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Risharde's Blog

Stay away from EVE and SANTA ROSA brand products in Trinidad and Tobago

I noticed today that EVE brand canned sausages did not include the cholesterol values in its nutrition facts. Santa Rosa also DOES NOT put the values anymore either! What you may not know is that in nearly every can of sausages, there is about 40 mg of cholesterol per serving - which I can tell you is not very good for you to consume often from my experience. What does this imply? I would guess that EVE is purposefully not putting the value on its products in order to get it sold which I believe is wrong and I therefore distrust them even more now. Can you imagine what else they may not be putting on their products? You wouldn't even know what you are eating. This is unacceptable and a very shady practice and a big shame on EVE for doing this.

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.

Fail2ban 0.8.8 configuration to block SSH bruteforce on CENTOS

Okay, so I'm relatively new to fail2ban and after installing fail2ban from the source tar.gz files, I noticed the that the /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf settings for blocking ssh looked a bit odd concerning the "log" file it was suppose to scan. By default, the configuration looks at the /var/log/sshd.log file which does not exist in CENTOS 5 so after some research, I found out that the log file should be set as /var/log/secure . The clause should look like the following:

[ssh-iptables]

enabled = true
filter = sshd
action = iptables[name=SSH, port=ssh, protocol=tcp]
sendmail-whois[name=SSH, dest=risharde@gmail.com, sender=fail2ban@dev.risharde.com]
logpath = /var/log/secure
maxretry = 5

In the above, please replace my email address with your email information...

Good luck!

Toast to the bridesmaids examples

VERSION 1
Thank you Master of Ceremonies, family, friends, distinguished guests.

Firstly, to my and his lovely bride congratulations!

Today, I am ecstatic being given the envious opportunity
to propose a toast to 7 beautiful, elegant, charming, stunning,
exquisite, intelligent young braidesmaids and of course to thank
God that none of them fell in slow motion style at the altar!
Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses as we toast
to the bridesmaids. Bridesmaids, we salute you!
Thank you

VERSION 2
Thank you Master of Ceremonies, family, friends, distinguished guests.

Firstly, to my and his lovely bride congratulations!

Today, I am ecstatic being given the envious opportunity
to propose a toast to 7 beautiful, elegant, charming, stunning,
exquisite, intelligent young braidesmaids and of course to thank
God that none of them fell in slow motion style at the altar!
Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses as we toast
to one of the best support systems a bride could ever have.
Bridesmaids, we salute you!

VERSION 3
Bridesmaids form part of the integral structure of support before, during and
after weddings. Without their final approval of the groom, no wedding would take place!
Today, I am ecstatic to salute 7 beautiful, elegant, stunning,
exquisite, intelligent bridesmaids that adorned the bride!
Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glasses as I toast to these young ladies.
Thank you.

Good luck!

SSH logins without password prompt

To generate a public key which is to be placed in the /home//.ssh/authorized_keys of the server you are trying to connect to. This will allow you to SSH without a password.

On the client machine, run: ssh-keygen -t rsa

Put this key into the authorized_keys in the remote computer :)

Presto

--Rish

If this helped you, please link back to the article! Thanks!

SSH Timing out / Timeouts Fix

Okay, so I have CENTOS installed and realized that if I connect to the server via SSH but stay idle for a while, the connection closes on me. Well apparently there's a setting that solves this problem. Edit your /etc/ssh/sshd_config file

nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
Now add the following to the end of the file:

KeepAlive yes ClientAliveInterval 30
Now save the file and either restart your sshd service or reboot

NOTE: PLEASE BE CAREFUL! EDITING THE SSHD_CONFIG FILE WRONGLY COULD LEAD TO LOGIN PROBLEMS. IN OTHER WORDS, IT CAN CAUSE YOU TO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR DATA SO DO IT CORRECTLY!

4G Internet Regression?

Sorry but are we regressing in technology? Why would I want a 4G limited internet plan for my phone? So I could give money to money hungry cellular phone companies? I don't know about you but I am not stupid enough to do that. Since Digicel Customer Care did not contact me back within my 24 hours request I want to urge everyone to stay away from these 4G packages that are not unlimited (in other words, stay away from this limit package). It is not of true value to you nor in your best interest to pay for a limited amount of internet... this will only cause YOU to lose more money than you should. My best suggestion is always go with an unlimited internet plan especially when you are doing anything with multimedia or social media such as youtube, facebook etc. Do not succumb and encourage companies to ride your backs.

