Nov 18, 2010

Bauer-Power’s on Hiatus!

I have decided to take a little bit of a hiatus from blogging here at Bauer-Power. I have a lot of stuff I have to catch up on in real life, and I really want to focus in on that. Don’t worry though, Bauer-Power isn’t going anywhere, just taking a short break. I promise I will pick up writing on the blog here around mid December.

Just to let you know, I have two really important certifications I am working on right now. One is for my VMware VCP4 certification for my career, and the other is to certify my second degree black belt in Karate with the World Martial Arts Ranking Association (WMARA). Did that last one catch you by surprise?

That’s right, when I was in fourth grade my parents put me in Karate at East-West Karate in Littleton Colorado under Fred Bode. Mr. Bode developed his own unique style of Karate, like many American martial artists do, by combining several different styles. The style he taught was called Bushi No Te Ryu. Mr. Bode retired from teaching his style in the mid 90’s. A few years before he retired I earned a second degree black belt at his school. Not long after that, the school began to change. They hired a business manager to run the school, and take over the business aspect because they weren’t making enough money. After that it started to become less like a martial arts school, and more of a business. My brother and I decided it was time to leave.

A few years later I wanted to see what going to a tournament was like. Mr. Bode believed that Karate was for self defense and not for showing off, so we never competed in tournaments. It’s funny that he taught that though, because he himself was a kick boxer. Anyway, I decided to join a local Taekwondo school in my home town of Conifer Colorado. I joined the local ATA (American Taekwondo Association) school which taught Songahm Taekwondo. They honored my black belt there after making me come to a black belt class to prove my skills. Since I was paying for it and I had to learn their style in only a month, I went to every class I could. Some times three times a night until I felt I had a good enough grasp on their forms, and I was in good enough shape to compete. After the tournament, I dropped back out. Taekwondo was just too expensive for a teen working part time, and I didn’t like the way ATA was ran. To me it is like the McDonalds of Taekwondo, and their main concern is for tournaments, not real life applications. That was about 13 years ago.

About a month ago a local Taekwondo instructor from Family Karate in Escondido California came to my daughter’s school. His name is Stephen Truscott, and is a 7th degree black belt in Taekwondo. He was offering free “life lessons” classes to my daughter’s kindergarten class. I told my wife how important martial arts can be to a kid growing up because it teaches them respect and discipline. That was exactly what he was teaching. We decided to sign her up. After taking the class, my daughter earned her white belt, and I got to meet and talk to Mr. Truscott. He invited me to train with my daughter at the school, and he would too honor my black belt, but he is requiring me to certify my belt with the WMARA.

In order to get back up to speed after taking 13 years off, I feel that I have to dedicate a great deal of my free time to training. I think this is an amazing opportunity though to get back on track. The founder of Shotokan Karate, which is a base for my original style of Karate, and Mr. Truscott’s style of Taekwondo, Gichin Funakoshi, believed that Karate is a life long pursuit, and I sort of let that slip away. Also, after watching some videos about Martial Arts frauds like Frank Dux and Ashida Kim, I decided that certifying my belt with a national organization sounded like a great thing to do!

Anyway, long story short. I won’t be writing for a while while I concentrate on martial arts, and my VMware certifications. Please check back though, because I will return! Tags: ,,,

Nov 9, 2010

Coolest Browser Speed Test Evah!

Recently I made the switch away from my old time favorite Firefox to Chrome again. I tried Chrome when it first came out, and wasn’t that impressed, but lately Firefox has gotten a little too bloated and actually slows down my system. Chrome on the other hand has improved dramatically, and has actually simplified my life. Especially with the Sync option, so now all my settings and plugins move with me no matter what computer I am on!

Anyway, we have all seen various bench mark tests done with browsers. How long does it take IE to load a page next to Safari, or Firefox vs Chrome. What about a browser versus a potato gun? How about a browser versus sound waves? All using high speed cameras! Check it out!

How cool was that? How many of you have made the switch to Chrome? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!

Via [MakeUseOf and Youtube] Tags: ,,,,,

Nov 8, 2010

Share your Keyboard and Mouse With Other Operating Systems

Back in the day, at my first IT job every one had multiple test computers under their desks. This was when the idea of virtualization was still fairly new, and a lot of people hadn’t adopted the idea of running test machines virtually. Lots of these test machines ran different operating systems. Some ran Windows, some ran Linux, and some even ran Solaris. It just depended on what the person was working on, or was trying to learn.

