26 September 2004, the wee hours

I’m reposting my PGP key, so you can all send me encrypted email. The government does read your email, I’m not just talking shit. I guess in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter; most of us aren’t planning to blow stuff up. However, incase you ever want to plan a surprise birthday party for your friend in the NSA, here is my key.

You can use my public-key to send me encrypted email. People in shady government organizations like to read your email, so using a program like GnuPG or PGP makes it a little harder for them to get at your oh-so-interesting email message.

I have lots of keys floating around that I do not use and can not revoke. I’ve been using PGP on and off (mostly off) for a long time now, and it seems everytime I start to use it again, I’ve lost my old key. This key is the one I’m using now. So if you have another key, don’t use it anymore.

fingerprint : BBBC 136E 4036 5070 D219 AE3D 09B9 4D37 D8E6 9C6D

The fingerprint above should match the fingerprint your crypto-program says my public key has. If this isn’t the case then something is not quite right. Perhaps someone has tampered with my public key. Though If this were the case, you would like to think they would also tamper with the fingerprint above.

Update May 21 2008: I lost my old key god knows when, so I have a brand new one. This sort of thing might be an issue if anyone actually spoke to me using GPG.

Update Nov 8, 2011: I have a new GPG key.

Comment [8]  

^_^ meay-meay!

    6 September 2004, lunch time

I got an email from my GMail account sent to my Funkaoshi account. Now, I didn’t send it. At first glance I thought someone had hacked my GMail account, but had been nice enough to send me the new password, since the message looked like this:

Looking forward for a response :P

password: 28382

But when I logged into Gmail, I didn’t see the letter in my sent mail box. Well, also, I didn’t need to use the new password. Damn, a virus I thought. I didn’t notice at first, but the message contained an attachment. You needed to use the enclosed password to open the attachment. Once open, there is a .src file. Now, on a PC, perhaps at this point bad stuff would have started happening. On my Mac, things are less exciting. The .src file opens in GraphicConverter of all programs, and just ends up showing me a lot of hex code.

The question I have for you out there is this: has anyone else seen something like this? Has anyone else got this email from me? The message is called __ meay-meay!_ and has a playful little message inside. It is a little bit creative in that it plays on peoples curiosity.

On a side note, I get all my virus spam email from South Africa.

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I Am An Amazon Associate

   29 July 2004, mid-afternoon

My friend Dave displays the album covers of the CDs he is listening to the most on front of his web site. Amazon’s little pictures are useful. I stole the HTML code Dave uses, swapped the ASINs and everything seemed to work. You can see a little picture of the Signs DVD in my review of Signs. Clicking on the picture takes you to the Amazon page for the Signs DVD.

Now, here is where things get corrupt. All these people on the Textpattern forum were going on about wanting a plugin to access the Amazon API. MTAmazon is a very popular plugin for Moveable Type. I never understood the appeal of such plugins till I realized all these people are probably members of Amazon’s Associates program. In a nut shell, Amazon gives you a commission from the stuff they sell when people get to their site via yours. So, the way I see it, if a billion people read my site, and they each buy 5-10 copies of Signs, I will be a millionaire. And I didn’t even do anything. I’m a freaking genius.

If you ever link to Amazon, you may as well take the time to sign up for their associates program. When you link to Amazon you are basically advertising for them. You may as well take whatever form of reimbursement they are willing to offer.

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The King of Hacks?

   27 July 2004, lunch time

I stumbled across this crazy way to turn an iPod into a universal remote. The author, Phillip Torrone, is some sort of MacGuyver. Philip’s web site features a slew of interesting and bizarre hacks that you can try at home—if you are adventurous I suppose. I found this at

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We're Wireless Baby

   13 July 2004, early evening

I went out and bought myself a wireless router today. A Linksys Wireless-G Broadband Router to be exact. My computer only has a 802.11b card, but I thought I may as well get the faster router just incase Ahilan decides to get a wireless card.

I am curious if people have answers to the following questions I have:

  • I am pretty sure there are all sorts of third party firmware upgrades for the router made by linux-nuts. Anyone know where I can find stuff like that? And anyone use any thing like that?
  • Is there any way to use WPA with an Apple Airport card. I think you need an Apple Airport Express card to use WPA, but I was wondering if there is someway to use the better standard with the old Airport cards. Update: The old cards do work with WPA if they are running version 3.3+ of the airport software. You need to set your router to use WPA first. Once you do this, the option to enter a WPA password, will show up when you try to connect to the router.

