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Weekend Aantel’s Blog » 2006 » June

Archive for June, 2006

A tryst with destiny???

Friday, June 30th, 2006

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A picture is worth a 100o words

All the very best in life to Taneem and Eiman

Monday, June 26th, 2006

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The elusive leader of Ankur Bangla Project, an uber-geek and resident cyborg named Taneem Ahmed is getting married on the 9th of July, 2006. All the very best to him and his lovely partner Eiman in their life ahead! :D

চুপচাপ ফুলে ছাপ!

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

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The Trinamul Congress (TMC) in West Bengal had this slogan at some point before an election “চুপচাপ ফুলে ছাপ!”. They basically tried to convey something like “quietly cast your vote in favour of TMC to usher in a silent revolution”. The TMC may not have done well at all in the assembly elections, they sure do come up with potent and nifty slogans. What they couldn’t have imagined that someday a start-up like us would adopt the slogan as an operational code. ;-)

When we first decided to introduce OCS Inventory NG and GLPI at WBUT, “the authorities” expressed their apprehensions about us being about to conduct the software usage & licencing audit for Windows-based systems in the University. Well, right now, we have over 88 nos. of MSFT OS based computers recorded. We also have all the data on these systems about their respective hardware config, operating system, software deployed, license packs in place et. al.

There used to be a few users who claimed that they *most certainly couldn’t* be migrated from Windows as they were using some tough-t0-match prop. software. Turns out, to put it mildly, 99% of these people were simply trying to play poker with the migration process. They didn’t even have the software they claimed were so essential for their work!

It took us about 3 weeks - a fairly long time for inventorizing only 88 computers. The good part is that the rest of the system (the remaining 60%) are all running some version of GNU/Linux. On looking back, it was a fairly smooth process, that surely taught me a few new things about managing people. After all, it was done completely in the public view and with the full “co-operation” of the users. ;-)

The ERNET update - Abracadabra!!!

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

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After nearly 3.5 weeks of wrestling with ERNET Operations, finally I have the DNS pointers setup the way I want. But not without a hint of “mystery” ofcourse ;-) They still maintain that the IP addresses of the nameservers are only for their “records” and that they have no reflection anywhere else. And of course they still maintain in all “innocence” that they have nothing to do with it - “You just change the IP of your nameserver on your premises“… ah well!

The only catch is that I’ve not yet done so on purpose and have taken every server on that domain off-line, and yet the changes take place!!! David Copperfield has nothing that can hold a candle to this! ;-)

EduSAT blues!

Saturday, June 24th, 2006

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Well… just how fast can a day go downhill??? Only this morning i was elated over the fact that ISRO people had mailed the EduSAT gateway and connectivity details just the very next day after I met them.

To be honest I hadn’t expected things to move so fast. After quickly going over the nearly 50 pages of documentation they had sent, i tried to access the gateway… Alas! it timed out! Repeated attempts spread over a fairly large time gave the same result. Have mail them informing about the problem, lets see if they are as fast in solving my problem. I hope they are!!!!

ERNET’s DNS Woes

Monday, June 19th, 2006

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That I’m pissed off would be the understatement of the millenium… here’s what happened. At the University, there was originally a 64kbit ERNET link with 16 IP addresses. So, by default when the domain wbut.ac.in was purchased in mid-2004, the University’s sysadmins decided to run the domain’s DNS servers using two of these IPs. At the beginning of this year, we acquired a new 2Mbps OFC link from VSNL along with a bunch of 128 IPs.

It was decided that we would shift the primary DNS & mail server (both were originally configured on the same box) to one of the VSNL-link based servers. Thats when my miseries started. I emailed my request, no replies. I faxed the request on the Vice Chancellor’s letterhead, again no replies. I called up the ERNET Operations and spoke to the director Dr. Dipak Singh. Dr. Singh expressed his surprise at the fact that we wanted to move the nameserver from ERNET to VSNL, rather than simply upgrade the link.

However, to Dr. Singh’s credit, he gave me a patient hearing and gave me the number of a person I should be talking to - Mr. Amandeep Singh Chawla. I called up Mr. Chawla, he told me that unless we wanted to change the name of the dns server all that we needed to do was simply to change the IP address on the server at our end and that was it.

So, I mailed Mr. Chawla on 6th June, with the result of the `dig @naamak.ncst.ernet.in wbut.ac.in ANY` showing how their DNS records were pointing to the ERNET IP used by our primary nameserver. 12 days pass, unsurprisingly no replies. I called up Dr. Dipak Singh’s office on 16th, only to be told that Dr. Singh was on leave till 23rd/24th… ah! well!

Somehow, I had gone today to the University to tie up some loose ends, and just for the heck of it I decided to ping our primary DNS server. Horror of horrors! I get the IP resolved as 202.200.188.3, whereas I had requested the IP to be changed to 203.200.188.3. Quite obviously, some one *had actually* made the requested changes and had not bothered to inform us about it.

I do a `whois 202.200.188.3`, and what is see is this:

% [whois.apnic.net node-1]
% Whois data copyright terms http://www.apnic.net/db/dbcopyright.html

inetnum: 202.200.184.0 - 202.200.191.255
netname: NWEPDI-CN
descr: ~{5gA&9$R52?Nw115gA&Ih descr: Northwest Electric Power Design Institute
descr: Xi'an, Shaanxi 710000, China
country: CN

I have no idea when this update was done, and how far the DNS propagation has happened by now. I have already fired off a mail to ERNET Operations and tomorrow morning I’m going to be on the phone with them.