Archive for October, 2008

Monitor Your HDD’s Health, Keep your Data Safe!

October 25, 2008

My Computers stores tons of data and which is backed up regularly.But many people don’t backup their data regularly saying that HDD seldom fails.As your PC is up more than 10hours a day, constantly downloading files or other Such actives with heavy Disk I/O.you never know when your HDD fails and you would hear a click-click sound of head crash. recently my friend lost his entire family photo collection, indeed said as all this childhood memories are now gone :(. there is nothing to worry about, just backup your precious data. you would do fine
Here are 2 tools I use to constantly monitor my HDD’s Health. you can also use them,  so next time whenever your HDD fails you know it before.this is done using a Inbuilt feature in HDD’s called S.M.A.R.T.More information here: What is S.M.A.R.T. and how can we use it to avoid data disaster?

HDD Tune

This tool  is useful for view S.M.A.R.T Information and checking bad sectors. It is a hard disk utility which has the following functions:

  • Benchmark: measures the raw performance
    • Transfer Rate
    • Access Time
    • CPU Usage
    • Burst Rate
  • Hard Disk information which includes partition information, supported features, firmware version, serial number, disk capacity, buffer size, transfer mode
  • Hard Disk Health
    • S.M.A.R.T. Information (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)
    • Power On Time
  • Error scan
  • Temperature display
  • Copy text to clipboard
  • Copy screenshot to clipboard

HD Tune is freeware!



SpeedFan

Speed Fan is a general monitoring Utility which monitors voltages, fan speeds and temperatures in computers with hardware monitor chips. but here we are interested in S.M.A.R.T. info and showing hard disk temperature .
 

Screenshot - 10_22_2008 , 12_29_44 AM.png

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Bsnl iControl IPTV service in Jaipur

October 19, 2008

Its been a while since Bsnl made foray into TV broadcasting industry, with its new IPTV service. IPTV does the same thing what DTH and cable service does(Telecast TV channels to your homes). the only difference is it delivered by copper made telephone cable.we need to remember that that Bsnl is a telecom company, so it can’t directly provide service
The iControl service is provided by a company named “Aksh Optifibre Limited” using bsnl’s network. BSNL has signed a MOU with Aksh under which it has entitled Aksh to use its extensive & vast network with a huge broadband subscriber base. all the resources like hardware,support,content for providing such a service have to be arranged by Aksh. bsnl will only manage billing; which means installation & complaints would be directly handled by Aksh and the charges for service would come in your telephone bill.the main problem with such a setup is that there no single entity responsible for service, so customer may get confused whom to complaint. Also Aksh is a company who primary business is manufacturing optic fibre cables,so it has little experience in this field but aksh is pretty serious of IP TV and the company is betting big in the emerging IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) segment in India.
What is required?

  • Broadband is Backbone of IP Tv, so to run this service you need a bsnl Broadband connection.
  • Type -I or Type – IV modem/router. even if you have a Type-I or Type-III, bsnl will replace it Free of cost. however if you have brought it from market, then the exchange is not possible.
  • For proper viewing your home should be in around 3km distance from the telephone exchange.

What’s Awesome?

  • Internet speed My speed were increased and I am synced with DSLAM at 6mbps. so now i get true 2mbps speeds of around 250kBps. earlier i used to get around 200kBps. so now my download speed is increased by 25%
  • Initial charges & monthly fees: Instantly we need to pay Rs.1000(Refundable) + Rs.200/- = 1200. And monthly rental of Rs.150 per month
  • video on demand:imagine ability to rewind and forward while watching movies on your TV. probably you would feel this not a TV but your DVD player. as starting there are around 200 titles which are free to watch[ Free Movies List ] and other can be ordered by paying small amount of money
  • Triple Play: Phone,Broadband and Television via a single wire. pretty neat

What’s Awful?

