Flickr Upload: Khai Island, Thailand

26 08 2009

Khai Island, Thailand

Stopped at Khai Island for about an hour and a half on a recent trip to Phi Phi islands near Phuket. It’s a beautiful sand island which is good for relaxing and doing some snorkeling too. I wish I was still there…

PP: Masked curves, vignette, sharpening and border.

Looks better on black


Flickr Upload: Fly by Night

26 08 2009

Fly By Night

Took some friends, who are currently staying in Holland, on the Singapore Flyer, it was lots of fun, but unfortunately my camera is playing up now giving “Err 99” errors and such – so off to the Canon Service Centre I go this weekend.

Flickr Page

Update: got that Err99 fixed!

Flickr upload: Sunday

28 07 2009

Flickr page

SFTP, SCP, FTPS, FTP over SSH – Oh, the confusion.

22 07 2009

Firstly, these tables go a long way towards showing the differences: Comparison between SFTP, FTP and SCP & Secure FTP, FTP/SSL, SFTP, FTPS, FTP, SCP… What’s the difference?

Here are some of my notes explaining the differences between these protocols:

SFTP (SSH file transfer) protocol

>Draft protocol designed by the IETF SECSH working group, working documents available here. RFC not complete.
>The protocol assumes that it runs over a secure channel, that the server has already authenticated the client, and that the identity of the client user is available to the protocol.
>The secure channel could be provided by SSH, TLS or others.
>When used with the SSH2 Protocol suite, this protocol is intended to be used as a subsystem as described in RFC4254 in the section “Starting a Shell or a Command”.  The subsystem name used with this protocol is “sftp”.
>The SFTP protocol does more than just file transfer, including resuming interrupted transfers, directory listings, and remote file removal.
>From version 4 upwards this protocol has become more platform independent.

SCP (Secure Copy) protocol

>Is a secure variant of rcp
>The protocol itself does not provide authentication and security; it relies on the underlying protocol, SSH, to provide these features.
>Does file transfer only,but does include file attributes (permissions, timestamps) – which is not possible with standard FTP.
>Mostly used on UNIX platforms, and seldom found on others.
>Note that many scp *programs* actually use SFTP (SSH file transfer) protocol instead.

>Is an extension to the commonly used File Transfer Protocol (FTP) that adds support for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols.
> RFC 4217 “Securing FTP with TLS” & RFC 959 “FTP Security Extensions”

FTP over SSH
>This is the act of using the standard FTP protocol over an already established SSH tunnel.
>Because FTP uses multiple TCP connections, it is particularly difficult to tunnel over SSH. With many SSH clients, attempting to set up a tunnel for the control channel (the initial client-to-server connection on port 21) will protect only that channel; when data is transferred, the FTP software at either end will set up new TCP connections (data channels) which will bypass the SSH connection.

Sonos vs. Apple AirTunes – Using iPhone remote apps

13 07 2009

I have been interested in creating a living room music-on-demand setup for our home for quite some time. One of my colleagues has been preaching to me that Sonos is the answer for a year or so now – but I’ve never really considered it because of it’s high cost of entry (~$999+). Recently, Sonos released a free iPhone/iPod touch remote control application. This allows a significantly less expensive entry cost, as now you only need to purchase a single Sonos ZonePlayer to get started… but I still felt that it was a be expensive (~$350)… especially when you compare it to using the AirTunes capability of the Apple AirPort express (~$99).

This past weekend he was kind enough to allow me to test out one of his Sonos ZonePlayers. The loan unit I had was a ZonePlayer ZP80, which is no longer being sold, but has been replaced with the ZP90 which now supports 802.11N. Neither the ZP80 nor ZP90 have internal amplifiers, so if you don’t have an amplifier you would need to consider the ZP120 (~$499).

So here are my brief thoughts and comments regarding the differences, pros and cons of the two solutions, and I’ll assume you already have the following (or workable equivalents):

  • Mac, or PC with Windows (I used Windows 7 RC1)
  • 802.11G/N wireless network
  • Amplifier with speakers.
  • iPhone (iPod touch will do the job too)

Apple AirTunes

What you’ll need:

Setup is rather simple, just need to ‘authorize’ the iPhone remote app to connect to our iTunes library.


  • Much less expensive. Only need to get an Apple AirPort express (~$99 for the 802.11N version)
  • Plays Apple DRM tracks.
  • iTunes DJ – this can be great for when friends come over.


  • Need to keep iTunes client open at all times. This can be a pain.
  • Does not “remember” what you were you were listening too between PC reboots/iTunes restarts. I found this more annoying that I thought I would.
  • No multi-room support. This doesn’t bother me much, my apartment is too small anyway.
  • Does not support many audio formats. My collection is all MP3, so… no biggie.
  • Does not provide access to some of the more popular audio streaming services, such as Rhapsody, Napster, SIRIUS, Pandora etc.


What you’ll need:


  • Better remote control app than the Apple one. A bunch of little features that make it better than the Apple one:
    >See the next track coming in the ‘Now Playing’ screen.
    >Great on-the-go queue (playlist) management.
    >When you choose a track you get the option of “Play now”, “Play next”, “Add to Queue”, “Replace current queue”.
  • No need to any client applications open, you just need the PC on to allow access to the Windows file share.
  • Remembers were you were. This I really liked… even though my PC had been off, once it is back on, the ZonePlayer will start were it left off (even mid-track)
  • Multi-room support, provided you have purchased additional ZonePlayers.
  • Better audio format support (Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WMA, AAC, MP3, Apple Lossless, and Audible formats)
  • Access to Rhapsody, Napster, SIRIUS, Pandora,, and most terrestrial radio stations. I did not test this as most of these services are US centric – plus my broadband connection sucks for streaming content.


  • Expensive. $350 for the ZP90 (replacement for ZP80).
  • Does not support Apple DRM tracks.


I definitely enjoyed the experience of the Sonos solution more. There are many small, often unquantifiable, nuances that make it a more complete and enjoyable experience. The Apple AirTunes solution I described is workable, but not perfect.

If money was no object, then Sonos all the way, but unfortunately money is a big consideration. For now I’m going to hold onto these facts I’ve learnt – then see if I can convience myself to take the dive.

eBuddy IM client – iPhone 3.0 push notifications

1 07 2009

eBuddy appears to be the first free multi-protocol IM client for iPhone 3.0 with push notifications. The client supports MSN messenger, Yahoo! messenger, AIM, GTalk, Facebook and ICQ. I’ve confirmed it to work with GTalk on 3G/GPRS & WiFi… but there is one catch, it will only work for a maximum of 30mins after you close the application.

Do note that the application signs you out immediately by default, hence rendering the push notifications useless, so be sure to set the app to only sign you out after 30mins (max).

FYI – are maintaining a list of all apps that support push notifications – check it out here

Get Firefox Flash sound working in Ubuntu

19 12 2008

Install this: libflashsupport from Synaptic