Social Networking: Data Transfer and Bandwidth consumption

May 31, 2010

Most of us do socialize one way or the other over the internet. Chatting and emailing are very common these days. The latest trend is the portals providing some kind of CMS (Content Management System) features.

These allow you to upload, arrange and share digital content online. These are becoming a craze now-a-days. Photographs & videos are the most shared content. With cameras on mobiles everybody has something to show. These portals offer their services for free and are quite user friendly. The prominent are Facebook, Flickr & YouTube etc.

I too have a accounts and am using them though not very frequently. Many of my friends and collegues were using it so I too wanted to give it a try. Never cared anything else about them untill a new problem was pointed out to me by my boss.

It was two or three weeks back that my boss called me and handed over a document. It was our internet bill from Airtel. So what was so unusual about it. We have a broadband connection. He told me that our internet usage and hence the bill is constantly increasing every month in contrast to the more or less stable amount of Rs. 2500/- pm. As Tech Support he asked me to look into the matter and talk to the customer care of the service provider to check if they are not making any mistake. I sent them a mail but as usual still am waiting for a reply. So I started exploring the things myself.

My tool was my cell phone. I have a Nokia 5130 ExpressMusic and have a Airtel connection on it. I have subscribed to the Data Packet Service as I am using it as modem to connect my PC at home to the internet. This service offers a download of upto 2GB for a month. So everytime I disconnect my Cell from my PC after using the internet it gives me the exact amount of data download that is left with me out of the 2 GB allocated. This way I can have some idea how much download or upload I did for the session. Browsing is free with this plan.

Now I started observing for normal internet usage like email checking, working on UNIX/Linux server with SSH and general browsing very little amount of data was transferred as there was just a connection and very minimal download/upload. But when using such social networking websites the amount of data usage increased. So here was atleast one of the reasons for increase in the internet bill at my office.

There can be many reasons that contribute directly or indirectly to the increase in data transffer amount in internet usage. But these social networking sites are one of the biggest contributers towards data transffer. They support multimedia content like images and video/audio clips. Users are uploading and downloading such content innocently without knowing the amout of actual data transffer and bandwith they are spending from their allocation. For limited download and bandwidth plans they prove to be costly and for unlimited plans they slow down other applications sharing the internet.

So, there can be two solutions to this problem. The Ist one is democratical. Here the all the people working in the office can be educated about the menance of social networking and what it is costing your company in terms of fat internet bills and wastage of office time. It is a cheap method and complete cooperation is a must from all the employees.

The second method can be use of technology. A firewall or a network monitoring software can be used to block access to such portals. A good software can prevent the misuse of the internet and prove to be cost efficient in the long run.

WordPress on Windows

February 27, 2010

Wanted to have a hands on experience with wordpress so wanted to install it myself on my own machine. But my linux machine was already running some processes and so didn’t want to disturb it. Rather checked for some way of doing it on my XP machine.

While surfing the internet found the http://geeksaresexy.blogspot.com/2006/06/installing-wordpress-locally-under.html It was usefull.

The process consists of two stages. Ist the XAMPP Lite should be installed and configured and then the wordpress should be installed.

Stage I

  1. Installing XAMPP Lite

    XAMPP is an ‘open source cross platform‘ web server package. It includes all the dependencies that are reauired for the installation. It is installed and configured from command prompt but its wonderfull as it provides you all that you need for your installation in one go.

  2. Download the XAMPPLITE.

    xampplite downlaod

    From this page download XAMPP Lite 1.7.3 ZIP file (61 MB).
    Extract the contenets of the file to C: drive. Navigate to My Computer >>C:\Exampp and run the setup_xampp.bat file by double clicing it.

  3. Configuring XAMPP Lite

    Double click xampp_control.exe. This will open Xampp Control Panel Application window. Click start the Apache and MySql by clicking the start buttons,

    Xampp_Control_Panel Window


    Imprtant: Note that you shouldn’t have the Apache and MySql already installed before installing XAMPP Lite. In that case you won’t be able to access required interface at localhost for proceeding further

  4. Creating a Database in MySql

    Now both the services are started the rest of the job will be done from the browser. Open the browser and in the address window type http://localhost or http://<&gt; or http://127.0.0.1 If all the steps till now were successfull you will find a window similar to the one shown bellow,

    Xampp for Windows

    Choose your language.

    On the left side menu click phpMyAdmin. A new window like one shown bellow appear,

    PHP MySql Administrator


    Give the name ‘wordpress’ to the database in the Create New Database window and choose utf8_unicode_ci in MySql Connections Collation dropdown.

