Anything can go here, in any language... except my native language Sinhala. Be cool... anybody is warmly welcomed! :)

Fedora Counters For Your Blog

The upcoming version of Fedora, Fedora 11 (Leonidas ) is to be released on May 26th, 2009 [schedule].

They have prepared a counter badge that anybody interested can put it in his/her own web site. I have also put one in my Sinhala blog. So, dear reader, if you also have a blog/ site, please put a badge on your site and help spread the power of human knowledge (human knowledge - that's how Richard M Stallman defines free software).

But there is a problem with the badge. They provide a script (hosted on their servers) so it may not be available in the size you prefer. In my Sinhala blog, my preferred size is 120 pixels. The code they previde is this:


<script id="fedora-banner" type="text/javascript" src="http://fedoraproject.org/static/js/release-counter-ext.js?lang=en"></script>


So I had to download the script and modify it. So here's the modified code and you can simply copy-paste it into a HTML/Javascript widget in your blog. You can modify the 23rd line (bannerimg.setAttribute("width", "120px");) of this code to adjust the badge size.


<script id="fedora-banner" type="text/javascript" language="javascript">

var available_langs = [ "en", "it" ];


var today = new Date();
var release = new Date("May 26, 2009 14:00:00 UTC");
var millisBetweenDates = release - today;
var days = Math.ceil(millisBetweenDates/1000/60/60/24);

var script = document.getElementById('fedora-banner');
var lang = "en"

var url = "http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/11/Schedule";

var banner = document.createElement('div');

var bannerlink = document.createElement('a');

var bannerimg = document.createElement("img");
bannerimg.style.border = "none";

bannerimg.setAttribute("width", "120px");

if (days <= 0) {
    // TODO: Get an actual image here!
    bannerimg.setAttribute("src", "http://fedoraproject.org/static/images/banners/f11release.png");
    bannerimg.setAttribute("alt", "Fedora 11 is here!");
    url = "http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora";
} else {
    bannerimg.setAttribute("src", "http://fedoraproject.org/static/images/counter/" + lang + "/fedora11-countdown-banner-" + days + "." + lang + "." + "png");
    bannerimg.setAttribute("alt", "Fedora 11 Leonidas released in " + days + " days.");
}

bannerlink.setAttribute("href", url);

bannerlink.appendChild(bannerimg);
banner.appendChild(bannerlink);

script.parentNode.insertBefore(banner, script);

</script>


If you are interested, please put a counter on your blog too.

Thank you for reading.

A Hackers' Session -- from a Campus Kuppi

"Machan, I need some help"

"Yh, what sort of?"

"A Kuppi. Can you prove how SSL is gonna be secure?"

I explaind him the theories of public key cryptography and he had nicely understood them. At the end of the day we both are happy :) . Now, it's time to play with some tools.

"OK, here's my SLTnet prepaid account which I have been using before getting this mobile broadband package. You can see their web site doesn't support SSL enabled login. I don't use this account anymore."

"Yes machan, what are you gonna do?"

"I'm turning on the network protocol analyzer, and entering shaakunthala as username, 123456 as the password coz I don't remember my password."

"OK, show me how to get the password."

"Viola! Here it is, 123456!!"

"Yes, then you say, it's not possible when SSL is enabled?"

"Not actually, but it is not possible to sniff the passwords using regular methods when using SSL"

"OK, show me practically" "Here's Gmail -- close your eyes ;) I'm entering my real username and R-E-A-L password!"

"Are you crazy!? What if I see your password?"

"You won't. Try it yourself."

My friend, tired spending few minutes struggling with the protocol analyzer logs,..

"OK men.. I give up.. you win... and thank you for your time"

"That's okey dude! :) "

***

* Characters: Me and one of my best friends -- At University of Colombo School of Computing open canteen a.k.a. Bhawana (බවන). ;)

* Kuppi (කුප්පි): A Sinhala word for vial. But, in university students' subculture, a Kuppi is the act of a student helping his own colleague(s)
who haven't been able to understand the lectures completely or partially.

Back to Vice City

Last few days.... actually the Sinhala and Tamil New Year vacation, during that time I were with lots lots of fun stuff. One of those was playing GTA Vice City. It's my favourite computer game. There are other releases such as Liberty City, San Andreas and etcetera etcetera I know. But, Vice City is Nice. What fantastic story! [read the story]

Vice City is not for kids. So if you find this annoying or you are under 18, then leave! :D

I have finished this several times before, but, I have mentioned in my previous post, I'm gonna get rid of Windows OS. No Windows = No Vice City. I'm never gonna be with Windows again. (Getting rid of Windows is not death yes I know ;) ) So this is the last time.

Finishing the game is pretty easy without cheats. I don't know why lot of people cheat in these games, but, cheating is not necessary. If you listen well, if you have a good ability to think, if you are a strategic person, then Vice City is nothing for you.