  • Unreliable: as everything is via a single wire, if your phone goes down. your broadband and TV won’t function.
  • Requirement of Broadband connection: Suppose one day you no longer need your broadband, so you decide to part with it. then you also have to bit farewell it your IPTV connection.

Conclusion:
The service itself is very new and falls under emerging category. still its worth trying if you have a Broadband connection.

Related Post:

Everything About BSNL EvDO Data Card

October 6, 2008

What is Evdo Data Card?

In Simple terms, EvDo is a Technology which works on CDMA networks and it provides high speed Internet access on Mobile. it can also be termed as Mobile Broadband since you don’t have stick at one place, you can move freely move and still be able to check your e-mail as long as you are in coverage area. Just like you do with GRPS service with your mobile phone. A much more, technically correct definition is given below:-
Evolution-Data Optimized(Evdo) is a telecommunications standard for the wireless transmission of data through radio signals, typically for broadband Internet access. It is based on CDMA Technology.The EV-DO feature of CDMA2000 networks provides access to mobile devices with forward link air interface speeds of up to 2.4 Mbit/s with Rev. 0 and up to 3.1 Mbit/s with Rev. A.

What are Features of Bsnl Evdo?

  • Personal broadband wireless service for a wide range of customers, from business people to students
  • Always on & Unlimited Access
  • Advantages over WiFi: It does not need a wifi hotspot. You take the internet with you and surf the web in your car, on the train, in the airport, at a convention, on the road. just about anywhere.
  • High-Speed Internet Access supported upto 2.4mbps

What is the cost of BSNL EVDO service?

BSNL EVDO is an unlimited bandwidth service, which means you can use as much as you want, there are no data limits on the service. you just have to pay the monthly rental of Rs.550/-. its Truly Unlimited service, no extra costs

Do I need any special Device to use this service?

You can need EVDO wireless usb modem/card. Bsnl currently gives EV-DO card AC8700 by ZTE Mobile Tech.This device stylish device plug directly in USB port of your computer/laptop.It Weights about 40g.The device costs 3,500 Rs.(May vary +/- few Rs in few regions). In case you don’t want to purchase it outright, you have a rental option available. Here are a few pics of the Device

Can I see a complete Traffic card, which its all the charges i have to pay?

When i went to bsnl office for enquiry of the service, i was given a Tariff card. the same has been upload for your kind reference. I got this card from BSNL jaipur, so Charges maybe slightly different for different states.
BSNL Data Card Tariff

Publish at Scribd
BSNL Data Card Tariff

Presently, in which cities service is available?

Please contact your nearest exchange for availability.unofficial list BSNL EVDO Enabled Cities in India

Does this device work with Mac & Linux?

Yes, it works with Mac & Linux.

How do I get the BSNL EVDO service?

You need to visit the main BSNL office in your area to get EVDO connection.In Jaipur,Rajasthan. I went to Bajaj Nagar Telephone Exchange but before you get your own connection, please ask them for a demonstration. Also, ask them but the coverage details & what likely speeds would get in your area.

What is CDMA 1x ?

CDMA 1x is the previous version or the older version of EVDO which has speed upto 144kbps. As EvDO is still in Nascent stage of deployment very few areas have Evdo BTS (base transmitting stations), rest are still CDMA 1x. If BTS near you is not Evdo enabled then you will get CDMA 1x speeds of upto144kbps.

What about the speeds & performance?

Speeds & Performance depend on Signal Strength which varies place to place . some people have reported to get about 1.5mbps speed and some only get around 100kbps only. so i would suggest you to contact your nearest local exchange and ask for a live demo. here is a brief account of my personnel experience.

  • With about 4Signal bars; speeds were around 200-600kbps range. placing the device at specific positions helps in signal reception.
  • Speed was constantly fluctuating & were not stable; however average speeds of 300kbps were observed over the period of 2hours.
  • Websites like orkut,yahoo,rediff loaded speedily but video playback on youtube was not smooth due to constant fluctuations of bandwidth availability.