I am currently using WPA to secure the network, not broadcasting the SSID of the router, and limiting access to my MAC address only. Normally I wouldn’t be so paranoid (well maybe that’s a lie) but our net connection at home already sucks ass without my neighbours mooching it. That old couple next door look a bit too techno-savvy for my liking.

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Compilers and Spam

   24 June 2004, lunch time

My compilers professor, Gordan Cormack, has written an interesting article on detecting spam. The article has sparked this response. Both the original article, and the response have generated threads on slashdot.


Pimp Your GMail

   22 June 2004, the wee hours

I’ve been using GMail for a few weeks now, and I have to say I like it quite a bit. However, I don’t like having my mail just stored on Google’s server, I’d like a local copy. Also, I already have an email address which people know, and which I like, ramanan at funkaoshi dot com. So, what I’ve done is try and get the best of both worlds from my two email addresses.

My funkaoshi address is a POP3 address given to me by 1and1. 1and1 lets you attach three delivery destinations to an email address. So, in addition to the POP3 mailbox, I also have my mail forwarded to my GMail account. So, if people write to me at ramanan at funkaoshi dot com, the mail will also get sent to chungking at gmail dot com. I can check for email at my funkaoshi address anywhere now, by logging in to GMail.

In most cases a person receiving an email from my GMail account would simply reply to my GMail account. These emails would then need to be forwarded by me to my funkaoshi address, if I wanted a local copy. Luckily, in GMail you can specify a reply-to address. This is the address most users will see when you send them an email, and it is the address any replies will be sent too. I specify my reply-to address to be my funkaoshi email address. This way, I will get the mail in my funkaoshi mail box, and it will also get forwarded to GMail.

The one problem in this scheme is that emails I compose in GMail remain in GMail, unless I CC or BCC my funkaoshi address on all my outgoing mail. (Hopefully Google will add an option to always BCC an email address.) I then have my email client filter emails from myself into my sent mail folder. Of course, these emails would appear twice in my GMail account, once in the sent mail folder, and once in my Inbox. Regardless, this has been working out pretty well so far.

This is one way to have a web-mail address, and a normal POP3 mailbox work together quite well. You could do what I have done above with any number of web-mail services I would imagine.

Update: I’ve modified Micheal Sipey’s bookmarklet so now when I use it to compose mail in Gmail, my funkaoshi address is automagically BCC’d a copy of the message.

Comment [9]  

Do No Evil

   20 May 2004, mid-afternoon

Google has posted a list of Software Principles on thier site. I don’t know if other software companies will start applying these principles when they develop software, but it would definetly be nice. In effect, this is an attack directed at those companies that create spywarem, and adware, programs. There is more discussion of this topic at Slashdot.

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Google Spam?

   11 May 2004, evening time

I got my first peice of Spam at my Gmail account. More then that, Iím such an idiot because I clicked the stupid link in the spam. Thankfully, it seems to me that the address that the link points to is dead.

Read the rest of this post. (371 words)

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    5 May 2004, mid-afternoon

Thanks to an invite from Ryan, I now have a gmail account. My email address is I actually didn’t want to use that, but I accidently pressed enter when I was checking for names that are free. I’m apparently not so good at picking names for online services.

Comment [7] |  

Google IPO

   29 April 2004, mid-afternoon

Well, word on the street is that Google has filed for an initial public offering. I wonder if this will have the profound effects people are hoping for, causing a serious rebound in the tech sector. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. This tidbit of news is also my first post to Metafilter.

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Public-Key Authentication, SSH, and OS X

   17 March 2004, early evening

Update: Nowadays I never make an unauthenticated key-pair. I always pick a passphrase, and use ssh-agent to avoid having to type it again and again.

Here are the steps I went through to get public-key authentication working for my ssh connection to school. What this means is that I no longer have to type a password in when I connect; the server sends a message to my machine, which I decrypt, thereby convincing the server I am who I say I am.

First, you need to generate a public/private key-pair. I had to generate a SSH1 RSA key. To do this, required the following command, ssh-keygen -t rsa1. Don’t enter a pass-phrase when prompted, save the files in the default locations with the default names. A pass-phrase is not quite needed if your home machine is secure, and it would defeat the purpose of this exercise, as we are trying to avoid typing passwords. This will produce two files, a private-key and a public-key.

Second, upload the generated public-key to the remote computer, using the command, scp <user>@<server>:.ssh/authorized_keys. This will overwrite your authorized_keys file, if you already have one. I’m guessing you don’t, since if you did, you would already know how to do this.

Third, try connecting to your server. You shouldn’t be prompted for a password.

