Wednesday 30 March 2011

Torbutton for Firefox 4

Torbutton is a 1-click way for Firefox users to enable or disable the browser's use of Tor. It adds a panel to the statusbar that says "Tor Enabled" (in green) or "Tor Disabled" (in red). The user may click on the panel to toggle the status. If the user (or some other extension) changes the proxy settings, the change is automatically reflected in the statusbar.

I lately upgraded my firefox 3.6 to firefox 4 and so far it looks pretty good and I am having fun with the new firefox. But many of the old add-ons were not working and I had to upgrade them as well. Among them, torbutton was also not working so I checked the mozilla addons site but apparently didn't find any update to it. I could each time edit the network preferences to set the proxy but I am too lazy to do that always so checked the torproject site and found new release of torbutton.
Torproject has released alpha version of new torbutton that will work for firefox for now. Though its still in testing phase and might need to be worked on, we can still use it and seems to work well except I can't see the menus properly when I right-click on the torbutton icon.

To download and install torbutton in FF4, Click Here. Btw, the new add-on manager makes the installation process pretty simple and sleek.


emesene : A lightweight MSN Messenger client

emesene is a nice and simple MSN Messenger client. It tries to be similar to the official client, but with a simpler interface and a nicer look.

emesene has got very simple and cool graphics and is fully coded in python using pyGTK, GTK+. Hence, its a cross platform messenger with binaries available for different platforms and the source code available under GNU GPL license.

Following part is taken from wikipedia entry on emesene.

The current version of emesene is compatible with the Windows Live Messenger protocol MSNP15.

Official Windows Live Messenger features supported by the client are:

Offline messaging
Personal messages
'Now Playing' personal messages
Contact list retrieval from server
Nickname retrieval from server
Tabbed chat windows
File transfer
Webcam support (1.6.3 working)

Other features specific to emesene are:

Plugins (now playing, AES Encryption, Gmail checker, POP3 mail checker, spell checker, Youtube videos, song reporting, MSN Premium and others)
Minimize to notification area (System Tray)
Window and icon themes
Emoticon themes
Multilingual support

To install emesene in ubuntu, open the terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install emesene

To download and install emesene under under OS, you can go to the Download page of emesene.


Sunday 27 March 2011

Passing variable/arbitrary number of arguments in PHP

Sometimes, we might need to pass arbitrary number of arguments in PHP and probably we might have been using the option arguments feature of PHP for this purpose but we have got yet another function that can be utilized for passing arbitrary number of arguments to your functions.

func_get_args() is a very useful function available to achieve the passing of arbitrary number of arguments. The function returns the array of the arguments passed to the function. The following sample code will clarify.
function func()
 $args = func_get_args(); //array of the arguments passed to the function
 //now we could do anything with them..
 foreach ($args as $key => $val)
  echo "Argument $key : $val
 func("I love my Nepal");
 func("I love my Nepal", "I love my culture");


Hope it helps some of you out there.


Saturday 26 March 2011

xRDP installation how to

Based on the work of rdesktop, xrdp uses the remote desktop protocol to present a GUI to the user.

The goal of this project is to provide a fully functional Linux terminal server, capable of accepting connections from rdesktop and Microsoft's own terminal server / remote desktop clients.

We can download and install the xRDP directly from the ubuntu software center under ubuntu and the source can be downloaded for other distros. After the installation, we can execute the command from the terminal as below to verify if its working correctly or not.


In the sunde terminals and probably in other such hardware products, we don't have to remember this command. Sunde gives us the option to choose Linux from the configuration display and that would be enough for running xRDP. And it seems to work pretty fast.


Friday 25 March 2011

Copying a file to all subdirectories in Linux

You might sometimes need to copy a single file to all the subdirectories and this can be easily achieved with linux terminal by simply using some commands.

Below is how I copied password.txt file to all the subdirectories inside the Moviez directory from terminal.

find /samar/Moviez -type d -exec cp -i /samar/Readme/password.txt {} \;

Isn't it simple? And it will surely come handy sometimes. Have fun. :)


Backtrack 5 Release date announced

Backtrack Linux is the most widely used security pentesting distro and its now near to v. 5. The backtrack team has announced the release date of the BT5.



