Generating 403 errors from Document root

I wanted to generate a 403 error at the document root in absence for Document Index files (index.html and index.php). I tried various things with no success. Even the other team programmers asked this question at various forums, they all got the same suggestions:-

  • This looks like a .htaccess problem, check your .htaccess carefully, or
  • Check the Document Index.
  • Check the “Options Indexes” properly.

These were the responses I was getting and rightly so as these can be some possibilities as well. Even after all these work I could not make it work. I then decided to approach my boss (a technical geek by choice and management guru by profession). He then asked me to remove the following like from the httpd.conf LoadModule autoindex_module modules/ and it worked. I certainly need to do some more study to understand this module better. In case someone like me in urgent need of a hint can get it through this blog post.

“Do not forget to restart the Apache server :)”

Next Posting List – A creative idea for your blog

Do you see a section called “Next Planned postings” on right panel?

I think that is a good Idea. As usual let me try to convince you that my idea is good. It has three advantages: –

  • Advantage 1: It helps you plan your postings. You get various topics for blogging and a list helps you clear your memory for better things. Everyday you can think of a new topic and append the list. You take the topmost topic as “topic of the day” and blog about it. Also you get one complete day to think for the next “topic of the day”. This will help you cover useful topics.
  • Advantage 2: It will motivate your visitors to subscribe to your blog. Read my posting on “how to make a subscription form for your blog”.
  • Advantage 3: It helps your visitors come back to your blog. Choose the topics carefully to impress more visitors. It also tells the visitor that you are serious about blogging.

It is just like advertising with “Friends – Next season’s” clips after every “friends” episode this season.

If you like this idea, do add a comment and if your really liked my postings try subscribing to it.

DNS – A basic indepth to DNS, Root_nameserves and Authoritative server

Webpage rendering, it is very simple for those who understand it and I must say very difficult for the one who doesn’t. With the increase of online access in India many are ready to spend a couple of dollars every year for their own .com experience. Still many are not clear about its working. I was suppose to explain this to few of my friends so thought of putting it online.

Since this blog post is going to be long, let me put the document index for easy navigation:

  1. Basic terms and its Wiki definitions.
  2. Basic steps to setup a website.
  3. Explaining different parts of an URL.
  4. Do you understand IP now?
  5. What is DNS?
  6. Scenario 1: When the website is new without IP being cached.
  7. Scenario 2: When the website’s IP is cached.
  8. Summary

Section 1: Basic Terms

Some basic things you should learn before reading the post

  1. What is a web server?
  2. What is a domain name?
  3. What is a URL?
  4. What is HTTP?
  5. What is a browser?
  6. What is an IP address?
  7. What is an ISP?
  8. What is a Dial up connection?

I am assuming that the user is browsing using firefox browser with a dial up Internet connection.

Section 2: Steps to set up a website

  1. Think of an easy domain name and book it with a registrar.
  2. Get a hosting company. (I recommend for various reasons; you can use my referral aji99). Hosting company gives you space (a document root folder) to put your files. You can upload the files using FTP (the simplest protocol) by using a FTP client like Filezilla. Over here you need to add your purchased domain as a primary domain. (You can also add it as an addon or parked domain).
  3. Ask your hosting company for DNS server details (like in my case it is and
  4. Login to your domain registration panel (The site from where you bought your domain) and enter the name server details provided by the hosting company.
  5. Within 24 to 48 hours it will start working.

Did not get anything! Don’t worry let’s take it again

Section 3: Explaining different parts of an URL

A small explanation of the URL

  • Here the first part http:// tells your browser the protocol (the rules, or the language) to talk to the web server ( where is hosted).
  • The next part is the domain name (usually without www also you can get the pages, this needs further explanation, let me know if needed).
  • “/nimc/forum/” tells the web server to look into the folder /nimc/ and then under nimc folder look for /forum/. The search is done only inside the document root of the web server.

Section 4: Do you understand IP now?

No, good. Let me explain. In simpler words it is the address of an entity on Internet. In other words your computer has an IP, has an IP, every single computer on this Internet gets a unique IP. Consider IP to be the address of the different computer on Internet. See what is your computer’s IP If you are using Dial up connections you get a new IP every time you connect to the internet. has an IP, which is (ping the domain to get the IP). Which one is easier to remember or Certainly

Section 5: What is DNS?

DNS or “Domain name server” is a server, which maps (an easy to remember name, which remains constant) to an IP (hard to remember number, it can also change).

Let’s take 2 scenarios when Ajesh (hey, that’s my brother) accessing from Banglore :-

Scenario 1:

Assuming that I have registered within last 24 hours and was never accessed by anyone in the world so far.

