GNU/Linux Users vs Rest of the world :)

i was satisfied to some extent with my internet connection but was never too happy about it. i had always thought that it could have been better. so when i got a chance to test out  another provider, i latched up the oppurtunity with both hands. but there was a glitch in it – they had a bizarre assumption about their users that all of them would be using the windows os. you need a client to first login into your account to be able to access the internet; and the client was available only for windows. in short: no windows, no internet.

i had already paid the the amount in advance and so was in a complete mess now. i spend more than 90% of my time in gnu/linux and can’t do without internet there. the sales person assured me that he will find out what he can do about my situation and get back to me, but ever since, i had been having a tough time finding him.

i could have fought to get my advance payment back but my gut feeling was that there should be a way out of my problem. i found out that the client for windows is 24Online Client used with the Cyberoam servers. i knew the open source versions of these clients are available both for windows and gnu/linux, so i downloaded the gnu/linux version of it and tried to login using it. unfortunately, there was no success here.

i thought i can always open the source code and see what exactly is not working, but already being neck-deep in other works, i postponed it to some other day and got back to my earlier internet connection. few days after that, my brother came to me  describing about another open source client for the same cyberoam network, and how it claims to handle all the versions of its protocols. it took some time for me before i could understand it all – there is a program called ‘linc’ which is a gnu/linux client for cyberoam. i downloaded it, built it, edited its configuration file and finally gave it a go. it just connected me to the internet right away, no fuss at all!
what more, i can ask it to send any MAC address of my choice in the request, which enables me to connect to the internet from any machine at my home, circumventing the restriction that i should connect only through the computer which was configured by the sales person. what a ridiculous resriction that was! but not for the gnu/linux users 🙂

the hero of the story resides here: http://linc.sourceforge.net/  and its written in beautiful C++ code, making the entire source code very readable.

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