Disabling USB storage devices on Windows XP

One of the recent problems we had in our team is virus through USB storage devices.  I had noticed people using both pen drive and USB external storage.

I am not against usage of these devices, but the people who uses the devices should know what they are doing.  Though these USB storage devices are just carriers in spreading problem and whole problem is un-patched operating system or IE or any other windows components, our client and our management team does believe that disabling or preventing usage of USB drives would solve this problem.

I was looking for a simple VB script to perform the operation and found one here.

Setting up reverse proxy in Apache Http Server

1. Install Apache web server.

2. Edit the httpd.conf file with following modifications.  You can find this configuration file under <Apache installed directory> /conf directory. Take a backup of existing configuration files before making the changes.

3. Uncomment the following lines under LoadModule section.
(assuming you working on windows environment/ the file name and path for Load File entry will change for linux)

LoadModule proxy_module modules/mod_proxy.so
LoadModule proxy_http_module modules/mod_proxy_http.so
LoadFile D:\downloads\apachedll\libxml2.dll

4. Reverse proxy requires the following libraries (if you are downloading the Apache binary files, these files are not included in the distribution)

Attached zip file contains these files for windows environment here.
For linux, you have to get equivalent libraries

5.Setup reverse proxy entries by adding the following lines at the end of httpd.conf file
ProxyPass   /a1/site    http://mysitename/consumer/site
ProxyPass   /a1/services  http://mysitename/consumer/services

Ruby on Rails

After long hesitation, I tried installing Ruby on Rails and to wet my hands with some Rapid Web application development with Rails. As noted in various web articles and documents on web – installation and configuration is very smooth.

1. Download the Ruby installer for Windows from here. I had downloaded version
2. Once Ruby is installed, we can use gem to download & install rails framework.

gem install rails –include-dependencies

This works.  I am not sure what is gem yet.  I understand its some sort of packager and installer for ruby platform.  But not sure how it works yet.  Once rails available on my ruby platform, I just need to use some simple commands to create working web application in mins.

Looks very interesting at first look.

How to Create an ISO File

Many a times I had downloaded an ISO image and burned CDs out of it.  I never thought what is the disk image format and how they were created.  I am thinking of these questions only when a need arise.  A blog post from a Indian regional language(Tamil) blog pointed me to a right source to create the ISO image file.

How to Create an ISO File

An ISO image file is an image of a CD-ROM disk saved in ISO 9660 format. ISO image files are widely used to store CD content and transfer it through the Internet. ISO is a common CD image format for DOS, Windows (Joliet ISO extension), Linux (RockRidge ISO extension) and other operating systems.
Most popular CD recording programs can burn ISO images onto recordable CDs. Some of these programs even use ISO as their native disk image format.

Undisker can create ISO images of CDs. Follow these instructions to create an ISO image of a CD:

1. Run Undisker. This tool can be downloaded from here
2. Insert the source CD into the CDROM drive
2. Select Capture CDROM from the Image menu
3. Type a filename for the image file
4. Choose ISO as the file format
5. Press the Save button

After you press Save, the capturing process starts. When the process is complete, Undisker automatically opens the newly created disk image.

Interesting Firefox extension – Nightly Tester Tools

Most important factor I like about Firefox browser is its extensions.  I had installed over 40 extensions on with my browser.  But whenever I planned to move to new beta version, there is a pain in making most important extensions work on the new Firefox beta. 
This time, I came across a Firefox extension called “Nightly Tester Tools“, which helped me in getting most (99%) of my extensions to work with latest beta.  Its operation is simple and straightforward.

Searching Java API documentation online

Whenever I had to work on some other’s machine to debug any Java application, I miss the Java API documentation to search for any methods.  Today I came across this online search application which allows me to search API documentation for any public Java class

This site also provide handy Firefox / Mozilla search plugin and Eclipse plug-in.

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