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Posts Tagged ‘computers

Shot Gun Wedding Review of the Lenovo ThinkPad T410

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About every three years I get a new corporate laptop.  Highly secure; “don’t mess with me – strictly business”; the corporate standard.  This is simply to say that this laptop and me is something like an arranged marriage.  Or, a shot-gun wedding.  Not my choice but I’ll “learn to love it”.  Maybe.

So, since it’s sitting here I thought I would write a short review.

Background

This is now my third ThinkPad.  My first one was a T41, the second one was a T60, and now the T410.  The T41 had the IBM logo on it.  Then IBM sold the PC Division and the ThinkPad brand to Lenovo.  When Lenovo took over ThinkPad I noticed a decrease in the quality of this line of laptops.  The T41 seemed much more of a solid machine, it had a better display than the T60, and a much better keyset.  The basic design and layout of the ThinkPad has remained essentially unchanged through these three models with the exception of the biometric device with is on the T410.  What has persisted is that “red eraser gizmo” stuck between the G and H keys.  Who uses that?  Let’s all agree that that that “pointing device” was a mistake.

The machine came with Windows 7 and it’s the pretty standard stuff. 

General Observations

  1. Price.  The price for this laptop seems very high compared to other models with the Intel Core I5 chip and similar size hard drive and memory.  For example, the Gateway, ASUS, and HP have models that are priced in the $600-$700 range where the Levono 41o is about $1,000.  (price and specs)
  2. Keyset.  To people who use a computer all day the feel of the keyset is very important.  The keyset on the Lenovo ThinkPad T410 sounds hollow when you type on it.  When I buy a laptop an important consideration is the feel of the keyset.  I have two HP Laptops, a DV6 and DV7, and I prefer the feel of these keysets.
  3. Screen.  The Lenovo ThinkPad T410 has a LED backlit screen.  Very sharp and clear.  In fact, it’s so bright that I have to tun the brightness down from the maximum brightness.
  4. Ports.  The Lenovo ThinkPad T10 has plenty of ports.  Four USB ports. eSATA, Firewire, and VGA

Unique features of the Lenovo ThinkPad T410

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

February 6, 2011 at 6:09 am

Java4Ever Movie Trailer

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Coming soon – take a look.  PG-13, please, not for sensitive viewers

Alternative link for above – http://jz10.java.no/java-4-ever-trailer.html

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June 27, 2010 at 5:01 am

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How digital-to-analog converters can be applied to the development of e-commerce

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It’s amazing how many great academic papers are out there.

Unlike the debacle with Cold Fusion, these papers are vetted by professionals before they are accepted for conferences sponsored by professional organizations such as the IEEE.

This paper was accepted with review by the 2008 International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE).

CSSE is one of the important conferences sponsored by IEEE Computer Society, which serves as a forum for scientists and engineers in the latest development of artificial intelligence, grid computing, computer graphics, database technology, and software engineering.

ABSTRACT

Recent advances in cooperative technology and classical communication are based entirely on the assumption that the Internet and active networks are not in conflict with object-oriented languages. In fact, few information theorists would disagree with the visualization of DHTs that made refining and possibly simulating 8 bit architectures a reality, which embodies the compelling principles of electrical engineering [19]. In this work we better understand how digital-to-analog converters can be applied to the development of e-commerce.

Read the full text of this paper:  Towards the Simulation of E-Commerce by Herbert Schlangemann

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June 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm

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Tips and Tutorials on Extreme Computing on YouTube

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If you are in to building extreme computing platforms you should know about this YouTube channel.

A recent video blog

The YouTube Channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/NCIXcom

Excellent!

Written by frrl

June 1, 2010 at 4:01 am

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“A Computer for your fingers” – iTouched the iPad

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Quite by accident, I found myself in front of the Apple “store within a store” at Best Buy. 

There they were.  Three iPads laying on the table, fully powered up, and waiting for someone to pick up and play with them.  Here I was; there they were; it was a match made in heaven.  So I picked one up and gave it a workout.