  • Step 1: Ajesh types on his firefox browser.
  • Step 2: Ajesh’s computer looks for the’s IP inside its host file (in win 2000 it is inside WINNT/system32/drivers/etc/hosts). IP is not found.
  • Step 3: Since Ajesh is connected to the internet using a BSNL connection (his ISP) where he specified the DNS server as as provided by BSNL, it asks for the IP of Even says, “I do not know the IP of”.DNS
  • Step 4: When a DNS server doesn’t know the IP of a domain it sends the request to a small number (13) of servers (also known as root name server), which are suppose to know the authoritative servers (name servers specified at section 2 step 4, A server which knows the IP address for, in our case it is or, which will have the final word) for the domain.
  • Step 5: The severs responsible for the generic top-level domains for .com sends the request to the authoritative servers for IP of
  • Step 6: Authoritative servers (which is domain based, Authoritative servers for will be different from that of, in our case it is (, and then sends the IP to the requested DNS. In the path all the other servers involved caches the IP for the domain.
  • Step 7: Once the IP is known it sends the packets using TCP/IP.

Scenario 2:

Assuming that is browsed frequently by different people.

  • Step 1: Ajesh types on his firefox browser.
  • Step 2: Ajesh’s computer looks for the’s IP inside its host file (in win 2000 it is inside WINNT/system32/drivers/etc/hosts). IP is not found unless it is not added manually or you are running an application.
  • Step 3: Ajesh’s computer checks the DNS provided by BSNL and it finds the cached IP and the communication starts.


Connection checks the IP of the website at the closest level and travel up to the Root Name Servers to get the Authoritative, which knows the IP for sure.

If you have doubts please let me know I will explain, also subscribe to my blog for more useful posts.

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Blog subscription – A simple trick to increase visitor base

If you have your domain with an active blog, and if you are serious about branding your blog then you must have a subscription form to build a better visitor base.

What is the use of such a subscription form?
Some people visit you blog through search engines (or other reference) but due to customer forgetfulness syndrome they forget the visit soon. Subscriptions will allow them to keep a track of your blog posting. This is the first step in building an active blog visitor.

How to enable a subscription form?
Since I have my own server supporting php I decided to use a better subscription application (rather the best of all), phplist.

10 great features of phplists are :-

  1. phplist keeps sending messages from your web server, even after you shut down your computer.
  2. No duplicate messages. No ‘forgotten’ messages. phplist manages message delivery with a message queue, ensuring that every subscriber gets the email message, and that no subscribers receive two copies, even if they’re subscribed to more than one list!
  3. Click Tracking tracks links and URLs. Statistics can be viewed by message, URL or subscriber.
  4. Templates are completely customizable, and make site integration a breeze.
  5. RSS feeds can be automatically sent to a mailing list weekly, daily, or monthly.
  6. Batch Processing is useful in shared hosting environments. Set the maximum number of sent messages in a given time period.
  7. Throttling can limit the load on your server so it doesn’t overload.
  8. Domain Throttling limits the number of emails to specific domains to keep on the friendly side of their system administrators.
  9. Attachments can be uploaded and included in messages for download.
  10. Open/View Tracking tells you how many users opened your email message. This provides a minimum statistic, as many email clients with privacy or security policies block images (gmail, thunderbird, and others).

No other application will be able to provide such a great integration with your blog. It is very simple to use. You can create a template and modify the pages as per your need.

I do not have php what do I do?
You can use , there are many such application providers. They surely have some limitations.

Should I make it automated or manual?
In my opinion, keep it manual for the following reasons,

  • People do not like automated mails as such; they prefer some personal touch to it.
  • Not all blog post may be of common interest.
  • With manual mailing you can even send some other information.

If you need some help in installing such a subscription list please let me know I can help. Try subscribing to my blog to get a feel of it (top of the right panel of the page). I am planning to write some real good stuff in the coming days.


It was year 2003 when we penned down the idea of SOCH, an awareness program for Army families. Since I was studying management in an Army institute, I thought of sharing some of things with the real core of army, their families. The real purpose was not to teach them computers but to show them various uses of the magic box.

We worked for almost two weeks to make it happen. NIMC’s Aakar club (club for creation) headed by Afroz Alam (founder member) did the road shows to attract more army families. They went with normal aluminum plates (instead of a drum) and few printouts. They did a fabulous job and as a result, a multitude of around 200 people rushed in for the show. NIMC authorities were more than happy to allow us access to the computer labs where we showed them computer games, Internet, chatting e.t.c. The happiest lot was that of kids, they thoroughly enjoyed the games and at the end few were reluctant to leave the campus.

Our juniors prepared various presentations. And one Flash presentation by Manoj Badola on Kargil brought tears in everyone’s eyes. Our Director also awarded the people associated with the presentations. (It really felt good to receive the cash award, when we needed it the most) I also liked the presentation on “Army warfare”, which was presented to the Army officers. The poems and various other activities were all highly appreciated by the army families.

It continued for another 2 years but then this year was the END of SOCH. I wish it carried on. Is there anyone else who can recall those good days?

