Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Configuring Juniper Secure Networks SA SSL-VPN

1. Add RADIUS Authentication Server
Start the Juniper Secure Networks Secure Access SSL-VPN Central Manager.
Go to Authentication - Auth. Servers
--> New RADIUS Auth Server
Configure as below

2. Custom Radius Authentication Rules
Note that "Access Challenge” has to be added where the "Reply-Message" "matches the expression" "(.*)" and in that case shows ”show GENERIC LOGIN page”. This will present the OTP field for the user.

When you're done configuring the Authentication Rules they should look like this:

3. Sign in page
Create a Sign-in page

4. User Realm
Create a User Realm that uses the Authentication Server created in step 1 for

5. Sign In Policy

Create a Sign In Policy that uses the Sign-in Page from step 2 and the User Realm
from step 3.
Note that from the users’ perspective you can always configure the login-pages for both
graphics and text to suit your company.
6. Start testing
Go to your Juniper url and add that realm you have created. In this example juniper.nordicedge.se/test
Enter the user-id and password for the user that you have added your mobile number to.

Enter your one time password and click on “Sign In”.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The C++ 'const' Declaration: Why & How

The 'const' system is one of the really messy features of C++.
It is simple in concept, variables declared with ‘const’ added become constants and cannot be altered by the program, but, in the way is has to be used to bodge in a substitute for one of the missing features of C++, it gets horridly complicated and frustratingly restrictive. The following attempts to explain how 'const' is used and why it exists.

Simple Use of ‘const’

The simplest use is to declare a named constant. To do this, one declares a constant as if it was a variable but add ‘const’ before it. One has to initialise it immediately in the constructor because, of course, one cannot set the value later as that would be altering it. For example,
const int Constant1=96;
will create an integer constant, unimaginatively called ‘Constant1’, with the value 96.
Such constants are useful for parameters which are used in the program but are do not need to be changed after the program is compiled. It has an advantage for programmers over the C preprocessor ‘#define’ command in that it is understood & used by the compiler itself, not just substituted into the program text by the preprocessor before reaching the main compiler, so error messages are much more helpful.
It also works with pointers but one has to be careful where ‘const’ to determine whether the pointer or what it points to is constant or both. For example,
const int * Constant2
declares that Constant2 is variable pointer to a constant integer and
int const * Constant2
is an alternative syntax which does the same, whereas
int * const Constant3
declares that Constant3 is constant pointer to a variable integer and
int const * const Constant4
declares that Constant4 is constant pointer to a constant integer. Basically ‘const’ applies to whatever is on its immediate left (other than if there is nothing there in which case it applies to whatever is its immediate right).

Use of ‘const’ in Functions Return Values

Of the mixes of pointers and ‘const’, the constant pointer to a variable is useful for storage that can be changed in value but not moved in memory and the pointer (constant or otherwise) is useful for returning constant strings and arrays from functions which, because they are implemented as pointers, the program could otherwise try to alter and crash. Instead of a difficult to track down crash, the attempt to alter unalterable values will be detected during compilation.
For example, if a function which returns a fixed ‘Some text’ string is written like
char *Function1()
{ return “Some text”;}
then the program could crash if it accidentally tried to alter the value doing
whereas the compiler would have spotted the error if the original function had been written
const char *Function1()
{ return "Some text";}
because the compiler would then know that the value was unalterable. (Of course, the compiler could theoretically have worked that out anyway but C is not that clever.)

