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Risharde's Blog

Women and Spanish Fly

Today I was having an adult conversation with someone who mentioned that 'Spanish Fly' is some sort of over the counter drug that you can get from pharmacies. He said there are stronger ones as well but this one only requires 2-3 drops in food or beverage which would essentially make a female aroused (what to have sex). He was not actually encouraging me to do this and the conversation only came up as we spoke about the young people in the society of Trinidad and Tobago. He said people could put it in KFC and give a female for free and that is how they could get drugged. He said its not the same as a date-rape drug in the sense that this one causes the female to want to have sex which is different from the date rape drug.

I began thinking to myself, how dangerous and stupid this product is. Firstly, I need to warn women that very rarely are anything in this life free, especially for women. You might wonder why I say this and I'll try my best to justify as long as you understand that I'm not chauvinistic nor do I have issues with women per say. The problem is that men are visually stimulated which means that you might already be handing him goods even though you don't realize it (just by simply having on "skimpy" clothes or showing too much skin for example). Coupled by the fact that I have met more people who drink alcohol versus those who haven't in Trinidad and Tobago, I'd say the chance of ingesting this substance or similar substances will be high due to how the "bar scene" can be where people offer women drinks for free and so forth. Even the liming scenarios raises a woman's chance of being caught. But of course, wisdom as you know is not our strong point here in Trinidad and Tobago.

I'm just warning women to be aware of the dangers. I know they'll still end up pregnant etc but at least I've done my duty.

Home remedies for boils

So I'm not exactly certain I have one but I do have an unusual large "pimple" on my face... I don't know if the correct term is actually a boil but I went to the pharmacy asking if there was any thing they could give me for it. The pharmacist didn't have a clue other than the Boilex plasters. From my experience, the Boilex plasters actually make the "boil" spread and run away from it. So I declined the offer in which he responded that he doesn't know. I thus started my quest for searching for something.

I came across a website with a few home remedies which I thought I'd share with you guys
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/...
http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/remedy/Boils.html

Basically, I'm trying the first one at the moment which is to use corn meal and boiling water. Mix them into a thick paste and put it over the boil and cover it with a cloth. Instead of the cloth, I decided to use some cotton wool and tape and just taped it on. Do this every 1 to 2 hours and see if it helps. Well I hope it works. I'll have to go through the list and try something else if this doesn't work but this was actually the easiest one.

No longer supporting Kloxo

As many of you may know, I was using an open source control panel called Kloxo to host my previous versions of the website. However, I have switched control panels recently and thus most of the old posts I've made with regard to Kloxo fixes have been deleted as I created a new database for the new site. One of the reasons for not using Kloxo any longer was the lack of support for the latest CENTOS, which is currently 6.x as I write today. In addition, the control panel is extremely bulky and while the code is in PHP, it was very hard to customize to what I wanted. Even the template system in my opinion was very difficult to work with. The other issues were of course, the fear of its security level and the lack of API documentation and support for automation of the control panel. With that being said, I would still like to thank the Kloxo community for its invaluable support and for building a system that is free to use. I do hope that the above issues mentioned will be addressed in the future. Until then, the switch is permanent for the time being.

Virtualization in Windows

There are a few ways you can do virtualization in Windows. Firstly, for those of you who don't know about virtualization, I'll try to clarify what I mean by this. Virtualization is essentially the running of one or more "virtual" machines within a host operating system. For example, this article is specific towards running a Virtual Machine within Windows. Think of it as booting into your windows desktop, clicking an icon and then seeing a Window that shows you another computer booting. The Window that shows you another computer booting is doing this by "virtualization". Essentially, it involves additional software to be installed on your Windows based operating system which emulates a computer within Windows.

Firstly, you have to get the virtualization software running in Windows. This is actually very easy. There are many products available such as VMWARE Workstation (I believe there is a free trial but overall, this is software costs money) or a free alternative is Virtualbox which you can get via http://www.virtualbox.org. The VirtualBox project is an open source project sponsored by Oracle. So thank you to Oracle.

When you have finished downloading and installed the Virtualization software. You must create a new Virtual Machine. You'll also want to get a free operating system such as CentOS which is downloadable for free on the internet (http://www.centos.org). Download the .ISO files if you can. Once downloaded, make sure to point your virtual machine to boot from the ISO. This will allow you to boot the CENTOS operating system installer and follow the instructions on the screen.

