Loading...


Aug 31, 2009

How To Bypass Windows Password Security

Once again, here is another segment from Episode 13 of Bauer-Power. Now we all know of the various live cd password reset disks out there. hell, I've blogged about them in the past. the only problem with those is that they are very obvious to systems administrators after you have come and gone. I mean, why the hell is the admin password changed on this box? That is something I would be asking.

Well there is an easier, and more covert way to access the admin account on Windows (And even Linux machines). It comes in the form of Kon-boot which is a bootable cd that completely lets you bypass password authentication on Windows and many forms of Linux. Here is the video demonstration I did of Kon-boot for Episode 13:

So what have we learned here? How about a little hard drive encryption? That is a lot harder to get around than a plain old password. What else have we learned? How about the importance of physical security. If people can get access to your equipment, they own that equipment right?

Have you used Kon-boot already? Like? Dislike? Hit us up in the comments!

Aug 28, 2009

Falcon PUNCH!

It’s Friday and I am traveling today so I figured I would make this post simple. Here is the “bit” portion to Wednesday’s Bauer-Power Episode 13 post by itself.

In this bit, Sundance I decide to go back and forth Falcon Punching each other. For those of you who don’t know, here is a “definition” of Falcon Punch from the Urban Dictionary:

To focus a legendary amount of EPIC and WIN into one's fist, then delivering the force while screaming "FALCON PAWNCH!!!" It can destroy everything, including your mom, who's fat... It can only be delivered by those who have balls of steel

Balls of steel you say? For sure! Here is Sundance and I Falcon Punching each other! Enjoy!



Aug 27, 2009

Free education online

It's been about a year since I graduated with my degrees from college and I have again begun to feel the urge to learn. I don't know about you by my appetite for the consumption of knowledge is voracious. I feel a personal loss if I have gone through a whole day without learning and as such have the page a day calendar, with useful facts of biology, my bathroom reader is a light read on astrophysics and I am proud to have a home library overfilling our three bookshelves and computer desk. Alas my local library is somewhat lacking in anything meant for an adult reader of non-fiction and it's hours are unfortunately inaccessible for anyone with a 9 to 5 job so that tends to be a dead end. Luckily there is a local community college nearby which has a vast library, but a 30 minute drive 5 towns over just doesn't cut it for me. It was in this way that I decided to see what the wide world of the web had. I was not disappointed.

While getting a degree online for free is impossible as far as I can tell, there is a fairly low cost option of getting an unaccredited degree from The University of the People. Unaccredited means it won't be recognized by other schools as legitimate, though some employers may take it. If you really want a low, low cost education this is the place to get one. Currently you can only get a Business Administration degree or a Computer Science degree. The fee for graduation is based on need. The Open University out of the UK used to be a free model but has since moved to an at cost model, which actually costs as much or more than some US schools.

If I only had  a brain So, getting a degree can be sketchy, but how about just plain learning? Well you are in luck. Lecturefox provides links to free course lectures that are either video, audio or notes from some top schools around the US and other prominent English language schools. Another site for getting actual courses from schools around the world in many languages is the Open Courseware Consortium and is well worth a look for a wide variety of languages.

Maybe strict education isn't your thing. That's okay, there are plenty of sites to meet your whimsy from sites like Instructables, which if you haven't been to I highly recommend just for the sheer insanity that is possible from the site's many wacky and useful contributors. Another source of sheer information is E-How. Anything you might need to know is there, it's kind of like a worst case survival website, just don't confuse the e for an i or interesting results can ensue. Yet another video site is SuTree, which is filled with free video tutorials on many, many different subjects. Lastly you can root around the Library of Congress which is filled with information, though it isn't exactly a directed source.

While there are countless sites for free video tutorials on the web and there may be more educational sites I have missed, that you can feel free to include in the comments, I just wanted give a well rounded collection of what is available on the web. Before I close, I wanted to give a link to Jimmy R's wonderful list which I stumbled on researching this topic. He includes some of the sources I have listed though some of his information is slightly out of date most of it is top notch. So before you get down about the recession holding back your learning, open a page in a book or on the web and let the next chapter in your lifelong learning endeavor begin.

 

Aug 26, 2009

Bauer-Power Episode 13

The wife is out of town again. You know what that means? When the cat is away the mice will play! That is right, Sundance and I got together to do another awesome episode of Bauer-Power!

In this episode of Bauer-Power Sundance tells us about Vuze, Paul shows us how to bypass Windows password security using Konboot, and Sundance and Paul spend all day Falcon Punching each other!

I have to tell you that although the Falcon Punch segment was pretty fun to do I didn’t walk away without injury. In the seen where Sundance comes through the door and socks me I fell back onto my couch and my forehead hit the wood frame of the couch. That hurt like a mutha, but it was nothing compared to the pool seen. When I fell back into the pool, I essentially did a belly flop, but on my back. My back ached for a few days after that, but it was worth it for such an epic shot!

falcon punch

Anyway, what did you think of this episode? Let us know your thoughts, suggestions, likes, dislikes etc in the comments!

Aug 25, 2009

Nice! Homebrew Apps For The Palm Pre!

