Tuesday, August 28, 2012

filing income tax return online - extra notes

In my earlier post, I had outlined how I filed my income tax return online. After uploading the xml file, I got the pdf file as expected, in my radiosai.org email id which is hosted using Google Apps for Domains. This was from donotreply@incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in and was a zipped pdf file. After mailing it by ordinary post, I got an acknowledgement email after 10 days or so, from intimations@cpc.gov.in with a password protected pdf file as an attachment. Unfortunately, the pdf was corrupted, and was not readable using Foxit Reader 3.0 or the latest Adobe Reader. I dashed off an email to ask@incometaxindia.gov.in and they replied asking me to "please contact us at 0124-2438000 or 1800-180-1961 (Toll Free)." Tried calling the tollfree number, they redirected me to the CPC (Centralised Processing Centre), a Bangalore number with 080 STD code. Since the website incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in had a section showing this acknowledgement, I thought perhaps I need not have a copy of the pdf, so I did not follow up.

A month or so later, now, I have received "Intimation U/S 143(1)" from the same intimations@cpc.gov.in - again a password protected pdf as an attachment, again corrupted. This time I contacted CPC using their new tollfree number 1800 425 2229. The agent told me that their system had problems with some mail servers, and that yahoo and rediffmail accounts are known to work. He said that if I changed my email on the website at My Account -> Update Phone/Email and then call back after 4 days, they can resend the email. After changing to my rediffmail account, called them back, and this time the password-protected pdf mail attachment opens fine. So they have some issues with the mail server at cpc.gov.in, my guess is that with the digitally signed pdf, something non-standard is happening with the MIME encoding.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

TCP/IP stack repair

P had a laptop brought to him for troubleshooting, it was not connecting to the LAN or the internet using either the ethernet port or Wifi. Suggested that he try with a Linux live CD to rule out hardware problems, and that if hardware issues were ruled out, it might be some sort of driver issue with Windows. The next day, he got back to me with the solution.

Your guess was right. Had to do a TCP/IP stack repair to resolve the connection issue.

Followed the steps given here :

TCP/IP stack repair options for use with Vista or 7.

Start - All Programs - Accessories and right click on Command Prompt, select "Run as Administrator" to open a command prompt.

Reset WINSOCK entries to installation defaults: netsh winsock reset catalog

Reset IPv4 TCP/IP stack to installation defaults: netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log

Reset IPv6 TCP/IP stack to installation defaults: netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log

Reboot the machine.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

cost effective planetarium mirrordome projection

Tried out a Blu-Ray player, Sony BDP S 190 for projection for our mirror-dome. Got more clarity on the dome over our earlier VGA output method. Most probably the improvement is due to the blurring in the earlier VGA signal due to the cable length, while the Blu Ray player uses HDMI, and hence an all-digital signal path.

In case someone is interested in using this technique for "pre-warped" mirrordome projection, it is extremely cost-effective. Create the shows, warp as desired, put them on Blu-Ray or USB mem stick, no computer needed for playout.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

removing background from drawing or line art

I was requested to put in some drawings onto a website in such a way that the background image of the website showed through. At first I thought I needed to make jpgs with similar region of background, but this led to seams being visible at the edges of the jpg since the background was complex and not a single colour. Finally settled on png files with transparency.

For getting the line drawings to that state, first I thought about converting to vector format. Explored vectormagic.com but found that the free online version was too low res for my needs. Then came across this post - I needn't go the vector way, since the images I had were higher resolution than what I needed for the website. So, just used Select -> Color Range in Gimp, was able to select the line art alone without the white background, was able to paste it into a new transparent layer in Gimp, and could proceed from there.

sms spam on Airtel

I've started getting some SMS spam on my Airtel number. As pointed out by Prasanto, I've logged a complaint with Airtel, (or the last link at this page)  after getting my DND registration number by smsing MY DND to 1909.