technology and zen of life

“A heisenbug (named after the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) is a computer bug that disappears or alters its characteristics when an attempt is made to study it.”

Watch Cricket World Cup 2015 online

Disclaimer – This post is purely for academic and curiosity’s sake. This is most likely not legal and should be approached appropriately.

This howto guide is going to be quite technical and I don’t expect the masses to be able to understand it.

Jumping right to it. You need few pieces.

  1. A host in one of the countries that are allowed to view Star Sports. A list can be found here. I am using a t2.micro aws instance in Frankfurt.
  2. An account on with cricket subscription. It costs Rs.120($2) if purchased in India and Rs.1200($20) if purchased outside. So if you know anyone in India ask him to buy subscription for you.
  3. Putty for tunneling. PuttyGen for key conversion.
  4. Firefox/Google chrome with proxy settings set to use the tunnel.

I’ll explain each step in detail here. It requires minimal settings and you should be able to get the whole thing up and running in about 10 minutes.

  1. Create an AWS t2.micro instance in frankfurt. It’s in free tier and you should be able to get away with no charges if you keep an eye on the bandwidth usage. Note – While creating the aws instance opt for the key as authentication mechanism. It will prompt you to download a key which you will need later on.
  2. Get an account on with world cup package. If you know someone in India you get it for about $2
  3. You should have the key file downloaded in Step#1. Download PuttyGen and follow the Converting Your Private Key Using PuTTYgen instructions on this page
  4. Once you’ve followed the instructions, you should have a new file which has your private key. Download Putty. Follow steps 1 & 2 on this page. Before step 3 perform following steps in putty

In the Category pane, expand Connection, expand SSH, and then select Auth. Complete the following:
i. Click Browse.
ii. Select the .ppk file that you generated for your key pair, and then click Open.
iii. (Optional) If you plan to start this session again later, you can save the session information for future use. Select Session in the Category tree, enter a name for the session in Saved Sessions, and then click Save.
iv. Click Open to start the PuTTY session.

Continue with step 3-8 and you are all set.

Open Firefox and goto to watch all the cricket you want.

Note – You can limit the network usage in the video player in the left side, next to play/pause button by clicking on “HD” icon. This way you should be able to stay inside the aws free tier. You are allowed about 15GB network bandwidth with aws. It’s not much when watching videos so keep an eye out for that or you’ll end up spending money there.

F.lux or no F.lux and Linux!

I’ve been using a program called F.lux or Flux for over a year now.

The program is based on the research that blue light keeps you awake and alert. Not something that you’d want at night. So this program adapts the display to show warmer colors at night. You can read more about the program on it’s website. Normally flux adapts the colors as the day progresses and night starts but I preferred to keep the colors warm (yellow-ish) all day long. It’s really easy on eyes even for those long hours spent staring at computer screen.

However Flux for linux lacks the features that it’s Windows version offers. Most particularly the options of controlling the color phase during the day time. Also getting it to work on a dual monitor setup was more effort than I intended to spend. So I decided to fore go the program altogether in favor of changing the color profile of the monitor itself.

Most monitors have the color settings that allow you to pick the RGB (Red Green Blue) levels in your monitor. I fiddled around with mine and set the levels of R-100, G-100, B-0. Hence getting the blue component out of the display and achieving the same effect as flux.

Try it out yourself and see if you can adjust to it. I’d suggest using the default settings of flux till you stop noticing the yellow color of the monitor and then moving to yellow color altogether. I’d recommend giving it two weeks of usage before making a decision on if you want to stop using it or not since it feels odd initially and it takes a bit to get used to.

Let us know if it worked out for you!


Installing transmission and dnsmasq on a NAS


In our student’s  dorm, we want to share files. We also have one shared internet connection using ADSL. The download speed is OK, but the uplink is weak. Many students like to use torrents, which quickly drain the uplink and the connection table of the modemrouter. So I set up a server with a torrent client, which was accessible by a web interface. I replaced this server by a Iomega StorCenter Ix2-200 Cloud Edition Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, which I will refer to as ix-2.

The default torrent client on the ix-2 is bad beyond imagination, so I wanted to install transmission-daemon. Read the rest of this entry »

Testing rechargable batteries

Author: Bob Westerbrink

Rechargeable batteries aged 6 years or older are, in general, garbage (this also is true for most car batteries). How good are your rechargeable batteries? You can test your batteries by measuring the time it takes until they are empty while they power a LED or something similar with a small resistance. It’s easiest to use a resistor.

You need a:

Instagram – Using the API

First a short introduction on Instagram, it is an iphone app for taking pictures, adding filters to make them look retro, and then for sharing them with sites like Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, and Facebook, more importantly, it’s a simple social network of other people’s photos. You can “like” or comment on the photos, and see what’s new. It’s easy and doesn’t take much time or effort. This is one of the reasons it has become so popular so quickly.

What is also good to know is that Instagram has recently released an API which the user’s can use to fetch pictures that users upload to the website. In this article I want to discuss that API and how to use it to make the most out of it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Using an old computer as a Network storage

I have been thinking of writing this article for some time now. I am currently planning to do a series of articles describing various ways you can convert an old PC into a useful device. Some of the areas I want to cover are converting the PC into –

  • Movie / MP3 player
  • Network storage device
  • Network hub / monitor / dhcp server

In this article I want to look at converting your computer into a network storage.  First lets look at the basic requirements your system must meet to be able to be used as a network storage

Requirements: Read the rest of this entry »

How-to: Turn Your Cellphone into a Microscope!

Being the enthusiast I am with shooting photos and making videos, I also enjoy taking it to further levels. Earlier we posted a super simple how-to tutorial (here) on adding the macro functionality to your cellphone (while keeping it low-budget). In this post, we inform you of how to turn your cellphone into a small portable microscope (while still keeping it low-budget).

  1. If you haven’t gone to Crabfu’s page who made this mod, go there.
  2. Find a low-budget (~10 Euros) microscope lens of your desire (either online or from a shop you know) that matches the specs Crabfu has mentioned (mainly it should fit to the cellphone lens or it’s case dimension).
  3. Wrap the cellphone case in a plastic bag.
  4. Put your cellphone in it.
  5. Glue the lens connection and very very carefully put it where the phone lens is supposed to be.
  6. Attach the lens to the connection.
  7. Done.

Enjoy using your portable microscope while helping people :)

Via Crabfu

How-to: DIY Macro Lens For Your Cellphone!

If you have a disposable camera lying around somewhere in your basement or your room gathering dust, take it and do something useful with it! If you don’t have one, buy one and continue reading this post :)

Here is a simple step by step “tutorial” on how to add macro capability to your lovely phone camera:

Read the rest of this entry »

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