    Stage II

  1. Download wordpress zip file and extract its contents to C:\xampplite\htdocs. Now go to My Computer >> C:\xampplite\htdocs\wordpress and open the file named wp-config-sample.php in notepad. Edit this file as under,

    // ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
    /** The name of the database for WordPress */
    define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘wordpress’);

    /** MySQL database username */
    define(‘DB_USER’, ‘root’);

    /** MySQL database password */
    define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ”);

    /** MySQL hostname */
    define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’);

  2. Configuring Wordprss

    Now open the web browser once again and in the address bar enter http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin/install.php Follow the on screen instructions and you are ready with the wordpress.

    You will be provided a password for admin user and you can use this password whenever you want to login to wordpress. To open login in the address bar of your browser enter http://localhost/wordpress/wp-admin. To read a blog simply enter in the browser address bar http://localhost/wordpress. Remember that you can also replace ‘localhost’ with the IP address of the machine or simply the loopback IP i.e. 127.0.0.1

FTP from Linux/UNIX Server

January 27, 2010

Downloading files from UNIX/Linux server using ftp

FTP – File Transfer Protocol is a protocol that helps download files quickly and accurately. Using ftp is quite easy. All you need is to have is a login ID and PassWord to authenticate your access to the ftp server.

FTP Server: FTP Server can be found on almost all distributions of UNIX/Linux as it is installed when the OS is installed. It is widely used to download softwares from server archives over the internet. To access the files/softwares from a server using ftp a ftp client is a must. The amount and type of access to a ftp server depends on the choice and willingness of the server administrator. He/she can provide open access for one and all as ‘anonymous’ user or can restrict the access to the choosen few. If the access is resticed then a login ID and PassWord is required to access the server. (Important: The amount of access and activities of the user can also be controlled by the administrator.) It is all a matter of how the server has been configured by the administrator

FTP Client: Your favourite web browser can also act as a ftp client but to a limited extent. The client can be GUI based or command line. There are many GUI based clients that are freely available. One such client is shown bellow:

Screen Shot: FTP Client

FTP Client

Here all you need to do is provide the hostname (can be IP of the server or domoin name), the user ID and password. In case anonymous login is allowed then you can simply omit or provide you email ID etc. as login ID and password. The graphic based ftp client though convenient to use are considered to less reliable as compared to the command line downloading (especially by those who are more comfortable with the command line and have becode habitual). But the new ftp clients are coming with many added state-of-the-art features like. Many of them can resume the download/upload process if were disconnected somehow from the server on reconnection.

The command line clients are there for quite a while and are the most reliable. They offer many options and added features (but only to those who are comfortable with the command line).

Connecting: Before connecting to the ftp server it is important to decide the type of client to use. It can be done using some SSH client like putty from a window machine or a linux machine can be used to connect directly form command prompt. The SSH Client looks like

SSH Secure Shell

SSH Connection to the ftp server

It is quite easy to connect to connect to a ftp server and perform some basic operations. Here is how:

Important: It is important to note that you should Ist navigate to the directory where you want to store the downloaded files or the directory that contains the files to be uploaded on the local machine. The current directory acts as a default directory for uploading/downloading.

Commands:

To login into a ftp server type the following command at the command prompt:

ftp –host name–

Host name can be either the IP of the server or the domain if its having one.

Then it will ask for Login ID and then the PassWord. Enter the same and you will get access to the ftp> prompt. It will look as under:

ftp>

Once logged into the ftp server as above you can start using commands to uploading/downloading files from/to the server. You need to use different commands to for the purpsose. Some basic commands are discribed below.

To navigate to a particular directory on the remote machine use,

ftp> cd –path/file name–

To change to binary mode from ASCII,

ftp> binary

The binary mode is considered to be more fast and efficient mode of file transffer.

To download a file from the remote machine type,

ftp> get –File Name–

To download more than one file at the same time type,

ftp> mget –Remote Files–

Wild characters like * can be used to download multiple from from the current directory on the remote machine to the local machine.

To uplaod files to a remote machine type,

ftp> put –File Name–

To uplaod multiple files type,

ftp> mput –Remote Files–

To know you current location on the remote machine type,

fpt> pwd

To know your current loation on the local machine type,

ftp> !pwd

To view the contents of a folder on remote server type,

ftp> ls

To view the contents of a current folder on local machine type,

ftp> !ls

To logout of the ftp server type,

ftp> quit

Comments and Suggestions are Welcome.


Hello world!

January 27, 2010

Hi!!! Welcome to my Blog.