Category Archives: networks

Get Hindustan Times/Dainik Full ePaper as PDF!!

I have been outside India for quite sometime now, but still I always love to read Indian News! There is nothing like it! Even more enjoyable is reading the epaper.. Times Of India used to provide it for free but now you have to pay to get the full paper. So I decided to switch to Hindustan Times. The epaper site of HT is good, but quite buggy at times. Some times it just stops responding or even worse spits out an SQL error! Luckily it provides a pdf version, but you have to go through their painful and extremely buggy registration process! Even after that you just get to download the pdf of a single page at a time! LAME!!!!

After fiddling a little with the site, I figured out tht the pdfs actually are jst static objects, located on their server and can be retrieved via a simple get request. Also, they follow a similar url construction pattern. This was enough information! Got down to work last night, eager to utilize my Java skills and the recently mastered Java Concurrent API !! The result? A GUI program which retrieves all the pdfs and merges them into a single  pdf, using PDFBox 😀 .. It doesnot end there. This program currently supports two languages (Hindi and English) and 4 cities per language! Plus you can get archived papers also.

Eager to try?

The Java Web Start version is available here. This will download the jar and run it. The jar is self-signed by me :).

The conventional jar is available  here. It is an executable jar. Just double click to run it. You will require Java Runtime 1.5+ installed on your computer.

 

Known Issues: You have to exit the program to start using the ePaper. This is a problem with PDFBox. Hopefully they should fix it in the next version.

Let me know if you run into any problems.

Edit: The paper is about 20 mb in size! So for users with slow internet connection, it will take quite some time! Have patience!

Watch Hulu outiside US, BBC One outside UK using Tor and your existing Firefox installation

Hulu and BBC One Iplayer are probably the best online video streaming sites as of today, but sadly they have certain restrictions. You can only Hulu if you are in US or you have a US ip-address . With Iplayer, you require a UK ip.  This post comes after multiple attempts with using free proxy server and free virtual private network providers, but neither live up to the requirements these sites require. Sometimes either flash is blocked or javascript or both.  Also the proxies sometimes stop working midway through the show!  Tor solves most of these issues. So what is Tor? Without getting into much details here, its a free software implementation of second-generation onion routing, a system enabling its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet. Yeah! Thats exactly what we want! So here’s a way you can configure your existing Firefox installation to use Tor and watch Hulu/Iplayer on Linux/Windows:

Step 1 : Download and Install Vidalia :  Installer can be found here .

Step 2: Install Polipo : Instructions for Linux can be found here . Make sure to replace the configuration file with the one provided at the link.

Step 3: Install TorButton addon for Firefox.

If you are using Windows , then all the above three can be installed together using the installer found here.

CHANGE END SERVER for TOR:

You now need to ensure that the last server your request is routed through is a server in the UK/US. Go to https://torstat.xenobite.eu/. Click on the pulldown next to “CC:” and select “GB” and hit “search”. Now click on the “>” under “Exit”. You now have a list of servers in the UK that are allowed to be used as Exit Servers. Take note of all the nicknames of the servers except those marked Unnamed.
Go to Start Menu and open All Programs -> Vidalia Bundle -> Tor -> torcc. This will open the Tor config file. Scroll all the way to the bottom and enter the following lines:
StrictExitNodes 1
exitnodes <list of the names you found in step 2 separated by commas>
An example of the second line above would be:
exitnodes anonion,anotherlink,colinwillsdorkyahoo
Save the file.

ENABLE FLASH : After the TorButton addon installation, go into its preferences>Security Settings and uncheck “Disable plugins during Tor usage”. Restart the browser.

Thats it. You are ready to use Tor.

Firstly Run Vidalia. After a few seconds, it should say “Connected to the Tor Network”. Then Start Polipo. Once this is done, start Firefox with Tor enabled.  Check that you’re exiting through a UK/US server by going to http://torcheck.xenobite.eu/index.php . Finally, go to Hulu/Iplayer and start enjoying the videos!!! 😀 !

Leave comments if you run into problems using this tutorial!

Put your spare router to good use !!

This post is part of my own experience as i too had a spare router :). If you too have one and dont want to throw it away, then read on. If you have a relatively big apartment, then the signal of your existing router may be dwindling at some places and internet may not be usable at such places. Since you have a spare router, you can configure it to act as  a repeater, so as to improve your signal strength.

Most recent routers are capable of doing this. However if you purchased your router before 2007, you might need to do a firmware upgrade for your router. Detailed instructions on how to go about configuring your router to act as a repeater and also upgrading your firmware (if required) are available at the following link :

WRT wiki : This How-To provides step-by-step instructions for creating a Universal Wireless Repeater appliance: a device that you can place anywhere and it will wirelessly repeat the strongest signal, onto another wireless network (with or without security). This functionality is also known as Wireless Client Bridge, or Range Expander.

So go ahead and give it a try and make full use of the forgotten box 🙂 .