Foods that cause heartburn at night

If you suffer from heart burn at night, you should avoid the following foods in particular in the evening time

- Milk
- Spicy food and/or pepper
- Acidic foods such as dhal coupled with pepper
- Too much water (not from experience but what I've heard from others)
- Juice

Home remedies (everyone is different but its worth a try)
- Commercial over the counter Antacids (such as local Dica seems to be more effective than tums)
- Probiotics
- Yogurt

Upgraded to CENTOS 6 - 64bit

Finally made the switch to CENTOS 6 - 64 BIT
Many of you might be wondering what's the difference between 32-bit an 64-bit operating systems. It all boils down to how values are stored in 32-bit versus 64-bit. For example, on a 32-bit machine, the number 1 might be represented as 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000001. I put spaces in between so its easier to read but in total: 32 numbers (which must be either 1 or 0 since its in bit format). So a 64-bit representation might then be 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000001 (64-bit format). Now this also corresponds to memory addressing and this is why 64-bit machines have a much higher memory addressing limit compared to 32-bit machines. As far as I can tell, a 32-bit OS can use up to 4GB of RAM properly while a 64-bit can use alot more than 4 GB (even more than 8GB). This also means that files for databases can be much larger than 2GB in size if you're on a 64-bit machine and thus is the major reason why companies and IT have been moving over to 64-bit architecture.

Memcached on CENTOS 6

Okay, thought it was hard but it is pretty easy

yum install memcached

nano /etc/sysconfig/memcached
and make sure the following (tweak as you see fit)
PORT="11211"
USER="memcached"
MAXCONN="1024"
CACHESIZE="512"
OPTIONS="-l 127.0.0.1"

Now save

Then start up memcache using
service memcache start

Then let memcache automatically startup on boot
chkconfig memcache on

Now install php support
yum install pecl
yum install php-pecl-memcached

GOOD LUCK!

Normal Contracts Vs. Service Level Agreements

I have been thinking about how service contracts work in the communications industry with the largest players being Digicel, TSTT and Columbus Communications (FLOW). My main comparison will be between TSTT and Columbus Communications bearing in mind that I in no way believe I know much about the legal aspects.

I have noticed that nearly all TSTT services require a year long contract which disturbs me after experiencing a horrible track record of bad experiences with this large company. The impression I now have is that companies in Trinidad that lock you into yearly and / or long term contracts are not looking out for the consumer. I would like to further express that it seems that these companies that have such contracts are more interested in the long term money and profits they achieve while not sustaining or committing to proper customer care and providing the best value for money. In essence, the contract seems to be there to disuade you from moving to companies that may have better packages and short term contracts (if any at all) and in many cases with cheaper prices. Therefore you should ask yourself and / or remind yourself that if you decide to take such long term contracts, YOU ARE SUSTAINING THESE COMPANIES AND ENCOURAGING THEM TO OFFER YOU POOR SERVICE AND / OR EXPENSIVE SERVICES REDUCING THE VALUE OF THE MONEY YOU HAVE.

Let me alternate the perspective I am sharing here to express what I believe logically and makes "common sense". If a company offers you normal month to month billing, then it is in the best interest of that company (for example: Columbus Communications aka "FLOW" to the typical Trinbagonian) to provide adequate services and / or maintain or intend to maintain a failry high level of customer satisfaction on a monthly basis. The consumer power is therefore "more powereful" in this scenario because the customer has the choice without penalty to stop paying for poor service which implies some form of fairness (Good Service=Continuous profits).

These contracts should not be confused with Service Level Agreements which deal more with maintenance of good service versus rebate for inadequate or poor services.

So what am I trying to say?
Simple, you wouldn't want to hire someone you didn't know to construct your house on a yearly contract because if that person doesn't deliver, the only party losing out is you... so why choose a company such as TSTT where you have to sign up for a whole year to get a price for internet which is still more than paying a company like Columbus Communications a lower price on a month to month basis for two times more internet bandwidth / speed.

If you can't understand that, I can't help you with anything else. If you do understand and agree with what I just said then I give you kudos where kudos is deserved.

Useful IPTABLES commands

Save rules: service iptables save
Restart iptables: service iptables restart
Delete a rule 1:
iptables -D INPUT 1

ACCEPT PORT 80 CONNECTIONS
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT

REJECT PORT 80 CONNECTIONS
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 80 -j REJECT

REJECT CONNECTIONS FROM A SPECIFIC IP
iptables -A INPUT -s x.x.x.x -j DROP

Spoofed domain hn.kd.ny.adsl

I was able to get the actual ip range of the hn.kd.ny.adsl attacker. It seems the attacker uses compromised machines to do http attacks or perhaps bruteforce. Very strange indeed.

182.118.*.* seems to have some compromised servers trying an http attack on my linux box?

I shall keep monitoring...

--Risharde

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