Here are some observations Read the rest of this entry »

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April 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm

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Extreme AMD Quad Core Overclocking – 6.5 Ghz

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What does it take?  Liquid Nitrogen, 500 Liters of Liquid Helium, take it to -242 degrees Celsius and see what happens.

See the experiment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB0JodKgZ0A

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April 29, 2010 at 3:57 pm

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Dave, The Mechanical Turk, and the fate of ordinary people

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A few days ago I had a conversation with “Dave”.  This was part of an assessment of processes and software tools in use by a Fortune 100 Insurance company.  During the interview, I asked Dave some questions about what he did, how he did it, how what he did fit into the larger picture of the business unit that he was in, and what the future was for the applications and software tools he was using to do his job.  I also asked him what ideas he had to improve (make more efficient, easier, create more value for his effort, etc) the work he did or the work of the business unit in general.

Dave was an expert at what he did and how he did it.  As far as answers to the other questions, I got mostly “don’t know” or silence regarding ideas for changes or improvement.  When Dave recognized that he did not have answers to some of the questions he seemed annoyed that I was asking these things of him.  Dave said a very profound thing to me.

“I just do what my boss tells me to do”

The question to you is, … Is Dave the perfect employee?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

April 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

The iPad – Why ask why? It “revolutionizes it”

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Are you a true believer?

 

Click this link to watch – http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1931968

Bonus – Steve’s next play, the iPhone OS 4 Event – http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/1004fk8d5gt/event/

Written by frrl

April 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Pssst… Didn’t anyone notice the guy in the torn blue jeans?

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Seems like folks are too busy to notice the guy in the torn blue jeans, sneakers, and hooded sweatshirt that just walked past them.  Perhaps they are thinking about their iPhone and/or iPad.  I wonder if any of them would talk to Apple CEO Steve Jobs if they had the opportunity?  Hmmm.  Hidden in plain sight.

Take a look – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/stevejobsatapplestore.jpg

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April 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm

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Teardown Analysis of the Apple iPad – What’s inside and what does it cost to build?

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Materials for the iPad, which went on sale on April 3, include a touch-screen display that costs $95 and a $26.80 processor designed by Apple and manufactured by Samsung Electronics Co., according to El Segundo, California-based ISuppli.

Analysis by ISuppli indicates that components of the lowest-priced, 16-gigabyte iPad amounts to 52 percent of its retail price of $499. That leaves the iPad on par with other Apple products, including the iPhone 3GS. A high-end 64-gigabyte version of the iPad, which retails for $699, contains components that cost $348.10, according to ISuppli.

Much of the iPad’s component costs went toward making…

Read the full story – http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a6fOHHpcJv7w

Now see what’s inside – http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPad-Teardown/2183/1#s11066

And inside the inside – http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple-A4-Teardown/2204/1

More teardowns of popular products – http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown

Written by frrl

April 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm

700,000 iPads sold out of the gate

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The latest estimates for iPad sales may surprise even the most optimistic Apple watchers: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster puts the number at 600,000-700,000 this weekend, including pre-orders.

By comparison, it took Apple more than 70 days to sell 1 million iPhones after the initial launch.

Ok, so take a look

And here is the manual – http://support.apple.com/manuals/#ipad

Written by frrl

April 5, 2010 at 4:56 pm

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Having Fun with the Desktop Metaphor

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Innovation and unconventional thinking as applied to the desktop metaphor.  The motto of one entrepreneurial  company is “Lets have fun – and make money.”  When I saw this demo of BumpTop I knew Anand was, at least, having fun.  Check out the demo at TED on BumpTop.

I am filing this entry under “Playful”.

Anand Agarawala demos BumpTop

Anand Agarawala presents BumpTop, a user interface that takes the usual desktop metaphor to a glorious, 3-D extreme, transforming file navigation into a freewheeling playground of crumpled documents and clipping-covered “walls.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/anand_agarawala_demos_his_bumptop_desktop.html

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April 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm

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Apple iPad Review: Laptop Killer? Pretty Close

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For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.

by Walter S. Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal
http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20100331/apple-ipad-review/

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March 31, 2010 at 4:53 am

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ASUS Express Gate –

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Gimmick, Great New Feature, or Stealth Attach of LINUX?

