My Son’s Saturdays and Sundays

My son’s fathers day gift to me 🙂


He’s now 8 and half. Here’s a masterpiece he made when he was 5 and half.

Posted in Life

Amazon Marketplace scam

For last few months I’d been craving for a DSLR. I thought it was about time to take a step forward from my old point n shoot Canon Powershot S50 and upgrade it to a decent DSLR. BTW, my wife and I are expecting our second child in mid July and thought it’s the right time to have a quality camera to take nice pictures. Spent quite some time researching which camera to buy that fitted my requirements and budget. I narrowed it down to Nikon D90, Nikon D5000 and Canon Rebel T1i / EOS 500D, and finally decided to go for Nikon D90.

I was keeping my eye on the price of D90 in UK at Camera Price Buster (very useful site indeed!). When I was ready to buy it from Currys (it was £709.00 at that time), just decided to do a last minute check on Amazon (I prefer buying from Amazon because never had any problems in the past) and to my surprise Nikon D90 Digital SLR Camera, 18-105 VR Kit was there for just £649.99 by a seller called “rodneyjwillis”. Almost £60 cheaper, Excellent – I thought. Checked the sellers profile/review – it had 100% positive feedback from the buyers, nice comments and seller was with Amazon for almost a year. So, ordered it from Amazon marketplace. I didn’t see anything phisy at that time and anyway I was aware that paying via Amazon will guarantee my purchase with their A-to-z guarantee scheme.

When all other stuff I ordered together with D90 arrived (camera bag, sd card and d90 book), but there was no sign of my D90 being dispatched, let alone delivered. I sensed something was wrong. Went back and checked the seller’s profile – there was one new feedback saying

“BEWARE! This account is being used in a scam – items don’t arrive!”


Read more ›

Posted in Life, Security, Technology, UK

No display in MacBook Pro – NVIDIA graphics processor failed

Mbp 15Suddenly my MacBook Pro failed to wake up from it’s sleep. I thought it’s one of those problems which gets fixed after a hard reboot, but I was wrong! There’s no display after several power cycles. My MBP is one and half years old and I regretted not buying an apple care. Pressed the power button and turned it on again, it chimes, and after a while I could increase/decrease volume using the keyboard, but there’s no display.

After Googling a for a while I found about MacBook Pros with faulty Nvidia GPU.

Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within two years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.

Good – I thought, if that’s the case it’ll be a free repair. My MacBook Pro fitted all the descriptions, but I decided to do some further troubleshooting myself as per apple’s recommendation, tried external display and even changed the RAM (I had the original 2GB RAM, which I’d upgraded few months back to 4GB). Finally called apple, and the support guy asked me to take my MBP to apple store to be seen by a Genius.

I made an appointment with a Genius in Apple Store, Bentall Centre. A friendly Genius took my MBP in to do some test (they’ve a special test for nvidia issue) and came back to tell me that the logic board was faulty. I told him that the OS is actually booting, only the display is not working. Showed him that the volume key works, but he told me that volume key actually works without the OS (but I was not so sure). So, finally he gave me a £771.65 repair estimate quotation for the logic board replacement. I came back with my MBP and was already thinking about buying a new one.

Back at home, I turned on the MBP again and left it on for a while, I could see it joining the wireless access point and could even ping it’s ip address from another pc. At this point I was pretty much convinced that it’s not the logic board but only display problem. I booked another session with Apple Genius, but this time in a different store at White City. Showed my MBP to this Genius, explained him what happens. He said – he’ll need to do one test, booted my MBP using an external hard disk and told me “Yes, it’s a NVIDIA issue, we’ll repair it free of charge”.

So, apple took exactly 2 weeks to repair my MBP, the logic board was replaced. The receipt shows £771.65, but with payment method – “No Charge”. I’m glad to have this fixed free of charge (was nearly duped into paying £771.65 or even buying a new MBP).

If you have a MacBook Pro with display problem it’s very likely to be a NVIDIA issue even if one Genius says it’s not!

Posted in Apple, Technology, UK

Sourcefire and SFCP Certification

SfcppinHurray…! My intense work for last couple of weeks has finally paid off. Yeah, I’ve just passed my SFCP (Source Fire Certified Professional) Certification Exam.

First briefly about the company – Sourcerfire was founded by the author of Snort (an open source network intrusion prevention and detection system). Snort is the most popular and widely deployed IDS/IPS and has become the de facto standard for the industry.

So, why do we need Sourcefire (very expensive) if Snort is the best and free?

