Project vengeance – Getting even with Cell Phone Thieves


Last evening (27 May 2014) I was driving home from office. The weather was relatively comfortable owing to the recent downpour. I decided not to turn on the car AC and drive with the windows rolled down instead. Little did I imagine the horrible experience destiny had in store for me a few minutes later.

Chevrolet Beat
For the record, my car is a Chevrolet Beat Hatchback

I had put my backpack on the front passenger seat on the left and my cell phone on the dashboard. At first I had fully rolled down the passenger window. But then I thought that it’d be risky and somebody might snatch the phone. So I rolled it up so that there was just about 7-8 inches gap, enough for the wind to blow through.

My Moto-G which I bought on 28th Feb
My cell phone was a Moto-G which I bought on 28th Feb from
The car interior
The car interior

And thus I started the engine and began my trip home. The entire day had passed pretty smoothly and I was in a jolly mood. I was eager to be with my family as soon as possible.

The traffic was moving slowly and as I entered College Street I was literally crawling along. After some time I crossed Tantania Kalibari crossing and stopped at a red light.

Suddenly I was aware of some commotion behind me. A lean young chap came running and thumped on the door behind me shouting, “Dada… dorja thik kore lock korun” (Brother… pls lock the door properly) and walked away. I was startled and poked my head out of the window to look at the door behind me. Then I checked the door lock and found nothing amiss. I was confused and wondered maybe the guy mistook my car for some other car.

The signal turned green in the mean time and I continued driving. I was feeling disturbed after being jolted out of my reverie so rudely. I was also feeling a bit warm and humid. So I rolled up the window panes and switched on the AC.

After driving for about 5-6 kms I noticed that my bag was not on the seat. I assumed that it might have rolled to the floor and continued driving. After another few kilometers, on another red light, I reached down to retrieve the bag from the floor. But there was nothing.

Suddenly it struck me that the guy had diverted my attention and an accomplice must have pilfered the bag. I cursed under my breath. I thought I’d ring up my wife and let her know. I reached for my cell phone and… pooooff… the phone was also missing.

My blood turned cold for a brief moment and I didn’t know what to do. I felt horribly violated and helpless.

With much difficulty I managed to keep a leash on my anger and reached home.

At night, I cooled my nerves by playing PainKiller-Redemption in god mode and killing 900 monsters with the spinning knife instead of guns.

Next day

Police complaint

My intentions

So much for the back story; I’m pretty pissed off with the thieves and intend to get even with them. Here’s my plan of action…

  • Construct a circuit for generating high voltage
  • Get a faux cell phone
  • Rig up the cell phone with the circuit and add some trigger mechanism
  • Fit the apparatus in the car and place the cell phone dummy on the dashboard
  • Roam around the streets with the window panes rolled down
  • I may also try to add a camera to capture the sweet moment
  • I’m also wondering if I can retro fit a fast motor to the power window so that it snaps shut almost instantly

I don’t know how much time I’ll need to complete the project, but I’m determined to do it. Wish me luck.


Things I might need

  • A cheap dummy cellphone preferably with shiny metal casing
  • A heavy duty capacitor or transformer. I’m thinking or something like the capacitor used in camera flashlights. In case of a transformer, I believe the coil used in CRTs will work.
  • A battery – preferably a maintenance free 6v rechargeable battery or maybe a bike battery
  • The apparatus must also have a fail safe mechanism so that I don’t electrocute myself in case the thief throws it at my face. This is the reason I’ve been thinking of a capacitor. It’ll ideally get discharged almost instantly and will not pose any further risk.
  • I’ll also need a mechanism to disarm the device easily.

FileZilla ftp server – Can’t access file(Error 550)

Recently I was trying to download the access logs of a Glassfish installation via ftp. I was unable to do so and was getting this weird error. I guessed it might be a permission issue and logged into the server with remote desktop. Everything turned out to be fine and all valid permissions were in place. A quick search on Google turned up this FAQ on Filezilla Wiki:

FAQ: I am having trouble transferring log files. I get an error “550 can’t access file.” on both the server interface and the FTP client.

