Tuesday, September 21, 2010

FStival 2010

Note: This post contains reference to names and places, which might make sense only to TCE folks. It will be a bit long too. And at few places managed to mention about FStival, the main reason behind the visit :P

After two years break, i was back at FStival, the software freedom day celebration organised by GLUGOT and GLUG-Madurai. Accompanied by Junior Sai went to the function a little late as usual and stayed away from the chief guest address which seemed to be halfway through in K.S. Auditorium. The chief guest was none other than our senior, Mr. Amalan Joe Steeve. When the chief guest was addressing the crowd, myself and Sai, decided to roam around the college and check out the changes. And our junior Karthikeyan, who is presently doing 3rd year gave a good company for more than an hour. In two years, college has changed a lot, but there are still a lot of landmarks left to make you nostalgic.

The CSE classes are being held in the new building in front of IT department. The open air auditorium is functioning. There is a new building in the pump house. There is some new building coming up in front of the Maths Department. There is one more new building coming up near hostel. Very few monkeys in pump house and CSE Aalamaram. Z0 my final year class room has changed. The tables where 10 of us sit in a row has changed and it is now replaced with single chairs, and the room looks clean. I think the lab which was adjacent to Unix lab, previously called as Client/Server lab is now called as IBM lab !!!! Wondering how it got the name though and whether there is a plan to change the names of other labs to HP, M$, Oracle labs :P N/w lab is now called as Multicore lab or something. No changes to Apple and Web Design labs. The ditch in front of the library remains occupied with boys and as usual guys were having fun.

Met all the staffs in Unix lab except for Shalinie mam, since she had a meeting to attend after FStival and went straight there after the chief guess address. Met a staff who managed to talk as though he remembered me, while i doubt whether he did really. And then a mam who was travelling in auto showed signs of recognition. Whatever it is, it was great to be in College after two years and to get a feeling few staffs still can recognize you. This FStival also gave an opportunity to meet few of my juniors. It was fun as usual talking to them.

Coming to FStival, there were so many stalls this time. Congrats to them. Also there were around 300+ audience for FStival, including people from near by colleges and schools which was good. Roaming around the stalls was fun, we had stood behind and had explained the audience few years back :-) One major change was that students were using personal laptops in stalls. Looked like a corporate presentation with around 10 laptops in lab :P   Finally left the college at around 5.00PM planning to visit later when i get time...

Bheemeswari River Rafting & Shivasamudra

After a few failed attempts at trips and treks, this trip to Bheemeswari became special just for the reason that we are going on a trip. Also probably the first trip with friends and families for the anna's who got married before sometime. As usual, the trip was planned all of a sudden, happened fast and ended well.

We started from Bangalore at around 6.30AM in the Innova which Pramod Anna managed to book. Loaded the car with so much of snacks and food that would suffice around 20 people, but taking into consideration that myself and Mani are going, we didn't take any chance. The plan was to go through Kanakpura and reach Bheemeswari. In few minutes, DP started the snacks grinding job and provoked others too and we all soon obliged. First stop was at some place after kanakapura, for breakfast. Hotel guys gave us the option of poori and spicy tomato rice, both of which were not good.

The journey was fun filled. We crossed a small hillock on the way and the scenery was good. We managed to reach the Kaveri fishing camp by around 10.30AM i guess. Quickly checked whether rafting was available and fortunately it was. The charge was 600 Rs per head. We soon paid the amount and geared up for the task wearing the life jackets and helmets. Soon our guide arrived gave the instructions and we started with our quest, 8KM ride from the camp to Muttati.

Rafting in kaveri is graded +2 rapids and is easy for beginers and non risky. The water was calm and there were few rapids here and there which gave a little ecstasy. Our guide Amit, manoeuvered the boat between the rocks with ease and explained about rafting in general, about the place, about rafting in North India. But all in Hindi :( :( Could make out the overall meaning of what he said, but we had a very patient translator Reena Anni who translated each and every word.

In the middle of the ride, we can get into the water and have a dip, and it was cool. Soon the ride came to an end and we came back to the fishing camp. And then started on the long ride to shivasamudra. I think this is the fourth time i am visiting the falls, so it was not that exciting. Visited Barachukki and gaganachukki and started on the long journey back to Bangalore, with a little sleep and as usual with non stop chatting.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


I dont know whether it is a virus in first place, but it was irritating to me. A filenamed "Durai'sAutoProtection.vbe" gets copied to my pen drive everytime i inserted my pendrive into my windows box at office. My GNU/Linux laptop at home is my antivirus for pendrive. I kept removing the file from my pendrive and after a while got totally irritated and decided to fix it once for all.

First job is to track the location of the vbscript file. A bit of googling revealed that it is present in C:\Windows\system32 folder. To see the file, you will have to enable the following in folder options.

* Mark Show hidden files and folders
* Unmark Hide extensions of Known file types
* Unmark Hide protected Operating system files

Now i could see the file "Durai'sVirusProtection.vbe" in C:\WINDOWS\System32 directory. This is actually a VB script file, and i tried looking into the vb script code. Since i dont know even few words of vb script, could not guess much. But it claims to be removing a few viruses, and does few undesirable stuffs too.

1) Changes registry settings to change the Internet Explorer Title bar name to Durai.
2) Sets the default page of IE to some site.
3) Copies itself into pendrives inserted.

Though the file can be located, it is not possible to delete the file. Says the file is being used. The program using it is wscript.exe. Could not get much info about the same. Stop the process and then delete the file. Make sure the read only flag of the file is deselected before trying to delete.

Next to fix the registry settings,

Open regedit, and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\INTERNET EXPLORER\MAIN\ and then delete the Key value Window Title. Also change the starting address back to about:blank or whatever you want.

Also, inside HKEY_ LOCAL_ MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon the following key "Userinit" will be set to execute the vbscript file. Now since the file is removed, it will report an error everytime we logon. It will be set to some value like,

“C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe,C:\WINDOWS\system32\wscript.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\Durai'sVirusProtection.vbe”

Change this to just, “C:\WINDOWS\system32\userinit.exe"

With this the virus or unnecessary script will be removed from the machine. At times harmless stuffs like this are interesting to analyze and fix.