Monday 21 March 2011

Offline version of UnicodeNepali.Com V3 Converter

Sometimes, we might need to use converter and we might not have access to the internet. But, by just saving the complete webpage of the converter, you could get the offline version of the converter. Now you can take the downloaded html and its related files anywhere and open the html file to run the converter offline.

Even better, if you are windows user, you could save .hta version from Internet explorer and could make a single file of the converter in your own computer.

Go to the URL:

and press Ctrl+S to save the complete webpage. See the screenshot below:

Hope you find this useful.


Netpoint Protocol installation and setup[How To]

Recently, I and my friends had to implement netpoint protocol to setup the server/client eLibrary environment in one of the schools in Nepal. In this post, I will list the steps to follow while setting up such terminals. By the way, the terminals we used were Sunde terminals. This is pretty short tutorial without going into details because I assume that the person who performs these installation has good knowledge of how computers work.

a) Install Windows XP(or any other windows version) in the server machine

b) Select and run one of the Sunde terminal clients. Its for downloading the necessary softwares to our server machine as the necessary softwares are hosted in the Sunde terminal clients.

c) Connect the server and client with ethernet cable and set static IP address for both the server and client.

d) Run the internet explorer and type the I.P. address of the sunde client in address bar.

e) You'll find a page from where you can download netpoint setup file and user guide as well. (Also, xRDP for linux is available for download).

f) Install the netpoint setup software in your server machine and it will have netpoint protocol and netpoint management GUI installed in it.

g) Now you'll have to add users and assign the newly created users to "Remote Desktop Users" group. For that, right click in My computer -> Manage and from there, you can add users and assign them to groups from "users and groups" section. I would let you figure out how to do this. Btw, create the users with passwords otherwise you'll have to perform group policy editing to allow logging in of remote users without passwords(to do that, use gpedit.msc)

h) If you want to setup DHCP server in your server, you could do so. Otherwise setting up the static IP would be enough. Now, set the static IPs for all the clients and also set the server IP in all those clients.

Your sunde terminals are now ready to go. If you get messages like "can not connect to server", ensure that server IP in the clients is correct and also make sure the physical things such as NIC, ethernet cable, etc. are working correctly. If you get the login window and can't login with the user, make sure those users are assigned to group "Remote Desktop Users". Also, sometimes you might need to turn firewall off in the server.

I might have missed some stuffs while writing this. If you face any problem, feel free to comment. And I am sorry that I could not provide you any screenshots. Maybe sometimes later when I got the next netpoint deployment(but its unlikely). Also, you can use Linux in the server and in that case, you will have to use xRDP or any other RDP protocol server software for linux.


Graphical management of runlevel init scripts with Boot-Up Manager

I've been using boot-up manager to graphically configure and manage the init scripts run according to the run level. And its pretty useful. So I thought to share about this application in this post.

From :

The scripts located in /etc/init.d are part of the bootup sequence of every Debian-like distro. Very often Ubuntu's documentation and guides have suggested - in order to deactivate init scripts - to change the permissions of the scripts in /etc/init.d, making them non-executable. This will have the following consequences:

* You'll get an error message at boot time (to avoid it you need to patch all the scripts);
* You are breaking the logical chain stated in debian-policy concerning runlevel configuration.

If the logic of a debian-like system boot up sequence is not very clear and familiar to you, you should not play with symlinks, permissions, etc. In order to avoid messing up your system, Boot-Up Manager will automate all of your configuration in a nice and clean graphical interface.

From :

Boot-Up Manager is a Perl-Gtk2 application to handle runlevels configuration of any debian derivative system. With this program the user will easily start and stop boot-up scripts, without the necessity to handle thru complex links and permissions.

Boot-Up Manager has been developed and tested on Ubuntu, but as it only relies on Perl-Gtk2 libraries, it can be run on any Debian-like system.

