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GentleSpoon Posts

Bypassing ISP Incoming Traffic Restriction on Port 80

A couple of days ago, my friend Jeffery registered a new domain name, and he pointed that domain to his server located in his apartment. But his ISP, Cox Communications, blocked some common ports, namely 80, 443. Basically, with these ports being blocked, one could not easily run an Internet-accessible website. As a result, Jeffery had to append the port number explicitly, which is not only a pain in life but also a significant impact on SEO. So he came to see if I can help him out.

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URL Shortening

Two days ago, I had something that I really wanted to share with my friends, so I uploaded it to my personal file sharing server. But the sharing URL was long, about 60 characters. I thought, if I could provide a shorter and easier-to-remember sharing URL, probably more people will visit the shared file. But none of the existed URL shortening services satisfied my need. I end up making my own URL shortening system.

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OPT Application Status Estimation

Students under the F-1 visa usually apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) to get work authorization from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). When one application is received by the USCIS, they issue a receipt number. Using this receipt number to check one’s progress (here) is highly unsatisfying. The application usually takes up to 4 months to process. Until the work authorization is approved, students will only get a somewhat useless paragraph like this:

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