Where it Gets Messy - in Parameter Passing

When a subroutine or function is called with parameters, variables passed as the parameters might be read from to transfer data into the subroutine/function, written to to transfer data back to the calling program or both to do both. Some languages enable one to specify this directly, such as having ‘in:’, ‘out:’ & ‘inout:’ parameter types, whereas in C one has to work at a lower level and specify the method for passing the variables choosing one that also allows the desired data transfer direction.
For example, a subroutine like
void Subroutine1(int Parameter1)
{ printf("%d",Parameter1);}
accepts the parameter passed to it in the default C & C++ way which is a copy. Therefore the subroutine can read the value of the variable passed to it but not alter it because any alterations it makes are only made to the copy and lost when the subroutine ends so
void Subroutine2(int Parameter1)
{ Parameter1=96;}
would leave the variable it was called with unchanged not set to 96.
The addition of an ‘&’ to the parameter name in C++ (which was a very confusing choice of symbol because an ‘&’ infront of variables elsewhere in C generate pointers!) like causes the actual variable itself, rather than a copy, to be used as the parameter in the subroutine and therefore can be written to thereby passing data back out the subroutine. Therefore
void Subroutine3(int &Parameter1)
{ Parameter1=96;}
would set the variable it was called with to 96. This method of passing a variable as itself rather than a copy is called a ‘reference’ in C.
That way of passing variables was a C++ addition to C. To pass an alterable variable in original C, a rather involved method using a pointer to the variable as the parameter then altering what it pointed to was used. For example
void Subroutine4(int *Parameter1)
{ *Parameter1=96;}
works but requires the every use of the variable in the called routine so altered and the calling routine altered to pass a pointer to the variable which is rather cumbersome.
But where does ‘const’ come into this? Well, there is a second common use for passing data by reference or pointer instead of copy. That is when copying a the variable would waste too much memory or take too long. This is particularly likely with large compound user-defined variable types (‘structures’ in C & ‘classes’ in C++). So a subroutine declared
void Subroutine4(big_structure_type &Parameter1);
might being using ‘&’ because it is going to alter the variable passed to it or it might just be to save copying time and there is no way to tell which it is if the function is compiled in someone else’s library. This could be a risk if one needs to trust the the subroutine not to alter the variable.
To solve this, ‘const’ can be used the in the parameter list like
void Subroutine4(big_structure_type const &Parameter1);
which will cause the variable to passed without copying but stop it from then being altered. This is messy because it is essentially making an in-only variable passing method from a both-ways variable passing method which was itself made from an in-only variable passing method just to trick the compiler into doing some optimization.
Ideally, the programmer should not need control this detail of specifying exactly how it variables are passed, just say which direction the information goes and leave the compiler to optimize it automatically, but C was designed for raw low-level programming on far less powerful computers than are standard these days so the programmer has to do it explicitly.

Messier Still - in the Object Oriented Programming

In Object Oriented Programming, calling a ‘method’ (the Object Oriented name for a function) of an object has gives an extra complication. As well as the variables in the parameter list, the method has access to the member variables of the object itself which are always passed directly not as copies. For example a trivial class, ‘Class1’, defined as
class Class1
{ void Method1();
  int MemberVariable1;}
has no explicit parameters at all to ‘Method1’ but calling it in an object in this class might alter ‘MemberVariable1’ of that object if ‘Method1’ happened to be, for example,
void Class1::Method1()
{ MemberVariable1=MemberVariable1+1;}
The solution to that is to put ‘const’ after the parameter list like
class Class2
{ void Method1() const;
  int MemberVariable1;}
which will ban Method1 in Class2 from being anything which can attempt to alter any member variables in the object.
Of course one sometimes needs to combine some of these different uses of ‘const’ which can get confusing as in
const int*const Method3(const int*const&)const;
where the 5 uses ‘const’ respectively mean that the variable pointed to by the returned pointer & the returned pointer itself won’t be alterable and that the method does not alter the variable pointed to by the given pointer, the given pointer itself & the object of which it is a method!.

Inconveniences of ‘const’

Besides the confusingness of the ‘const’ syntax, there are some useful things which the system prevents programs doing.
One in particular annoys me because my programs often need to be optimized for speed. This is that a method which is declared ‘const’ cannot even make changes to the hidden parts of its object that would not make any changes that would be apparent from the outside. This includes storing intermediary results of long calculations which would save processing time in subsequent calls to the class’s methods. Instead it either has to pass such intermediary results back to the calling routine to store and pass back next time (messy) or recalculate from scratch next time (inefficient). In later versions of C++, the ‘mutable’ keyword was added which enables ‘const’ to be overridden for this purpose but it totally relies on trusting the programmer to only use it for that purpose so, if you have to write a program using someone else's class which uses ‘mutable’ then you cannot guarantee that ‘‘mutable’ things will really be constant which renders ‘const’ virtually useless.
One cannot simply avoid using ‘const’ on class methods because ‘const’ is infectious. An object which has been made ‘const’, for example by being passed as a parameter in the ‘const &’ way, can only have those of its methods that are explicitly declared ‘const’ called (because C++’s calling system is too simple work out which methods not explicitly declared ‘const’ don’t actually change anything). Therefore class methods that don’t change the object are best declared ‘const’ so that they are not prevented from being called when an object of the class has somehow acquired ‘const’ status.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nokia Messaging Push Email Setup on Nokia E5

There are lots of issues and problems reported about people have trouble setting up Nokia Messaging account on Nokia E5, below are the steps to follow for successful configurations: (Assuming you have Internet Setup/GPRS Configuration / WLAN done on your device)
  1. Goto Control Panel, Setting, General, Personalization, Messaging Key, Messaging Key, Short Press.
  2. Set short press to Email Setup.
  3. Exit from Control Panel and short-press the messaging key
  4. It will bring the Nokia messaging setup, enter Gamil credentials
  5. Follow the instruction and you're done
  6. Sing in to (https://email.nokia.com/account/login.action) with your step 4 Gmail credentials
  7. Setup other email account (Max 10 including first Gamil one)
  8. All of configured Email accounts are will be available on your device shortly 
  9. Perform step 1 and set short-press to default
  10. Cheers


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