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Recover Windows passwords, unlock accounts and more with Linux and chntpw

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Today, Linux saved the day... again.

My dad called me to ask me what to do when his Windows computer didn't let him log in.

He has a single account and a blank password.

I searched the internet and found a post explaining a great little utility that allows to reset passwords, unlock accounts, etc.

The command is chntpw

The instructions in the following link use the Linux rescue CD but you can easily use your favourite Live CD and install the utility from the repositories.

PGP keysigning party instructions

Updated: Maybe you should not generate a key with the default settings. See Step 1 below.

The September 2010 meeting will feature a keysigning party.

Chris Frey (cdfrey at the domain foursquare dot net) is the KeyMaster for this party. As part of the process, you will e-mail him your key.

Here are his instructions for getting started, with some e-mail address obfuscation:

  1. Generate new key:


    gpg --gen-key

    (Accept the defaults, they are pretty good)

Software Freedom Day poster

Here is a poster for this year's iteration of Software Freedom Day. Post it far and wide!

Linux Mint Isadora KDE i386 first impressions

This time I decided to install Linux Mint Isadora KDE version. This may sound unfair based my previous review of Mandriva as I've been using Linux Mint for several releases but this is the first time I will use the KDE version, though.

I promise I'll try to be as picky and as unbiased as I possibly can.

The first thing that surprised me is that, although for the Gnome version there is a Live CD which is just 674 MB and a Live DVD which is 763, There is only a DVD version for KDE a whopping 1.3 GB. Still better than other distributions which are 2 to 4 GB.

Mandriva 2010 First impressions

A week ago someone at the KWLUG was talking about Mandriva, and I mentioned that I never warmed up to it.

That conversation left me intrigued so today I decided to give it a try once again.

This will be a play by play impression while I go through the install. Some of my comments may sound picky, but as first impressions count:

I'm all pumped up and ready to be wowed.

On inserting the disk I remembered why I hadn't been able to fully test it: the DVD is not a live version. No live DVD. Why? Do I need to download the CD to see if I like it and if I do then get the DVD?

-1

USB Webcam mistery under Ubuntu Lucid Linx

Maybe someone with better knowledge of USB can shed some light here:

I have an USB camera that I knew was working several Ubuntu versions ago. But under Karmic and Lucid it refused to work.

I knew that it was listed as supported; but after hours trying things I couldn't make it work.

Then I saw in a forum that someone said that as a final test he disconnected the USB hub and plugged in the camera directly to the computer. After that it worked, so he suspected the hub.

Writing easy How-to's

While preparing my Programming for Linux presentation I had to install the sun-java packages. I am using Kubuntu Lucid but couldn't find the packages.

I Googled and got here:

http://www.tolaris.com/2010/06/10/installing-sun-java-on-ubuntu-lucid

Besides learning how to install Java, I got a lesson in writing a "How-to".

From now on, if you see me doing it differently, just remind me of that how-to.

(My) Home Network Speed Test Results: wired vs 802.11n 5GHz 300Mbps wi-fi - copper wins, hands down.

So, having acquired a new laptop, an ASUS Eee PC 1201N (Pros: dual core, bluetooth, hdmi out, 802.11n; Cons: not gigabit, not 5GHz 802.11n, takes 2x4GB memory but will only use 4GB of it, very poor battery life, $60 additional power adapters!), it seemed time to upgrade my wi-fi infrastructure too. Something gigabit with 802.11n and USB.

byobu or Checking your update manager package descriptions

I use Mint, an Ubuntu derivative, and every time I get a notification that there are updates available, I go check the list of updates.

I do this with several purposes in mind:

  • First and foremost, I want to know what gets updated in case something stops working.
  • Second, I want to see how many there are and how large to evaluate how long it's going to slow down my (old) computer
  • and third, to learn a bit about the packages I have installed
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