What an experience applying Indian Visa

I need to travel to India at the end of November this year to train up our new colleagues in the Chennai new office, so I have started applying the Indian Visa online through their offical website IndiaVisaOnline. After trying several times, I finally got through the final stage, however, I would like to share my extreme experience in the last couple of weeks.

1. I crashed their website at least 5-6 times on the same page, and each time took them around 5 minutes to be back and running again. Based on my test, I believe entering a website without “http://” prefix could crash it. I am really thinking about to test it again..

2. I had to squeeze in phone numbers and addresses into the same field that has 80 character limit, which forced me to truncate random characters to make them fit and at the same time it became totally unrecognisable address. So what’s the point here??

3. The passport and business card need to be uploaded in PDF format, well, fair enough, but why 300K limit? I had to keep shrinking the size in PNG format, convert and then repeat the loop, until I can barely see the text on my passport!! THIS ISN’T 1980s folks!!! GO TO OFFICEWORKS AND BUY A HARD DRIVE!!!

4. Now, after several hours of trying, I finally got to the last step. And what a surprise in the success message, with every piece of information missing on the confirmation page. I am wondering, should I call them to confirm if I made through or not?

Use my manager’s word, “A monkey with no arms could code better than whatever el-cheapo graduate they fished out of the fail pond to write this website”!!

I am sure that there are other guys out there have the same experience as mine, has anyone complained to the officials?

ericlin.me Secured with SSL signed by “Let’s Encrypt”

Cloudera recently introduced a new way of self learning for Employees, especially in the Support organization, that allows each engineer to spend 1 week off our duty to do full self-learning offline, every 4-6 months. There are lots of topics to choose from, including some public available courses to anything that we are interested in and also useful for our day to day work. This week is my turn and I have chosen SSL/TLS to enhance my experience with CDH, because I have faced lots of issues from customers who face TLS related issues across wide range of CDH components, including Hive, Impala and Oozie etc, so I need to skill up my knowledge in this area.

This is my second day into the week and I have finished two courses about TLS on Lynda.com:

Learning Secure Sockets Layer
SSL Certificate for Web Developers

As part of the learning, I have enhanced my knowledge on SSL/TLS and understand the process of how to enable SSL/TLS for a website, from generating private key up until getting certificate signed and eventually enabled on Apache/Ngnix web server. And I think it is great time to enable SSL/TLS for my own blog as well, because the traffic to my blog has increased in the last couple of years and I do receive comments from my various blog posts every now and then. So securing my blog is a logical next step.

As part of the course in SSL Certificate for Web Developers that provided by Kevin Skoglund, Kevin has suggested that since 2016, Let’s Encrypt has started offering free, automated signed certificates to general public. So why not use it to get my blog secured? Even though the certificate needs to be renewed every 90 days, Certbot, the tool provided by Let’s Encrypt, not only installs certificate for you with ease, but also can setup a cron job to renew the certificate automatically. All you need to do is to install Certbot from here, select the web server and OS that match your site and follow instructions, and your site can be secured by SSL/TLS in a few minutes.

Don’t forget that you also need to open port 443 from your cloud service, if you are using AWS or Google Cloud, as by default port 443 is disabled. Instructions are different depending on where your host is, so please Google around as this topic goes beyond the scope of my post here.

I highly suggest you to do this, because the trend in all modern browsers is that they will all issue warnings to visitors if the site they are visiting is not secured and your site will just look unprofessional, insecure and visitors will think twice before entering any details on your site, including submitting a simple comment. The number of sites getting secured is increasing and it will become the standard, below are some stats from Let’s Encrypt since launched in 2016:

So, with this free service, it is time to secure your site without hesitation.

How to Disable the Facebook Friend Finder Suggestion

I have been REALLY annoyed by Facebook when it keeps suggesting me the strangers that I do not know on daily basis, including Facebook site and especially on my mobile phone. I am really getting pissed off and about to uninstall Facebook if I can’t find a solution to this. Lots of people saying there is no way of doing it as it is built in by Facebook and there is no settings to control it.

2016-08-22 12.40.49

Today, I found this article How to Disable the Facebook Friend Finder Suggestion, and I thought to give it a try. This article suggests that those friends suggestions were made based on your imported contact list, so I followed the steps and took the following screenshots.

Step 1:

Navigate to your Facebook page and find the “PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW” section, click on “See All” link:

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10

Step 2:

Click “Manage imported contacts.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.23.46 PM

Step 3:

Click “Remove all contacts,” and then click “Remove.” A status message appears, advising that a confirmation notice will be sent to you.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.24.05 PM

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.24.13 PM

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.24.34 PM

Step 4:

Currently I am still waiting for confirmation regarding this action, 30 minutes passed and my contacts still in my list.

Let’s see what happens tomorrow.

Download File in AWS S3 Bucket in Browser

The file path in S3 will always has the following format:

http://{bucket-name}.s3.amazonaws.com/<path_to_file>

Now, ff you are given a link to a file inside of s3 in the following format:

s3://my-bucket/test-folder/dir1/test-file.txt

You should be able to convert it to the following url:

http://my-bucket.s3.amazonaws.com/test-folder/dir1/test-file.txt

So, you can now easily convert s3 protocol to http protocol, which allows you to download using your favourite browser, or simply use wget command to download file from S3 bucket.

 

Hadoop Administrator – Cloudera Certified

I had some drama yesterday when I was trying to setup my laptop for Cloudera’s Hadoop Administrator Exam with Innovative Exams (http://examslocal.com/). I was unable to share my screen inside Chrome with the examiner. I spent about 20 minutes trying different ways and finally it worked, but I had no idea what the problem was and how I fixed, it just happened.

Anyway, the exam went smoothly afterwards and it took 90 minutes. I had taken the practical exams lots of times before this and I have to say that there are lots more trickier questions in the actual exam than the practical one. And some of the questions, although not many, that you can not find in the course note, meaning you will have to do lots of practical work with Hadoop by hand to know the answer.

I got the score back straightaway after the exam, and guess what, the result was PASS. I will get the actual certification confirmation in about 2 business days. Oh Yeah!

logo_cloudera_certified

Now next one is the Developer certification. Cloudera is in the process of changing the exam structure for the Developer course, and there will be some practical questions, meaning you will have to actually write some code, rather than pure single/multiple choice questions.

Wish us luck!!