Updated: Thanks to Sid of MCA-5 for making a report on SOCH, here is it

5 things I learned about syndication widgets

When I started working at the community innovation center of AmpmInsure (only with my requirements and few technical advices), I started learning some hard facts about these syndication widgets. Let me try to put 5 points that I have learned about these syndication widgets:

  1. Fast – The tools should deliver fast on your server. The tools embed on your pages should not make your existing pages slow. I saw the community people at AmpmInsure really techy to address these queries. As per evan, “We are delivering the plain JS and nothing can be faster than that. A simple small JS file, no database operations, no server side scripting, just plain and simple JS”.
  2. Graceful failure – When the syndication tool fails it should appear as if it never had syndicated such a tool. More details at
  3. Widget analytics , which will allow the webmaster to see what is going on with the tools.
  4. Overall feedbacks – Let the people put the real feedback for others to read, right with the tools. How many sites are using it? What do they feel about it?
  5. Customization – There should be an option to customize the overall tool as per the site.

Great Widgets for your websites and blogs

These days I am working at ampmInsure innovation center for some cool widgets for my blogs. I am true believer of reusability. I never liked to invest my energy for something, which is already done in style. Some cool tools which I liked are

  1. A mini widget enabling Yahoo style answers:
    yahoo answer type tool
    This tool will help my blog visitors ask and discuss related topics right on my blog. Wow I can’t wait to make it happen. A true discussion platform on my blog. This will increase the participation level on my blog. This is very much like Yahoo Answers but somewhere better as it is much simpler to place and use.
  2. Joke manager:
    Funny tool
    They call it “Funny 24 carrot viral tool”. I think it can really be used as an effective viral tool. This will allow my visitors to share and discuss jokes right on my blog. If you allow your users to share jokes it really works, one such example is , where I have seen people participating with much interest.
  3. Quote Manager: When I introduced a quote section at I got an unexpected participation. Many who never participated in any other thread started participating in it. Why so? May be it is to get recognition. Some of the quotes like “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital” got very popular among the members. The submitted also got appreciated for his collections. I saw this to be an effective tool to attract more participation.
  4. Digg type News manager:
    This is just like but with some additional features like views and “take it anywhere” facility. This can be placed anywhere on the website. Even it can be repeated across the sites. This helps you share the news and findings with your blog visitors. Also this is a little better than as it not only allows you tag but also participate with votes and comments. Overall a good tool to use.

There are many other tools available in the innovation center. I will be trying each one of them before recommending it to others. I have test few widgets and have suggested some changes. They are working on it and making it happen for me. I can clearly see a community feel and that’s where the center of innovation lies. Diversify thoughts and experience can make the product even better. Keep watching the home of Idealwebtools for recommended tools. I will try to keep it updated.

My 3 years with Grmtech

(I am no more associated with Grmtech)
Three years with Grmtech

It was long journey, a true learning experience with some failures and more success. If I look back, I can still recall 9th Aug 2003 when I joined Grmtech for some extra money. By then I was working in Alumnus Software Limited, another great company to work. I made through alumnus after 5 rounds of interview. I was enjoying the life at alumnus with some quality work on Prof Jenkins (an e-learning tool), Mobile games based on J2ME, Java based application to convert static pages to dynamic pages (I was very happy to complete this tool, truly a great tool) and good documentation challenges with Automata. When I loved working harder there, my pocket did not allow me to carry the job without money. I then submitted applications at Alumnus for money but I could not get enough to support my traveling and expenses (fair enough as I was just a summer trainee). I then decided to work on additional projects through our four member group Idealog to earn some extra money. Then Sherry (another member of Idealog, who is now in Symantec) informed me about a job offer at Grmtech, which he came to know through Kolkata Linux group. I decided to apply casually and surprisingly I was called for an interview and more surprisingly I got selected with a bond of one year.

Once I informed all the friends about my selection in a company called Grmtech (which was then a virgin company for all the Nimcians) I got mixed reactions esp. due to the bond factor. Somehow I decided to join Grmtech after some good thought. My plan was to Work for 3 to 4 months to earn some money for a Sony T610.

I started working for Grmtech right on 9th Aug 2003, exactly three years back. Next 4 to 5 months were not easy for me as addition to Grmtech tasks I had to complete my projects at Alumnus (which I did), had to finish my trimester classes, projects and exams (which I did and scored good marks too 🙂 ). I never thought my professional relationship with Grmtech would last this long, I am happy it did. This three years I have made many transitions, from a programmer to a manager, from a manager to a leader, from tech field to marketing and recently to HR. I do not know money wise how much I have earned as I could have tried and fetched a job of 25k then but one thing is sure that I have earned and learned many qualities. I will always be thankful to our seniors. They have always shared their experience to help me make better decisions. After working with them I have started respecting experience. It was a great experience to work with many Grmtech members. I must thank God for all His blessings and this great opportunity to work at Grmtech as a leader. Next month Grmtech will be shifting to a better office, looking forward to the next phase of my life.