Okay, forget what I said yesterday about not having too many apps for the Palm Pre. About ten minutes after writing that post, I happened upon the PreCentral Homebrew channel! Now, they certainly don’t have as many apps as the iPhone, or Blackberry Storm yet, but the app pool is getting deeper and deeper!

The best part, in my opinion about it is that in order to use these Homebrew apps, you must first put your phone into dev mode. To do that do the following:

  • From card view type the following without quotes:

          “upupdowndownleftrightleftrightbastart”

  • You will see an icon pop up to enter development mode. Touch that, and enable development mode. Your Pre will need to restart.

Here is a video that better explains it:

Contra anyone?

contra nintendo

Anyway, after that little bit of geeky awesomeness, you can download the WebOS Quick Install tool from PreCentral.net

webosquickinstall

Once installed, you can easily install any one of 140+ Homebrew apps from PreCentral.net as well as any other sites that pop up!

Aug 24, 2009

I Gots Me A Palm Pre

If you have been following my on Twitter or Facebook lately, you know that I recently entered the market for a new cell phone. You see, I just accepted an offer to go work at one of the fastest Sharepoint consulting and hosting companies in the United States. With that I had to give up my Blackberry Pearl that belongs to my old company. With my new company they gave me the option of taking a company phone, or expensing a personal one. I decided to go with the latter!

Because this was going to be my personal phone it had one requirement, to be awesome! Also, My wife had big concerns about the monthly cost of the data plan since my company was only going to let me expense a portion of the bill, and not the whole thing. So I went shopping and I looked at the following phones:

As you can tell by that line-up I was looking for a touch screen phone with the ability to sync wirelessly with Microsoft Exchange. I first liked the idea of the Blackberry Storm because right now Verizon has a 2 for one deal on them. Right now you can get two Storms for $99 with a 2 year contract. That of course caught me eye, however my wife did not want a Storm.

Next I decided on getting an iPhone. I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t love their iPhone, so I figured why not. That was until a buddy of mine told me about how crappy the AT&T service is. So I decided that I would keep looking.

Next I checked out what T-Mobile had to offer. They have the MyTouch 3G powered by Google’s Android. I liked it. It was small, and seemed to be pretty fast when I was playing with the demo model at the store. One thing I generally hate about PDA phones is that for the most part they are huge. I like small cell phones, so the MyTouch 3G seemed like a good idea. So I put that in the back of my mind and headed over to the Sprint store.

PalmPre When I walked into the Sprint store I started playing with the Palm Pre which was pretty cool. Then Sprint showed me their plan prices, and that is what sold it for me! All of their plans come with unlimited data and unlimited text. So for $69.99 per month I get 450 minutes and unlimited everything else (Includes unlimited night and weekends, and unlimited mobile to mobile).

Okay, so now you know why I bought the Pre, here is what I really like about it:

  • Wireless sync with Exchange/any other email services
  • Touch Screen
  • Pull out Qwerty keyboard
  • Wireless backup with Palm
  • Remote Wireless wipe with Palm (Incase you lose your phone)
  • Smaller form factor than iPhone
  • Easily copy files/media over via USB without the need for special software
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • 3.2 Mega Pixel camera
  • Wireless software update

This phone is pretty awesome, but there are some things that I am not too happy with which are:

  • No ability to “mark all as read” in email
  • Copy and paste is kind of difficult for me
  • Very few apps out there yet
  • The bat-shit crazy bitch on the ads (Check it out)

So far the good outweighs the bad, and I am confident that some of these missing features will be corrected in future releases. I am also confident that more apps will be developed for it. If you are a developer, you can download the WebOS Development kit here: (WedbOS Dev Kit)

Do you have a Palm Pre? What do you like/dislike about it? Know of any places to download third party apps? Hit us up in the comments!

Technorati Tags: ,,

Aug 21, 2009

Get your financials in order

I don't know how it is in your house, but in my house my wife controls the checkbook with an iron fist. There have been days I come home from work to see her hunched over the computer pen in hand working out our finances in scrawled writing that could be mistaken for some high level math equation. As anyone who deals with this regularly can tell you, the situation leads to stress that can make home life and your life more hectic than it should be.

I've found what I believe to be the solution in Mint.com. Now don't let the pretty design of the page dissuade you from trying out the serious organizational tools that make the page go. Once I logged on a screen pops up and starts asking you for your financial information and all the log in information required. So, if you have an offline private account you can't say make a payment plan for it and have that account automatically update, though it really is an easy process to edit that one loan. I also had a hard time finding a few of the people I bank through. My car loan for instance is nowhere to be found. Overall though the process is simple, if verbose.

Mint dot com logo Now I hear you saying "Get to the good stuff", so that will be the next stop on this review. The charts and graphs on Mint are absolutely fantastic. Even with the sometimes cryptic names that show up on your bank statement, you know like 45 Main Street, you can usually figure out most of the purchases that aren't automatically categorized and Mint will remember that for future occurrences. They don't have a category you're looking for? Simply add your own. This was for me the best part of the service.

Other great parts include setting a budget for each category and automatic email reminders when you are going over budget. It will also tell you due dates that you may miss, or ones that are coming up for those of you who seem to be on top of your finances. You can also track investments if you have those, such as a 401K or a brokerage account.

