Archive for May, 2014

Save iPhone voicemail from an iTunes backup.

OS: MacOS Mavericks
iPhone 5s

Voicemail messages are stored in the backup, and saved as one file per message. Nice. Backups are stored in:

~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

Within the Backup directory, there directories of backups for all your iDevices. I made it easy on myself by performing a backup just prior to saving the my voicemails.

Launch Terminal.

Go to the backup directory:

$ cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup

List the files/directories and sort by date:

$ ls -trl

The last directory, in my case, was the one with the most recent backup I had just completed.

Make a copy of this directory to mess around with:

$ cp -rp 44e1c7c3d719bd24e3b9dd1aa87eb924c9153ff5 /Users/jgz/TestBackup

Change directories to the where you made your copy:

In my case:

$ cd /Users/jgz/TestBackup

Then, identify the voicemail files using the file command:

$ file * | grep “Adaptive Multi-Rate Codec”

This will list all of the voice mail messages in the backed up.

Rename the files with an .amr file extension, and play them in QuickTime. Once, you find the ones you want to keep, export them as Audio only files (m4a) to keep.

Fixing yum

OS: CentOS6

I was getting a bunch of duplicate package messages when I tried to update one of my servers. It had been a while and I didn’t remember what I might have done, but I suspect that I stopped a yum update in the middle to cause all the duplicates.

Here are a list of commands that I used in the past to get yum working again:

Complete any unfinished transactions, if it was stopped in the middle at some point:

# yum-complete-transaction

Will clean all cached data:

# yum clean all

List duplicate packages:

# package-cleanup –dupes

Remove duplicate packages:

# package-cleanup –cleandupes

Minicom + Ativa USB to serial adapter on a Macbook

Well, I finally broke down and went for a USB to serial adapter, because I was getting tired of creating computer rooms hazards by running console cables into the back of servers with serial ports. And I have had to do this quite a bit lately. My primary mobile desktop is an old MacBook (early 2008) running Mavericks.

I bought an Ativa adapter from Office Depot. The key to getting it work, is to make sure you use the correct driver. The Ativa adapter was easy. I downloaded the driver from I downloaded NoZAP-Pl2303-10.9-installer.dmg, since I am running Mavericks. I mounted the DMG, and the ran the package in the mounted DMG.

Then, I downloaded and installed minicom from:

The next issue is finding the correct device file. My first guess at a newly created tty file in /dev did not work. Next time, I looked a little closer and found a file called usbserial. Too obvious.

I launched the minicom setup:

/opt/minicom/current/bin/minicom -s

Then, configure and save the configuration as outlined in, except use /dev/usbserial for the serial device file. Permissions and Terminal settings were fine. I didn’t have to change them from the defaults.

Now, I can use my laptop to access my Cisco equipment.

Windows 7 – Reset local account password

I used to use a linux based floppy for reset forgotten local passwords on Windows machines. I haven’t really kept up with whether those solutions still work or not, especially since they do not really seem needed any longer. There are a couple loopholes in the Windows 7 login interface that can allow you access to an administrator command prompt to issue a “net user” command to change the password. Both use the same kind of procedure. One replaces the sticky key command and the other the shutdown/restart button action.

Boot off of your installation DVD.

Proceed until you get to the second or third screen, and select “Repair your computer.”

This will then detect your Windows installation, and bring up a menu with five or six options to choose. Select the “Command Prompt” option.

From the command prompt, you are going to create a backup of the files you are going to replace with the command prompt executable.

Sticky key option:



Shutdown/Restart button option:


Exit out of the Command Prompt and reboot.

Once the machine has rebooted use the following to access the adminstrator Command Prompt.

Sticky key option:
Press the Shift key five times.

Shutdown/Restart button option:
Click the red Shutdown/Restart button in the bottom right corner of the logon screen.

Once you have the Command Prompt up enter:

net user MyUserName MyNewPassword

You should get a message stating that the command completed successfully.

Don’t forget to copy the backup SETHC.EXE or UTILMAN.EXE in the D:\ drive back to D:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32.




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