Which hat do you wear ?


Linux Counter

It’s more than 14 years with Linux, and I still come across young engineers hell bent on saying not to support commercial Linux or Windows distribution. I been always an open-source evangelist in my twenties and spoke against distributions like windows and mac. But now it’s different. I today work & consult for IT firms and the business does not care if it’s open-source or paid. It asks for:


  • How good the support is ?
  • How many man hours spent for implementation?
  • How cross compatible it can be ?
  • What enterprise risk it brings into the the ecosystem ?
  • What purpose does it solve ?
  • What are the internal training needs to manage ?
  • What is the ROI ?

Today, it’s no more easy for IT leaders to walk into CFO and sell what they want to implement. If you propose to install a free Linux OS across the enterprise and that it  would cut cost from X to X -1, it will be happily approved. But that would be equivalent to shooting oneself in the foot. Linux though good on the server side is still far behind for general use in enterprise as a desktop operating system.  As IT leaders you just do not think of an Operating system as a pure solution for end customer. But with that come Governance, Security,  BCP, Privacy etc. Moreover all existing applications placed in the ecosystem is based on what the customer wants, or to develop what the customer needs and spending time on tinkering with available solutions (with or without support) is far time consuming compared to a commercial solution. I am not saying that commercial solution is the way to go and there are many open-source solutions which may fit or work with your existing requirement but most of the time the call has to be made based on business requirement.

Technology supports the business and vice versa and you need to wear both hats to think like an IT leader before you make decisions. It cannot be purely based on evangelism or your support for open-source.

Linksys WRT 1900 wireless router

WRT1900Bought a new Linksys WRT 1900 wireless router and dying to rave about it. A Bit expensive, $383 in India through ebay.in and one of the fastest routers available today. If you are looking at a router with opensource readiness, go for this or you can get an equivalent router like Netgear R8000, 7500, 7000 for a better price. Linksys WRT 1900 wireless router is a monstrous dual core processor with 256mb ddr3 and 128 mb flashable rom. Current routers mostly support 16 or 32 MB rom. Openwrt being an embedded os doesn’t need that much of space but imagine a choice of 2000 packages and though we came across bumps on a working Openwrt firmware initially, I am happy that at build r45222, it has meliorated.

I Plan to build a Snort over this and have logs pushed to my Synology ds 413+ which currently has a 26TB space and backs my family data. Initially i planned to buy a bare fan-less pc and have pfsense /Itus Iguardian installed to handle my home security,  but later thought why not have it run on the router itself. Been an old time ddwrt/tomato user and feel the “opkg install software-xxx” gives you more power.

Moreover this is so cool . I can connect TV to guest network and always have a running Netflix.

Update: ddwrt on Linksys WRT 1900 wireless router is moving. Forum Link here

Buying home in Bangalore.

Are you buying home in Bangalore ? If Yes these are some due diligence needed from your end. Most of the first timers get cheated or miss important details while booking a new property finally compromising because they were mis-informed or had no prior knowledge or guidance.

  • Define what you are looking for: This could be an individual villa or apartment. In both scenarios you need to look at   distance from main city, traveling time based on traffic (Morning & Evening),  Depth at which ground water was available. In general most of the new upcoming projects do not have BWSSB connection. I would recommend taking this as an important aspect. As per the BSWWB chief they do not have plans to extend Cauvery water to areas like Sarjapura for next 10 years.
  • Take the overall floor plan: Always calculate the overall area provided on the floor plan vs the total area. Cross reference this with the efficiency confirmed by the developer. Most of the time its a marketing gimmick vs actual efficiency.

  • Get a lawyer to scan the documents: Its always good to have the entire document checked by a good lawyer. A layman, may not be aware on what the builder has committed to vs what is agreed on documents. A lawyer would ask for those proof’s which would further help safeguard your investment. Having a good lawyer by your side is always a plus.
  • Do a comparative study: Do a comparative on spreadsheet to arrive at the best investment. More often our decisions are based on what we like. Having data on paper helps one to zero on the right property.
  • Check for clearance certificates: Check for BBMP/BDA clearance certificates, ground water report, Khata certificate, Encumbrance certificate to confirm no loan on the existing property. Also ensure that you have the loan cleared by a nationalized bank for additional security.With these information handy go and book your dream home.
I would suggest you read through the links below.


IFB Appliance poor support

If you stay in India, please ensure that you read, discuss and check  after Sales Support for appliances you buy. Lately I had a very bitter experience with IFB poor support. Unfortunately companies like these do not care who they have outsourced there work too. In my case a ticket was filed but the same was never tracked. A ticket should be filled by the service engineer when a issue is registered with auto-escalation alert to personnel who are responsible. I understand that IFB has assigned somebody partially to monitor portals like Mouthshut . He/She does respond to queries on forums, but issue resolves at the same pace.

Its time to buck up there sleeves and monitor/track customer issue resolution in time, If not: You have customers left with bad taste who are sure to leave breadcrumbs about their experiences online. Here is one I have left:

http://www.mouthshut.com/product-reviews/IFB-Digital-reviews-925049074 – Original
https://storify.com/sachingopal/pathetic-service-from-ifb-partner#publicize – Backup post

Detect proxy server on ISP

Are you on broadband, If yes are you sure  there is no proxy server placed by your ISP ? You would ask how does that make a difference. It does. For the non geeks: Proxy is an appliance or a server application configured to serve pages cached locally. Let say you browse www.redhat.com, here proxy would make a local copy and serve it  to the  next visitor from local database. This can be called as Man in the middle (We will skip the word “attack” here from the term MITM). In enterprise this is common. Even your HTTPS transactions are decrypted & encrypted on the fly. The shortfall is that a Network admin can get details of your creditcard/ss.no etc if he enables detail tracking but again they are governed by company policies.