Your new laptop may have ASUS Express Gate.  Boots in 5 seconds.  Is this a gimmick or a great new feature.  Maybe this is the best of both worlds – an “appliance” to check e-mail, browse the web, chat with Skype, get on-line, play a few games, check the contents of a USB, gaming, and do other basic things – without booting a heavy-weight operating system.

ASUS Express Gate can turn your PC into an appliance – do you want that?

Check out some videos to see what it looks like

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w41vS3UcZdk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu4CdPRYdVc&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLMy-glv498&NR=1

Tech – New motherboards with ASUS Express Gate – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juGAE-0kuJA

Written by frrl

March 29, 2010 at 6:03 pm

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Hacker Conferences – What is ShmooCon?

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Different • ShmooCon is an annual East coast hacker convention hell-bent on offering three days of an interesting atmosphere for demonstrating technology exploitation, inventive software & hardware solutions, and open discussions of critical infosec issues. The first day is a single track of speed talks, One Track Mind. The next two days, there are three tracks: Break It!, Build It!, and Bring It On!.

Affordable • ShmooCon is about high-quality without the high price. Space is limited! ShmooCon has sold out every year, so unless taking a chance on an eBay auction to get your ticket sounds like fun, register early!

Accessible • ShmooCon is in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, just a few steps from the D.C. Metro. Fly into DCA, IAD, or BWI, or take a train to Union Station, and you are just a quick cab ride away from the con.

Entertaining • Brain melting from all the cool tech you are learning? Check out some of the contests running at ShmooCon, including the Hacker Arcade and Hack-Or-Halo. In years past, we have also thrown massive parties at a local area hot-spot, so expect that to happen again too!

Forensic Hard Drive Recovery – More than you would ever want to know
Here are the first few parts – there are 7 parts total
Pocket protector required

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5crJ39tgDA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tPJ0ZkytxU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW10HNDGP1Q
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rXgcagdsW0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv77aiKer_E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CFk0MDs0ns

Find out more here including slides and videos of past conferences  – http://shmoocon.org/

Strap on, my friends – http://myharddrivedied.com/presentations/

Written by frrl

March 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals

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The South by Southwest (SXSW) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery.

Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Austin serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW, where career development flourishes amid the relaxed atmosphere. Intellectual and creative intermingling among industry leaders continues to spark new ideas and carve the path for the future of each ever-evolving field, long after the events’ conclusion.

Find out what its about –

And view the videos from the conference – http://sxswvideos.com/

Written by frrl

March 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

AxCrypt – Keeping your information private on public backup sites and file storage

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If you are using a public backup system like Carbonite or Mozy and are concerned about the confidentiality of your data maybe this is for you.

Both Carbonite and Mozy tell you that your data is encrypted.  That may be true, but who has the keys to decrypt that data?  Very often, system administrators that work in data centers have all the access and tools they need to decrypt encrypted data.

Consider this.  Even though the data center where the data is stored may be in-country where you live  these data centers may use “low-cost globally-sourced” system administration resources.  Translated, this means that folks all over the world could have their fingers on your data.  If system administrators do have access to data and the keys then you are dependent on personal judgement and voluntary compliance with policy for these folks not to use access and tools to look at your data.  Do any of these public backup systems have a monetary penalty clause in their contracts where you will be compensated if the privacy of your data is compromised?

Why mess with any of the uncertainty of aspects of the privacy of you information that you can’t control or of which you have incomplete knowledge?  Remove the risk.  Why not simply encrypt the data before it gets into the “secure” public backup system?

For information that I allow a public backup service to store for me I use an encrypted folder.  For this I use AxCrypt.

Using AxCrypt ( free, open source ) right-click on a folder to recursively encrypt all the files and folder contained within.  Decrypt the same way – by individual file, by folder, or recursively through a set of folders.

In summary, make your concerns for the privacy of your data in the hands of a backup or file-store service provider go away by encrypting your information before it gets in their hands.

