Category Archives: IT - Page 2

Online Forms : Wufoo v/s Google Forms

Both services provide form interface for end users – to collect some information may be for surveys or for feedbacks.

What so good?

Wufoo – a really impressive interface, wide category of field types and validation, email updates, customizable and much more. (http://wufoo.com/features/)

Payment integration and security (SSL) is perhaps most attractive feature.

GDocs Form – a very simple, easy to use, partially customizable, directly associated with google spreadsheet (like excel sheet), simply publishable / embeddable like wufoo. It’s free!! No limitations ofr posts per month / day.

Again, Forms is a part of Google Docs. So naturally, I can’t expect something more like wufoo – a perfect solution for online forms and integration.

Then what’s bad?

Wufoo – free edition is limited to 3 forms and 100 posts/month only. Need remember another account (wufoo is another service not associated with any other) – whereas google docs are part of google services, so not required for another sign up.

GDocs Form – not really impressive interface, just simple. Can directly share the collected data (essentially spreadsheet) for collaboration.

Conclusion…

If user requirements is not much complex and security is not essentially in consideration, Google Docs and Forms are good option, whereas if security and branding is important – wufoo is the best choice among two.

Few advanced features like validations of input as well as online payment is only achievable in wufoo.

Thanks to Mr. Karania http://www.ashokkarania.com/blog/2008/09/great-tool-wufoo this post drove my attention to wufoo.

Wufoo – http://wufoo.com/


Google docs (Forms are part of this suite) – http://docs.google.com/

WebApp wrapper – Mozilla Prism

Recently, I come to know a new project by Mozilla Labs – Named as Mozilla Prism

I am really impressed with the idea that started the project. These days, of course, slowly, desktop applications are being replaced by web applications. Still, internet connectivity is nightmare at some places. If this limitation is overcome, I guess future is web applications!

I have also experimented with Mozilla Firefox – about the plug-ins. There is a rich set of useful add-ons for your specific requirement. Platform (hardware & OS) may not be in consideration once we are used to with webApps.

Yes, Prism is on the way too. It basically frames particular URL, that provide webapp and make you feel like a desktop application, although it is using resources from URL you specified. (more on http://labs.mozilla.com/2007/10/prism/)

I have created simple shortcut for GMail, now although I use the webmail it gives feeling as if it were a desktop client. Of course, AJAX also plays important role for ‘my feelings’!

Here we go… http://labs.mozilla.com/projects/prism/

Security Tip : Prism is not sharing Mozilla Firefox or any other browser’s resources. So it hides history, passwords, cookies & session too. So I feel it quite secure. GMail opened with Prism won’t keep its session available for Firefox too.

Where did you receive email from??

A continuous email threat makes big challenge to identify where the email was sent from. It is very important to trace the location.

Yesterday night, I tried to explore basic things about email, like origin of email, forwarded reference, sender’s machine’s public IP etc.

Here is a basic and simple way to get this information extracted:

  1. eMail headers contain many valuable (for us) information that is not valuable for many end users.
  2. Usually any email client (like Mozilla Thunderbird) can reveal this. (Yes, open source rocks!!!)
  3. Go to View menu and click Show Headers to make the header of any email visible.
  4. Some information like Sender’s IP or received from IP is the key.
  5. Go to http://www.ip2location.com/ or http://www.apnic.net/ and find the location, service provider (ISP) from where the email was sent. These websites give simple details of location by providing IP.
  6. That’s it! We can at least trace machine’s public IP and location…..

Of course, this information is very primary. But I guess it is the first step of investigation. Just to test, I found that one of my friends from Pune sent me an email when he was in Ahmedabad, and he revealed it later!!!

Summary:

Email header > sender’s IP / received from IP > IP to Location query > Result!!!

IT practices

This is a real incident happened with one of my friends during his college placement.

