Grand Canyon Trip


Another trip to the national parks of US. This time in Arizona State! The Grand Canyon in AZ, USA lying on the Colorado Plateau in Northwestern Arizona is a blistering (not because of heat, though) example of soil erosion caused over more than 4000 years by Colorado river.
We organized a trip of 8 people in a Toyota Sienna. It turned out to be a fantastic van and it could easily carry the load of all the eight people and still not run out of steam like we did on the trail.
We reached the Canyon at around 7:50 am on the Saturday morning after an 8 hr drive. But getting apermit at such a short notice in summer is really difficult. So we ended up with no campgrounds in the Mather campground as well as the Backcountry CBG campground (Bright angel creek, just 0.5 miles from the Colorado river). So we first went to 10-X Campground just near the Grand Canyon Airport. This campground is on first come first served basis and takes only 10 bucks for a day. Anyway, we did not have too many choices with the campground so we had to take whatever spot we got.
Then at around 11:30 am we started on the Bright Angel Trail. According to the canyon officials the worst times to take the trails is between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. But the brave souls that we were, our enthusiasm and inexperience with Canyon led us to believe our valor more than we had! So we began the trail with a backpack carrying water and food for each person. Every man for himself!
But we met a volunteer on the way who advised us that unless we were Marathon runners (which we are not by any stretch of imagination) going to the Plateau Point and coming back on the same day is not advisable. The thoughts that he put into our minds germinated into a tree of doubt which we could not climb.
We could reach only the 3-mile point and climbed back up. But as it turns out we had made almost 70% of the elevation and most of the inclining hike. Had we continued the further trail was not at all steep. But this is hindsight or may be a case of sour grapes or maybe a case of inflated self-esteem !?!!
Then after coming back exhausted from the trail we set up our tent and after some food went off for a well-deserved siesta. The next day after lot of deliberation from Gandhe and Sardar we made it again to the Canyon to look at the points on the South Rim itself. After going afound in the bus we saw most of the points and then headed back to LA with the same reverse route (64 S – 40 W – 15 S – 10 W)!
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MS Word Tables and Formula


I’ve often tried to use MS Word tables and do computations with the values in the tables. Example:

a0 b0 c0
a1 b1 c1
a2 b2 c2
a3 b3 c3

Suppose, the following conditions hold true:
c1 = a1xb1
c2 = a2xb2
a3 = a1 + a2
b3 = b1 + b2
c3 = c2 + c2

Click on the c1 cell, click on the “Layout” button, click on “Formula” button, in the Formula field, enter the following:
Similarly, for c2 use =PRODUCT(a2:b2).
For a3,b3,c3 use =SUM(ABOVE)


GooScan compilation errors


I was just browsing away when I stumbled upon Johnny Long’s GooScan. He says that this is a Linux only tool but it seems to compile (not without problems though) on cygwin.
I kept getting the following errors:

L:\tools\gooscan-v1.0.9>gcc gooscan.c
gooscan.c: In function `inet_send':
gooscan.c:575: error: `MSG_WAITALL' undeclared (first
use in this function)
gooscan.c:575: error: (Each undeclared identifier is
reported only once
gooscan.c:575: error: for each function it appears in.)

Then I read somewhere that MSG_WAITALL is not defined for Cygwin and that instead of that zero would work. There are many neater solutions to this…but I’m a hacker and I’ll do the stuff that’s easiest and hassle-free.
Some people say that the following will work:
#ifdef __CYGWIN__
#define MSG_WAITALL 0

So in order to compile this bad boy, you need to goto line 574 in your favorite editor.
It looks like this:
recv(sock, recvbuf, sizeof(recvbuf), MSG_WAITALL);

You need to make it look like this:
recv(sock, recvbuf, sizeof(recvbuf), 0);//MSG_WAITALL);

You are all set:
gcc gooscan.c -o gooscan.exe

Compilation works! But then I observed that the results were not coming well. However, if you run it through a local proxy such as burp it still works…I bet it has something to do with socket establishment and receiving and being incompatible with the MSG_WAITALL flag.
But as long as you can get the results … who cares? If someone figures out exactly how to make this work, please post it as a comment.


Ratproxy on Cygwin


I have used Michal Zalewski’s Ratproxy on Google code. I like it a lot. But I also like to have it on Windows. But it seems that the makefile that comes with ratproxy is not really compatible with cygwin.
If you have the gcc, make, openssl, openssl-dev packages installed on cygwin, all you need to do is remove the -Wno-pointer flag from the CFLAGS entry from the Makefile.
So my Makefile’s CFLAGS line looks like:


I also replaced $(CC) with gcc just because I felt like it. 🙂
Compile it with make command.
Do not forget to dos2unix the ratproxy-report.sh otherwise you will get some errors with ‘\r’ and some other random stuff when you run the report generator shell scripts.
Run ratproxy as :
c:\tools\ratproxy>ratproxy.exe -p 8000 -v c:\testdir -w ratlog -d example.com -extifscfjmXCk
Once you have the log to generate a nice looking pretty report:
bash$ ./ratproxy-report.sh ratlog >reportname.html

Update 06/20/2012:
If you get the error shown below:
ratproxy.c: In function `listen_loop':
ratproxy.c:1635:5: error: incompatible type for argument 2 of `waitpid'
/usr/include/sys/wait.h:43:7: note: expected `__wait_status_ptr_t' but argument
is of type `unsigned int *'
Makefile:30: recipe for target `ratproxy' failed
make: *** [ratproxy] Error 1

Do the following:
1. Go to line # 1635 and change the line to while (waitpid(-1,(int*)&x,WNOHANG) > 0);
2. Goto the command line and type


You should be able to compile ratproxy.


