December 21, 2007

NUS Proxy Guilty of Capping Speeds

Okay, so after running a few of my diagnostic tests I've found a few things out. If you set your proxy to (as suggested earlier), your speeds will be capped, regardless of location (even if you're ON CAMPUS). I've been using FlashGet to verify my claims.

Therefore for maximum speeds, you need to configure your proxy to Direct Access (for now).

What I'm yet to figure out is that the Direct Access can't be quite direct - due to tunneling, and therefore need to figure out the proxy that they're using.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

Till then if you still need an NUS IP for accessing the internet, will work albeit @ a speed of 128KB/s

December 16, 2007

NUS Capping Speeds?

As mentioned earlier, my computer is set up to access the internet via NUS' proxy, regardless of where I am, to ensure I have an encrypted connection to the internet. However of late, (in the last few days) I've realised that my speeds (browsing, downloading, etc) have decreased and seem to be capped at around 1Mbps (128 KBit/s).

I'm not sure if this is a temporary issue or is permanent, or whether it has to do with my connection, or only certain parts are rate limited (i.e. is LAN access still at full speed?)

Either way it's annoying and bad news for me and those who wish to use NUS' internet.

Can anyone else staying off campus double check this for me?

November 29, 2007

Microsoft actually has some cool shit

What I discovered out of boredom today at

PowerShell: a powerful command line based scripting tool for Windows. It has it's own admin-focused scripting language too!

SteadyState: this is what comes in handy when you need to administer a lot of accounts, eg: on a school network. Simple GUI based program to do some nifty stuff.

Remote Desktop: turns out there's a web version, which you simply upload to an IIS-based web server and then it's accessible through the net! That's what I understood at least.

Some useful hot fixes for Windows XP (search the MS Knowledge Base for the article number):

if you have more than 1GB of RAM, you're probably having problems hibernating, going into standby etc - KB909095

If you have processors, and are having performance issues - KB896256

Get better battery life! Some patches for USB device handling - KB918005

Microsoft ERD Commander 2005 (Diagnostics & Recovery) - This is the coolest thing ever! A GUI based recovery console for XP. The command line recovery option you get thru the XP setup never really worked out anyway. This one ain't free though, all the others are.

July 12, 2007


Finally NUS has eliminated the need of using a CISCO VPN Client (or something similar) to access the NUS VPN. To try out this new service go to:

A few things to be noticed:
1) There doesn't seem to be any difference in service provided between using the existing VPN client and the new web service, when tested with Outlook, accessing the web, and accessing other computers on the network - also it automatically detects whether you're outside NUS or within.

2) I'm not sure about this, but the WebVPN kicks you out after inactivity after a while.

3) WebVPN doesn't seem to be CISCO but rather Juniper!

4) Cisco client still works (for now at least)

So what's the good thing about this? Well not much, but if you're using a restricted university computer than you most likely won't be able to install CISCO VPN, so this allows you to use this by just using your web browser.

But here's the best thing - if you're at the ANU or another university that charges you for traffic, but allows you to access *.edu sites for free, then just amend the address to and access it from there! Also if you can't install the applet (usually due to security restrictions - usually need elevated privileges to install it) - all is not lost, just click on Continue while it's trying to connect ( It must be noted though, that if you click on this, i.e. you don't install the applet, you will have reduced functionality - I've not checked what you lose out on, but I'm quite sure, connecting to other computers on the network would be one of them. Nevertheless, the best feature is you can still surf the web! You will notice a little bar on the top, just type the addy in there and click on Browse - you can also download large files this way, and since *.edu is free, you won't get charged for the traffic!

Will update, once I investigate the benefits and drawbacks more thoroughly - although the most apparent one is more flexible VPN access. Also plan on investigating the setttings on surfing the web without typing into the aforementioned address bar.

To all NUS students at ANU, enjoy your free internet =)

June 28, 2007

IP Problems with MSN Messenger?