Many of us also had multiple monitors, or KVM switches hooked up so we could work with all these machines. It would have been really nice to setup multiple monitors, and simple share one keyboard and mouse pair right? I mean all you have to do is drag the mouse to another monitor, and bam! You are working on a different OS! Well, now you can!

There is a really cool free open source program called Synergy that allows you to do exactly that! From their page:

Synergy is FOSS that lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, without special hardware. All you need is a LAN connection. It's intended for users with multiple computers, where each system uses its own display.

SynergyI know I mentioned Solaris above, but Synergy only really supports Windows, Linux and Mac right now. If you want it for anything else, the source code is available for you to make it work with something else.

Know of other cool software that allows you to work on multiple OS’s easier? Let us know in the comments!

Nov 5, 2010

Edit PDF Forms Online For Free

You ever get emailed PDF forms, but you don’t have any way to edit it electronically because it’s locked, or you don’t have Adobe Pro or Standard? Yeah me too. In fact, my HR department sent out a questionnaire to the team the other day as a PDF. Most people just printed it out, and filled it out by hand. Not me though, I found a tool that let me fill it out electronically for FREE!

This tool is an online tool and it is called Fill Any PDF! The idea is simple, you take a PDF that you need to fill out, you upload it to their site, and fill it out, then download the edited version! If you are worried about passing semi sensitive document across the Internet, the site is encrypted with SSL. I wouldn’t however trust them with anything top secret. That’s just me though!

Here is a list of features from their page:

  • FillAny Form No Software Needed - No software is needed to fill out forms. Everything is done online.
  • Fill out Forms - Fill out PDF Forms online with variable font sizes and colors.
  • Sign Documents - Sign forms just by typing your name. Fill Any PDF provides the traceability necessary for the "digital signature" to be valid.
  • Share Forms - Share blank and filled forms with coworkers or anyone you want.
  • Invite Others - Invite people to fill out forms. You can customize your message to each person or send a group invitation.
  • View Completed Invitations - See exactly who filled out which form and when. If you invite people to fill out a form, you can see exactly which form they filled out.
  • Use Any PDF - Any PDF may be used regardless of the software used to make the PDF. The PDF does not need "fields" to be added to the form. The entire form becomes fillable when it is imported.
  • No Printing - Paper does not need to be printed, saving you time, money, and frustration. It saves a few trees and reduces your carbon footprint as well.
  • Edit Forms - White-out and Redaction tools let you modify old forms to get just the form you need so you don't have to find the original or create the form again.
  • No Scanning or Faxing - When other people fill out your forms, they do not have to print and then scan and email the form back to you. This means you will get more forms returned in less time.


Know of any other free PDF editors? I am not a big Adobe fan, so I am always looking for free alternatives to their products! Let us know in the comments! Tags: ,,,,

Nov 4, 2010

How To “Hack” a Combination Padlock

First of all, before I get into this really cool padlock trick, I want to say that last week was really good for blogging! If you follow me on Twitter at all, you know I was in VMware training all last week. Since I do a lot of VMware work at my day job, a lot of the class was redundant. I had to take it however to satisfy a requirement to take the VCP certification. Anyway, while the teacher was talking about stuff I do normally, it gave me a chance to catch up on the blog!

Ok, so back to the topic. You all want to break into lockers or whatever right? Well, let me just say that doing so is illegal, and I assume no responsibility if you misuse this information!

So I found this really cool tutorial from The Thrillest. Just follow this chart, and the three simple instructions below and you will soon be opening closed combo locks in no time!

Padlock Hack Click the image to make full size

  • Starting at 0, gently pull down as though opening the lock, then slowly spin the dial counter-clockwise until it sticks. If the number is a whole number (i.e. not resting in between two numbers) record it, continuing the process until you reach 0 again. At this point you should have 5 whole numbers.
  • Four of the five numbers will end in the same digit -- the one that doesn't is the last number in your lock's three-number combo. Since certain numbers on a padlock are inextricably linked, this number narrows down the possible combinations to 100.
  • Trial-and-error out the combination grid in the image above, and pull the lock open.


Pretty cool right? There is one thing I found in the Navy that works better and faster though. In fact, it also works on keyed pad locks too. It's called a bolt cutter!