The way the site is paid for is via the "Ways to Save" tab, that is strictly advertisements that say they offer you a better deal than the one you are currently getting. They also give you a breakdown of the credit offers available and how the rewards system will net you more rewards than what you currently have, though the APR% seem rather high.

For the whole of the site I'd say it would rate as a "B-". There are some areas for improvement such as including my bank or allowing me to set up a payment system and allowing me to save my password locally instead of forcing me to remember it, or more realistically my wife to remember the password. The good stuff far outweighs the bad though and the price just can't be beat make me mark this transaction as an asset.

Aug 20, 2009

Find all Licenses and Keys on a Computer

As in my last post I talked about installing Windows 7 on my box. Well this is related to that experience as I needed to find all my Adobe Keys I was using because currently our, umm… License management software… if that’s what you can call it. Well it’s not so good you can say.

I needed to find something to just crawl through the registry and get all the keys for me, because I’m a lazy bastard. I tried a few out there that seemed to do ok. The one I found that worked the best is LicenseCrawler. This is a nice little lightweight app which is just a single exe.

LicenseCrawler can even scan damaged or backed up computers. On his site, Klinzmann? I’m guessing that’s his name. It runs on Win95, 2k, XP, 2003 Server, Vista, and I’ve tested and verified that it also works on Windows 7. I’ll assume that it works on Win98 too.

LicenseCrawler http://www.klinzmann.name/licensecrawler.htm

Brought to you by TheEpicChocobo at MakeMeaSammich.com and the Letter A

Aug 19, 2009

Windows 7 – Super Voodoo Compression?

So I was bored here at work not doing anything more technical than ctrl+c then ctrl+v. So I got a copy of Windows 7 from our System Admins and installed in on my work box. The installation was pretty easy. It removes your old Windows XP install and puts it into a windows.old directory in case you need reference anything for later.

 

LocalCNow I’ve used Windows 7 before at home when it was in beta so I knew that it ran a lot faster. Faster than XP in my personal opinion. But I never knew that id did super voodoo compression. I really must know how they pulled it off.

 

185GBI got my box all finished setup and was done with my windows.old directory and went to delete it. And too my surprise Windows 7 had taken my 74.5 GB drive and made it at least 185 GB apparently.  As the images show apparently I had 185 GB that I was deleting.

Brought to you by TheEpicChocobo at MakeMeaSammich.com

Technorati Tags: ,,

Aug 18, 2009

Free Internet Resources Part 2

Hopefully the previous post gave you a bit of an appetite for more. If you haven't seen it I recommend you check out the first page of this piece. This installment is going show you a little bit more. Without further ado on with the show!

Public domain

Public domain is anything that is owned by everyone. This can be a very tricky minefield to navigate as you can find yourself using something you found to be public domain only to have the owner say "Hey you're stealing!". Anyone can put something they own into the public domain but, once it is there you can't take it back. For many reasons software doesn't tend to end up in public domain, instead this is where you find books, music, movies, television and images, at least for the most part.

Project Gutenberg. This is a public domain text repository. They have many great literary works of art available here for free download. With over 100,000 titles you could spend hours just going through the books available.
http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

Burningwell.org. This is a public domain image site that hosts member submitted images. While this is a small site it has quite a few high quality images available for free usage in any project you have. As a bonus I created the banner for the site.
http://www.burningwell.org

Musopen. This is one of the few places where you can find public domain music recordings. While songs may be in the public domain recordings of that music are almost without exception NOT public domain. This is a site that aims to change that. Classical music.
http://www.musopen.com/

Gimp Savvy. This is a sort of add on site for the gimp, but it documents public domain images form the US government. The archive is publicly moderated so don't look for this site to be accurate in it's descriptions.
http://gimp-savvy.com/PHOTO-ARCHIVE/

NASA Image Exchange. This site has a ton of cool copyright free images, especially if you are a nerd like me. It is also interesting to note that any NASA website is public domain. The only restriction on any usage of NASA is the emblem, which you must have permission to use, for the reason of preventing people from saying a product is sanctioned by NASA when it isn't.
http://nix.nasa.gov/

Open Clipart Library. A very cool place. Many high quality vector images that will resize nicely. I can spend a few hours on here easily just browsing the new additions.
http://openclipart.org/

Creative Commons

Creative commons licenses are available in a wide variety, sometimes overlapping GNU or public domain and sometimes being very restrictive you can get more in depth at http://creativecommons.org

CCmixter. This is music and sound that is available to take and mix up, kind of like a worldwide collaboration. There are some great pieces of music that come from here.
http://ccmixter.org/

Jamendo. If any of you know me personally you know I have been raving about this site since I found it. It is a fantastic free music download site. All of this site is available to download and listen to for free, while there are no big name artist, the music does not suck, in fact much of it is really very good. With global participation you get music of all different styles from home and around the world, plus if you really like an artist you can donate to them so they can continue making great music.
http://www.jamendo.com

Paint.Net. Ever wish MS Paint could do more? Well this is what you were looking for. It has a bunch of bells and whistles that paint should have. It's definitely worth a look if you like to use paint.
http://www.getpaint.net

GNU Public License

This one can actually be wrapped in a Creative Commons license so I am sort of combining this with the category above. Gnu Licenses can also have different stipulations, however most of the software under GNU license is free for any or free for personal use. Also the source code is usually available as well to allow you to compile it yourself or spread it.