So I've been having this problem with MSN Messenger or Windows Live Messenger (WLM) as it's now known - just refused to sign in! A commonly accepted solution is to delete all previous settings, either manually or by downloading a file and running it (

Well that didn't work for me either - the error I was getting was that I appeared to have an invalid IP - found that quite weird as I'd refreshed my IP several times and no other application was giving me trouble - indeed I could sign into Web Messenger and eBuddy.

Then I just realised that my winhttp settings were still set to a proxy and voila it worked!

Here's how you go about resetting your winhttp proxy:
1. Start --> Run --> cmd
2. Type "netsh" sans quotes
3. Type "winhttp" sans quotes - this is a nested command (more info in a previous post)
4. Type "reset proxy" sans quotes
5. Close the command prompt window

Voila! It works! =)

May 27, 2007

Configuring the Windows Update (and OS) to use Proxy

A slightly more technical tip this time around, but a problem I've encountered nonetheless in my endeavour for free internet.

1. For those of you not aware, your operating system has to be original (or rather M$ needs to be convinced its original) before you can update it(yes Vista can bypass WGA checks - but you won't find it in this post)!

2. To download updates, you need to most likely use Windows Update, which is part of the operating system - as such, if you do use a corporate proxy to access the internet, you will need to use the same proxy to get these updates - unfortunately, there's no straightforward window to go to and enter these settings.

3. To do this, you will have to use command prompt. Go to Start --> Run...--> cmd
Note that this should be done with elevated privileges i.e. either run with User Account Control (UAC) disabled, or you'll have to create a shortcut on your desktop, and then right click, and Run as Administrator...

4. Type "netsh" (sans quotes)

5. Type "winhttp" (sans quotes) - this is a nested command

6. Type "set proxy proxyname:Port" (sans quotes) e.g. "set proxy"

Tip: To get more advanced help on any of these commands you can type "/?" at any time at the command prompt.

7. Windows Update should now work, provided your copy is "Genuine".

This setting should hopefully allow all your other programs that require access to the internet without much trouble - e.g. your gadgets in the Sidebar.

May 16, 2007

Using NUS Internet from Outside NUS

After quite a few weeks of working on this, I've finally got it cracked. To use internet from NUS for whatever reason there maybe, you first have to log in to NUS via Cisco's VPN client. Now this does sound a bit circular, because to access NUS from outside, you would need a valid internet connection to establish a VPN connection to begin with. But however if you happen to be at a place that doesn't charge you for traffic to NUS, but does for everything else, then this is a solution for you.

1. Connect to NUS VPN using the Outside NUS profile on CISCO VPN Client.
2. Set your browser http proxy (and every other proxy) to:
Host: Port: 8080 or
3. If the program of your choice doesn't support proxies (most do), then use a program such as Proxifier

Enjoy your free internet =) Theoretically, the traffic should be encrypted, because if I'm not mistaken, it enjoys the same encapsulation as the rest of the traffic that passes through the VPN tunnel.

April 26, 2007

Remove Ads from Windows Live Messenger 8.1

Tired of those annoying WLM ads, the one that when your mouse rolls over, it starts playing videos? Well I am, and it seems like a lot of others are - enough for people to come up with something to stop it (and therefore give you more viewing area for your contacts)! =)

A-Patch for MSN Messenger allows you to do that and a lot more! Get it here:

April 19, 2007

Don't do ribbons?

If you want classic menus back on Office 2007, take a look at this!

Windows Media Player @ Firefox

Yes, finally! Microsoft came to their senses. They have made a plug-in for Firefox available through their open-source developer platform. The bitches don't want to put it at! But at least they made it available somewhere, so lets be thankful.

April 9, 2007

HHCTRL.OCX error on bootup

Are any of you getting a HHCTRL.OCX related error on booting up? If so, it's thanks to Windows Update - Microsoft updated some system file. It causes errors in RealTek sound hardware drivers etc due to a system file relocation (or something like that). Anyway, here's the patch to fix it.

March 6, 2007

Google Trick

Step 1: Goto (not or any other local google)

Step 2: Delete everything in the address bar, then copy paste the following:

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.images; DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5;*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5}R++}setInterval('A()',5); void(0);

Step 3: Press Enter