Raju Shastri, student of a reputed institute in outskirts of Pune.
On a working day evening a ring goes to Raju Shastri’s cell phone. He is asked to go to TelSoft, a Pune based IT company, to appear for his second round of interview. On next day in afternoon, after clearing 2 elimination rounds including an aptitude test and a basic interview at college campus.
Raju reaches to the venue five minutes early than said time. The interview takes place in time. Raju talks to the HR after the interview. Komal (the HR of TelSoft) says that Raju has cleared the interview. She asks him again to come for next interview with team lead.
Raju again reaches to the company place in time; again, interviewed. It takes around half hour! So naturally, the candidate’s expectation increases. And yes, up to his expectations, the HR says that he has cleared that round of interview. But again, asks to come for last round of technical interview with the project manager. (Who, is better known as project damager!)
The hope of sun rises next morning. Raju goes to the same company with big dreams in mind. Appears for the ‘last’ interview. And yes, like a quick goal in football tournament, Komal asks to meet, Raju enters the meeting room. HR smiles and wishes him – ‘Congratulations Raju!’ the HR continues, ‘I will soon have a meeting with CEO, and will finalise your selection. But, I promise, you are 99% selected!’
He could not interpret ‘99%’! But, he goes home with smiling face!

He has no idea about the meeting process, how long will it go. Almost 4 weeks passed. No response from TelSoft even after such a long time!
Isn’t it something unusual? It might be, but who can do anything, when the finaliser committee ‘doesn’t do anything’?

An unfortunate end comes when Raju calls the Komal, the HR. Even at that time the response is – ‘We don’t require more people’!!
Naturally, few thoughts are bubbling in Raju’s mind…
Why did TelSoft come to campus? Why did they ‘waste’ their and my time in interviewing and testing my skills? Is it professionalism?

This is just an attempt to make people aware about some wrong practices going in IT industry; that too in good companies. It makes sense if we consider such scenarios and react accordingly. Of course, the incident was happened in mid 2007, so India was not facing recession at that time!

Autologin to Windows XP

There is a default and simple way to work around….

Create a single user (of course, Administrator rights), and do not provide any password.

By default, Windows will automatically log into the single account.

Now, here are the alternates:

1. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315231

2. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/learnmore/tips/knox2.mspx  (Simple to follow)

Googgly

For most of us, google is one source of information. Whether its technical or non technical, for work or fun, almost whatever.

However, I recently come to a major limitation of basic search. It is not easy, perhaps, impossible as of now, to search some special symbols (like ?, ;, ‘, “, # etc.) in Google search results. It might be possible that the crawler is not that sufficient, or it might not be made that sufficient to capture such symbols.

Of course, alternatively, Google provides this for its special feature called Google Code Search. Of course, it is made for technical, typically in terms of computers and languages (programming, coding etc.!) search.

For example, when you search like “select * from” where “? = ?” , it gives really useful search results in Code search, but not in google Search!

Ad Hoc Wireless Networking with Ubuntu

Preparation

Ensure that network manager has been stopped and then bring the interface down.

sudo /etc/dbus-1/event.d/25NetworkManager stop sudo ifdown eth1
Configuration

1. Switch the card into ad hoc mode

·                                        sudo iwconfig eth1 mode ad-hoc

2. Set the channel/frequency that you want to use.

·                                        sudo iwconfig eth1 channel 11

3. Add the name (ssid) for the network you want to create/join. Use single quotes if there is a space in the name.

·                                        sudo iwconfig eth1 essid 'harits_wlan'

4. Add a WEP encryption key (optional, as per the configuration requirement)

·                                        sudo iwconfig eth1 key 1234567890

Activation

1. Bring the interface back up

·                                        sudo ifconfig eth1 up

2. Start dhclient to get an address

·                                        sudo dhclient eth1

3. If you want to do it manually, you will have to make up an IP address.

·                                        sudo ifconfig eth1 192.168.10.11

You should now be connected to the ad hoc network. Use the iwconfig command to view the cell being used. This must match the same cell on the other PCs that you want to connect to.

Testing

Once you have two or more computers connected to the ad hoc network, all of them showing the same cell number and having different IP addresses, then try pinging one from the others.

ping 169.168.10.1

If that doesn’t work then try specifying the interface name along with the address.

ping -I eth1 192.168.10.1

 

(source – https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ )

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