Right, Snort is the best and free out there but it’s implementation, management and maintenance is not a piece of cake for everyone; that’s where sourcefire comes into play. Sourcefire uses snort at it’s heart to utilize it’s powerful IDS/IPS techonology, with added benefit of plug-n-protect simplicity (the purpose-built appliance is easy to install, maintain and manage), and it comes with tons of extra features that make it very powerful. Sourcefire adds an Adaptive IPS and Enterprise Threat Management (ETM) on top of the Snort IPS. It is managed via user-friendly and intuitive web interface, of course you can always do your advanced config from the shell because it’s a snort installed in a linux box anyway.

Components of Sourcefire 3D System

Sourcefire 3D System is comprised of two appliances (Sourcefire Defense Center and Sourcefire 3D Sensor).

Sourcefire Defense Center (DC) is a centralized management console to manage the sensors, centralized event aggregation and sensor policy administration.

Sourcefire 3D Sensors are purpose-built network security appliances that passively aggregate network and user intelligence while defending the network against internal and external threats.

3D Sensor Modules

Each Sourcefire 3D Sensor is capable of running any combination of the following four software components (you need to buy them separately):

Sourcefire IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) it’s the mighty snort running in background, where you can use rules-based detection engine and utilize the acclaimed Vulnerability Research Team (VRT) to protect your network. The IPS component is included in the base system.

Sourcefire RNA (Real-time Network Awareness) passively monitors real-time network traffic and gathers network intelligence, it can detect operating systems, services, applications, protocols, and potential vulnerabilities that exist on your network. This is a very useful component of Sourcefire but you’ll need to buy the RNA license separately.

Sourcefire RUA (Real-time User Awareness) helps to identify the user identity and contact information, it pairs Active Directory and LDAP usernames with host IP addresses involved in security and compliance events. You’ll need to buy the RUA license separately.

Sourcefire NetFlow Analysis is an optional component of Sourcefire’s Network Behavior Analysis (NBA) solution. It gives additional insight to network threats by aggregating and analyzing NetFlow from routers and switches.

Sourcefire 3D System deployment with Master Defense Center

OK that was about sourcefire. Here’s how you go about getting certified.

Read more ›

Posted in Network, Reviews, Security, Technology

Shame on the Hong Kong police who shot an unarmed homeless Nepali man

I felt very sad and angry after hearing this news…

A Hong Kong police constable shot dead an unarmed homeless Nepali man.

A life was lost unnecessarily.


Because a policeman couldn’t subdue a single suspect with pepper spray and baton, then gave him warning in Cantonese (possibly the suspect didn’t understand) and decided to shoot him twice (one in the head) from a very close range.

Investigation is underway, but looking at the mobile phone video footage, shooting was absolutely unnecessary. If the officer was so unfit to subdue a single suspect he should have left him alone and waited for a backup support instead of shooting in the head, after-all he wasn’t a fugitive or a terrorist.

Shame on you Hong Kong Police!

Update: Latest News about the incident from

Posted in Hong Kong, Life, Nepal

facebook’s new terms of service: “anything you upload can be used by facebook”

FbThanks to facebook I’ve come in contact with many of my childhood buddies, neighbors, old school mates to university friends. It’s a place to be. Even when you’re busy, you just login once a day to check what your friends and families are up to. It provides sleek, friendly and relatively non-intrusive environment to interact.

I’ve to say that I’ve been quite reluctant to install third-party apps and post family photos due to privacy concerns, but this new terms of service makes it worse. Now anything you post or upload can be used by facebook even after you close your account. In previous terms of service, facebook’s rights on your content would expire after you closed your account, but not any more.

via: Consumerist

Update (17Feb09): facebook ceo, Zuckerberg has written a blog post about the issue, trying to explain why they need this TOS.

Our philosophy that people own their information and control who they share it with has remained constant. A lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective of the rights we need to provide this service to you. Over time we will continue to clarify our positions and make the terms simpler.

Update (18Feb09): After a global complain facebook has returned to previous terms of service (until they find a new language to clarify their position). Zuckerberg explains it in his Update on Terms

We concluded that returning to our previous terms was the right thing for now. As I said yesterday, we think that a lot of the language in our terms is overly formal and protective so we don’t plan to leave it there for long.

Update (27Feb09): Finally, democracy has come to facebook, it’s allowing users to review comment and vote over it’s future policies. That the way to go, well done facebook!

Posted in Life, Security, Technology

Heavy snowfall in the UK

My son was very excited from yesterday after he saw the snow forecast in BBC news. This morning he just jumped up when I opened the curtain to show him 10 to 12 inches of snow outside. The best part was yet to come – he started dancing when he knew his school was closed :). It was the heaviest snowfall in south-east England in 18 years. London public bus was completely shut down in the morning and only few trains were operational. London was almost brought to stand still, most of the flights were cancelled.

As for myself, I decided to go to office but my car needed some work.

After 15 minutes of shoveling the snow, it was ready for a drive.

