Saturday, February 27, 2010

malware and more

Once again, malware hit some of our websites. Had to do stuff from this earlier post. These were coming in via ftp from remote hosts. So, ftp logs showing logins from Poland, Bulgaria, etc were red flags. All sorts of stuff, like iframes and links to various sites which were themselves hacked, and so on. Some examples of malicious links, do not visit these!!!

and in iframes

Luckily Google and have filters in place, warning us. But some sort of pro-active thing should be done, instead of reactive, like this time.

pdf to text

Foxit reader has "Save as text", but only for the pro version. Doubtless there are easier ways to do this, but for the quick and dirty fix without having to install any software, does the job. Of course, only those pdfs which have text in them (and not just images) will be useful with this text extraction.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

testing Tata Indicom photon plus usb wireless connection

First I tried the McAfee speed test like in my previous Airtel test and it showed 200 kbps.

But then I tried connecting to our studio ftp server, and it started serving at 1500 kbps! This sustained for quite some time, not some caching effect. So, their international ports are probably slow. Again, their speeds seem to fluctuate. Tata Indicom's own test showed Your current download speed is: 695.50kbps

It was able to connect to our colinux machine, so no problems with ssh or rdp being blocked or anything like that. Latency-wise, it seemed even better than our leased line Tata internet port! 186 ms on pinging, versus 256 ms with the leased line. Similar results to tracert as given here.

My tests were on Windows XP, so the built-in drivers could be used. The USB device has the drivers on in-built memory which is recognised as a CD drive. Autorun.exe and all that. For Linux, these people seem to have it worked out. Basically using wvdial, copy into /etc/wvdial.conf

[Dialer Defaults]
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0
Init1 = ATZ
Phone = #777
Username = internet
Password = internet
New PPPD = yes
Stupid Mode = 1

then sudo wvdial

Edit: Some more info. The device gets a bit hot like a mobile phone during talk-time! Bittorrent speed tested with an Ubuntu CD download, was around 1.5 Mbps again. So, that seems to be the fastest it can deliver. Upload speeds were slightly slower - 800 kbps for the local ftp server. This product is a USB-based one, Tata also has a router configuration. Tariff is somewhat higher than BSNL's wireline ones.

Friday, February 19, 2010

mixer glitches

The Tascam TM-D4000 I'm currently using after the Yamaha 4416 went back to Chennai for repairs, showed its temperamental nature a couple of days back on Tuesday, when it "hung" with blank display and saturated output - all inputs set to +10 dB or something like that. This happened 10 minutes after switching it on around 4 pm. So, the reason S used to report this in the Studio is probably not water condensation. Turning it off and on does not work, have to wait an hour or so. After an hour, turning it on - worked, again hanging after 7 minutes. Turned it off till Wednesday, then it worked fine. No problems yesterday and this morning, either. But must be ready with a backup plan, since this sort of failure is a possibility.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

trying out Java streaming radio apps

Tried out various Java apps listed on the radiosai website on my Windows Mobile 5 phone which has a Java environment also, but all of them failed to play. At least VirtualRadio gave an error message:
creating player:

I suppose that is because the Java environment does not have access to an mp3 decoder.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

gprs counter for mobile - WM5

Tried out the built-in gprs data counter in HomeScreen PlusPlus, the settings for which which can be accessed via Start -> Settings -> Personal -> Today -> Items -> HomeScreen PlusPlus and clicking the Options button. Or by pressing and holding near the cpu icon.

But for some reason it did not work on my phone. Maybe I should have tried rebooting the phone after setting it or something. But anyway, it showed 0 incoming 0 outgoing even after using nearly an MB - Rs 5.40 worth - by just seeing half a page of slashdot in skyfire!

Monday, February 08, 2010

some fixes for windows media encoding

Some of the VOB files to be encoded showed some audio delay when processed through VirtualdubMod even though they played perfectly well with KMPlayer. Then found this page which explains how to do it with Virtualdub, and this one for VirtualdubMod. Basically,
Streams -> Stream List -> Right-click the audio -> Interleaving -> Delay audio track by xxx ms.
500 ms worked well for me. Virtualdub has the same thing under
Audio -> Interleaving

Then trying to do WME batch encoding as given in this post, finally ended up making a batch file with
cscript.exe wmcmd.vbs -wme "E:\wmv\"
cscript.exe wmcmd.vbs -wme "E:\wmv\"
cscript.exe wmcmd.vbs -wme "E:\wmv\"
cscript.exe wmcmd.vbs -wme "E:\wmv\"

and so on, with each wme file having a separate input and output file specified. The input file is in two places in the wme file, for audio and video. The wme files are xml files, so a text editor can be used to generate them by modifying older wme files.

But in typical Microsoft fashion, the resultant output files are not exactly the same as the files generated using the WME gui. Because, WMVAppendGui cannot join these files with files produced earlier with the WME gui! Have to re-create those files also with the wmcmd.vbs commandline technique.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


From this slashdot story about tracking, went on to EFF's Panopticlick and bleachbit. Bleachbit - removes cache/temp/cookies etc from a variety of programs and plugins including Flash cookies and Java cache - seems quite impressive, a portable version too, along with Windows and Linux versions. Saves space on C drive for the space-constrained, too.

delay in streams and jitter

Today, I sat down to quantify the amount of delay in our stream which is being aired now on AsiaStar also. I noticed that most programs on AsiaStar were starting a few minutes after the hour - like 1.05 instead of 1.00 etc. Checked if the time on the server was correct, yes, it is set to automatically keep the correct time using updates from

Then checked the log to see when files are being played:
tail /home/sgh/ices/asiastream/ices.log
This does not have any timestamps. But
ls -l /home/sgh/ices/asiastream/ices.log
gives last write timestamp, saw this was 13:04

Checked the playlist on xmms, according to the xmms duration listing, it should have been 13:03. So, this adds some jitter.

Next, there is the buffering time in the ShoutCast server, and also buffering in the client. This probably adds a few more seconds. Checked the time gap from the time on the log and the time I heard it on AsiaStar - 13:20 on log for next file, I heard it at 13:23. This is probably the buffering on the server + client.

Client buffering probably changes with time. For example: I played AsiaStream on my machine, it was approx 10 seconds later than AsiaStar which is AsiaStream coming after going up and down from the satellite. The satellite round-trip takes approx 2 seconds, so my machine was 12 sec behind the Melbourne machine.

permission error

My colleague got this error from the webserver:
Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'
[Microsoft][ODBC Excel Driver] Operation must use an updateable query.

Googling found these possible causes, and changing permissions for the folder seems to have solved the issue. Allowed the user called IUSR_WEB_SERVER_NAME (the web server) to write in that folder.