You can get AxCrypt below, plus instructions on how to use it

By the way, Mozy will give you 2GB of backup for FREE

http://www.axantum.com/AxCrypt/default.html
http://www.axantum.com/AxCrypt/HowToUse.html

Written by frrl

March 5, 2010 at 5:14 am

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VirtualizationVMware vSphere Vs. Microsoft Hyper-V: A Technical Analysis

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If you work in a large corporate environment that real PC desktop on your desk might soon turn into a virtualized desktop on a corporate virtualized environment.  Same with that application server.  Virtualization is now a mature technology.  If you have Windows 7, you already have the ability to run a virtualized Windows XP alongside Windows 7.  And this is just the start.

If you are on the techie side, and want to find out about virtualization in general and two competing solutions in particular then take a look at his white paper.

The battle to be your virtualization vendor is in full swing, and it has important ramifications for the vendors involved, and for your data center. The goal of this whitepaper is to analyze the technical aspects of the two major choices: VMware vSphere 4 and Microsoft Hyper-V R2 (as part of Windows Server 2008 R2). This paper considers server virtualization alone, not desktop virtualization or “presentation virtualization”. Certainly presentation virtualization will be an important aspect of the virtualization gamut, but with the entry of Microsoft into the server virtualization market, and the still-unrealized huge potential for server virtualization, this is a topic of great interest to many datacenters.

From the Corporate Technologies Strategy Group
Read the white paper – https://frrl.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/corporatetechnologiesstrategygroup_virtualization.pdf

Check out our previous postings on the subject of virtualization
https://frrl.wordpress.com/2009/02/19/dematerialize-your-linux-system-or-why-buy-the-taxi-when-all-you-need-is-a-ride
https://frrl.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/going-virtual-how-to-virtualize-your-linuxpc-environment

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January 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm

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The Magic Bullet (uh Packet) for Remote Computers- Wake Up on LAN

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Problem/Challenge:

You have remote computers in you house, you don’t need to have them running all the time, but when you do need them you don’t want to have to go over to the remote location to turn them on.

How do you remotely turn-on a computer from power off state?

You can read a previous article on this site on how to turn a PC “Clunker” into a usable part of your home computer assets.

For example, using FreeNas and a clunker PC (a PC headed for the trash) with only a Hard drive and a CD-ROM drive (no keyset or monitor needed) you can turn this Clunker into a useful member of society.

For example, a home network can benefit, at least, from centralized NAS (Network Attached Storage).  Beyond this FreeNas can server up a Torrent service as well as FTP, iSCSCI, and a bunch of other useful network services that you can use on you home network.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

January 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Take a video tour of Googles Container Data Center

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Google container data center tour

Fascinating –

Microsoft – “Me too! Me too!”
http://cnettv.cnet.com/peering-inside-microsoft-giant-data-center/9742-1_53-50077986.html
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10364746-56.html?tag=mncol;txt

Google’s Custom Web Servers, Revealed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgRWURIxgbU

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January 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

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Meet CAIDA – The Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis

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Pretty much all of us use the Internet not thinking about what happens underneath.  Everyone should at least recognize, and even appreciate, what it takes to run all this.

Check out CAIDA

The Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) is a collaborative undertaking among organizations in the commercial, government, and research sectors aimed at promoting greater cooperation in the engineering and maintenance of a robust, scalable global Internet infrastructure

Mission statement

CAIDA investigates practical and theoretical aspects of the Internet in order to:

  • provide insight into the macroscopic function of Internet infrastructure, behavior, usage, and evolution,
  • foster a collaborative environment in which data can be acquired, analyzed, and (as appropriate) shared,
  • improve the integrity of the field of Internet science,
  • inform science, technology, and communications public policies.

The Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis
http://www.caida.org

Ten Things the FCC Should Know about the Internet
http://www.caida.org/publications/presentations/2009/top_ten_fcc

Read the annual report to learn what these folks do
http://www.caida.org/home/about/annualreports/2008

Some great visualizations of Internet activity
http://www.caida.org/publications/visualizations

top problems of the Internet and what can be done to help
http://www.caida.org/publications/presentations/2005/topproblemsnet

If you are really into it – some great research and publications
http://www.caida.org/publications/presentations/bydate

Written by frrl

December 14, 2009 at 1:10 am

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Linux on Sony Playstation 3′s for the Dept of Defense Supercomputer

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Why is the Dept of Defense buying Sony PlayStation 3’s over IBM machines to build high performance computing clusters?