Troubleshooting EvDo Connectivity

ZTE Device comes with LED light which shows us status of Internet connectivity. it has 2 colors & various states which inform us about the current network. Additionally, top bar of bundled ZTE application provides a lot of useful information on current connection state. For a Smooth working Connection, you have have minimum 3 signal bars, else would face connectivity problems.

Special Note for torrent & Rapidshare Users; Others can skip this

In Bsnl EvDO you aren’t directly connected to Internet.instead you are connected to a Proxy server on bsnl’s network which has a private IP, in 10.xx.xx.xx range. that proxy server then connects to Internet Gateway aka National Internet Backbone. so as a result, proxy server blocks all incoming connections to it, except those coming from known ports like port 80,443 etc.Every Proxy server has a unique Public IP address, and all subscribers connected to it will share that Public IP address. Its entirely different from convention when every Subscriber has unique Public Ip address
This Approach was two shortcomings:

  • Rapidshare: As a single public IP address is shared among lot of users, there is a great chance at someone from your IP address would have already download from Rapidshare. so now for next 30days you can’t download from that same IP, as its a limitation imposed by rapidshare on free users. however premium account holder won’t be affected due to this.
  • Torrents:Currently BSNL has set the proxy in such a way that it blocks all incoming connections other than of known ports like port 80,443 etc. as a result you aren’t connectable to other users. you can only download a torrent and can’t upload. on private trackers you would be banned shortly for a bad ratio and on public trackers you would get slow speeds

Pros

  • Fast, cheap & portable
  • Unlimited Usage
  • Unique, presently this is only Evdo service in INDIA, rest operators have networks which are many times slower.

Cons

  • Constant fluctuations of speed
  • No All india Roaming; you can roam in your state only
  • Relative new technology; currently in Testing Phase

Conclusion

Bsnl Evdo is good service with gives excellent speeds on the move comparing to other alternatives like GPRS. The technology involved is quite new in India, this can be judged from the fact the DOT has not issued any format licenses for 3G CDMA. when licenses are issues we would expect similar roll outs from other operators also.
I would recommend people to try this service atleast once, if they find it suitable they should subscribe to it
Further Reading:

Dummies Guide to Scheduling Downloads(Linux Version)

October 2, 2008

Linux is a stable OpenSource Operating system.It has a ability to run for long hours and crashes are rarely seen.On top of it, it has a inbuilt scheduler which is robust and  it never misses tasks. All this Characteristics make Linux a perfect choice for downloading. Yeah almost perfect choice (discussed later).
In This Guide we would learn how to smartly schedule downloads. This way files would be automatically downloaded while you sleep. This Guide is mainly for BSNL/MTNL broadband subscribers. I have Tried to prescribe a general procedure which is applicable on all major Distributions.so distribution specific goodies are not discussed here.

Mainly there are two mode of this, you need to pick a method which applies to you.

  • Router Reboot method: Suitable when your connection is configured as always-on and router is PPPoE mode. so you don’t need to dial your connection every time you connect to Internet. it works with selected routers which supports telnet connectivity.Dependant upon routers.
  • Bridge Mode: Suitable when you dial to connect to Internet using a Dialer program on your PC. in this setting your PC is in Bridge mode.it works with every router.
Understanding Cron Daemon
Before we begin we should know how about cron – default linux scheduler
Cron Daemon is a default scheduler for Linux based systems.Cron Daemon is  responsible for scanning the crontab files and running the commands at the appropriate time. It always runs in background, wakes up every minute to check for any scheduled taks pending for execution. then it executes them and goes back to sleep.

Crond reads tasks from crontab, anything you write in your crontab with proper syntax will be read & excuted by crond. Crontab as name suggests, is basically a file where sheduled tasks are arranged in tabular forum.The syntax of crontab is fairly simple.

