Selecting a Fully automatic washing machine (2 November 2013)

UPDATE: Whirlpool had the last laugh. At the time of installation the service engineer sold another Rs. 5065 of goods. They are:-

I-Glyde (Stand with castors) – 1865

Calstrait Filter (for water inlet) – 1600

Scale Ion (De-scaling pack) – 1600


I-Glyde is a sophisticated stand from Whirlpool. They want the washing machine to be stable and say its not advisable to buy cheaper plastic stands from market.

Calstrait Filter works similar to the filters in RO Water purifying system. Salesman noticed there is big impurities in the water we use for our household.

Scale ion is a master pack with 10 smaller packs. Each can be used for cleaning once in  1 1/2  month (for the load we give to the machine, yours may vary).

Thus my total expenses on washing m/c exceeded 20K making it Rs. 22,565


I had the big dilemma to choose the right washing machine for my wife. I did some research on what was available. I went to a small store which had many washing machines (mostly LG). The shop owner was more interested in the IPL. However he managed to answer my questions in between, which mostly I forgot.

Next I went to a nearby Reliance show room. The sales girl was very keen to sell Samsung Top Loading machine and failed to demonstrate LG Pulsator + Punch, which the small shop owner explained before. Also with Samsung there is no Diwali gift and reduction. Though we had mostly samsung electronic goods at home, somehow they developed some problem or the other. This could be mostly due to the poor voltage regulation with our earlier rented house.

Then we checked with our sister-in-law on her whirlpool machine. My wife had only good things about it. It had many programmes, sixth sense (adjust many wash functions based on load) and heater to supply hot water. Unfortunately whirlpool at this time removed hot water from its white magic series. I have to shell out 22K to get one with heater.

My wife had many criterion for the selection process, given below are the vital ones.

1.  Ability to rinse clothes that were washed seperately by hand.

2. Should not exceed our budget of Rupees 20,000

3. Stainless steel drum basket.

4. Should fit in to the small provision we made in our flat at the construction stage.

Samsung surpringly had very little information in their website. Could be its superior to LG and Whirlpool models that are at par with it.  In the show room I noticed the machines were little wider and shorter. This is bad for us because we can live with a taller machine but not wider ones. They could be wider because they are trying to reuse the front loading form factor for top loading also.

LG had very similar features like the Whirlpool one but I have to decide against LG because of higher MRP and did not dare to go against my wife’s wish :-). LG also did not mention about the drum basket in their website or I missed it.

Finally we visited the nearest whirlpool dealer and bought what we thought was the best front loading washing machine Whitemagic 650SDI .  We paid 17,500 including door delivery charges and some feebries (stainless steel pan and philips hair dryer).


PS: Excel I used to compare the different washing machine brands is here


Enhanced e-mail SPAM protection in ISPConfig 3

How to enchance e-mail SPAM protection in ISPConfig 3. In the end we will be able to

    Reject sender hostnames with invalid syntax
    Reject sender hostnames that are no fully qualified domains (e.g. reject “server1” but allow server1.domain.tld)
    Reject sender domains that have no DNS records
    Check sender IP addresses against realtime blacklists

Always ensure that you make a copy of your configuration file. In this case its at /etc/postfix/ on Debian.

sudo cp -pf /etc/postfix/ /etc/postfix/

Then execute this command as sudo

sudo postconf -e 'smtpd_recipient_restrictions = permit_mynetworks, permit_sasl_authenticated, reject_invalid_hostname, reject_non_fqdn_hostname, reject_unknown_recipient_domain, reject_non_fqdn_recipient, reject_unauth_destination, reject_non_fqdn_sender, reject_unknown_sender_domain, reject_unknown_recipient_domain, reject_rbl_client,reject_rbl_client,reject_rbl_client, check_recipient_access mysql:/etc/postfix/, reject_unauth_destination'

Then restart postfix so that your changes will take effect immediately.

sudo /etc/init.d/postfix restart

Enable image caching in apache for better Google Page Speed results

High page speed and short page load times of your website are essential for good search engine rankings. To enable Image caching and http requests in apache, you need to enable the expires module on Ubunto or Debian. This module allows the apache web server to set HTTP headers. It sets the modification header for static assets like image and CSS files that do not change often.

a2enmod headers expires

Add the following directives inside the vhost file of the web site or at the end of the file /etc/apache2/apache2.conf to enable it globally.

Header set Cache-Control "max-age=3024000, public"

On ISPConfig 3 servers, this can be added in the “Apache Directives” field of the website instead. There is no apache reload required as ISPConfig takes care about that

Porteus Linux – Fast and versatile USB Linux

I was a searching for a Linux for installing into USB and also backing up files from windows. There is also several benefits of having a Linux USB.