To install Boot-up manager under ubuntu, run the following terminal:

sudo apt-get install bum

Deb files are available for download for other debian based systems.

In order to run the application, go to System-> Administration -> Boot-up Manager or type the following in command menu:
su-to-root -X -c bum

You could refer to the above mentioned links for more technical details on bum.


LTSP deployment visit to Baglung and Myagdi

With the help of HeNN(Help Nepal Network), we've been on our visit to two schools of Baglung and Myagdi. We were the group of three, Arnab Sarkar, Bikash Kharel and me(we all are from Kathmandu University). Our deployment visit has come to an end and we are on our way back to Dhulikhel. The visit was full of fun and gave me new experience of working in team(though the team was extremely small :p). We had lots of fun in both places and received pretty good response from the local people.

Our journey started on March 4 and we took our bus to Bhimgithe-8, Khaala, Baglung. The journey was full of adventures. Thank god, the bus was third class due to which I got a chance to taste the tea without sugar (It was great, btw :D). We didn't sleep for the whole night and our dinner was at around 11 pm at night. The real adventure began when we reached Ridi, one of the more known places from Gulmi. The road was, well, so narrow that only the tires of the bus were on the road and outer parts of the bus were out of the track. A small mistake and our bus would fall down to the river and we were excited and scared at the same time. Moreover, the driver of our bus had not been sleeping for more than 24 hours so we were even more scared. On the next day of our journey, we had to face some problem with traffic police regarding the horn used in the bus.

At around 10:30 we arrived at Khaala, our first destination. We were excited to see such a big mass from such a small village for welcoming us. All the computer materials and accessories were stored in the school's storeroom and we were glad to find all the materials in the good condition after such a "ghandryaang-ghundrung" journey. The furnitures and computer room were not ready yet so we took full rest on our first day. Next day, we started to setup the LTSP clients and the task was completed in around 2 hours. We were helped by the local villagers, teachers and even the principal of the school in setting up the system. After finishing the setup, we started to train the teachers and students. Everyone seemed to be so interested with this new "computer" object and we felt so glad to see such involvement of everybody. On the next day, we again gave training to the teachers as well as students so that they would be familiar with the system. In the late hours, we provided teachers information about how to troubleshoot the general problems they might face with the system. We now had to go to Histan-6, Rima, Myagdi for our next deployment task.

Next day, we headed to Myagdi district for our next deployment at Adarsha Madhyamik Vidhyalaya, Rima, Myagdi. We spent our first night in Myagdi in Tatopani. Next day, we took a short warm shower in Tatopani and then quickly headed to Beni to catch the bus for Baisari. In next two hours, we were already in Baisari. Now one of the toughest time of our visit had come and we had to walk uphill for around 3 hours(local villagers require 1.5 hours :P). We were tired and hence decided to pass that night at Aula, 30 min below Rima. Next day, we went to Rima school and soon thought of starting our work. But unfortunately, the electricity transmission line was down and we had to wait for the next day. We faced multiple problems due to electricity and lack of materials in Rima school. Edubuntu didn't seem to like the hard disk and never wanted to install. Btw, it was not actually LTSP deployment but it was a RDP deployment. Not being successful with Edubuntu, we decided to install Windoze XP and again with more hurdles(loadshedding being the major one), we finished all the tasks. We had to stay for 4 days at Rima to finish all the tasks. Finally the system was up and we were very glad to see it working.

We are right now on our way back to Dhulikhel and we've managed a small meeting with Mahabir Pun, the MAN from Myagdi. Both deployments were successful and personally I gained lots of experience and practical knowledge(Running LTSP under virtualbox and deploying a full LTSP terminals are two entirely different things).

*Note: It was written a while ago when I was in Myagdi. I am too lazy to edit :D


Thursday 3 March 2011

My first LTSP deployment visit

I am excited about my first LTSP(Linux Terminal Server Project) deployment visit to Baglung and Myagdi districts of Nepal. I shall not be able to write in the blog for a while because of this. I hope to have fun and make good experience in my first LTSP visit. :)