Via [The Thrillest]

Nov 3, 2010

The Last Password You Will Ever Need

I have found the best, free, cross platform, cross browser password manager of all friggin’ time! Yes, you read that correctly, the best of all time, and it is free!

Why does one need a password manager? The answer is because like most people these days you probably have multiple accounts, on multiple websites across the Internet. To be secure you should have different passwords on all those sites to keep the bad guys guessing. Most of us don’t though right? Most of us use the same password for everything so we can remember it. That or we rotate a few passwords all the time. At least that is what a lot of the users at my company do.

What a password manager does is it allows us to use random, or semi-random passwords on all the sites we use. You know, really long passwords that even we can’t remember, Something like:


How can your remember that? Could you imagine typing that all by yourself? Hell no! If it’s hard for you to do though, imagine how hard it would be for the bad guys to guess, or brute force!

There are many password managers out there, but I don’t know any that work quite like this tool. The tool I’m writing about encrypts your passwords on your computer and syncs the encrypted info to their servers online, and allows you to sync your encrypted database with every computer you use!

It is cross platform too, so you can sync it with your Windows, Mac or Linux computers on any browser you might be using including IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari! This tool is called LastPass!

lastpassNow that I have it installed, when I go to a new site that requires a password, I login as usual, but instead of getting the prompt from the browser to remember my password, I get prompted from LastPass!

lastpass-chromeIf I select the option to remember the password, I can fill out some options like what category the credentials belong in, if I want to see the password prompt each time, or if LastPass should just auto login for me!

Now that your password is saved and encrypted, when you go to another computer, and login to your LastPass account those passwords will sync up, and you are good to go. The only password you will ever have to remember again is your LastPass password!

Is LastPass really secure though? Here is what they have to say:

LastPass uses SSL exclusively for data transfer even though the vast majority of data you're sending is already encrypted with 256-bit AES and unusable to both LastPass and any party listening in to the network traffic -- the amount of data is trivial so the extra encryption doesn't hurt. Our policy of never receiving private data that you haven't already locked down with your LastPass master password (which we never receive and will never ask for) radically reduces attack vectors. We use firewalls and best practices to protect the servers and service, but our best line of defense is simply not having access to data even if someone got in. If LastPass can't access it, hackers can't either.

Now that I have found this, I will be installing this on all my machines, and changing my online passwords to be random 32 characters each. Crack that mister hacker man! I actually opted for the premium package so I could use it on my mobile device as well. Why not? It's only $1 a month!

Do you use LastPass? Like it? Dislike it? Do you use something different? Let us know in the comments!

Nov 2, 2010

Unix/Linux Command Cheat Sheet!

I know I write a lot about Linux, and Ubuntu, but the fact remains that at my day job I am primarily a Windows admin. What does that mean? Well, it means that I don’t always get the chance to play in a Linux terminal. In fact, most of the time if I want to do stuff in Linux for the blog, or whatever, I have to mess with it on my own time.

Now some Linux commands are easier to remember than others because I use them more than others. Stuff like cd, nano, ls, sudo and so forth are used almost every time I do something in Linux. Other stuff like showing system uptime I rarely use, so I have to look up those commands.

Well, a writer for named Jacob Peddicord created a really cool Linux/Unix quick reference cheat sheet, and he made if available for free using a Creative Commons License. Click the image below to download it!

Unix Linux Cheat Sheet ReferenceThe PDF is available in other languages as well:

I for one am going to paste this thing up by my desk at work. Not only will it help me with some commands I don’t normally use, but it will also server as a little protest to Microsoft.

[Via FOSSwire]

Nov 1, 2010

Tech Chop Ep 4: When a Sledge Hammer Meets a Dlink Router

Almost a year ago exactly my family and I moved into a new house. With that house I decided I wanted to upgrade our wireless Internet from 802.11G to 802.11N. Why not right? I mean with 802.11G you only get about 54Mbps, and with 802.11N you get up to 300Mbps. Seems like a no brainer.

Well, I decided to take a trip to Fry's and get myself a new 802.11N router. That's when I found a Dlink DIR-615 for sale. It was around $25 if I can remember correctly. After I got it all set up I thought it would work out pretty great. I was wrong. I had nothing but problems with that router. So many problems in fact, I decided to make this episode of Tech Chop about it. I figured I would give my review, then smash the living crap out of it with an 8lb sledge hammer! Enjoy the destruction!

Do you have a Dlink DIR-615? Like it? Dislike it? Let me know in the comments!

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