With respect to cell processors, a single 1U server configured with two 3.2GHz cell processors can cost up to $8K while two Sony PS3s cost approximately $600. Though a single 3.2 GHz cell processor can deliver over 200 GFLOPS, whereas the Sony PS3 configuration delivers approximately 150 GFLOPS, the approximately tenfold cost difference per GFLOP makes the Sony PS3 the only viable technology for HPC applications.

The U.S. Air Force is looking to buy 2,200 Sony (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 3 game consoles to build out a research supercomputer, according to an document posted on the federal government’s procurement Web site. The PlayStation 3s will be used at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s information directorate in Rome, N.Y., where they will be added to

Why is the PS3 price point so attractive?  For Sony, It’s all about the games – not the hardware.  It’s all about the razors, not the handle.

Full story here – http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2009/11/sony-still-subsidizing-us-supercomputer-efforts.ars

Releated – http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/11/end-of-the-line-for-ibms-cell.ars

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December 2, 2009 at 1:17 am

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Your Guide to “television” de-coupled from dedicated appliances and appointment viewing

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Finally, here is is a “TV Guide” for television that is not television.  Well, television that does not require a specific  receiving “appliance” or “appointment viewing”. Uh, video, you know, “moving images” not on a television.    Exactly what is going on here?  Content decoupled from traditional reception appliances and appointment viewing – what will they think of next?

Here is your video “TV Guide” in the age of disruptive technology.

http://www.clicker.com

Written by frrl

November 15, 2009 at 1:26 am

The advantage of being wrong –

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How to recover acct/password combos to clear text
and other tricks of tom foolery

Today I told someone that one could not recover passwords that were stored by IE as those login / passwords combinations on login pages when you ask IE to remember the combination and prefill it next time.

I use systems that require a password change at regular intervals.  When using the IE or FireFox capability to remember these combinations I sometimes forget the name / password combo.  When resetting a password often you need to supply the old password on a new page.  Well, unless you can remember the password or you write it down somewhere you might be out of luck.

Does IE and Firefox store username & password combinations in a recoverable form to clear text?  Well, surprisingly, yes it does.  And there is a freeware utility to recover usernames and passwords by web login page to clear text

This seems to be a big security risk.  If you share a PC with other people (family members) you can use this to see user and password combinations that are stored.  It is typical for people to reuse passwords. So, once you have a list of usernames and passwrords in clear text for a few web pages one might try these on other sites – a sort of fishing expedition.  In any case, you know the drill.

By being wrong, and vaidating I was wrong, I stumbled upon a web site with a ton of useful freeware utiities.  See links below.

Honorable mention – The SmartSniff: TCP/IP Sniffer utility is great for finding out what network conversations your machine is having while you are not around.  Run this in capture mode, do nothing, and see what your machine is doing behind your back when you are not present.

Blog
http://www.nirsoft.net/blog/

Main page of freeware utilities
http://www.nirsoft.net/

This is the utility that can recover IE passwords

IE PassView – is a small utility that reveals the passwords stored by Internet Explorer browser. It supports the new Internet Explorer 7.0, as well as older versions of Internet explorer, v4.0 – v6.0

More password recovery tools are here:
http://www.nirsoft.net/password_recovery_tools.html

Utiities I tried and like

  • Network Password Recovery – Freeware utility that recovers the network passwords stored by Windows XP (Credentials file).
  • SniffPass – Password Sniffer – Listen to your network, and capture POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, FTP, and HTTP (basic authentication) passwords
  • Protected Storage PassView – Displays all passwords and AutoComplete strings stored in your Protected Storage.
  • SmartSniff: TCP/IP Sniffer – Capture TCP/IP packets on your network adapter and view the captured data as sequence of conversations between clients and servers.
  • IECookiesView: Cookies Viewer/Manager for IE – View/Delete/Modify the cookies that Internet Explorer stores on your computer.
  • ProduKey – Recover Office/Windows CD-Key
  • WirelessNetView – View the details of all wireless network in your area (SSID, Signal Quality, MAC Address, and more…)
  • CurrPorts: TCP/IP Connections Viewer – Freeware tool that displays the list of all currently opened TCP and UDP ports on your local computer.
  • Clipboardic is a small utility that listen to the clipboard activity, and each time that you copy something into the clipboard, it automatically save the copied data into Windows clipboard file
  • USBDeview is a small utility that lists all USB devices that currently connected to your computer, as well as all USB devices that you previously used.
  • WhatInStartup – This utility displays the list of all applications that are loaded automatically when Windows starts up

