Winduhs Genuine (Dis)Advantage

Microsoft pulled out it’s stinking “getthefacts” campaign and replaced it with the equally ridiculous compare campaign. They needed to get back attention to their campaign. It was almost dying, and what best than a redesign and a rename ??

But, while they were touting their supposed superiority over Linux, the crashing of their WGA programme gave a hint as to where Windows stands in comparision or more generally, how their technologies lack the scalability and the smartness to reliably serve day in and out.

People at M$ acknowledged that there was a problem and were fixing it. It shows that they were not in full control of the situation as can be known from their program manager pleading with their users:

“I guarantee that I will personally resolve this issue before I go to sleep – whether or not it is Tuesday I sleep.”

Wow!! Nice, they got on top of the problem and fixed it some time later. But they ought to let their marketing people know that Windows is not yet “comparision” material and should stick to their traditional methods of pushing and hiring idiots to shove their products in.

If not, they’ll find lots of customers asking many uncomfortable questions before signing up with Redhat, SuSE or even us for Debian/Ubuntu. :-)

Zimbra Post or SASL Auth fails …

Continuing our triumphs and tribulations with Zimbra, sometimes we encounter issues that defy the general rules of the game. In many such cases, we’ve found solutions on blogs or the zimbra forum.

But here’s one issue that I couldn’t find anywhere on the net. It might help you if you are running zimbra and encounter this issue ;-)

When clients try to send emails through Zimbra (SMTP Relay) using SMTP Authentication, the authentication used to fail though the webmail (Zimbra’s own as well as Squirrelmail and even POP/IMAP ) worked. Poking at the logs showed:

Aug 14 07:44:07 localhost saslauthd[26944]: auth_zimbra: vendor.informedia auth failed: cur
l_easy_perform: error(28): Connection time-out
Aug 14 07:44:07 localhost saslauthd[26944]: do_auth : auth failure: [
formedia] [service=smtp] [realm=] [mech=zimbra] [reason=Unknown]
Aug 14 07:44:07 localhost postfix/smtpd[19245]: warning: unknown[]: SASL LOGIN
authentication failed

Running saslauthd in the debug mode was not a big help either. Zimbra uses soap and a specific authentication mechanism (called zimbra) for sending the credential info and interfacing with saslauthd and the webservice. IOW, tomcat (the SOAP provider) should be getting requests. But looking at the tomcat logs showed up no such requests. Trying the URL manually, from my laptop I was able to connect to the URL. No use, still.

But trying to connect to the URL using lynx on the server itself pointed out that the response time was large. It was taking up so much time to resolve the host (local hostname) that saslauthd used to time out.

Ahh!! The solution was now so simple. Install a local caching DNS server and try out the name resolution a couple of times. That does it. It did!! The whole thing’s working like a charm, ever since :-)

Also, while at it, I discovered a cool tool for testing out SMTP issues. No more setting up accounts on Balsa/Evolution.

shashi@anacoluthon:~$ apt-cache show swaks
Package: swaks

Description: SMTP command-line test tool
swaks (Swiss Army Knife SMTP) is a command-line tool written in Perl
for testing SMTP setups; it supports STARTTLS and SMTP AUTH (PLAIN,
LOGIN, CRAM-MD5, SPA, and DIGEST-MD5). swaks allows to stop the SMTP
dialog at any stage, e.g to check RCPT TO: without actually sending a
If you are spending too much time iterating “telnet foo.example 25″
swaks is for you.

Now, on to the next task … ;-)

May you live in interesting times!!

ಅಮೇರಿಕದಲ್ಲಿ ಸೀನಿದರೆ ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ಮಿಕ್ಕೆಲ್ಲಾ ಕಡೆ ಜ್ವರ ಬರುವುದು ಹೊಸ ವಿಷಯವೇನಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೂ ಈ ಬಾರಿ ಬೇರೆ ಬೇರೆ ಕಡೆಯೂ ಛಳಿ ಜ್ವರ ಕಾಣಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದೆ. ಕಳೆದ ವಾರ ಅಮೇರಿಕದ ಒಂದು “ಹೆಡ್ಜ್ ಫಂಡ್” ತನ್ನಲ್ಲಿ ಇರಿಸಿದ್ದ ಮೊತ್ತವನ್ನೆಲ್ಲಾ ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡ ವಿಷಯ ಹೊರ ಬರುತ್ತಲೇ ಭಾರತ ಸಮೇತ ಸುಮಾರು ದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಶೇರುಮಾರುಕಟ್ಟೆ ಬಿತ್ತು. ಇಂದು ಫ್ರಾನ್ಸಿನ ಪ್ರತಿಷ್ಠಿತ ಬ್ಯಾಂಕೊಂದು ಹಾಗೆಯೇ ಅಮೇರಿಕದ “ಸಬ್ ಪ್ರೈಮ್ ಮೋರ್ಟ್ಗೇಜ್” ಸಾಲಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹೂಡಿದ್ದ ಹಣವೆಲ್ಲಾ ಮಂಗಮಾಯ ಎಂಬ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಹೊರಬರುತ್ತಲೇ ಮಿಕ್ಕೆಲ್ಲಾ ದೇಶದ ಮಾರುಕಟ್ಟೆಯ ಕಥೆಯೇ ದೊಡ್ಡ ವ್ಯಥೆ.

ಚೀನ ಕೂಡ ಅಮೇರಿಕನ್ನರ ಜುಟ್ಟು ಹಿಡಿದು ಅಲ್ಲಾಡಿಸುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. .ಅವರು ಅಮೇರಿಕನ್ನರ ಸಾಲಪತ್ರಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾರುವುದಾಗಿ ಹೇಳಿಕೆ ಕೊಡುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಅಮೇರಿಕದವರು ಏನಾದರು ಅದನ್ನು ಕೊಳ್ಳಲಾಗಲಿಲ್ಲವೆಂದರೆ ಅವರ ಸಾರ್ವಭೌಮತ್ವಕ್ಕೆ ಭಂಗ. ಕೊಂಡರೆ (ಟ್ರಿಲಿಯನ್ಗಟ್ಟಲೆ), ಅವರ ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿ ಮತ್ತಷ್ಟೂ ಶೋಚನೀಯ. ಆದರು ಚೀನದವರು ಏನೂ ಮಾಡಲಾರರು. ಮಾಡಿದರೆ, ಅವರ ಅತಿದೊಡ್ಡ ಮಾರುಕಟ್ಟೆಯನ್ನು ತಾವೇ ಕೊಂದಂತಾಗುವುದು. ಬರೋ ದುಡ್ಡು ಬಾರದೇ ಹೋಗಬಹುದು.

ಹಾಗಾದರೇ ಏನಾಗ್ಬಹುದು ? ಡೌನ್ಟರ್ನ್ ? ರಿಸೆಷನ್ ? ಏನಾದರೂ ಆಗಬಹುದು. ಆದರೆ ನಾವು ಎಷ್ಟರ ಮಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ತಯಾರಿದ್ದೀವಿ ?

ನಿಜವಾಗ್ಯೂ interesting times :-)