7-zip. This is an archive creation and opening program. It supports many major formats. Use this to replace Winzip or Winrar.
http://www.7-zip.org/
(Available for most platforms)

VideoLAN - VLC Media Player. This is a media player that players a lot of different formats, it's skinnable, which means you can change how it looks. It is short and sweet in resource usage and provides everyhting you would expect out of a media player.
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
(Available for most platforms)

Filezilla. This is an FTP solution allowing you to upload and download from anywhere that FTP access is allowed, like school, website or FTP sites.
http://filezilla-project.org/
(Available for most platforms)


Audacity. Audacity is a free sound editor. You can use this for music, ghost hunting, voice recording or anything that you would need to use a sound editor for. Don't let the spartan appearance fool you this is a really full featured tool.
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
(Available for most platforms)


Notepad++. This is a really cool text editor, like notepad but better. It has tabs for open documents so you can have a bunch open in one window, syntax highlighting for code editing and you can collapse nested tags. Plus it has a few other nifty features anyone who needs an advanced text editor would need.
http://notepad-plus.sourceforge.net/uk/site.htm
(MS Only)

PidginIM. Another chat tool that I would highly recommend. This one can talk on just about any chat service you can imagine...seriously. AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr are all supported across different operating systems.
http://www.pidgin.im
(Available for most platforms)

Linux. You can't do an introduction to free software without talking about Linux. Seriously, it would be like ignoring Neil Armstrong or Yuri Gagarin when talking about human space flight. Linux isn't just a program it's a kernel which allows people to build whole operating systems. The operating systems built on the Linux kernel are called distros and there are many many versions of them for just about any specialized or general use you can think of. Running off of Linux is stable and far more secure than Windows. In years past you had to be kind of a guru to use Linux, but now there are versions that anyone can use such as Freespire/Linspire, Ark Linux or Ubuntu(This and Freespire are some of the easiest). They even have Linux distros that can run the whole operating system from a cd, just pop in the cd and your computer will run Linux.
http://www.linux.org


Conclusion

Well, this is not the end of the free software on the web, actually it is just a start as people are always creating new software for the betterment of each other. I highly recommend supporting these coders and artists who do this so that they will be encouraged to do more. If there is anything that was unclear or something else specifically you were looking for let me know.

Aug 17, 2009

Some free internet resources... Part 1

An Overview

I know that normally Bauer-Power is known for promoting Linux. While I am a recent convert to the world of Linux it's sometimes the small steps of realizing that there is a viable free option out there. Much of the software listed below is Microsoft only, but a good portion of it is also available for all systems. I had written this for my own blog a while back and thought that I would share it here.

This will be a long post because I am going to rattle off a list of information here. It's amazing how in this day and age some people still don't know about the plethora of stuff people just give away for the betterment of each other on the internet. This includes video games, music, software, pictures, educational resources and more stuff than I could type. Locating much of this can be a daunting task for even professional users sometimes, so I thought I would put together a handy little list of a few of the places to start looking for free and legal products that are as good or better than the stuff you pay for.

A brief primer is in order for the non-tech savvy among us. There are a few terms you should know before moving on so I will give in list form some of the more common things you might hear in your trek around the world wide web.

  • Freeware: This is software that is given away for whatever reason by the author. This can be limited to personal usage or open for commercial usage depending on what the author of the software decides.

  • Open source: This is software that anyone who is inclined to can contribute to. A group of volunteers usually makes up the core of people who contribute to the project. The Firefox browser from Mozilla is a great example of this software. This is usually available for free to anyone for any reason. This isn't really a license but a way of creating software.

  • Public domain: This mean there are no restrictions on usage whatsoever. You can use, modify, sell whatever you want to do with the software.

  • Creative Commons: This is actually a variety of licenses under one umbrella and can provide a wide variety of restrictions or lack of restrictions. The author retains the rights to the software/music/etc.

  • GPL: General Public License. This is usually a free for any usage software, however there are many forms of this license that are available to protect the rights of companies who may wish to allow usage of a part of the product to the public for free modification but still incorporate some proprietary software.


This doesn't quite cover everything in great detail but is a quick and brief overview of what each stands for. In general open source, GPL and freeware are terms used in software and Creative Commons(CC) is used for works of art, however there are exceptions to everything.

