Monday, April 18, 2011

Sri Lanka launches

This web site will display the Sri Lanka's Standard time. The main objective behind this valuable initiative is to minimize difficulties faced due to contradicting times displayed by organizations in the country.

Lets configure our organizations websites, PC, servers, etc... to sync with ntp server.

Follow the following steps in an windows active directory environment.

  1. First, Locate your Primary Domain Controller (PDC). Open the command prompt and type, netdom /query fsmo (Netdom is a ntreskit tool which can be downloaded FOC)
  2. Log in to your PDC Server.
  3. Check time difference between your server and the NTP server w32tm /stripchart / /samples:5 /dataonly
  4. Stop the W32Time service: net stop w32time
  5. Configure the external time source/s, type w32tm /config    /syncfromflags:manual / /Update
  6. Make the PDC a reliable time source, type w32tm /config /reliable:yes
  7. Start the w32time service, type net start w32time
    The windows time service will begin synchronizing the time. You could query the details trough w32tm /query /peers, w32tm /query /status commands.
  8. Optionaly execute w32tm /resync to do an immediate sync
  9. Check the Event Viewer for any errors.

Note: You might have to add/modify firewall rule/s to allow ntp access to from your network.

Congratulations !!! You are now in sync with the ntp server.

Monday, April 11, 2011

How to format a report in MS word 2007/2010

For the benefit of my MBA friends, I thought of writing an article on how to create table of contents (TOC) and use of page numbering for different sections in a report. (Steps are for MS Office 2007, I believe it’s the same for Office 2010)

1. Prepare the styles for the headings

On the home tab, in the styles group right click on heading 1 and click modify to open the Modify Style dialog box, change the formatting of the heading from here (Font, font size, etc...). If you want to have numbering for the headings (ex: 1. Introduction, 2. Literature Survey, 3. Critical Evaluation, etc...), click on format, click numbering and select a appropriate numbering format. Click OK to apply the settings.

Follow the same procedure for rest of the sub headings (Heading 2, heading 3, heading 4, and the list goes on)

If a heading style is not shown in the style group on the home tab, suppose if heading 3 is not shown, click on the down most arrow (refer below screen-shot, button inside red colour square shape) and click apply style. Type the style name you want, in this case Heading 3, click modify for formatting and modify the formatting as you wish.

2. Change text styles of the headings

Select the text you wish to make as a heading and select the appropriate heading type from the styles group on the home tab. Repeat this procedure for all the headings in your report.

3. Insert Table of Contents

Once you have marked all the headings with appropriate styles, click on the beginning of the report, on the page layout tab, in the page setup group, click on breaks and select next page option. 

Then on the reference tab, click on table of contents click on insert table of contents, if you wish you could do formatting for the table of content from here. Click OK to create the table of contents.

Once the table of contents is created, you could right click on it, click Update field, select entire table and click OK to update the TOC with what ever the changes you make after the first creation.

4. Format page numbers differently in different sections of a document

Suppose if you were to use roman numerals for the page numbering before introduction page (Title page, Table of contents, etc…) and use Arabic numerals for rest of the pages.

Since a section break was inserted before creating the table of contents, now there are two sections in the report.

On the insert tab, in the header and footer group click on page number and select format page numbers. Then select Roman numeral format.  Again click on page number and select bottom of page and choose a format, on the design tab, navigation group click on next section and then click on link to previous

Then click on the page number again in the header and footer group, click on format page numbers, select Arabic number format, select start at option and type 1 and click OK, click close Header and footer to exit from designer.

5. Insert a title page

On the insert tab, in the pages group, click on Cover Page and select a suitable design. Enter details as you wish.

Congratulations you have done it !!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

IE 8 issue running oracle forms application with jinitiator

I have been having trouble with IE 8 with our company's main application which runs on oracle forms with jinitiator. After an extensive google search, i was able to find a much needed workaround and a solution.

Workaround - Replace the C:\Program Files\Oracle\JInitiator <version>\bin\hotspot\jvm.dll with Sun's JRE version C:\Program Files\Java\jre <version>\bin\client\jvm.dll (these folder location are the default ones, change it to suite your environment. Make a backup before you replace).

How ATMs Work?

