Archive for the ‘Computer Related Notes’ Category

Ubuntu – /var/log/syslog not rotating.

I was having trouble with any of the logs managed by rsyslog not rotating. This resulted in a number of huge log files, especially the /var/log/syslog file. Not only those but also others from remote systems since I was using this server as a syslog server.

All I needed to do is comment out the following line in the /etc/rsyslog.conf file:

$PrivDropToUser syslog

I restarted the rsyslog service.

# service rsyslog restart

Linux – Extract Files from an RPM file.

Make sure you copy the rpm to a temp area to extract the files.

# rpm2cpio somerpm | cpio -idmv

Windows Performance Monitor – Data Collector Sets

When you create a Data Collector Set in Windows 2012 server, the task is disabled in the Task Scheduler. You will find it under Microsoft/Windows/PLA. Just right mouse click the task and select Enable. Then, you right mouse click on it again and select Run to start it. They really should have allowed that from within Performance Monitor.

Quickly create an MD5 string in linux.

$ echo -n “mysupersecretpassword” | md5sum
117a520adbd19eff51100215aa7a7fbf –

I had to use this to change the Joomla 3 password stored in a MySQL database that I forgot for the only account I had created.

MySQL> UPDATE wxyz_users SET PASSWORD=’117a520adbd19eff51100215aa7a7fbf’ WHERE username=’myadminaccount’;

How to restore Outlook views

To restore your Outlook views to the default, you just need to start Outlook with a cleanviews switch. In Windows 7 and up, it is easiest to let search do the work for you. Just type in the command:

outlook.exe /cleanviews

There are quite a few other switches available for Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013.

I have used the /safe switch many times in the past for older versions when I have trouble with Outlook crashing.

Extract Windows 8 Product Key from BIOS

I used the following procedure to extract the Windows 8 key from a Lenovo desktop.

Download RW from: I used the 64-bit portable version.

Copy the Win64 directory from the zip to your local drive.

Execute the RW.EXE program in the Win64\Portable directory.

Once open, click the ACPI icon or select ACPI Tables from the menu.

Then, click on the MSDM tab in the ACPI Table window.

You will find the key in the bottom of the ACPI Table window.

Remove dead Favorites in Finder (MacOS)

Picked up a nefty little trick to remove those pesky Favorites in Finder that are dead. The ones you click on and nothing happens. Well, to get them back, you need to restablish the connection to the share/folder and drag them to your Favorites. However, sometimes this does not fix the dead ones. To remove those, hold down option+command and drag the dead Favorite to the Trash.

Legit unlock after jailbreaking iPhone 4.

AT&T was nice enough to finally allow those of us who have had to pay about $2400 for the privilege of using an iPhone on their network for the last two years the opportunity unlock our devices. It is about time AT&T stepped up on this one. Well, as soon as I read the statement from AT&T, I was all set. I have a 3Gs and a 4 that I have wanted to unlock since the day they were off contract. As you have seen in one of my previous posts, I have been able to successfully unlock my 3Gs and use it (with a couple minor issues). However, I would really prefer to do it legitimately, and maintain Apple supported updates.

First, about the unlock process. It is actually Apple that does the unlocking. AT&T sends the request to Apple, but Apple actually does it. Once your phone is unlocked, you just need to restore it, and when it goes through what is usually the activation process, it unlocks the phone and presents a message stating as such in iTunes. One thing to note, if you had you had your phone warranty replaced by Apple, AT&T will need to contact Apple to approve the unlocking. Apple will only unlock the phone, if AT&T tells Apple it is ok. I was able to have the AT&T representative place me on hold while she contacted Apple and told them it was approved to make sure the process went smoothly. The AT&T representatives were actually very helpful and a pleasure to deal with. Something, I absolutely did not expect. It was a pleasant surprise.

I have been able to successfully unlock my jailbroken iPhone4. I did have some minor complications, but it all stemmed from the fact that my hosts file had been modified ( during some of my jailbreaking adventures.

I was running 4.3.3 on my iPhone. I restored/upgraded the phone to 5.1, after commenting out the entry in my /etc/hosts file (MacOSX Lion). Once restored, I got the message in iTunes telling me I had successfully unlocked my phone. So, I have a newly updated iPhone 4 running IOS 5.1 unlocked.

My next challenge is getting my iPhone 3Gs 5.01 baseband 06.15.00 updated to IOS 5.1 unlocked. Unfortunately, I think I have passed the point of no return with that device, because the baseband is a iPad baseband. It was the only way I could unlock the phone at the time. Thanks for that one AT&T.

Serial console saga … again.

This doesn’t come up for me very often, but when it does, it is always a pain. Well, I finally had enough … again. I needed a serial console connection much like those needed for network equipment (routers, switches, etc). Last time, I was determined not to use HyperTerm, one of the worst applications (Why is this still in the documentation for these devices?). I decided to approach it from a linux client, instead of Windows. I happily used minicom in linux, until today when I needed to upload firmware to a SAN controller using XMODEM 1K. It would not work no matter what I tried including adding -k to the sw command.

So, back to Windows I went. I tried putty, because it is light and no installation is required. However, putty does support XMODEM at all. Nonetheless, putty provides great quick console access.

Next, I tried Tera Term VT, and this worked well. Got connected right up to the console, and it seems to support XMODEM 1k as well. I have been able to transfer the firmware to the controller, however, the firmware is not installing despite saying that the download was successful. It looked so promising too.

Windows System Restore from command line

To run the System Restore from the command line in Safe mode:

Restart the computer and hold down the F8 key while it restarting.

Select the “Safe mode with a Command prompt” option.

Enter in the command prompt:

In Windows XP:
C:\> %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe

In Windows 7:
C:\> %systemroot%\system32\rstrui.exe

This is the best way to go back to a different restore point in Windows XP and 7.

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