So I thought of writing some tips for Vice City lovers. These will help you to succeed in the Vice City in a short period of time.

***

Try to find at least 10 of 100 hidden packages -- A hidden package is not just 100 bucks. 10 hidden packages will give you a body armour (at the Ocean View Apartments and other non-business properties). More hidden packages will enable more weapons and stuff.

Do a vigilant mission when you have enough weapons -- This will increase the body armour strength from 100 to 150 permanently. I said when you have enough weapons,... because it's gonna be lot more than a rampage. It's a mega rampage! Do this when there is a nearby safehouse, so you can easily get full health by just running into the cassette tape sign.
First Step:
Shoot at a cop. You'll get two stars and they'll follow you. Cover yourself and shoot... shoot... and shoot. Don't stop. When you get three stars, here comes a helicopter.. just get the sniper and shoot the pilot,.. helicopter will crash. Four stars... here comes the military, things getting harder.. Five stars.. FBI,... and Six stars... whoa! Rhinos!! Vice City forces bring you tanks. Just get the sniper and shoot at the driver. Then, run (sprint actually) to the tank and get in. As soon you get in the tank, hit the left Ctrl key repetitively to make sure you kill the nearby cops and agents. Now, get on the road and drive to star bribes to get rid of cops (Pay n' Spray won't work). Turn the canon around 180 degrees, and fire to increase the speed, otherwise they'll bust you. Avoid hitting police vehicles. Go to a safehouse that has a garage and park the tank. Save the game.
Second Step:
Get on the tank and press Caps Lock. Then you'll start the vigilant mission. Don't care about cops, but at least until the sixth level, try to avoid cops. You can hit the enimies with the tank or fire. Beat a level 12 vigilant mission and save. Viola! You get 150 of body armor plus money.

Do the Pizza Boy mission to get 150 of permanent health -- Nearby the pizza restaurant, there is a scooter. Grab it and complete the pizza delivery mission. You get 150 of health. This looks hard, but actually it's very easy.

Do some dirty work to be more healthy -- (kids go away please :D ) You can get another 25 of health just by dating a hooker! :P But this is not permanent. When you save the game, you'll lose this additional 25. Here's how to... at night, get a new sports car and park near a hooker. Sound the horn and she'll get in. Amount of your money will start decreasing so quickly drive into the bushes and stop. Car will bump several times (and you'll hear 'creek creek' sound of shock absorbers as well ;) ). Your health willl increase up to 125 (or 175 if you have completed the pizza boy). After finishing the 'business', drive to an open place and let her go. Waste her and get your money back. The funniest thing is, when the car bumps up and down, it increases the frequency, and stops in rhythm -- that's about it. :D .

Don't do the Avery Carrington's (sign A) last mission (which is to waste a gang leader) if you have left missions to do in gangster areas -- After this mission, Hitians and Cubans will start fighting each other and it will be a real nuisence! Completing the following Robina and Aunt Poulet missions will make the gangsters more and more angry and they often will shoot at you!

Manage your budget well -- actually, Vice City also shows you to how to spend your money and manage. It's like a some sort of a practical management tutorial. During the first few missions, don't spend money on anything. But after taking over Diaz's business and beating the level 12 vigiline it will be fine. If you buy weapons, do Pay n' Spray then you'll have to spend more time on 'earning' money. Otherwise it's just three days to finish the game. To earn fast, you can do insane stunts, and taxi missions. For weapons,... some wepons are placed in specific locations. At the ending missions, money will be nothing for you.

How to beat The Driver -- No doubts 'The Driver' is the most difficult mission in Vice City. In this mission you have to race with an experianced driver named Hilary. His car (Sabre Turbo) will accelarate well, but your car (Sentinel) is the fastest. The race takes place at night, so there will be less cars, but... cops will show up saying 'Illegal street race' with two stars. This makes the mission difficult because cops will try to hit your car so you'll lose your control.
There is a nice trick I play to win the race. This ain't cheaing, :P . First, take a rifle and get to the Malibu Club. Get the mission. From this point you'll not be able to change the weapon because you are in the car. When the race begins, shoot at the tyres of Hilary's car and pop at least two tyres. Be careful not to shoot Hilary. Then quickly get into the car and drive. You have to do this quickly!!! After doing this, Hilary will lose his control and drive zig zag :P . So you can win the race easily, but drive fast. ;) Genius, ha?

***

Anyway,.. that's it. Many more tips I have but no time to write. :( I'm a big fan of Vice City game, but no time to play. I may never play these kinda games again, coz I'm removing Windows OS from my computer.

Okey,... time to leave. I invite you to share your gaming experiences too. :)

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Ambalangoda, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
Shaakunthala works as a Systems Support Engineer at a World's leading IT solutions company. A wannabe hacker, FOSS enthusiast, cat lover and an insane motorcyclist. And he comes from Sri Lanka!! :)

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