Monday, May 21, 2007

Verna Test Drive

I've test driven Verna yesterday. Unlike my friends, I kind of liked the shape, from the day it was launched. It somehow tells me that it has got that power under its hood. Although it is known that Petrol vehicles have better performance than the diesel ones, for some strange reasons, I have an affinity for the diesel engines. May be I should attribute it for the Indica Turbo diesel that I drive and the fact that it gives a decent mileage.

My friend Anand and I have been contemplating about a test drive of Verna for the past three weeks. Now that he has tried his hands on Swift, we just wanted to go for Verna and see how different it is from the other ones. I have opted to test drive the VGT CRDI a diesel engine ~1500CC. It was Anand who had his hands on it. Having driven few SUV's such as Honda CRV and Hyundai Tucson, I was relying on him for the power performance review. Given the fact that all the diesel engines come with excess baggage of engine sound, I was quite surprised to notice that the engine was pretty silent.

I think lot of effort was put into the ergonomic design of the car. The pedals are all at pretty good angle. The gearshift was clean and smooth. No glitches at all. What really surprised me was the turning radius of the vehicles. I personally feel it is better than Indica( I know I know.. I should not be comparing these two cars, which are from different sectors). Somehow I feel that it lacks the initial pickup, but when you hit the gas pedal a bit hard then you see the power of 110 horses under its hood. You can feel its real performance in third gear as well with 4 people in(including the one from the showroom). We were 4 people who went to check out the car and Bharani's brother missed the ride as he was on a call (guess it was to his Girl friend, you know those usual long calls.. isolated from other friends). Verna could easily climb the hilly road of Jubilee hills in third gear and take a smooth real slow turn in the same gear. The other factor that I was looking for was the ground clearance. I have my farm 9 kms from my present home. Out of 9 kms, 3 kms stretch is full of pot holes( My dad says that it has been fixed and have a black top road for 2 kms). From this it would be quite obvious that I would be looking for a vehicle with good ground clearance. Verna scored points here again, 170 mm.

Even though the fact that it is too over my budget and the other fact that I would need lot of efforts put into coaxing my dad, I just fell for it. It’s been almost 30+ hours that I drove this car and the feeling is still fresh in my mind. One more thing to checkout is the mileage of the diesel version. I no longer trust the figures from the showroom guys.

The rear legroom could have been made more spacious. Having Bharani in the car always makes us think that all cars are small no matter which one we are in. Even Verna could not dismiss that feeling. Otherwise the interiors are good and the wooden grain for the handles in SX version is pleasant. I regret not having tried the height adjustment for the driver seat.

I got a follow up call on this car.. The financier seems to be offering 90% finance on the on road price(I wonder if any one is doing so). I just need to pay 1.5 lakhs as a down payment and 18,000+ as the monthly installments for 5 years. Hmmm. I was wondering if I could borrow few lakhs from my dad…. Well, let me see if I can do it… I will definitely let you know in case I succeed in it.

My Friend Anil say's I should try Elantra and see if I still rave about Verna. For next week, I would try Innova which has always been my favorite(Given the fact that me and 4 of my best buddies are long drive freaks).

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Webserver vulnerability scanners

Having hit by few problems related to web server vulnerability, I turned to check what open source tools are available for checking my server. I quickly got got to this link. Out of the list, the one that caught my attention was Nikto. This is a based on Whisker/libwhisker for much of its underlying functionality.

So I quickly used my FC5 machine to run this. Its not like other scripts where you have to delve into the documentation to get them working. Nikto just needs a -host and -port parameters. That's nice. It ran 1900+ tests in just less than 8 seconds. hmmm.. this makes me skeptical now(anything that takes very less to complete and gives all positive results always makes me think this way). Well how do I really check what it is doing? Thankfully, Nikto has -verbose option to display all the tests that it has performed and its results. I plan to use its ssl option sometime later and check how it works..

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