This is a very interesting process, initially I didn’t have a clue about how an ATM works. The technology behind the machine is pretty simple except the security concepts behind it. I will not go into the details of security techniques in this article perhaps on another.
Here’s how the process flows,

There are two main categories of transactions initiated from an ATM,
ONUS – Card and ATM from same financial institute (Ex: HSBC ATM card on HSBC Bank’s ATM)
OFFUS – Card and ATM from different financial institutes (Ex: HSBC VISA enabled ATM card on Standard charted VISA enabled ATM)

Detailed transaction flow of an ATM (ATM screen flow could change from ATM to ATM. Therefore this is a generic flow almost all ATMs are based on) 
  1. ONUS -Customer inserts a card to the ATM > Enters the PIN > transaction > select the account > enter other required details for the transaction (Ex: for a withdrawal, withdrawal amount)Then a message will be generated and sent to the ATM switch (PIN is encrypted) > ATM switch will send the encrypted PIN to the HSM > HSM will respond whether its correct or not > If the PIN is incorrect transaction will get voided and the customer will be asked to enter the PIN again > If the PIN is correct the transaction will be forwarded to the Core Banking System >  The Core Banking System will check the customer account and approve or disapprove the transaction > if the transaction is disapproved a message will be shown on the ATM screen, mostly a descriptive message > if the transaction is approved the switch will instruct the ATM how to proceed (Ex: for a withdrawal the switch will tell the ATM to dispense number of bill from Bins). Apart from the above process there will be additional messages between the ATM machine and the ATM switch. This is to get a list of accounts attached for the card. This is not available in OFFUS transactions. Therefore, customers will be able to transact from their primary accounts only (One account for Savings and one account for current)
  2. OFFUS-Another banks customer inserts a ATM card > The ATM switch will forward the transaction to VISA network > the VISA network will do the necessary currency conversions and forward it to the issuing bank

mget new files from a FTP

The following batch script will get new files from a ftp server. 

The actual scenario is, 
A file is generated from application server A and needs to be uploaded to application server B. 

Flow of the operation,
  1. Create a ftp connection to application server A
  2. Generate a list of files to upload to application server B
  3. Dynamically generate a ftp script to mget and rename each file. (This is required as ftp doesn't allow rename or move with wild cards)
  4. Backup logs and files transferred for debug purposes

echo "=================Begin======================"

echo %date% %time%
Rem Connect to the ftp server and get a list of files to be transfered.

Rem The following command with execute the commands in "list_of_commands.txt" text file on the x.x.x.x ftp server. Refer List of commands heading below for a sample.
echo Generate a list of files to transfer.
ftp -s:list_of_commands.txt x.x.x.x > ftp.log

Rem Following will check the size of the file. If there is no data (no file listed) the size is zero.
echo check whether there are any files to transfer. If no files to transfer delete temporary files.
FOR /F "usebackq" %%A IN ('filelist.txt') DO set size=%%~zA
if %size% EQU 0 (
    echo No file to transfer. Deleting temporary files
    del ftplist.txt
    del ftp.log
    goto :eos
    echo Files found to be transferred to Swift.

Rem The following will generate a ftp script dynamically based on the file list.
echo Generate ftp command file to transfer swift msgs.
>copy_FTP_Files.txt echo username
>>copy_FTP_Files.txt echo password
>>copy_FTP_Files.txt echo cd directory path
>>copy_FTP_Files.txt echo prompt n
>>copy_FTP_Files.txt echo ascii or binary
Rem The following for script will go through the list of files names in the filelist text file and generate mget and rename commands.
for /f %%U in (filelist.txt) do (
>>copy_FTP_Files.txt echo mget %%U
>>copy_FTP_Files.txt echo rename %%U %%U.sent
>>copy_FTP_Files.txt echo bye

execute command to upload file to application B

Rem Execute ftp commands generated from the above step.
Echo Execute the dynamically generated ftp commands on the ftp connection.
ftp -s:copy_FTP_Files.txt x.x.x.x >> ftp.log

Rem Backup files for debug purposes.
echo Create a folder based on date time
SET DD=%DATE:~7,2%
SET MM=%DATE:~4,2%
SET HH=%TIME:~0,2%
SET MN=%TIME:~3,2%
SET SS=%TIME:~6,2%

mkdir folder path\%FOLDER%

echo Move swift files copied to fromsymbols drirectory to the folder created with current date and time.
move list of files mget to
folder path\%FOLDER%
move ftplist.txt folder path\%FOLDER%
move ftp.log folder path\%FOLDER%
move copy_FTP_Files.txt folder path\%FOLDER%

echo %date% %time%
Echo "=================end======================"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I believe experience is education !!!

Experience is the best teacher what do you think?

Shell Script to get a data file based on date via FTP

FTP from a AIX server and get a file based on date. Cool scripted tested extensively. It works like a charm.

TIME=$(date +%k%M)
DAY=`/bin/date +%Y%m%d`
echo $DAY
echo "File name to pick " $file_name

src_user="user name"
dir_path="Directory path of the file to pick"


ftp -n $src_ip << EndFTP
user $src_user $src_password
cd $dir_path
mget $file_name