The road was pretty slippery, it took half an hour to drive to work (it’s a 10 minutes drive in normal conditions).

Office was almost empty. No public transport and road closures made it impossible for most of the staffs to get to work.

Came back home and played in the snow with my son.

Just came to know that my sons school will be closed tomorrow as well. He’s very happy.

Posted in Life, UK

How To Install Windows7 in Mac with Vmware Fusion

I downloaded Windows7 beta on the first day of it’s public release, but didn’t get around trying it. Finally I got a chance to install it today. The installation was smooth and straight forward.

This is how I installed Windows 7 beta on my Mac with Vmware Fusion.


The 2.44 GB ISO file can be downloaded from Windows7 beta download page. It took me around 2 hours to download it using my 8MB home broadband. You’ll also be given a Windows 7 Beta Product Key together with the download to activate windows 7.

Create New Virtual Machine

Create a new virtual machine by launching the Vmware Fusion and going to FIle–>New

Click on Continue without disk, because we’ll be using the ISO image to install Windows 7.

Then, click on Use operating system installation disk image file and select the Windows 7 ISO file downloaded earlier.

Choose the Operating System. I had downloaded the 64 bit version so, I chose Windows Vista x64 Edition.

Enter the Account Name, Password and the Windows Product Key

I don’t need file sharing at the moment so, I disabled the windows sharing by choosing None.

Default config of the new virtual machine. I wanted to give more RAM to the new vm so, clicked on Customize Settings

This is where you can customize the hardware settings for your virtual machine. Click on Processors & RAM to increase the RAM size.

Increase the RAM to 2048MB (2GB)

Click on the play button to begin installation

The installation starts…

After couple of reboots and an approximately half an hour later it’s done.

The installation was seamless and I’m planning to use Window 7 for some time next week to see how good it is. The immediate next thing is an anti-virus. Complimentary McAfee anti-virus provided by vmware fusion is not compatible with Windows 7 yet, and a quick google showed Kaspersky, so I might install that.

Posted in Apple, HowTo, Technology, Windows

Buddha Boy is back and starts preaching

Update: You must read the first hand account from LTJ in the comment.

Ram Bahadur Bomjan has started his public appearance from November 10 to November 18 2008. He’s given a 45 minutes long speech and is planning to talk to his devotees for few hours everyday for a week before returning to his meditation. According to LTJ, who’s been there: “his speech was about 10 minutes long. He repeated it with great self control 3 times over ad verbatim in the same voice because people were missing it”

Here’s what we know about what he said so far from different sources.

Nepal Samacharpatra writes:

Bomjan says that the level of violence and death has increased in the country because society has failed to follow the religious path. And that’s the reason for human suffering. Bomjan also claimed that he’ll bring peace to the society through his meditation.

Ram Bahadur Bomjan speaking to his followers in Hallori Jungle (photo credit: Nepal Samacharpatra)

According to a Nepali blog mero sansar (There’s a short video too):

He tried to link his life story with lord buddha’s by saying that he’s started looking for peace after witnessing a cremation of a dead body at the age of six. During his 45 minutes long talk he got stuck several times and had to whisper with his helper lama to complete the speech, which gives an impression that he’s still not ready to preach independently.

BBC is also writing about his reappearance.

Officials say that hundreds of devotees, including many from neighbouring India, trekked to see him on Tuesday.

A message from Palden Dorje (google groups, you have to be a member to view the group’s content)

Palden Dorje wants to help bring peace to the world. We have to do karma, learn to love each other, and trust in God. We have to make peace amongst each other and realize we are one. God is one all over the world.

Posted in Body, Mind & Spirit, Buddha Boy, Nepal

I’ve joined Vanco (Reliance Globalcom – Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group)

After a vigorous job hunt of little more than a week, I’m glad to let you all know that I’ve joined Vanco (Reliance Globalcom, Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group) as a Security Engineer, which provides global managed network solutions with assets and expertise of FLAG, Vanco and Yipes:

Reliance-Gcom-3D-HorizontalDelivering customer-focused managed network and application delivery solutions that leverage a global network with unrivalled reach, depth and breadth to multinational, service provider and global carrier clients. Over 1400 enterprise customers and 200 carriers depend upon Reliance Globalcom to manage business-critical network solutions and address complex requirements for their businesses and partners throughout the world

Vanco is now Reliance Globalcom, Anil Dihrubhai Ambani group, which is also well known because of it’s chairman Anil Ambani, currently 6th on The World’s Billionaires List.

I feel myself privileged and honored to have this opportunity. At Vanco my role will be exclusively focusing on security, I’m really excited about it. This is a perfect opportunity for me to bring forward my previous network/security expertise as well as learn and grow at this truly global organization.

Posted in Life, Network, Security, Technology, UK

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