How I prepared myself for North South University

Why did I switch from engineering to business admin?

I was a student of Diploma in Electrical Engineering. It took me 8 years to finish just because of my laziness and greed for money.

I got my final results in January 2017. At that time, I was working for a software company as a business development manager. I never liked mathematics, so engineering never felt appealing to me. But I did like counting dollars 😀

So I decided to switch my track and get rid of boring maths. In the beginning, I was considering the art department and was saving money for the university.

But later due to some personal issues, I decided to pursue business administration. I have heard about the Institute of Business Administration (IBA in short) admission process and how hard it is. So I decided to go to North South University.

Does NSU really allow people from all discipline to any of their departments?

Yes! In fact, all the educational institute all over the world accepts any equivalent degree or certification. I have never seen a ‘No’ at any university for any subject. There are a variety of students from all the traditional high school certificate holders and even GRE or GED students. They have their door open for everyone.

When the university announced the admission for Fall 2017 semester, I called the office and asked if a diploma engineering student can get admission in their business school. They asked if my total grades are 8 or above on a scale of ten. When I replied positive, they asked me to visit their office with all my papers.

After having a look at all of my academic papers, they still did not confirm and asked me to sit for the admission test. The only condition was to get through the admission test. If I do well, they will allow me in their school.

Preparing for the admission test

I had left my job already and I had plenty of time to get prepared. But I never took traditional education seriously. So I was basically talking with my flatmates who are already studying at NSU and was trying to know how the environment and rules are. I was taking mental preparation by watching numerous Bangla, Hindi, English movies and TV series.

When only 1 week was left, I thought I should give this event a bit more importance as I have already paid 1535 taka for the admission test. So I went to Nilkhet and bought a book for the admission test which was made by Mentors. My flatmates suggested this book and they too used it to prepare for the aptitude test.

I was quite confident about my English. Because I have always got more than 80% marks on all my English exams since school and was working with international clients from last 3 years.

I am also good at creative writing. So I only focused on maths entirely. When only 3 days were left from the date of the admission test, I was frustrated with the book and started watching videos from Khan Academy about basic maths which are taught in the sixth grade. I wanted to learn everything from the beginning. But I got tired after a day!

The day of admission test

I was feeling a bit nervous because I live on the same block as the university and all the cars started honking since 9 and I could not sleep properly due to excessive Facebooking.

I went for the admission test with an empty stomach and there was no literal preparation. As the test was an “aptitude test”, I thought if I really have learnt anything all these years, then I will be allowed. If not, I always have some other options.

As I was not burning my father’s money and was on my own, I did not have any pressure on me.

There were volunteers to guide me to the exam hall. So it did not feel like a puzzle like any other public universities.

The question had 4 parts if I remember correctly. Everyone has to complete each part on the designated time slot. No one was even allowed to peek on the upcoming questions! I liked this method. If I got to have a look at all the questions before I start answering, I might have felt anxious and would have done something wrong.

The good thing about the exam that they offered a juice pack during the exam. When everyone was sweating with the composition, I was sipping the box. The exam was quite fun actually.

The result was published after 3 days and I got accepted for both the subjects I have preferred!

Important Tips

  1. Use a good photo when you submit the admission form. Else you would end up looking like a cartoon on your ID. They use the same picture everywhere from the admission form. Also, friends will mock you 😐
  2. You can submit the payment using a card. When I went to the university, there was heavy rainfall and I couldn’t go to the bank. So I took help from an ex-colleague and used his card.

If you are planning to join NSU, please feel free to comment below and ask any question you have 🙂

How to turn on or off a module from Jetpack

I was setting up Jetpack for a new site. I like the WordPress.com interface and love to have all the sites within one single app!

I wanted to use their contact form feature on the new site. But the changes on the form settings were not being saved. Read More

আমি কিভাবে অনলাইনে সেফ থাকি?