Answer: Often log files are locked for writing by the process that they are logging. In order to transfer this type of file, open the Server Options, go to the Miscellaneous node, and select “Allow downloading of files which are open for writing by another process”

It probably isn’t a FAQ, but the FAQ is the only server documentation you have so far.

So there you have it… Check your server setting first before tearing your hair out.

Share mouse and keyboard with multiple computers!

Recently I was working simultaneously on my desktop and laptop. A number of times it so happened that I was sub-consciously trying to move the cursor on my laptop with the mouse attached to the desktop or at other times I was peering at the document on my desktop while typing on my laptop and wondering why nothing was displayed. Then it occurred to me it’d be great if I could use the same mouse and keyboard for both the systems. Google led me to this site and I was instantly hooked to Synergy.

Synergy is Free and Open Source Software that lets you easily share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers, where each computer has its own display.
Synergy is Free and Open Source Software that lets you easily share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers, where each computer has its own display.

No special hardware is required, all you need is a local area network. Synergy is supported on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy is released under the GNU Public License (GPL)… as described on the website.

A word of caution… I ran into problems when I was trying to share my iMac’s mouse and keyboard with a Windows XP PC. I was using the latest stable version 1.3.7 on both. Apparently the iMac’s keyboard input was not getting propagated to the Windows machine. The solution… downgrade the version on Mac to 1.3.6 1.3.6 Mac OS X Universal and everything will run fine.


ORA-00845: MEMORY_TARGET not supported on this system

While creating a startup database using dbca the database creation GUI gives error message in a pop up window,
ORA-00845: MEMORY_TARGET not supported on this system
from where you can ignore the error message.
The similar scenario also occur whenever you try to start your database then startup shows error message like below. 

ORA-00845: MEMORY_TARGET not supported on this system

Cause of the Problem
•Starting from Oracle 11g the automatic memory management feature is now defined with parameter MEMORY_TARGET and MEMMORY_MAX_TARGET.

•On linux file system the shared memory need to be mounted on /dev/shm directory on the operating system.

•And the size of /dev/shm needs to be greater than MEMORY_TARGET or MEMMORY_MAX_TARGET.

•The AMM (Automatic Memory Management) now in 11g manages both SGA and PGA together by MMAN process.

•The MEMORY_TARGET parameter in 11g comes for (SGA_TARGET+PGA_AGGREGATE_TARGET) which was in 10g.

•And MEMORY_MAX_TARGET parameter in 11g comes instead of SGA_MAX_TARGET parameter which was in 10g.

•The ORA-00845:can arises for the following two reasons on linux system.

  1. If the shared memory which is mapped to /dev/shm directory is less than the size of MEMORY_TARGET or MEMORY_MAX_TARGET.
  2. If the shared memory is not mapped to /dev/shm directory.

Make sure /dev/shm is properly mounted. You can see it by,
#df -h or #df -k command.
The output should be similar like
$ df -k
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on

shmfs                 1G    512M 512M  50% /dev/shm

We see here for /dev/shm we have assigned 1G memory. Now if you set MEMORY_TARGET more than 1G then above ORA-845 will arise. For example if you have MEMORY_TARGET or MEMORY_MAX_TARGET set to 12G then you can mount shared memory to 13g like below.
As a root user,
# mount -t tmpfs shmfs -o size=13g /dev/shm
In order to make the settings persistence so that it will affect after restarting machine add an entry in /etc/fstab similar to the following:

shmfs /dev/shm tmpfs size=13g 0

Remote Root Access to MySql

Set a root password.

mysql -u root
> = PASSWORD(‘new_password’);

Create a new HOST for root and allow root to login from anywhere.

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO ‘root’@’%’
mysql> exit

Allow remote logins.

sudo vi /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Out-of-the-box, MySQL only allows connections from the localhost identified by the IP Address of  We need to remove that restriction, so find the line that says

bind-address =

and comment it out.