  • Backup your files from Windows and GNU/Linux Operating System. That includes saving files across many file systems like Fat32, Ext3 and Ext4. You could also sync it with cloud services like Google drive, Dropbox etc.
  • Have your personalized Operating system load on any PC which could a public computer, friends’ laptop or a Browsing center (internet cafe).
  • Test drive a new Linux OS without having to mess with your operating system on the Desktop
  • Install Programming Language like Python and Ruby without the fear that you will mess with the system packages.
  • Browse anonymously and securely in a public unsafe networked environment.
  • Seamlessly encrypt and decrypt your data so that it does not get misused if lost or stolen.
  • Boot very fast and quickly complete the task because you are always in a hurry when you are working outside your home and office.
  • Able to boot from a dual partition pen drive (USB). This way if for some reason one is not able to boot from another PC, at least we should be able to use it as a windows recognizable drive.

Porteus surprised me by fulfilling many of expectations. I could install it within no time. the installation was radically different from many Ubuntu based distro and other modern GNU/Linux operating system. I could just mount the ISO file as a virtual CD and then copy the boot folder into the target thumb drive. Then its just a matter of running a bash script provided by Porteus.

If you have used Slitaz or Slax you would know the concept of package modules.  Changes to the Operating System could be stored and thus you could persist your session. There are several ways to store data, customize and even magic folder which are always in sync with each other.

Prior to installation I have partitioned the USB drive into two files systems. A Fat32 in the beginning and Ext4 in the end.







Things to do after Magento install

Replace Magento logo with your Brand Name

  • If you followed my other post for installation in a shared hosting environment, then you would want to do the following things.
  • Replace the Magento Logo with your store Brand. For this upload the logo to the following directory


  • then in your admin panel select configuration and then with your current configuration scope as Default Config
  • select Design from the left panel
  • make sure that your package name is rwd in the right side pane. if not replace rwd with the package name in the above path.
  • now scroll down to the Header section in the right pane and enter the name of the image you uploaded without changing the images/ prefix so it looks like images/yourbrand.png

Add products to your Magento webpage

  • From you admin panel CMS menu select pages
  • Then click on your existing homepage to edit the page.
  • Then click on the content tab.
  • In the HTML editor toolbar, look for the insert widget icon   and click it.
  • In the appearing panel window select catalog new products list for widget type
  • For display type, If you select new products, After populating the rest of the fields in the widget window, simply click the insert widget button to add the widget to your page.
  • If you want to get rid of the ugly bullets from the product, go to the custom design pane and paste the following code

<reference name="head">
<action method="addCss">

  • now upload the custom.css to the following magento installation sub directory.


Change the button text to your Locale

  • We, Indians speak English that is most similar to British and not U.S. So I selected British (English) as my Locale at the time of Magento Installation.  So the button names like Add to Cart, Proceed to Checkout etc. is good enough for most of the installation. However my client wanted to use Magento for sending Quotation instead of doing E-Commerce. So I had to change many of the buttons and hyperlinks. Lets see how to do this.
  • There are three different ways to change the Locale we will use the csv technique for making the changes.
  • Upload a CSV file like this one under the directory /magentodir/app/design/frontend/rwd/default/locale/en_GB
  • If no directory exists inside your theme/default then you can create it.

Change the new order email template

  • If you have made magento to bypass cron and send mail immediately after placing the order, then next step you want to take is change the emails text.
  • For this you need to edit the file located under folder magentodir/app/locale/en_us/template/email/sales

Magento step by step installation on a Shared Hosting

  •  Download the zip archive from Magento website. Do not use the downloader version because its more complicated.
  • create a subfolder under public_html.
  • Set folder permission 755 to the public_html/subfolder
  • Unzip the contents of Magento archive into it.
  • Set correct file permission 644 to the subfolder/index.php
  • replace the contents of .htaccess file with this code. please substitute subfolder with your actual magneto installation foldername

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /subfolder/
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /subfolder/index.php [L]
<IfModule mod_security.c>
SecFilterEngine Off
SecFilterScanPOST Off

  • make following changes to file public_html/app/code/core/Mage/Sales/Model/Order.php at around line 325. This is not necessary but if you want Magento to send mail immediately without relying on Cron, you may do like this.

// $mailer->setQueue($emailQueue)->send();

Sending email screen shots from Enlightenment Linux

I read somewhere that its possible to take unattended screen shots (scrot) and mail it (heirloom-mailx) every one hour (/etc/cron.hourly). It was not easy particularly the mailing part because configuring any mail program to send mail from terminal to the outside world seemed a herculean task. The steps ..