Freeware

A great source I have continually gone to over the years for freeware is Freeware Home . Freeware home has been around for a while and has a massive collection of software links to just about every imaginable type of free software. I personally really like these guys and they are on my favorites.
http://www.freewarehome.com
(Mostly MS software)

Caiman.us is the first place I head to to check out freeware games. They have a really nice selection of games from all over the globe. Again a big thumbs up.
http://www.caiman.us
(Mostly MS games but some are available on Linux)

Believe it or not Wikipedia has a great selection of links to freeware. Some of the links are dead as updates can be spotty, but overall a good site.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_freeware_games
(Multiple Operating Systems Supported)

Tucows.com is a pretty good place to find software as well, just make sure you check the freeware tab when you are searching, or you can wind up getting demos or shareware (pay a nominal fee for usage but the product is usually usable without paying).
http://www.tucows.com
(Mostly MS)

Irfanview is one of my favorite pieces of freeware. It is an image viewer product with a lot of nice built in functions and some great add ons. I have used this for quite a few years now and it is one of the pieces of software that goes on first. This is free for personal usage and allows you to view a wide variety of image types and give you some nifty abilities such as making changes to a bunch of images(batch processing) and cool things like red ye reduction, adjust the colors, crop the image to size and even add a few cool effects.
http://www.irfanview.com
(MS only but I wish it was cross platform, it is a great program)

Spybot Search and Destroy is a must for any computer I run. It detects programs that install on your computer and send information about you and your browsing habits to some undisclosed location, then it zaps them and allows you to protect your computer from it happening again. It's relatively quick and very good at what it does with updates frequently.
http://www.safer-networking.org
(Obviously MS only)

Avira Antivirus. I used to recommend AVG Antivirus Free very highly, however as of late I have found their program to be very bloated and resource hungry. They have created an All-In-One software suite that I found the downsides outweigh the benefits, especially for low end computers. So I have turned to Avira Antivirus. I have been very happy with it so far. They have the occasional pop-up but, hey for something that updates daily and is very good with your system it's a small price. Free for personal use.
http://www.free-av.com/
(Obviously MS only)

Comodo Firewall. Since the Sygate firewall was consumed by a nameless beast, I have turned to Comodo firewall and it has treated me very well. The firewall can be a bit panicky at first, but once it eases into things you will rarely even know its there. For those of you who may not understand what a software firewall is for and why the one that comes with your operating system isn't good enough, let me explain. The firewall is like a guardian that monitors who gets into your computer from the internet and how. If you are on dial up, this isn't really a huge issue, but if you are on DSL, Cable or a dedicated line(T1,T3 you lucky dog) you have a connection that is always on. This leaves you vulnerable to hackers, with a software firewall there is another barrier for hackers to fight before they can get to those precious pictures of kitty or the passwords and bank account information stored on your computer. The Windows firewall, while it tries very hard is just not up to the task, mainly because it wasn't really meant to do a full service job. Comodo will run just fine with the Windows firewall so everybody plays nice and you have that much more protection. Free for personal use.
http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/
(Obviously MS only)

Open Source

This has been the 800 pound gorilla as of late. Major successes with this community based software design have forced a lot of commercial software companies to step up their product quality. I'm going to brush over some of the major players in this field.

Mozilla. Mozilla has a long and storied history, they came from netscape for those of you who remember that. With a suite of software, such as the Firefox web browser that has more security features than Internet Explorer plus the ability to add things called extensions which really make Firefox customizable. You can change your theme, your settings, your buttons, just about everything to suit your preferences. If you think that is pretty nifty, they also offer an email client which compares to Outlook. They even have a calendar. The great thing is that you can get each of these separate or if you prefer in an all-in-one suite called Sunbird. I highly recommend this as your first tour of the free internet world.
http://www.mozilla.org/
(Available for most platforms)

OpenOffice.org is a great piece of software. You know how you keep losing your MS Office Cd? It doesn't matter any more. OpenOffice.org(OOo) is a free office suite that includes all of your favorites from the Microsoft realm with, you guessed it zero cost. You can even get add ons to this to make it more powerful. The best part? If you've got friends who aren't yet up to the free revolution you can still work with them because OOo is completely compatible with the Office suite. With word processor, presentation software, spreadsheet program, database program, a drawing program and even a math program this suite has it all.
http://www.openoffice.org
(Available for most platforms)

The GIMP. The Gimp is a free raster (pixel based, meaning made up of little squares, like photos) image creation manipulation software. Some people love it and some people hate it. I find it relatively confusing even with modifications, however that shouldn't discourage you from trying it out. It is a very powerful program and a great alternative to paying for commercial software.
http://www.gimp.org/
(Available for most platforms)

Inkscape. A free vector(images created using math, like those iPod ads) image creator. Fairly straightforward usage and has all the features it should have. I have this as well as GIMP installed, however I tend to prefer the Adobe software.
http://www.inkscape.org/
(Available for most platforms)

Blender. Free 3D image software. This bad boy allows you to create 3D images and is extremely powerful as well as widely used. It also has a nice image library that you can use for anything as it is released into the public domain. If you are into 3D graphics or want to learn this is great. It is very beginner friendly with a huge community behind it.
http://www.blender.org/
(Available for most platforms)

Miranda IM. This is a cool program that lets you talk across a bunch of different IM programs at once. Yahoo, MSN, AIM, ICQ and IRC are all available with a few others. Easy customization and some nifty add ons round out this cool program.
http://www.miranda-im.org/
(MS Only)

Sourceforge.net. This is one of the great software sites for open source software and one of the big reasons for open source. Sourceforge has a massive collection of open source software that it hosts. If you can't find it on here, it might not exist as open source, of course with the exceptions of those programs noted above. If you have a few hours to kill check out this site.
http://www.sourceforge.net

That's it for part one. That is just a taste of what is out there, but it should get you on a good start. Feel free to send any comments or questions to me and I will try to answer them as best I can. Part 2 is next!