“হ্যাক” শব্দটার সাথে আমাদের সবারই কম বেশি পরিচয় আছে। তবে প্রযুক্তির উন্নয়নের সাথে সাথে পূর্বে প্রচলিত উপায়ে কারও একাউন্ট দখল করা বা তথ্য বিকৃত বা নষ্ট করা সহজ না। অর্থাৎ, কি লগার ইন্সটল, ভাইরাস ছড়িয়ে দেওয়া এখন একটু কঠিন।

কিন্তু সোশ্যাল ইঞ্জিনিয়ারিং সেই তুলনায় অনেক সহজ। একটু অসাবধান হলেই হারাতে পারেন নিজের প্রিয় ফেসবুক একাউন্ট, হতে পারেন বদনামের শিকার।

Read More

Script to Install a Webserver on Debian and OSX in Minutes

Each time I reinstall the OS on my laptop, I have to struggle with the web server installation and configuration. Because I have minimal hardware and I like my environment clutter free.

So I used to install each package one by one and I had to google a couple of times. One of my colleague from weDevs wrote a cool script to install everything at once. No googling required!

Here is the link to the repo

https://github.com/sohelamin/webserver-setup

It has composer included. So if you need to install WP CLI, then it will ease the process too.

Please let me know if you have any questions about servers 🙂

Reset Lubuntu, Ubuntu or Any Debian Based Distro and Migrate to Other Distro

I was using Lubuntu since last two months on my laptop. But I had scrambled some PHP versions and had multiple apache2 installations. Moreover, my ibus based language input system was conflicting with a earlier installed version.

I was also not happy with the graphics and performance of Lubuntu. So I decided to have a fresh Ubuntu install.

I used Rufus first but the pen drive did not boot. Checked the boot priority, it was okay and the USB device was the first priority. Tried again and failed.

I don’t know why I enabled fast boot later but that totally removed the bios accessing system. Esc, F1, F12, Del… none of the keys helped.

So used the “Startup Disk Creator” tool of Lubuntu. I had some issues earlier last week when I tried to set up a IP Logging server and used “Unet bootin”. So did not try that one. Nothing was helping and it was 12 in the morning.

Then suddenly it clicked on my mind that Lubuntu is a variant of Ubuntu, so I might be able to migrate. So after a couple of searches. I found the commands. But despite following each and every step carefully, Lubuntu was still there.

At the end, I came to know about Resetter – an awesome tool to factory reset any Debian based distro.

It worked really quick and did the trick!

Here is the repo link of Resetter

https://github.com/gaining/Resetter

If you have any questions, please free to ask them in the comments section. I will try my best to help.

How to Renew Let’s Encrypt SSL

Recently I wrote a tutorial to install Let’s Encrypt SSL on a shared hosting. The SSL certificate of my site is about to expire next month and I got 2 notification emails. So I have renewed the certificate today.

Read More

How to Install Let’s Encrypt Free SSL on NameCheap Shared Hosting

Last year, I heard about Let’s Encrypts free SSL. But I was using WordPress.com to host my website. So I already had SSL on my site. So I did not pay much attention to it.

From 2017, I am quite serious about my site and have a plan to write regularly on my blog. I have a “bad reputation” for coming up with a new idea every morning. So yesterday I installed the free SSL certificate on my shared hosting and saved 10 USD!

So here’s how I did it.

  1. Searched for “Free SSL” on google. (I forgot the name Let’s Encrypt 😝 ).
  2. Then I found a couple of organizations and the name “Let’s Encrypt” clicked in my head! Because my boss mentioned this name earlier.
  3. Then I searched again “Let’s encrypt on a shared hosting” and opened another tab to check if NameCheap has any built-in support for Let’s Encrypt. So I searched again.
  4. Then I found this article: How To Install Free SSL From Let’s Encrypt On Shared Hosting
  5. Opened up the terminal on my MacBook and wrote
    ssh -p 21098 myUserName@sekander.pro
    Here  -p 20198 is the port number for shell access. I got the port number from NameCheap’s Support doc.
  6. Then I used my cPanel password as the shell password.

    But the terminal told me that I do not have shell access enabled on my hosting. So I contacted NameCheap support via live chat.