Now, why would you want to do this? Trust me when I say you will quickly grow sick of typing your complicated password every-time you want to do a cvs command which connects to a remote machine.

Comment [4]  

Compilers and Macs.

   26 February 2004, early morning

My compilers class is currently filled with at most 20 people. Of those, 4 of us are typing away on our Macs as the prof speaks. Pretty high ratio considering Macs are supposed to have a 3% market share or something like that.

Comment [10] |  


    9 February 2004, early morning

Firefox was a name that Roni Size used to put out some jungle jungle jungle jungle jungle. What I linked to was the new release of Mozilla’s standalone web browser, once known as Phoenix, then as Firebird, and now finally as Firefox.

Comment [7] |  

Internet Radio

    7 February 2004, lunch time

I’ve had broadband access for years, but it has been disappointingly slow for most of those years. Finally, living in Waterloo, connected to a DSL line that must be alligator-clipped right into Waterloo’s backbone, I am able to enjoy some good internet radio.

For those of you with fast connections, check out the statations at SomaFM. They have something for every type of listener, even for Mezan [Cliqhop].

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    4 February 2004, mid-afternoon

I’ve been ripping my CD collection for the past little while, bit my bit. I’m disappointed because I don’t think I can get my entire CD collection on my iPod at 192 ACC. (Yes, I ended up switching down from 224. Most of of my electronica and my super-favourite albums are in at 224 ACC, the rest have been going in at 192.)

Today I ripped some of the singles I bought while in London and Sydney. There are some interesting songs on them I didn’t know I owned. For example, I bought the Go Deep single by Janet Jackson when I was in Sydney during the summer after grade 12. It features remixes of the song by Roni Size and Masters at Work. I have a very bizarre remix by the Mad Professor of Tear Drop. I bought two Natalie Imbruglia singles when I was in OZ as well, one was Big Mistake, the other was Wish I was There They both have some cool B-Sides and a few good live performances of her big hits.

Reading this over, I realize that this post, like many that have come before it, has no real point. One day I will figure out some purpose for this page, well, besides keeping every one up to date on the day to day boredom that is my life.

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Music File Formats

   13 January 2004, evening time

I’m getting my iPod in a matter of days. I’m trying to decide what format I should rip music in, and at what bit rate. Right now I am partial to ACC (Apple’s Mpeg-4 format). mp4 files sound better at lower bit-rates, so you can get good quality music out of smaller files. The only problem I see with mp4’s is that they currently can only be played in iTunes and on an iPod (I believe). I’m not sure if this is really an issue or not. I plan to start ripping my CD collection as soon as I can figure this out.

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What is Mac OS X?

    7 January 2004, lunch time

What is Mac OS X? This is an interesting article I found linked on Slashdot which discusses the technical details of Mac OS X. An interesting read if you are keen on computers and what not.

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   23 December 2003, late afternoon

I must say that iTunes is a great program. I’m streaming my music to my iMac, now Krishna’s computer, so I can listen to my music on his speakers. It is very easy to share music in this fashion with iTunes.


iTunes Music Store

    5 December 2003, mid-afternoon

The iTunes music store has celebrity play lists. Interesting to see what each artist has assembled as their favourite tracks (which are available via iTunes, of course).


Economics of File-Sharing

    1 December 2003, the wee hours

The New Economics of Music:
File-Sharing and Double Moral Hazard
. This article is about File-Sharing, the Music Industry, Piracy, and the economics of it all. Really interesting read.

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Using a Dedicated Swapfile Partition to Speed Up MacOS X

   30 November 2003, late afternoon

Using a Dedicated Swapfile Partition to Speed Up MacOS X. This article talks about how to create a separate partition for the swap files OS X creates. Most Unix systems require your swap files to be written to their own swap partitions, which are usually as large as the amount of RAM you have. Mac OS X does not require a separate swap partition, but some argue that having one would improve system performance.

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iPod Sound Quality

    9 November 2003, lunch time

iPod Sound Quality A really good review of the iPod in terms of sound quality. There is a comparison between ACC vs. MP3, and the encoding of iTunes vs. Quicktime 6.4. All in a all a wicked page to read if you are interested in MP3s and iPods.

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How do spammers harvest email addresses?

    1 October 2003, lunch time

How do spammers harvest email addresses? This is a great little page that details the ways in which spammers may get your email address.

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PowerBook and iBook: Resetting Power Management Unit (PMU)

   30 September 2003, late afternoon

PowerBook and iBook: Resetting Power Management Unit (PMU). This is how you reset the power management unit in a iBook. I’m sure most of you don’t care. I just wanted to make a note of this incase I need to do it later.

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