frrl.wordpress.com does not recommend, support, or condone the use of any of the above.  You are fully responsible for your own judgement and behavior.

Written by frrl

October 15, 2009 at 1:36 am

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Fun with FreeNAS – iSCSI – When a local disk is not local

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Read our related posting first –

NAS for Clunkers: How to turn that old PC into a high tech Network Storage, Web Server, and Torrent Server

“iSCSI uses TCP/IP (typically TCP ports 860 and 3260). In essence, iSCSI simply allows two hosts to negotiate and then exchange SCSI commands using IP networks.

By doing this iSCSI takes a popular high-performance local storage bus and emulates it over wide-area networks, creating a storage area network (SAN). Unlike some SAN protocols, iSCSI requires no dedicated cabling; it can be run over existing switching and IP infrastructure.

As a result, iSCSI is often seen as a low-cost alternative to Fibre Channel, which requires dedicated infrastructure.”

FreeNAS_Logo

The Further Adventures….

Further adventures with FreeNAS running on a PC Clunker tucked away in the basement…

I decided to try to get iSCSI to work in FreeNAS.  Both Windows Vista and Windows 7 has built-in support for iSCSI.

What is iSCSI?

What is iSCSI?  In a few words, iSCSI is the SCSI protocol over an IP network.

And what is SCSI?  SCSI is a protocol that a computer can use to talk to peripherals of all kinds.

The Apple Mac used SCSI a long time ago while PC people were fumbling with IRQ’s and DMA settings to get their peripherials to work.

SCSI is easy and Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a good choice to use SCSI attached peripherals for the Mac back in 1984.

What can iSCSI do for you?

So, enough of that.  What can iSCSI and FreeNAS do for you?  What it can do is make a chunk of storage on a network look like a local disk on your PC.  Why would you want to do this?  Keep reading.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by frrl

August 25, 2009 at 6:59 am

NAS for Clunkers: How to turn that old PC into a high tech Network Storage, Web Server, and Torrent Server

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FreeNAS_Logo

Life for your old PC

What to do with that old PC.  What to do – what to do – what to do?  How about using it for a NAS device?

NAS is “Network Attached Storage”.  Better to use that PC for NAS than throwing it in the trash.  NAS requires only the most minimal PC resources to serve up Terabytes of storage and provide a huge number of other services across a network.

And what could be better than “free”?

FreeNAS

The goal of this posting is simply to get you to look at some free software.  The software is called FreeNAS and it can do some amazing things – for Free, and on a PC headed for the trash.

Bottom line on NAS is that it’s storage on the network.  It’s storage on the network that can be made available in a multiplicity of ways to just about any operating system (Mac, Windows, UNIX)

What do you need to set this up?

Here is the great part, there is an option of FreeNAS that does not require you to install any software at all.  FreeNAS can boot off of a Live-CD.  Configuration can be stored on a USB stick.  No software to install at all.

Doesn’t need keyboard, mouse, or monitor

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Written by frrl

August 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Review of the Apple iPod Touch – Redux: Our iLife

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ipodtouch_2d_logoProgress Report

I bought the Apple iPod Touch about a week ago at a local Best Buy.  I asked the blue-shirted-one “What is the return policy?”  He said “30 days”.  “No questions asked?”, I replied.  “Don’t worry”, he said, “You won’t return it”.  He was right!

After a week of use I can say that the Apple iPod Touch has changed the way I interact with the Internet for some subset of common activities.  For example, tiny things like checking my e-mail, checking the weather forecast, checking breaking news, finding out what’s happening in the financial markets, checking who was on-line on Skype – all these things used to take me to a painful trip to my laptop.

