Sunday, June 28, 2009

More taxpayer money down the drain...

More taxpayer money down the drain: link

I support for smaller governments....
We need something similar to this in India as well: http://www.downsizedc.org/

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Miles to go before I sleep...

'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening'
Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
-- Robert Frost

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Foresight??

The following is an excerpt from "Notes on the State of Virginia" written by Thomas Jefferson in 1781. It talks about despotism, a form of government not much different from dictatorship. Once you go through it, u realize that the state imagined by Jefferson 275 years ago is not much different from whats happening in our own country right now.
All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary, result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one. 173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one. Let those who doubt it turn their eyes on the republic of Venice. As little will it avail us that they are chosen by ourselves. An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others. For this reason that convention, which passed the ordinance of government, laid its foundation on this basis, that the legislative, executive and judiciary departments should be separate and distinct, so that no person should exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same time. But no barrier was provided between these several powers. The judiciary and executive members were left dependant on the legislative, for their subsistence in office, and some of them for their continuance in it. If therefore the legislature assumes executive and judiciary powers, no opposition is likely to be made; nor, if made, can it be effectual; because in that case they may put their proceedings into the form of an act of assembly, which will render them obligatory on the other branches. They have accordingly, in many instances, decided rights which should have been left to judiciary controversy: and the direction of the executive, during the whole time of their session, is becoming habitual and familiar. And this is done with no ill intention. The views of the present members are perfectly upright. When they are led out of their regular province, it is by art in others, and inadvertence in themselves. And this will probably be the case for some time to come. But it will not be a very long time. Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and power which they possess, or may assume. The public money and public liberty, intended to have been deposited with three branches of magistracy, but found inadvertently to be in the hands of one only, will soon be discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to those who hold them; distinguished too by this tempting circumstance, that they are the instrument, as well as the object of acquisition. With money we will get men, said Caesar, and with men we will get money. Nor should our assembly be deluded by the integrity of their own purposes, and conclude that these unlimited powers will never be abused, because themselves are not disposed to abuse them. They should look forward to a time, and that not a distant one, when corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price. Human nature is the same on every side of the Atlantic, and will be alike influenced by the same causes. The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold on us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered.
I know its long, but i could not remove anything from the text, its essence is best unabridged. I hope someday our leaders wake up to this danger and put in the necessary checks/controls[1] to improve the democratic setup of our country.

NOTE: You can read the 'Notes on the State of Virginia' here: http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/JefVirg.html

[1] RTI is one such check.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Roads in MP

The following pics are of a 5 KM long stretch of the road leading to 'Kisli gate' of Kanha National Park, MP. I will let the pics speak for themselves....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Organization Kid

link

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blowin' in the Wind


Hey everyone, this one for all of you.



The wallpaper is A moment in time by realityDream
The text on the wallpaper is the lyrics of the song Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan
The manipulation was done by using gimp.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hacking into Zimbra

Well, if your job has anything to do with mail servers or collaboration suites, u must have read or atleast heard about Zimbra Collaboration Suite (catch them here). Its an excellent open source project showcasing how open source projects can be leveraged to create an exceptional product which can really challenge Microsoft Exchange's hegemony in corporate mail. Its projects like Zimbra, Firefox, Ubuntu which really make people look up and take notice of open source (i clearly mean no disrespect to other projects but these projects are easy to use for the not-so-techy consumer which is something Microsoft has always been excellent at).

My tryst with zimbra started last year when myself, shreyas and karthik were trying to set-up a mail server for the college so that mail accounts can be given to students. Thats when searching for various options i came across zimbra, it seemed excellent with all the features but it still wasnt ready for all our requirements, one of which was support on Ubuntu. So that time we went ahead with karthik's idea and installed qmail/vpopmail/squirrelmail. Now, Zimbra is available on Ubuntu and is a more feature-rich product with a increasing user-base and a very helpful and knowledgeable community. I wont be writing how good zimbra is coz u can find that by a simple google search.

Now coming to main content of the post, here's a screen shot of the default zimbra login page:


As you can see, its a very clean and beautiful page, but thats not the most important thing when it is to be used for e-mail service in a college environment.

The first and foremost important thing is to be able to put up notices and policies on the login page so that no one misses them. Then, there are dozens of domains and everyone hates entering complete email-addresses (which usually are very long ex: username@dep.vnit.ac.in) while logging into the system. Zimbra has a good feature called virtual host which can remove the need to enter the domain name part of the username, so that the user needs to enter only the username and can login into the system. That is a great feature when used in a single or at the most in a two domain configuration but when it comes to more than that it fails because it cannot resolve when same username exists in more than one domain, which will surely happen when you have more than 3000 users spread over a dozen domains.

So my first task after a successful installation of zimbra was to put up notices on it and second one was to put a drop-down list of domains. The zimbra web client is designed in JSP and AJAX, technologies which are exceptional to work with but i have never worked on them and this was my first exposure to them, i was really baffled when i first saw there source code. But slowly reading through it and with a lot of help from the zimbra forum (here), i was to able to find that the simplest way to implement it would be to modify the 'simple client' login page which resides as /h/login on the server. Its just straightforward JSP and html code in there, which is easily hackable.

After all the hacking and everything, this is the final page which i have ended with:


Hoping that it passes all the testing and gets the go ahead from the authorities as well. Its just a way too good experience to be on zimbra, hoping to be able to roll it out to the users pretty soon.

Just a little bit of more information, if you want to implement SSO with zimbra, have a look at there preauth library, u will find that its all that you need.

Notice: My postings may make people think that i am against Microsoft or closed source, but its nothing like that, i believe that both methodologies must exist for benefit of one and all. Just that my work is generally related to open-source technologies thats why i blog about them. People who know about me, please dont take this notice otherwise.