Did you know that Digicel Trinidad and Tobago does not support Blackberry Internet Service to be tethered to your laptop? What sort of company that wants to revolutionize cell phone services in Trinidad and Tobago would not be competent enough to offer this service? Maybe perhaps they are interested in selling you their limited 4G packages so that they can suck you dry of your money while they become corporate giants. Think about it, either way, it isn't good for you.

I know that even after I say all this, some of you will still encourage this but I have to try. It's purely ridiculous, illogical and down right a lack of intelligence. We need to get out of this 3rd world mentality.
There should be one package that just works, you should not have to order 3 packages just to get internet for the month. This makes sense only to the corporate giants at YOUR EXPENSE.

BE SMART!

Keshorn Walcott

Keshorn Walcott, you is the man of the hour! Don't take on them people who jealous you get so much stuff, you deserved it, well done!

Less tired, much better ;)

Since my post yesterday, I'm really sticking by what I'm saying and to be honest, today was pretty good not having to try to change the world all in vain. So now, I'll focus on making myself happy ;) Glad to finally move on to better things :)

Premium Gas goes up

The prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar just said on tv after the budget that this increase in premium gas from around 3 dollars to 5.75 per litre only affects 6% of the country's consumers. She also claims that only high end cars use premium gas... so clearly my cheap mitsubishi lancer 2002 with a 1.5 GDI engine is a "high end" car since it is recommended by Mitsubishi to use "premium" gas. I don't know how they are so utterly misinformed - so shameful.

Which is more portable - Drupal or Wordpress

Hands down, after my simple installation tests, Drupal is more portable. No? Oh really?

Try renaming your wordpress directory and see if wordpress will automatically figure it out... lol No, it won't. Drupal will.

Simply because Wordpress developers have or perhaps had poor programming standards believe it or not. It is pathetic when you think about it because programmers should always take this into consideration when programming. This is why Wordpress will cost you more in the long run. While it will offer you features, when something breaks, you better believe its going to cost you more money.

Good luck

Columbus Trinidad / FLOW Internet Review

I decided that enough was enough! I signed up for the FLOW 5 MB package last week during their free installation promotion - it took about 4 minutes to sign up. Columbus Trinidad/FLOW called me on Monday but I missed the call and the end result was that the technician feel ill and could not install for me on Monday. They called me back and told me Friday. I was extremely disappointed and upset that it would take an additional 3-4 days to get the internet BUT they kept their word and installed on Friday so definitely I would like to commend them on dates and times - they do stick to what they say unless its really out of their hands or so I believe. The technician was extremely friendly and courteous - he even understood when I explained to him that I wanted a need install of the cable which had to run overhead through my dining room and living room since my core switch is at the "core" of the house. Within 5 minutes after he installed the cable, he called them to activate and after 1 minute, I was online and running!

So how has it been so far from my experience? EXTREMELY BETTER THAN TSTT'S SERVICES. I have to tell you though that internet does not "feel" faster as yet and I think its because browsing webpages doesn't necessarily show the 5MB capacity but heck, I'm paying 199.99 for a 5 MB versus TSTT's 2MB package for ~230 dollars. TSTT even tried to offer me a 4MB package for ~192 but I would have to sign a 3 year contract with them - I have to wonder sometimes if people actually think before they sign stupid contracts like that - but then again... okay, let me not bash people about not thinking.

Tiling a wall is harder than it seems

Well I've started doing some work for Christmas around the house and I realized today that tiling a wall is harder than it seems far less for a whole room like a bathroom or a toilet... now its difficult when you're trying to do it right... if you do it half way, it mightn't be so difficult.

So I learnt firstly that you can't just tile a painted wall and expect the best results... so I decided to use a grinder for the first time to make mahem on the wall (make it rough enough) so that the tinset will bond to the wall. Secondly, tinset is a little tricky, a little too much water and you're going to have a runny goo and too little water and your arms will hurt just mixing (just like cement). So I took a little tinset and added a little water until I got what I wanted... it isn't hard to figure out. The hardest part for me is using the trowel... but it did make sense when I got the hang and I realized that tinset comes out easily from tiles so its no biggie if you throw down some.

So tomorrow I have to continue this wall and then I'll have 2 more.... its a lot of work, I hope it comes out alright.... oh lastly, spacers doesn't always help to line up your tiles so don't depend on them too much....

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