  7. So I logged in again and ran the commands following commands
    git clone https://github.com/kelunik/acme-client
    cd acme-client
    php -r "copy('https://getcomposer.org/installer', 'composer-setup.php');"; php composer-setup.php; php -r "unlink('composer-setup.php');"; php composer.phar install --no-dev
    php bin/acme setup --server letsencrypt --email your@email.com
    php bin/acme issue --domains yourdomain.com:www.youdomain.com --path /home/x123011738/public_html:/home/x123011738/public_html --server letsencrypt
    Requesting certificate ...
    Successfully issued certificate.
    See /home/x123011738/acme-client/data/certs/acme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org.directory/yourdomain.com
    cd /home/x123011738/acme-client/data/certs/acme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org.directory/yourdomain.com

    Then I copied the contents of the fullchain and key file using the commands below and saved on my desktop with the same name.

    cat fullchain.pem
    cat key.pem
  8. Then, I logged into the cPanel of my site and found the option to manage SSL Certificates. I selected the domain and uploaded the files I have made on my desktop.If your site has static HTML files, then you’re done till here. But mine is a WordPress powered site. So I had to change the URL structure from wp-admin → Settings → General. I have changed http://sekander.pro to https://sekander.pro and then saved the settings.
  9. But I was not happy yet. Because I found the SSL certificate on the single posts and pages. But it was not working on the homepage 😐
  10. So I had to google again “Setup SSL WordPress” and found that I need to paste something in my .htaccess file!
  11. I logged in to the cPanel again and good lord! There’s no .htacess file on the hosting root! How’s this possible! How can a WordPress site run without a .htacess file!
    Then my colleague, who luckily works on the Dokan plugin support team, told me that it could be hidden. So I enabled showing hidden files and voila! The file was there with hefty lines of rewrite rules and allowing file types to uploading.
  12. I pasted the following lines at the very end of the .htacess file
    <IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.yoursite.com/$1 [R,L]
    </IfModule>

    This article has more detailed information: How to Add SSL and HTTPS in WordPress

    It helped me to redirect the traffic with http to redirect to https. So now I can see the green https on the home page 😄

  13. I have setup a cron job to renew the SSL certificate every month.

This is all I have done to activate SSL on this site. If you get confused or need any clarification from me, feel free to comment below 🙂

Firefox Test Pilot Sprint, Dhaka

It’s been a long I have attended a Mozillians event;

Hossain Al Ikram, the community lead of Mozilla QA Bangladesh gave a status on his Facebook profile asking for a photographer for his next event. I had moderate experience using DSLR cameras. So I commented on that status and this is how I got invitation to join the Firefox Test Pilot Sprint Dhaka.

I had no idea about the venue or the date when I opted in. There was a 3 day vacation because of the weekend and one national holiday and that wicked man arranged the event between that.

I was planning to go out of Dhaka and spend some quiet time alone. But attending a community event is exciting too. So I decided to stay at the city and attend both days.

Luckily, he managed 3 or more professional photographers for the event. So I was there just like a regular contributor.

What did we do?

Firefox made the test pilot program to allow the QA contributors to test new features on their existing browser with just an add-on installed.

The graphics on the test pilot site is cool and I really liked the UX. You should check their site here https://testpilot.firefox.com/

I have tested Snooze Tabs, Page Shot, Min Vid and Activity Stream. They are really useful feature. Especially, I liked the Snooze Tabs and Page Shot feature. I was out managing the snacks along with the organizer in the evening. So I could not join the attendees to test the container feature. I think it would be the next big deal for Firefox.

What was different this time?

On previous events, there would be some selected peers and mentors to demonstrate things and they would be everywhere disregard the topic, place and audience.

But this time I saw all the new faces! I have never met any of them except 3-4 contributors. I found a new contributor from my college and I felt great. He helped me with the ticket and took a selfie with me :p

Meeting new people is one of my favorite things. So I can say that this weekend did not went into vain.

Everything was well organized, the meal was warm and delicious. The organizers and mentors arranged some fun activities to keep the attendees energized. So it was not that much boring after all!

The last surprise was celebrating a contributors birthday. We had a cake, cola and a lot of party foam. Literally everyone was covered with party foam. The birthday girl had quite a bath with the foam.

On the second day, I got a chance to talk about writing blogs and gave some tips to make their work easily accessible and enjoyable.

I don’t remember if we have finished any blog post on our previous events. But this time we had multiple blogs completed in Bengali and English before lunch. So that was a great achievement.

I was tired from the week long office pressure. So I left early on the last day and I don’t have a picture with the group -_-

But here is a group picture from Day 1 😀