$ sudo apt-get install scrot

$ sudo apt-get install heirloom-mailx

#  to install certutil in enlightenement

$ sudo apt-get install libss3-tools

# Create a certificate directory
$ mkdir .certs
# Create a new database in the certs dir
$ certutil -N -d .certs 
# Fetch the certificate from Gmail, saving in the text file GMAILCERT
echo -n | openssl s_client -connect | sed -ne ‘/-BEGIN CERTIFICATE-/,/-END CERTIFICATE-/p’ > GMAILCERT
# Import the new cert file into the new database in the new dir. enter password when prompted
$ certutil -A -n “Google Internet Authority” -t “C,,” -d .certs -i GMAILCERT 
# Double Check
$ certutil -L -d .certs

Certificate Nickname                                         Trust Attributes
Google Internet Authority                                    C,,  
edit ~/..mailrc file
 account gmail {
 set smtp-use-starttls
 set ssl-verify=ignore
 set nss-config-dir=~/.certs
 set smtp=smtp://
 set smtp-auth-password=your_gmail_passwsord
 set from=”

Testing mail Config

 echo “Test Email” | mailx  -v -A gmail -s “test”




DIY Coat Stand plus Floor Lamp

I wanted to find a storage for the thupattas, bags and everything my wife  wants to hang (except me, of course). This project has inspiration from several projects and several store alternative..




Main inspiration is for the wooden tree branch light.  But why on the world I want a DIY floor lamp. It’s because I cannot affort to buy floor lamp from store.  Next I want to give it a wood stain so it can have a old timeless look.  Let’s see how I did it.

First I want to a bamboo shop and got a shorter bamboo, so I need to cut it to my size. Next I went to a timber merchant and found a quarter teak wooden base.  Then I took both of them to a carpenter who could dig a hole into the teak base and plant the Bamboo branch.

Wait, it seems to be so much pain for just a floor lamp. So I want to get more mileage out of it and decided to have wooden rungs throughout the height of the Bamboo. This way my wife could unload everything she brings home, while returning from office.

Finding the wooden rung (or) dowels was tricky unless you knew one could get wooden handles of hammer, readily in hardware store.  I needed the bent pipe look like the ones in the store, so I went to Stainless Pipe Workshop and picked a bent one.  This will help the lamp to be projected outwards with most of its weight on the center. Also a hole is drilled in the pipe and bolted alongwith the Bamboo and to carry the electric wire through it.

The lamp shade is actually a plastic cup I bought for $1. Total cost for this lamp is $15. The stainless steel pipe is little pricey about $7.

TODO:  1) inset eyehooks in the bamboo to keep the wire in place. 2) paint the teak base with white enamel to match my room decor.

Indian Homemade Cleaners & Beauty Products

My terrace garden plants are dying due to some insect attack. I do not want to put pesticides and eat some poison along with them. So I was researching on how to make one homemade insecticide. But the challenge is to get the same ingredient in India. I am now struck up on how to get liquid Castille Soap. Will do some more research and update you the developments. Meanwhile to keep you interested i am reposting the ingredients Rebeka had prescibed in her blog.

Home made insecticide

3 C Warm Water
6-8 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 TBS Cayenne Pepper (Kashmiri Chilli ?!?)
1/2 Medium Onion, quartered
1/2 tsp Liquid Castille Soap, fragrance free

Its turns out that Garlic and Pepper are negative (pranic) food according to Meditators. Hmnnn … Insects know it.


Easy Laundry Soap

  • What you’ll need to make your very own Easy Laundry Soap (this makes approx. 48 loads):
  • 1 Bar (14 oz) Fels-Naptha, Zote Soap or Ivory Soap
  • 2 C Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (make sure it says “Super Washing Soda”)
  • 2 C Borax

I will try to get source of buying all the ingredients and update this post soon.

YII webapp customising from ground up

A)) config/main.php

1. name your webapp

‘name’=’my webapp’

2.  enable gii

// If removed, Gii defaults to localhost only. Edit carefully to taste.


3. create your database scheme

4.  beautify url


5. enable mysql or point to sqldatabase

‘connectionString’ => ‘mysql:host=localhost;dbname=mywebapp’,
’emulatePrepare’ => true,
‘username’ => ‘root’,
‘password’ => ‘password’,
‘charset’ => ‘utf8’,

6. set admin email

// this is used in contact page


7. show log messages in the webpage

/ uncomment the following to show log messages on web pages


7.  change default passwords

public function authenticate()
// username => password

BB) Download mbmenu plugi


1. change menus

<?php $this->widget(‘application.extensions.mbmenu.MbMenu’,array(
array(‘label’=>’Home’, ‘url’=>array(‘/site/index’)),
array(‘label’=>’Menu 1’, ‘url’=>array(‘/menu1l’),
array(‘label’=>’sub menu 1’, ‘url’=>array(‘/item11’)),
array(‘label’=>’sub menu 2’, ‘url’=>array(‘/item12)),

2. change footer

<div id=”footer”>
Copyright &copy; <?php echo date(‘Y’); ?> by my company – All Rights Reserved.<br/>
</div><!– footer –>

CC)  YII-booster plugin


Yii::setPathOfAlias(‘booster’, dirname(__FILE__) . DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR . ‘../extensions/yii-booster’);

// preloading ‘log’ component



‘booster’=> array(
‘class’ =>’booster.components.Booster’,