

And here´s the part which we were all waiting for. I joined a Gym.

As of now I have already been Gymming for 2 weeks. But the 1st day there was awesome.

I started off with funny-named and funny-looking Streaching and Joint Movement exercises.

Funny named ones

  • Tadasana
  • Pec-Dec-Fly

Funny Looking ones
  • Butterfly : involved joining your feet together close to your crotch and flapping your legs like a, ummm.... butterfly!!??
  • Crocodile : you lie on your front and put your palms on your face with elbows on the ground which makes you look like someone in deep thought and nowhere remotely close to a croc.

Then came the aerobics. I was to do 2x5 mins of cycling, 5 mins on the jogger and 5 mins on th treadmill.
I stated off with cycling followed by the Jogger keeping the relatively easy treadmill for the end.
I don´t know from where I got this notion that all treadmills were automatic. Turned out this wasn't.

After what seemed like hours of sweat-dripping and leg-numbing walking I glanced at the watch- only 1 minute had passed.

To top it all I was made to do 100 crunches and had to walk home( The gym is some 20 minutes from home by walking).

It was a miracle that I had managed to return home in one piece and somewhat 3-dimensional.

4. #2, Church Lane:

This year will be my happiest ever for at last I was able to resolve my Identity Crisis.

Now I have a Birth Certificate, a Ration Card, a Bank Account and the newest in the line, my Voters ID card.

A year ago I had none of those.

Came to know that they were handing out new Voter ID cards at Church Lane for new applicants whose name had appeared in the voter´s list. Mummy and Daddy told me to grace them with a visit.

So I went there with by application form´s counterpart. I had expected a decent office. Instead it was an accountancy firm converted into an election office. People were like normal people are in such a place. No matter how many times they were told to sit and wait and not line up before they were called, just one person had to move in the direction of the office and there was a whole queue behind him. Then they had to be told off and they would come back and sit down.

This continued for an hour. Finally were were asked to make a queue and fortunately I was right at the beginning this time. Minutes later I was heading back home with a new 4 GB Flash Drive( I lost the last one I had brought a month ago spending Rs 50 on the new one) and a Samsung DVD writer.

The Voter ID Card lay forgotten in my pocket.

5. Wipro :

Ms Bhardwaj had me in her cc whenever she sent a mail to our TPO regarding Wipro Internships. Except when she mails the final selected candidates, she decides to leave me out.

So just 2 days before the students are to report at the Wipro I come to know that such a mail has been sent.

Times when I wish I had an internet connection. I spent 2 hours in the hot cafe sorting out names and sending the selected candidates emails.

That´s ok. But when a Week ago both our TPO and asst. TPO decides to call at 8 p.m. remind me one after the other what a lazy idiot I am while I am watching The Sound of Music, that really got irritating. I had to contact all the TPR´s most at home without Internet like me and some even in the train. But Fortunately Layek got whatever he wanted by the afternoon next day.

6. Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps :

It was 10 days since I had applied for the Broadband connection. The person I was in contact with me had assured me action within 7 days and was not answering my calls. So I made another visit to the Telephone Exchange.

This time they checked it up and told me that my application had been sent to Bangalore and it will be at least 7 more days before I get my Username and Password. This gave me time. (didn´t stop me from trying to connect with ´all sorts of ´ usernames and passwords though).

I licked thought the entire 4 seasons of Coupling twice and all of The Simpsons once.

I liked Coupling. It had this rare sense of situational comedy that appealed to me. The character I liked the most was Jeff, with hair all spiky (but that isn´t the reason of me liking him).

I am not including excerpts for fear of censorship which I very much wanted to. But I would like you to visit

7. Eden Gardens:

And when you would be least expecting it, a friend will come up with 8 tickets to the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils match at Eden Gardens. As usual I will First agree to go along, then when I find out no one else is going I would say no and go to sleep. Then the rest of them would call me up and say that everyone is going as it will be fun, and again I agree. Then when I look at the watch its just 10 mins before everybody leaves for Eden.

Nevertheless I go along. I get in and am excited to see the cheerleaders up close, more excited when I learn that I get to sit close to them.

The first half is boring with KKR scoring a low total. But when you start having doubts that you wasted Rs 325/- Shoaib bowls and steals the show.

I saw every ball of the match except of the over when I was busy searching where Shah Rukh Khan was.

KKR had won the match, we were ecstatic. So much that we missed all the buses returning home.

A few more misadventures later at 1 a.m. there we were on a bus passing Sovabazar when I saw them for the first time. They were standing in groups along the road. The bus conductor was having his share of fun calling them names like Champa and Bulbul. But I was too tired to give them an afterthought.

8. Broadband:

I had bunked gym for the first time after joining. Coudn´t help, no possible way I could wake up at 5:30 am after a night at Eden. I woke up with an sms. It stated my username and password. I had an Internet connection last.

After trying in vain to connect the normal, I had to try unknown techniques of getting connected. And at last I did.

A lot of things were pending since I left colleges.

1. Cleared my inbox of the 200 or so mail that had come up after leaving college thanks to orkut and all the mailing lists I had enthusiastically subscribed to.

2. Finished downloading Mandriva 2008 Spring on the LUG server and Put it up on the repository for download.

3. Mailed and chatted up the NOSIP people on the IRC. Started up on LDTP.


4. Set up and configured NTP on the LUG server. Applied to the NTP site as a pool server. Was accepted. Initial score of the LUG server was -5 at 12 noon today. At 12:30 a.m. it has current score 11.7. For a NTP server to be among the recognized ones it should have a score of above 5. No wonder India had just one NTP server in the morning.

Now it has two.

5. The broadband guy came up at 9:30 p.m. (is Bengal suddenly getting so nocturnal, makes me feel good) and configured net correctly for windows. Then I find that its not running on Linux, so I had to reset the modem to factory defaults. Now everything is back to normal (normal- depends on how you define it).

6. And of course I wrote this blog.

P.S. And the Results:

Finally out of the 6.5 loop as Souvik correctly puts it. Somewhat happy with my marks, but ....