No more trips to the laptop

Now that has fundamentally changed.  With a home wireless network and the Apple iPod Touch all of these capabilities – and more – are now in my shirt pocket or a short reach away on the table.  Even if the iPod Touch is powered off it only takes 15 seconds to boot.

Untethered at last

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Written by frrl

April 26, 2009 at 4:14 am

Posted in Commentary and Opinion

Tagged with ,

Review of the Apple iPod Touch: First Date

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ipod_touch_2_0

Game Changer

If you are a traditional user of mp3 players you should know that Apple has fundamentally changed the game with the Apple iPod Touch. 

The game-changer in the iPod Touch is the presence of WiFi/Internet connectivity that is seamlessly integrated into the device.  This positions the Apple iPod Touch someplace between a traditional mp3 player and the iPhone.  Steve Jobs has called the iPod Touch “training wheels for the iPhone”.  Yes!

Location sensing without GPS

If the WiFi/Internet connectivity was not enough, when connected, the Apple iPod Touch has some clever technology the provides it the capability to determine it’s location – without GPS. 

Location sensing based on your IP address can be scary accurate in some cases.  Your mileage may vary – but for me, the Apple iPod Touch, on the basis of IP address alone, was able to determine my location within 3 houses. 

Location-based determination based on IP address alone is a demonstration of types of information that your Internet service provider can aggregate to find your geographic location.  Folks that believe that they are Internet surfing in anonymity with dynamically assigned IP addresses should take note.

It is also a testament to the innovation of Apple that they have leveraged this capability to make some very smart location-based applications  A couple of these applications are the supplied mapping program and the Google Earth Application.  You can download the Google Earth application for the iPod Touch for free from the App Store.

Touch Screen User Interface

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Written by frrl

April 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

Linux Plug Computing

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Read about Linux Plug Computing – Linux in a box the size of a wall-wart power supply
Lots of technical doc and schematic on the website.  Order a prototype and dev kit for $99

The SheevaPlug is a development platform, targeted for use as a plug computer, and designed to run network-based software services. It features a Kirkwood Series SoCwithan embedded Marvell Sheeva™ CPU core running at 1.2 GHz. This device connects to the network using GbE, offers desktop class performance, and can be used to replace a PC-based home server for many applications. Peripherals connect using the included USB 2.0 port.

The development kit is enclosed in a plastic case that also contains a universal power supply. For developers a USB-based debug connection is included to enable simple debuggingand reprogramming.

http://www.marvell.com/products/embedded_processors/developer/kirkwood/sheevaplug.jsp
http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/p-22-sheevaplug-dev-kit.aspx

Written by frrl

March 8, 2009 at 4:34 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Dematerialize your Linux System: Or, why buy the Taxi when all you need is a ride?

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See our related articles:
Going Virtual-How to Virtualize your Linux/PC Environment
Let the Republic of China Backup your Linux and Windows PC

cloudcomputing_logoIt’s the great chain of related content.  First we suggested that you use Clonezilla to do disaster recovery on your Linux System.  Then we suggested  that you don’t need that – that you should go Virtual instead.  Would you ever trust us or are we just giving you the run around on what do to about your pesky Linux system?

Regarding Linux disaster recovery what problem are we trying to solve?  We are trying to solve a problem that, really, needs to be solved because we may have made an error in judgement.  Or, simply, that we don’t understand things clearly.  What have we not understood – what is the essence of the question that will inform our judgement?

Lets think about this.  We have confused value with hardware.  You need to ask yourself a critical question.  Is Linux about Linux or is Linux about creating value? 

If you answer that Linux is about value – then the hardware and the operating system is a nuisance – you need to make it go away.  Really, you need to transfer the nuisance and the problem to someone else.

Computing in the Cloud

So, now the ultimate solution to your disaster recovery backups and the pesky physical hardware that sits there running Linux – contemplating in-itself when it will surprise you with a disk or other hardware failure – is to think in a new way about why you would want to own any hardware at all. 

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Written by frrl

February 19, 2009 at 6:38 pm

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