Aug 14, 2009

Software Piracy In The 1980’s

I found this old anti-piracy poster the other day and thought I would share it with you. You might think that piracy is something new because it has been getting a lot of press lately with the Pirate Bay case and all, but software and movie piracy has been going on for quite a while. I mean, I remember kids whose dads would copy VHS tapes from the rental store using two VCR’s. When I was in Junior High, my friends and I would all share our PC games (Castle Wolfenstein 3D FTW!)

Here is a poster from the 1980’s. check it out and try not to laugh too hard:

 

piracy warning 1989

Via [This Blog Rules]

Aug 13, 2009

If Real Life Were Like an MMO

A friend of mine at work sent this to me, and I thought I would share it with you. It’s pretty funny, especially if you play MMO’s. I am not much of a gamer, but I can see how this applies to lots of people. There are so many people out there that can’t research stuff themselves, or can’t just RTFM right? Anyway, here it is, enjoy!



mmo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Via [Ctr+Alt+Del]

Aug 12, 2009

Amahi Home Server

Amahi is a fully featured home server platform currently available on the Fedora 10 platform. It features an easy install via the Fedora 10 DVD and pre-installed apps that include a blog, wiki, slideshow, streaming music server and more. Amahi comes preconfigured with most settings already set right out of the box so that even someone who is not a Linux expert can use it, a fact to which I can attest having minimal exposure to Linux until recently.


Amahi DashboardFor me I actually had to install the Fedora 10 CD instead of the DVD, which included much of the Amahi files needed right off the disc. Following through the self install listed on the website I was able to have it up and running fairly quickly, though I was missing two Ruby Gems which were easily installed with yum, once I had narrowed them down via the thorough error messages provided.

Once you have completed setting up your router it is as simple as navigating to your drive and using it. A handy dashboard allows you quick access to all your features and allows you to install the pre-installed apps. Amahi is also currently accessible from outside of your home network via VPN by downloading the pre-configured Windows software or by following instructions for Mac or Linux platforms.

Amahi dashboardNow you may be thinking from this until so far glowing review that there were no problems, which is unfortunately not true. I've had issues getting some apps to install correctly and these errors seem to be hit or miss with different users. I don't know whether this is an issue on my side or on the software side, but all that is required to install these apps is a simple point and click option. Fortunately though, the forums and irc channel are very active and responses to any issues are usually made within hours.


Overall this seems to be almost fully cooked but still a little doughy in certain spots. Overall this is a far easier and less time consuming option than trying to set up everything yourself, going through all the Samba shares, playing around with DNS and then installing all the required software to get what you want done. If you're looking for that home server, Amahi is an option you should seriously consider.

By @PhilipTruax

Aug 11, 2009

My Twitter Client Of Choice for Blackberry

Ever since I jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, and got hooked on it, I decided I needed something for my Blackberry device so I can easily update my status and see what everyone was up to. For the longest time I was using Twitterberry, which worked great, but lacked some features that other clients, like Twhirl, on the desktop provided. You know, features like Retweet!

Recently I replaced Twitterberry with a different Blackberry Twitter client called Ubertwitter, and I do not think I will be looking back. Ubertwitter has a lot of great features found in most modern Twitter clients, but also has the following features:

  • Integrated ability to upload pictures to a site dedicated to serving ÜberTwitter users
  • Ability to optionally update your Google Talk status with your last tweet, making your tweets reach a wider audience then just people following you on Twitter
  • Automatically update your location based on the cell tower information provided by your phone, no GPS hardware required
  • Send videos embedded in your tweet
  • See everyone who is tweeting near you

Here is a screenshot of Ubertwitter’s timeline:

Ubertwitter

So far I really like Ubertwitter. To me it is the most like a regular desktop app that I have found for Blackberry. One thing I don’t like though is that when I close it, and let it run in the background, all of the updates keep coming, yet my cursor stays on the last tweet I read so I have to scroll up to the newest tweet manually every time I open the damned thing. If they had an option to automatically move to the newest tweet, that would be awesome!

What do you use for Tweeting on your Blackberry? Know of something better than Twitterberry or Ubertwitter? What do you like/dislike about your app? Let me know in the comments!

Aug 10, 2009

How To Do Brick Level Backups on Exchange 2007

At my company we recently setup our first Exchange 2007 server and are in the process if migrating our 2003 users over to it. Before doing that though we needed a good way to do brick level backups.

In Exchange 2003 that is really easy. In fact, I wrote an article about how to script that using Exmerge a little while ago. You can check that post out here: (Brick Level Backup Using Exmerge)

For 2007, it isn’t quite so straight forward. In fact, I saw many articles saying how to do it, but when I actually tried it, their method didn’t work. Maybe it would if you only had one mailbox store, but at my company we have several. Here is the commands I use:

get-mailboxdatabase "servername\*" | get-mailbox | Export-Mailbox -PSTFolderPath \\fileserver\backup$ -MaxThreads 10 -Confirm:$false

NOTE: The above command is all on one line.

brick backup exchange 2007 As you can see in the first section, I used “servername\*”, that wild card allowed me to pipe all of the mail stores into the next segment which listed all of the mailboxes on all of the stores which piped it into the next segment that actually exports the contents to PST. I used the maxthreads switch to increase the number of mailboxes that can be exported at a time as the default is 4. Finally the confirm:$false switch lets the script run without a prompt. That is important for scheduling the task.