Dell Vista Upgrade Scam by Dell


Dell had this program called Dell Vista Express Upgrade as a part of which once you pay for your XP Pro you become eligible for a Vista upgrade. The interesting thing was it was an introductory offer and they would ship the DVDs upon Vista’s release if we activated the upgrade. I did activate the upgrade but I did not receive my DVDs until a few days but when I eventually did it was a “Dell Vista Upgrade Assistant DVD”. What was even more interesting was that this DVD was not even an installation DVD (with no warnings on it that it was not the OS installation itself which I assumed all along). It was just a DVD because Dell likes sending DVDs to users! So I contacted Dell about the OS when I couldn’t boot up the OS and they said that no wonder…this is not the OS. So I asked them where’s the OS and the customer care went “you should have it”! Now if they didn’t ship it and I didn’t receive it (although I paid Dell for it), who should have it! They tell me Microsoft has it. It just seems illogical that the person who I pay for the software would not be the one to ship it out to me. The Dell Resolution specialist called today and said there’s nothing he could do. They have my money, they didn’t ship out the DVD…and so be it! Do what you can! That’s just the worst ever case of customer care I’ve ever seen!


Brand New Day


It’s a brand new day with no novelty! Back to the lab today trying to now get access to the packet data to calculate the hash values. I suspect that inside netfilter’s sk_buff structure there’s an unsigned char* data field. This probably is exactly what I need to get the hash values. There’s this awesome link which has great information about sk_buff structure. The unsigned int len; has the size of the complete input data including the headers. I guess if this len value == size of the actual data for the IP header (which could be TCP header / UDP header / ICMP header) then if we are using chunks of this data to find hashes then the following algorithm could be used:

no_of_chunks = len / BYTE_SIZE_FOR_SIGN;

addendum = len % BYTE_SIZE_FOR_SIGN;

for (int i = 0; i < no_of_chunks; i++)
(i+1)*BYTE_SIZE_FOR_SIGN - 1 ,0));
no_of_chunks*BYTE_SIZE_FOR_SIGN+addendum, 0)

This are my initial thoughts let’s see how it works out!

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A disaster called Silsilay


Silsilay, the latest movie by Khalid Mohammed, a critic famous for his Sunday Times articles, is a disaster to say the least. Mr.Mohammed, who has torn apart most of the movies in his journalism career, to my disappointment, has not proven himself any better than the pack he tore apart. I think if he himself saw the movie impartially he probably would have given it negative five stars.
Silsilay, as the movie is called, is a movie of three stories running one after the other albeit aimlessly. The first story is of a film actress (Bhoomika Chawla) who falls in love with a bookie (Rahul Bose) who is two-timing his girl-friend, who in turn is two-timing him…sounds complex…don’t bother…it’s not complex but just kiwi drainex!
The second story is of a young girl (Riya Sen) who looks stunning in the movie and is afraid to lose her virginity and is consoled by her overly promiscuous friend to do *it*. Ashmit Patel steps into the story as her boy toy (read “snuggies”) and Jimmy Shergill, who is her co-worker from work and is looking to gain her attention. Some good (aimless) smooches result between Ashmit and Riya and Khalid Mohammed succeeds in spinning a story that is as ridiculous as Riya and Ashmit’s acting. For god’s sake Riya, Nirma soap advertisements were better!
As if the torture was not enough, Mr.Mohammed had a life-saver (or at least as he thought) a still more ridiculous story. Well, some B-grade films would have called this 3rd story a *saga*…but I frankly think that Khalid Mohammed doesn’t think!
It’s a combination of a love triangle…sorry…love quadrilateral with a diagonal (please figure out what this means on your own…watching the movie wouldn’t help anyway). In this story Tabu plays a housewife whose husband (KK) is going out with a (super hot) air hostess (Celina Jaitley) and whose son suffers from Oedipus Complex ( where a person falls in love with his own mother). As if this carcass did not stink the theatres…there was more bull**** coming across in the form of Shah Rukh Khan in between stories and scenes. Mr. Khan there are many ways to win Filmfare awards…this is probably the last way to *buy* the awards. Mr.Khan does a saving act by signalling to the audience how he behaves when nature calls arrive…how he insanely goes about dancing for no reason whatsoever.
This is all a part of the crap that I call Silsilay!
Awesome Japanese Artifacts!