Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Warning: this post contains technical information and is unsuitable for technologically-challenged people (the kind that can't find their bold and underline) :D

no, the title isn't referring to me. it's what happened yesterday/today. we're trying to roll out a product at the office, and it involves some cryptography using 3DES. We ran up against a problem where we had a 128-bit key, but the default cryptography provider supplied with Java would not accept 128-bit keys for 3DES operations. We ended up having to write a separate application in .NET to handle the operations, since .NET accepts such keys and does the needful, and moved on with development. Over the weekend, another company we intend to work with sent over a key — you guessed right — it was a 128-bit key. To be honest, the entire thing spoilt my entire day (for reasons I do not care at this point to divulge). I was a complete grouch by the end of the day, especially since I felt that none of the advice we were able to source could solve the problem. Outsourcing the concern to a .NET application again would work, but the cryptographic operation we needed to do was in the core of the application, not on the fringe, as the previous case. I was dead set (though I didn't tell anyone) against migrating that functionality to another program again.

the day finally came to an end and I moved on to a program at church. We've been having a 21-day fasting-and-prayer program, and I'd felt much like a spectator most of all the other days. Last night though, Pastor Nuel announced God wanted to solve problems, real issues. I decided my problem was real enough, and just followed the instructions he gave, including giving sacrificially in the offering, which was taken for the poor. I didn't have much on me, and I decided to give everything I had on me into that offering. I chose to believe that God would take my problem as his own, and I'd not have to bother about it. I ended up walking home from church last night (sorry, Mr A., Mr B.!), and this morning, to the bus stop where I'd catch the bus to the island.

I posted the problem on StackOverflow this morning, but nothing that really helped worked. All the information I'd obtained was useless. I decided I wasn't doing to despair like yesterday, even though the temptation was really, really strong. I've no idea when exactly, but I just decided to use the Bouncy Castle JCE provider instead of the default Sun provider, and it worked! I'm really, really, happy I decided to believe what Pastor Nuel said yesterday!

And now, back to work!

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