Which brings me to the next point which is how to schedule that task. Once again, I did a Google search for it, and the answers I found were not accurate. In order to make my command run correctly, I had to take my command above and paste it into a text file where I named it BRICK.ps1. Next I had to create a batch file called BRICK.cmd. In that I pasted the following:

powershell -PSConsoleFile "C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\bin\exshell.psc1" -noexit -command ". 'C:\BRICK.ps1'"

NOTE: The above command is all on one line.

After that, schedule the BRICK.cmd file to run as you normally would.

Please note that the first time I tried running this script I would get the following error on most of the users mailboxes:

MAPI or an unspecified service provider.
ID no: 00000000-0000-00000000, error code: –1056749164

I got that because for some reason the backup administrator account was not given full mailbox access to all of the mailboxes when Exchange 2007 server was first setup. To give global full mailbox access I had to run the following from the Exchange Management Shell:

Get-Mailboxdatabase | Add-AdPermission -User “username” -AccessRights GenericAll

NOTE: The above command is all on one line.

Now we are getting full Brick level backups to PST similar to the way we were doing it in Exchange 2003. Has your company moved to Exchange 2007 yet? What do you use for backups? Have any questions? Let us know in the comments.

Aug 7, 2009

Calling Dick Tracy… Calling Dick Tracy…

I was perusing the internet today, randomly looking at cool stuff. I mean, between Stumbleupon, and now my awesome Entrecard toolbar, I have a lots of browsing opportunity.

Anyway, I came across two very cool looking phones from two competing companies, LG and Samsung, who are both releasing wrist watch phones this year.

The first one is from LG, and is called the GD910. Here are some of it’s features:

  • Touch Screen Interface
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Speakerphone
  • Built-in Music Player

Here are some pictures:

LG GD910

LG GD910 MenuThe next awesome wristwatch phone is the Samsung S9110. Here are it’s features:

  • 1.76” Touch Screen
  • Speakerphone
  • Music Player
  • Bluetooth
  • Voice Recognition
  • Email with Outlook Sync

Here are some pictures of that bad boy:

Samsung s9110s9110-2Both of these look like they would be really awesome to have. I mean look at Dick Tracy, or Michael Knight from Knight Rider! both of those guys had wrist watch communicators. How many of you pretended to talk into your wrist watch when you were a kid? I know I did (Sadly).

Tracy Knight

Both of these watches come with a hefty price tag, but if the quality is good, I say it is worth it. What do you think? Are you going to run out and get one of these?

Aug 6, 2009

Twitter Outage

So there I was actually trying to Tweet my early 5am away. Then suddenly Bam!!! Twitter.com blew up. I can only imagine that so many people out there are probably getting the shakes while waiting for their coffee not being able to update and read their twitter messages.

Is this the death of twitter? Is this the beginning of the end of the world? Only time will tell. Stay tuned here and feel free to post your comments as you can’t update your twitter. We will bring you updates as soon as we find out more.

I have had 2 other people confirm they can not reach twitter.com. I can not reach it from my work, home and cell phone.

 

Site is down We are determining the cause and will provide an update shortly.”

Update:

According to http://status.twitter.com

The site is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.

twitter_stab

Backup Your Tweets and Your Blog For Free

I saw a tweet from @hispong_elbayne mentioning a new service called BackupMyTweets.com so I thought I would check it out. I never really thought about backing up my Twitter ramblings before, but hey, some people might. According to that site, Twitter only keeps your most recent 3,200 tweets. If you want to keep them longer, then you need a backup service.

It all looks pretty cool. They give you a free 1GB if you tweet about them. If you don’t want to Tweet, then they charge you about $10.00 per year. Not a bad deal. Send a tweet, and get a free GB. They also offer some other services that sounded a little more useful to me.

Those of course are not free. Each of those services costs about $20 per year. Obviously it costs more if you need more space. Makes sense right? If you ask me, $20 isn’t a lot of money to backup some of the most important items you may ever have, certainly the pics and the email are worth it.

What if you don’t want to spend money though? What if you are on a tight budget? What if you are a cheap ass bastard like me? I certainly don’t want to have to pay to backup my blog, or my tweets. If you are like me, then I found a free solution at least for your blog and your tweets.

The first one is for your blog, it is called BlogBackupr. Here are some of it’s features:

  • Runs over the Internet
  • Daily backup
  • No installation required
  • Works with any blog

Blog BackupNow for your Tweets,  TweetBackup which is a sister site of BlogBackupr, offers free Twitter backups as long as you follow them. Here are their features:

  • Runs Over The Internet
  • Daily Backup
  • No Installation Required
  • Easy To Use
  • No Twitter-Password Required

Tweet Backup I signed up for both. I really like BlogBackupr because it backs up all the blogs I have. (I am managing four now! WTF?!?) I signed up for TweetBackup as well, but I am not sure I will keep it. Not that the service is bad, but because I really don’t give a crap about my tweets!

