Thursday, July 03, 2008

day-out - 03-07-2008

Quite an eventful day today.

Woke up to the sound of my mother answering a phone call from from back home, saying my home at Walasgala ( a little village in Matara District ) has been robbed last night.

For some reason the 1st thing that came to my mind was about the old books & magazines i have inherited from my father. As it turns out, the robbers have taken out the books i had in one cupboard, and taken away just the cupboard, you can understand my relief.

Was quite busy today, as i had to get my passport done, from Department of Immigration and Emigration AKA "the passport office". With some guidance from few of my friends, i got the necessary documents ready ( you will need NIC, Birth Certificate, Letter of Employment and your Degree Certificate with photo-copies of all of them ) as i already had the Application for a new passport and the photos ready.

Make sure you take the photo copies of all the documents before you go in, because its a pain to come back out from the counters again just to get a photo copy. They have place where you can get photos, photo copies etc. within the office complex which is quite helpful.

Submitted the documents and paid the 7.5k Rs. which is the amount they charge, for 1-day service and came out around 11 a.m. If you too, are planning to go there, then go around 10.30 - 11.00 as the crowd is minimal around at that time.

Had a customer site visit after that, at this place we are doing a small POC kind of a thing with GNU/Linux based spam/av protection system. They wanted me there, before they actually put the mails to come through it.

Rushed to my old office, as i had left my VGA card there, to collect it. :) Then rushed back to the office while helping this friend of mine with his new fedora installation.

Back at office, there was a small thing i took take care of, with a little postfixing.. :) Postfix is by far the best MTA i have come across and it continues to amaze me, on daily basis.

Returned back to "passport office" and collected my passport around 3.30 which was surprisingly quick. Getting the passport must be the easiest thing i have gotten done from a government office.
Now I have a passport..yey!!! :)

Got back to office quick..and thought of putting something on the this is it..

You can go and have a look at this if you are planning on getting a new passport, it will tell you hows and whats.. ;)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Its funny, how mind works at times.

I wanted to get this nice looking usage graphs to report on Squid, Postfix etc. For sometime now, i was thinking of trying this out and seeing how its done.

Today i gave it a go, by working on to get Squid to work this way. I had heard from somewhere you need/can have Squid+SNMP work together to get such a result.

I skimmed through the SNMP wikipedia entry as the beginning.

After reading a little on the squid-WiKi i found this article giving a basic idea of what i have to do.

Since the initial SNMP setup seemed to work without a problem, the next step was to get the graph/reporting tool installed and configured. Article suggested 2 options, MRTG & RRDtool.

Now comes the funny part.

Since the my proxy is using RHEL4( One of my favorite OSs btw ), and i didn't feel like searching around for RPMs, i thought of getting yum installed on the RHEL4. Since RedHat only provides update services for customers with subscriptions -which i don't have for my proxy, at the moment- i thought of using CentOS repositories instead.

Now, since yum isn't built in to the RHEL4 (RHEL5 is yum enabled), the easiest way, that i know of, in getting yum to work, is to use the necessary RPMs from a CentOS repo.

I had all these RPMs on another machine, a one which i did a similar thing sometime back, i thought of simply copying them to this machine, over ssh, as i always do.

But then, it involves me typing the proper ssh password, when prompted..Then, i i got this idea of setting up ssh-keys setup so i wouldn't have to type the password, when i'm copying the files over.

So i took a look at my own blog where i put some info. i found from here and there about this, sometime back. hmm.. i have mentioned about both rsa and dsa keys in that post..which got me thinking.., which is better..? & how do you select one ? etc..

Search in Google takes me to some forums/mailing lists where other people have asked similar a good explanation/discussion on one of them, and now I'm have questions like cryptanalysis, asymmetric vs. symmetric encryption algorithms etc.. popping up in my mind.., and also a feeling that i should blog this. -which is what I'm doing now. :) I actually had a bit of a hard time, recalling where all this began.

It really is funny to me how my mind works at times..guess its the same with many.

Hopefully i will be able to find my way back and get the proxy reports to work, because they look cool.