Wednesday, September 28, 2016

SSL VPN: Configuring and Using Forticlient on Ubuntu, creating a Launcher

  1. Is your primary OS at home Linux and do you use Windows only to connect to your work PC over VPN or to attend meetings? 
  2. Do you often wish to connect to your work VPN from a Linux PC? 
If your answer is 'Yes' to the above questions, I have an answer if your workplace uses Fortinet SSL VPN. Note that it's possible to connect to Fortinet and other VPNs like Cisco VPN from Linux through the inbuilt network manager by installing additional tools but this post would focus on using the standard Forticlient for accessing the resources on your work network.

Obtaining Forticlient

The most important thing to note w.r.t. using Forticlient for Ubuntu (or any Linux distro) is to note that the client is not publicly available for download from the official website. You will have to ask your IT department to download the client for you, in case they haven't provided it.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

No TDS on FDs does not mean no Taxes! Your guide to Reporting Fixed Deposit Interest in ITR

Every year in the months of June and July, Indian taxpayers would be rushing to file their Income Tax Returns. A common mistake which many taxpayers do is not declaring the interest earned on Fixed Deposits. This is partly due to the belief that a sum of ₹10,000 or lesser is not taxable. Also, banks do not deduct TDS when they don't expect interest income to go beyond ₹10,000 in a financial year. However, that is not true. 
  1. Only interest up to ₹10,000 earned on SB (Savings Bank) account is exempt from income tax. The total amount earned needs to be mentioned in Section 80TTA. The exempt amount would be computed by the system / offline utility.
  2. Every rupee of interest earned on FD (Fixed Deposits) and RD / CD (Recurring / Cumulative Deposits) is taxable as per a person's income tax slab. All income earned through these instruments needs to be declared under the heading 'Income from Other Sources'. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Troubleshooting a Constantly Freezing Windows 10 PC

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On my Windows 10 Home, I was being bugged by constant freezes which forced me to hard reboot now and then. Since I use Ubuntu as my primary OS, I chose to adjust with this for long. However, this became more of a trouble in the recent times with Windows starting up at 98% CPU usage and every process actually showing 0% CPU usage. That's when I decided to get into the root of the problem and resolve it. I was confident that the hardware was fine since Ubuntu worked perfectly all the time.

It turned out that many Windows 10 users, especially those who upgraded from previous versions of Windows 7 or 8 / 8.1 faced similar freezing issues. The answers at Windows Forums by Microsoft staffers generally suggested using the command sfc /scannow to verify that system files were intact. However, most users found it unhelpful and that didn't help me either.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Perform Spell Checking in Visual Studio

We tend to commit unintentional spelling errors especially while using IDEs like Visual Studio which do not ship with a spell checker. The spelling errors would look bad especially when the errors are made in comments which might find their way into documentation. This limitation can be offset by installing freely available extensions (Tools > Extensions and Updates, switch to Online section in the left pane). One such extension is Visual Studio Spell Checker

The Visual Studio Spell Checker provides good inputs, just like Microsoft Office.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Take a focused approach when you search for a new job

This is the general route chosen by youngsters when searching for a new job - 

  1. Shoot off resumes (sometimes tailored to different companies / roles)
  2. Seek referrals (sometimes from random strangers at LinkedIn)
  3. Start liking and commenting on posts from spammers at LinkedIn
  4. Update LinkedIn headline as 'Seeking new opportunities'
The first two approaches can be successful in a timely manner but the last two are literally wasted time. Another phenomenon that is often relied upon by many is Job Shopping. I made an attempt to underline the importance of focused efforts when it comes to job search. Check out my first post at LinkedIn - Job Shopping or Job Searching? Which is better for your Career?