To detect proxy server on ISP: Use any  application which supports tcp connect on port 80. We will use Tcptrace. Below i did a Tcptrace on a non proxy server to my domain and we see 14 hops in between my machine and the Godaddy server:

C:\Users\Desktop>tracetcp.exe www.sachingopal.com:80

Tracing route to [p3nlh081.shr.prod.phx3.secureserver.net] on port 80
Over a maximum of 30 hops.
1       3 ms    2 ms    2 ms
2       17 ms   7 ms    5 ms   []
3       10 ms   8 ms    8 ms  []
4       28 ms   29 ms   28 ms   []
5       211 ms  177 ms  158 ms   [dsl-del-static157.45.246.61.airtelbroadband.in]
6       161 ms  194 ms  172 ms     [te0-7-0-2.ccr21.lon02.atlas.cogentco.com]
7       165 ms  165 ms  156 ms   [be2329.ccr22.lon01.atlas.cogentco.com]
8       160 ms  158 ms  160 ms   [be2314.ccr21.lon13.atlas.cogentco.com]
9       245 ms  234 ms  250 ms  [be2272.ccr42.par01.atlas.cogentco.com]
10      246 ms  246 ms  240 ms    [be2094.ccr21.jfk02.atlas.cogentco.com]
11      277 ms  276 ms  264 ms    [be2176.ccr41.iad02.atlas.cogentco.com]
12      278 ms  248 ms  253 ms
13      324 ms  254 ms  852 ms    [be38.trmc0215-01.ars.mgmt.phx3.gdg]
14      319 ms  332 ms  309 ms    [be38.trmc0215-01.ars.mgmt.phx3.gdg]
15      316 ms  318 ms  310 ms  [ip-216-69-188-102.ip.secureserver.net]
16      332 ms  Destination Reached in 323 ms. Connection established to
Trace Complete.

Now when i run the same command on a proxy network the results are different:
C:\Users\Desktop>tracetcp.exe www.sachingopal.com:80

Tracing route to [p3nlh081.shr.prod.phx3.secureserver.net] on port 80
Over a maximum of 30 hops.
1       6 ms    2 ms    2 ms
2       Destination Reached in 3 ms. Connection established to
Trace Complete.

You can see here that a connection was established immediately. Technically this can never happen and it means that the
server was placed in your neighborhood. Should this be a concern if your ISP (Airtel, ACT, Spectranet) does this? Yes.
Immediately deactivate this connection or be always on a vpn like proXPN. Because if one of these days this proxy server
was compromised you will be compromised. A very popular DSL provider in Bangalore claiming high speeds has placed a proxy server, the reason I had this posted. Be careful, Be safe.

Please understand that some appliances with anti-spyware/malware check enabled (not proxy )will replicate the above behavior. This test therefore cannot confirm if there is an actual proxy configured deliberately by the provider by any means.


Farewell Atul Chitnis

Atul ChitnisBack in 1994/1995 – Bhopal I was a shy, under-confident, docile kid with no mentor. Even though I was in English medium school, we barely spoke English. Same year, I joined Bombay LUG and there I met Atul: A Strong minded, articulate Technology Guru Atul Chitnis. Somebody who could talk on anything, and fiercely debate if he believed in something often bruising egos on the way. I never met him in person but frequently hoped to his site, would follow his responses and be in awe. Time flew and i got busy with life.

Yesterday i went back to my old archives to see LUG silent with the last response from Atul. When I did a google on him, i came to know that he had a stomach cancer and passed away on June 2013. I was in deep state of shock for the entire night trying to believe that this guru for whom I was not even an Eklavya passed away at 51.

Wherever you are Atul- I know you will be different there to. To somebody who has a play in whatever small I am today, My respect.

Closing with his favorite quote~ “You are not remembered for what is expected of You

WordPress app on Android/Iphone not working – Fix

While trying to upload videos, pictures using WordPress app on Android I was not able to connect feeding the URL with wp-login file. Google search showed xmlrpc.php file not being found as the probable reason.

And ssh to the remote server showed xmlrpc file present on the folder, and accessing through browser got a accept POST requests status.Adding http://site.com/folder/xmlrpc.php worked. Because my hosting currently has multiple sites, trying to access site2.com using the above option failed. When i tried accessing the xmlrpc through HTTP i got a 404 error.Adding a forward slash after (xmlrpc.php/) showed the accept post.

Probably my modded .htacess file could be the reason, but as long as this helps somebody.


I heard about Bitcoin way back in 2009  on a live Internet radio and the person who shared this info made Bitcoin on his Xeon server just running it for a night. Now, its no more easy and neither do I have a powerful ASIC like this. In case you have in abundance, would you donate one.

My id : 1FhqjFbA31MBWp2f9DAngy5yEuZu2R2mY4.

Sometimes you need to act, just staying informed never works. You can buy sell Bitcoin in INDIA here.


Yay! I am back into running. If i successful complete 10km in two weeks, then I would go ahead and renew my GYM’S Membership. For the last 2 months, i was only paying the fee and lazying around. To ensure that i stay disciplined, I am running. Here are my current tracks, slow and steady but long way to run.