Monday, January 26, 2009

ssh! Here's the scp

The other day, I was thinking of consolidating all my music collection from various machines and burn them into a DVD as a backup. There were various ways that I could have done the transfer:

  1. Extract the music back from the disk originals
  2. Copy them using a rewritable media like a pen drive or a writable media like a CD
  3. Connect over the network and copy the files
  • I can use Samba as some of my machines are Windows based
  • Setup a FTP server to copy files
  • I can setup a ssh server and securely copy the files to my Linux box
That was how I discovered ssh, the secure shell. I had originally been looking at setting up Samba on my Linux box, but was frightened with the possibility of it suffering a virus attach as most of the viruses / botnets would be scanning for a windows PC and this would become a backdoor for entry.

The other option was ssh which was simple to setup and quite secure. It basically provides a secure way to connect to a computer that enables the ssh service. You are presented with your standard console where you would be able to perform your usual activities.

Another prominent activity is copying files about, between the host and the client and this is where scp (Secure Copy) comes in. scp allows you to copy files between your client and the ssh server securely.

Now, scp is a command line tool and most get intimidated with copying files from the command-line be it the versatile '$' prompt or the more familiar 'C:\>'. On the windows side, you have winscp which is a GUI application with a Norton commander-like interface which would make GUI aficionados feel at home in copying files safely and securely.

Winscp comes as a portable app, which means, you can actually run this app in your windows machine without fear of cluttering your registry and contributing to registry bloat. Portable apps are targeted to those who would like to keep a handful of portable apps in their pen drive which can be executed without any requirement for installation or setup. Check out portable apps for more such applications.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Linux has better throughput?

The other day, I saw news item at slashdot where people mentioned that Linux seemed to perform better that Windows on network throughput. Some attributed it to the ISP throttling the bandwidth for the first few minutes where as others mentioned that the Linux network drivers seemed to be configured to maximize network performance where as the Windows settings are sub-par.

An indepth article depicting based on actual data is provided which eventually leads to thinking perhaps, you should tweak your windows network settings...

Though people had complained that both the machines tested had slightly different specs and hence the performance results could be skewed, I have been browsing on both a windows PC and a linux box and it does look like (no systematic tests conducted!) the throughput that I get on a Linux PC is much higher than as experienced on the windows PC so far.

The windows PC or laptop has 512MB RAM and is an Intel Centreno Duo 1.66GHz where as the Linux Box is a older AMD Athlon XP @ 2.66GHz with 384 MB of Memory. Both connect via the wireless. The few parameters which may make a difference are:
  • The XP box is laptop which may compromize for space rather than for performance
  • The Desktop has a higher MHz rating
  • Virus scanner on the laptop may bring down the performance. The Linux box has no such apps hogging memory or CPU bandwidth.
  • Network adapter differences - The desktop has a netgear wlan card which may offer better performance
So, based on these parameter differences, it looks like we would have to take the observation with a pinch of salt. On the better side, as more and more news and comparisons of different OSes gain popularity, it is the users who would stand to benefit.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Global Meltdown Sale!

Aadi Sale, New Year Sale, Year End Clearence Sale and now the Global Meltdown sale! Happened to see this posted at a window of a garment shop at Pondy Bazzar, T-Nager. An innovative approach to woo in customers. Apart from the PR, this shop sells really good (limited collection) and cheap (3 times cheaper) clothes for kids compared to the branded cos like the Levi's or Lee.

London Stores, Pondy Bazar, T-Nagar.
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Thursday, January 08, 2009

All time low for IT

It's unfortunate to see such a big corporation fall down in light of the scam announced yesterday. Share prices of the listed script dropped down from Rs.170 to Rs.35 in the NSE in a matter of hours and the entire IT industry was watching the news unfurl dumbstruck. The fate of 52,000 employees and their families hang and hopefully, the company must either build back the trust of the share holders and its employees or the employees should be is a position to secure jobs in other companies. Only time will tell...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

One more year has passed by and the time has come to wish all of you a happy, healthy, safe, peaceful and prosperous New Year!

This is the time when one looks past on what has happened and makes plans on what to achieve and focus going forward.

And the best of luck in making up your New Year resolutions. As one of my mentor mentioned long back, you would usually be bound and emotionally attached to your resolutions if you commit yourself in paper by signing on the paper what you plan to achieve. Though most of my resolutions are broken in the next few days / weeks, I am planning to be different this time and commit my pain points to paper (maybe I can get a bond paper too, to make it really legal ;-)).

Give it a try. You might be able to hold on to your resolutions a little bit longer until it becomes a habit.

And no... I'm not going to publish my resolutions here ;-)