What do you use to backup your blogs/twitter? Know of any free backup services for your pics or your email? Hit me up in the comments!

Aug 5, 2009

Top 10 Alternatives To The Pirate Bay

I have sort of been following The Pirate Bay (TPB) scandal off and on for the last few months. Mainly because I frequent Digg, and TPB stories dominate the front page.

If you didn’t know, The Pirate Bay is basically going legit soon. According to TorrentFeak, The Pirate Bay is in the process of being sold to Global Gaming Factory X (GGF). When that happens, they are going to pursue a more legal business model where copyright holders get their cut.

Since TPB was pretty much one of the biggest names in the legally questionable bit torrent business, I decided to compile a list of my top ten alternatives to The Pirate Bay which are (In no particular order):

  1. Pirate bay AlternativeMininova – This is also a very well known Torrent search engine. According to their site, Mininova “…is the largest torrent search engine and directory on the net. [They] started in January 2005 as an alternative to the (at that time very popular) SuprNova, which went offline at the end of 2004 due to legal issues. Our goal is to provide an easy-to-use directory and search engine for all kinds of torrent files. Visitors of Mininova can anonymously upload torrents to this website, tracked by any BitTorrent tracker. Scrape data (amount of seeds/leechers) is collected a few times a day.
  2. isoHunt – According to Wikipedia, isoHunt “…is a BitTorrent index with over 1.7 million torrents in its database and 20 million peers from indexed torrents. With 7.4 million unique visitors as of May 2006, isoHunt is one of the most popular BitTorrent search engines. Thousands of torrents are added to it each day as well as deleted. IsoHunt users perform over 40 million unique searches per month. On Oct 19, 2008, isoHunt passed the 1 petabyte mark for torrents indexed globally. Isohunt is the 3rd most popular bittorrent site as of 2008.
  3. btjunkie – These guys have 5 key elements that make them awesome. They index both private and public trackers, they have a completely automated crawler that scours the Internet, free public torrent submission, They have torrent Mail, for immediate notification of new torrent additions and finally torrent reporting and comments.
  4. Torrent Reactor - Torrent Reactor is the oldest and most reliable resource for torrents. Find and download everything you need in 5 minutes.
  5. VerTorI wrote about this a little while ago. This site checks every torrent listed on their site for quality so you don’t have to. All of their Torrents are top notch!
  6. Torrent Hound - Torrent Hound "...crawls the web using a custom filter to find new torrent files as soon as they are made available. (or accepts them from users who upload their torrents directly). Next it subjects them to a few algorithm-based tests to ensure that they are healthy and that if they contain adult content they are flagged appropriately. Lastly, they are included into the index and they show up on the search results until they are removed by us or until they are dead (determined when nobody is left sharing it for 2 weeks). The process is completely automated.”
  7. Fulldls – Yet another Torrent search site. This one has many popular titles, and good quality Torrents.
  8. Torrent Matrix – These guys claim to have the Latest bittorrent files, free downloads for PC Games, Movies, PS2, Xbox. Don’t they all though :-P
  9. Bushtorrent – Not sure what they were thinking here putting one of the most hated presidents of all time right on their front page, but these guys do seem to have the full Dr. Who collection which makes my buddy Sundance happy.
  10. Torrent Monkeys – Seriously, who doesn’t like monkeys? Especially monkeys that bring you piping hot Bit torrents?

I am sure there are plenty good Torrent sites that I missed. If I missed your favorite, please hit me up with links in the comments!

Aug 4, 2009

Scaling walls with DIY Vacuum Gloves

This video is so damned nerdy, I just have to share it with you. Apparently some guy in England created his own high powered vacuum gloves and decided to test them out by doing what only Spiderman can do... Scale a building!

I seriously want one of these. Well, I take it back, if it were more compact and could fit under my skin tight superhero spandex, then i would want one. The one featured in the video is a little too bulky for my taste. Check it out:


What do you think? Cool? Fake? Want one? Hit us up in the comments.
Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Aug 3, 2009

Get The Picture on What is Taking Up Your Drive Space

I happened upon a really neat portable program the other day and thought I would share it with you. Before I get into it I just want to say that at my day job we have a lot of older servers that were built four and five years ago. When they were built they were installed with very little space for the system partition (Between 4 to 6 GB) and the rest was allocated to data.

Well over time Microsoft releases lots of patches, hotfixes and service packs. Not to mention other junk that tends to fill up 4 measly Gigabytes with the quickness.

This program I found, which is free by the way, allows you to get a graphical view of your hard drive to see where all the space is going. The program is called SpaceSniffer.

Here is a description from their website:

SpaceSniffer is a freeWare (donations are welcome) and portable tool application that lets you understand how folders and files are structured on your disks. By using a Treemap visualization layout, you have immediate perception of where big folders and files are placed on your devices. Treemap concept was invented by Prof. Ben Shneiderman, who kindly permitted the use of his concept into this tool.

Here is a screenshot of my hard drive at work… Yuck! Time to clean up!

SpaceSniffer

What utilities do you use to gain insight on your drive space? What do you use to cleanup? Let us know in the comments.



Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

 
Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | stopping spam