Minutes Hours Day Month Day of the month command
enter the minutes part of time, legal values 0-60 Enter the hours, in 24hr format. legal values 0-24 Enter the Day number starting from Monday, legal values 0-7 Enter the month,legal values 1-12 Enter a Date, legal values 1-31 Command you want to execute at scheduled time

use command “visudo” to edit crontab.it would load a editor depending upon your $EDITOR variable. on Ubuntu you would get nano
how to use nano(easy)
how to use vi (advanced)

Things Which are common among both methods

1) Create a simple text file in your home folder and name it “downloads.txt” & notedown its full path. Insert the *Direct* links of files you want to download into this newly created file. The files given in this would be downloaded by wget automactically.wget can handle http & ftp downloads. After download completes remove the link and enter new ones. insert one link per line. Remember to add direct link only.

2) If you use torrents, install your torrent client and notedown its full path to its binary. you can use “whereis” command to find its exact location. generally its /usr/share/sbin. If you are looking for worthy torrent clients, look for deluge or azurus now vuze

Router Reboot Method

1) I wrote a simple Shell script for rebooting router. it works nicely on D-link GLB 502T. although you may need to change userid,password & command values.copy paste this script in a file and save it as router-reboot.sh. make it excutable by

chmod a+x router-reboot.sh

#!/bin/sh
#############################################
#Script Written By Gaurish Sharma                                           
#change the password,userid & command values with your own set
#the default password & username
# in most cased is 'admin'                         
#use it in terminal as sh router-reboot.sh | telnet                       
#(C) GaurishSharma.com
#############################################
add='open 192.168.1.1'
userid='root'
password='your_passoword'
command='reboot'
echo $add
sleep 1
echo $userid
sleep 1
echo $password
sleep 1
echo $command
sleep 1

2) Open Terminal and enter “crontab -e”. enter the following in your crontab and save it

# m h  dom mon dow   command
# Reboot Entry, please replace with correct path
10 2 * * * cd /home/gaurish/scripts && sh router-reboot.sh | telnet
# Start Torrent client, please replace with correct path of your router
12 2 * * * DISPLAY=:0.0 /opt/azureus/azureus
# Downloads via wget, Please replace with corrent path
13 2 * * * wget -ci /home/gaurish/downloads.txt
# Reboot Entry, please replace with correct path
50 7 * * * cd /home/gaurish/scripts && sh router-reboot.sh | telnet

3) Now we need to enter command to shutdown computer everyday at 7.51AM.this only can be done via root user. so now the enter command as “sudo crontab -e” and Insert this line.

50 7 * * * /sbin/shutdown -h 0

4) (Optional) you can install mailx package to see the log of what happened while you were sleeping

Bridge Mode

1) we would be using default command which you use to dial to internet. on most cases its pon dsl-provider for connectinig and poff for disconnection . in case the command are diffrent on your machine please replace them.

2) Open Terminal and enter “crontab -e” now paste the following in it

# m h  dom mon dow   command
# Start Torrent client, please replace with correct path of your torrent program
10 2 * * * DISPLAY=:0.0 /opt/azureus/azureus
# please replace with correct path of download.txt
13 2 * * * wget -ci /home/gaurish/downloads.txt

3) Now we need to use root crontab, use “sudo crontab -e” to access it.

10 2 * * *  /usr/bin/pon dsl-provider
49 7 * * * /usr/bin/poff
50 7 * * * /sbin/shutdown -h 0

4) (Optional) you can install mailx package to see the log of what happened while you were sleeping.

What you are missing in Linux, comparing to windows?
In starting of this post i said,  almost perfect choice for downloading. so you gotta missing something. which is ability to power on your PC automatically.
I am still searching for a method to start a Linux box automatically at a specific time.
As a workaround you can do the same thing via your BIOS, but a limited no of BIOS support this. so either leave your machine running with monitor turn off or use the BIOS trick.

Related Posts: 

Registrar Change comming Up

October 1, 2008

Hi All Readers,
We are in
process of changing Domain Registar.This domain was originally registered via Estdomains and now we are changing to namecheap.com.
The process would be completed in about 3days and will Least amount of downtime possible.