Friday, October 29, 2004

Halloween time !!

This weekend is going to be fun ! Plan to spend it enjoying with my friends.

I am also very disappointed with Indian Cricket Team. Lost to Aussies at Nagpur :-(.

Also GMail fans, check this vulnerability. Google are you watching.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

A new car

I saw the pictures of new car which my parents got in India. The car is parked outside my house in the picture. After seeing the street in the picture, it really reminded me of the games that I used to play with my friends in childhood. That really made me nostalgic :-(.

Well, Its time to get back to work on Sunday !! (Yeah with semester cruising towards end, got to study )

Saturday, October 16, 2004

What a week !

2 midterms, 3 days at ISI ! what a week it was. I thank God that it is over and its time to chill out again.

Meanwhile check out the USENET flamewar between Linus Torvalds and Andrew Tanenbaum. Its one of the classic. Tanenbaum quoted that Linux is Obsolete in 1992. Look where Linux is now.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

GMail Drive shell extension

Hi fellows,

I read an article about GMail Drive on slashdot and thought to post it on blog.

For all those people using gmail from google, you can now have your gmail account as a drive on your computer.

For details on windows version check out

For Linux version go to

It works great for me allowing me to use 1000MB(though max file size is 10MB). But I don't expect this hack to last long....Google is watching :-)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

PV=nRT....what's in the formula

Today was a good day. I started with chemistry tutorship at Center For Academic Support. Met Boyle's Law, Charles Law and ideal gas law after a span of 6 years. Though I felt confident while teaching them.

Thanks to Michelle for bringing her answer book with her :-)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Greatest Day !!

Yesterday was the big day. The day I longed for after coming to USC. I am now a Graduate Research Assistant(GRA) at DETER lab located at USC/Information Sciences Institute.

This is like a dream come true. After a long struggle, I finally got what I desired. The best thing about this assistantship is I will get a chance to work with Clifford Neuman (remember Kerberos authentication). Wow !!! that is going to be fun !

Keep reading this blog. I will keep this updating with my experiences.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Configuring VPN on Linux for USC Network

I was using Cisco's VPN client on Linux, which I downloaded from UCLA's website (yes thats UCLA stuff for USC guy) few months ago. Never even bothered to post a query on USCLUG mailing list to ask a question whether USC has VPN client for Linux. Since I could not find VPN client for Linux on, I was pretty sure that there was no VPN support from ISD for Linux.

Then suddenly, I found that Garrick Staples (System Admin at USC ISD) did have few versions of Cisco VPN clients. So I thought that may be I should pen down how to get VPN client running on Linux. Following are the steps which I followed. Note that to install VPN client you should be a super user (root).

1)Download the latest version from . You will need your USC username and password to access this site. [ so hereby I loose non USC netizens reading this blog :-( ]

2) unzip the file using
gunzip vpnclient-linux- .

3) untar the tar file using

tar xvf vpnclient-linux-
This will create a folder called vpnclient.

4) Enter this folder using cd vpnclient. Then run the installer using

5) Follow the questions that are asked. For most of them select the default settings by pressing . If it asks you whether you want vpn-client to be started during the init step, select yes so that you will not require to initialize the vpn client daemon every time you reboot your computer. Note that this is vpn client daemon and not the vpn client itself. I think daemon is only used to start a service ready to talk to vpn server. Untill you start vpn client with a configuration file, your vpn connection is not established.

6)Now go to /etc/opt/cisco-vpnclient/Profiles directory and open sample.pcf file using your favorite editor [you are dumb if that editor is not vi :-) ].

file is a name/value file with format keyword=value. Change Host value to and GroupName value to USC. Also change value to your USC user name. Save the file and exit. You can also rename this file to some more relevant name like Username usc.pcf. The sample configuration file is as shown

Description=sample user profile

8) Start the daemon by using
/etc/init.d/vpnclient_init start

9) Start the vpn client by using
vpnclient connect sample.
If you changed the configuration file to some other name (usc.pcf as suggested above) then use that name without .pcf extension).

10) If everything went well, then script will run asking you for group password.
Enter "GoTrojan" (without quotes) here. Then when scripts ask for your USC password, enter it.

11) And viola !!! You just have acheived what less than 0.1 % of USC students ever try to acheive - Connect to USC network through VPN client on Linux.

12) Note that I have personally tried this method on Mandrake Linux 10.0 official. But I am absolutely confident that same techniques should work on all the Linux distributions. (Tough luck *BSD guys. I encourage you guys to try it running on *BSD).

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Weekend as it goes

Today was a good day. Attended AIS party, studied for my 555 course for a while.

Got to study for directed research tomorrow.

Meanwhile its surprising that most of the polls declared John Kerry as winner of the thursdays debate !! This is going to be exciting.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Yippee !! I have my blog

After seeing people create their blogs, I thought let me also jump into this blogging world !

Keep watching !!