Password Recovery on Cisco 1700 and 1800 Routers

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Sometimes you’re going to come across a router you need to work on where someone’s changed the password and forgotten to write it down, and sometimes that person may or may not be you. Regardless of the reason, how to you get in to a router which you’re locked out of?

You’ll need a few bits of kit to get you started. First, a 1700 or 1800 router (obviously) which is unusable. Second, you’ll need a Cisco console cable (light blue with an RJ-45 on one end and a DB9 serial connector on the other). Finally you’ll need a computer with a serial port and a VT100 program of some description. Hyperterm will do in a pinch, but something like Zoc or PuTTY is my preference. Continue reading

Automating Usenet downloads with HellaVCR and SABnzbd+

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Some people would say that I’m a lazy person, that I don’t want to do anything which requires any hard work. But I prefer to think of myself as efficient – Doing repeated complex tasks over and over irritates me, like scouring index sites for my favourite Linux isos. When a new version appears, it should magically appear in a folder on my server, right?

Thankfully, with a few programs and a bit of time spent on the front end, it can all be magically done for you.

I’ll be doing all of this on Ubuntu 10.04, as that’s my server operating system of choice. If you want to build this setup on a different system, your mileage may vary. Just be sure to check the individual requirements of each package to ensure that they’ll all work correctly (i.e. HellaVCR needs Apache to work). Continue reading

Upgrading your iPhone to iOS 4.1 Golden Master

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The Golden Master version of iOS 4.1 has been released to Apple Developers, but if you’re not a developer and still want to install 4.1 on your iPhone or iPod Touch, here’s how.

Before you start, though, I have to point out that this is beta software,  so don’t upgrade if you’re worried about it breaking your phone. It’s also a developer build, so you technically shouldn’t be doing it unless you’re a developer, and while your UDID shouldn’t be checked, Apple may still get shirty that you’ve used a prerelease.

If in doubt, wait a week for the real 4.1 to release for reals.

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iOS 4 slowing down your 3G/3Gs? How about a Downgrade?

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While a lot of people are quite happy with iOS 4 on their iPhone 3G or 3Gs, some are finding that their iDevice seems much slower than it once was. On my iPhone 3G, this was most noticeable when running the iPod app in the background whilst browsing the ‘net or checking emails – the music would skip and stutter as the device struggled to keep everything running smoothly.

After a few weeks of frustration, I decided to take the plunge and roll my iPhone 3G back to iOS (or iPhone OS, as it was known at the time) 3.1.3. The speed difference was immediately noticeable, with every app performing much quicker, with load times improving and seamless music no matter what I was doing in the foreground (even PvZ can’t cause audio skips).

The process for rolling back your iPhone from iOS 4.0 or 4.0.1 to 3.1.3 is pretty simple, and you should be done in a half an hour or so.

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Securing your SSH server

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Enabling SSH on your home server – or a virtual private server, if you have one – is a risky affair. An unsecured server is a tempting target for script kiddies who want to test their “skills.” If you’re already running an ssh server, try the following command to see if anyone’s tried to connect to your computer and failed a password check:
user@computer:~$ sudo awk 'gsub(".*sshd.*Failed password for (invalid user )?", "") {print $1}' /var/log/auth.log* | sort | uniq -c | sort -rn | head -5
 11 root
 9 admin
 6 sales
 2 user

So how do you secure your ssh server so that inquisitive people across the globe can’t access and harm your sensitive data?

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Network timeout while downloading iOS 4.0.1?

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As with last time, some people are reporting problems while trying to download the 4.0.1 iOS update for their iPhones, where their network connection is interrupted and the download cancels. It’s also painfully slow when you’re in Australia or other third world (as far as internet connections go) countries. If you’re one of these people, you can grab the direct downloads here. They’re all direct links to the Apple servers.

Downloading direct is also a lot faster, especially if you’re using a Firefox add-on called “Down Them All!” which splits downloads into multiple chunks so that instead of being restricted to a single slow download, you can run ten slow downloads concurrently – effectively making your download run ten times as fast.

Once you have the file, connect your iPhone to iTunes 9.2 and perform a backup, then hold the Shift key (Windows) or Option key (Mac) while pressing the Upgrade button and select the firmware you downloaded to begin the upgrade process, or the Restore button if you want to install fresh.

Airvideo on Ubuntu 10.04 the easy way

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AirVideo on iPhone

For those of you who don’t know what Airvideo is, it’s a little piece of software which runs on a server in your home and allows you to watch videos on your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad both in your home via WiFi and when you’re out and about on a 3G network. It transcodes video (including MKV) into something your iDevice can play, then streams it out at the optimal bitrate for the available bandwidth. The server software is free, and the client software is available on the App store for around $2, which is a phenomenal bargain considering what it does.

The server software usually runs on Windows or Mac, but what about people who use Linux as their server operating system?

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PS3 Media Server on Ubuntu 10.04

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If you’re like me and you like to reduce the clutter in your loungeroom, but still want to be able to watch all your recorded TV shows and backed up DVDs, PS3 media server(PMS) might be something worth looking at. It’s stupidly easy to get up and running on Windows (i.e. as long as you have java installed you can just click and run), but on Linux it needs an extra step or two.

Many thanks to Mjohns930 over at the ps3mediaserver.org forum for his post which was the basis for this howto.

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iPhone – Stay online in Airplane mode

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Skype still works

Want to avoid being able to take calls or SMS messages, but still want to be able to use your iPhone for stuff like checking Twitter, acting as your iTunes remote or streaming porn movies with Airvideo?

I suppose you could go in to call forwarding and push all your calls to voicemail, but there’s a delay while it’s trying to send the request to network and that’s annoying. I find this a bit better because it’s quicker, and there’s no “boop-biddy-boop” interference on my computer speakers when I’m sitting at my desk because the 2G radio isn’t ever going to turn on.

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Problems downloading iOS4?

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I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I’m using iTunes on Windows or if it’s because I’m with a shitty ISP, but every time I try to download iPhone software I get an error saying that the network connection was reset and the update bombs out.

Instead, I had to directly download the software from Apple’s download server, then hold shift (or option if you’re a mac person) and click on restore. It’ll ask you where your software is you want to use,  and restore from there.

You can even install older versions if you want, although you might need to downgrade your iTunes as well.

iOS 4: iPod Touch 2G, iPod Touch 3G, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs and iPhone 4.

iOS 3.1.3: iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs.

iOS 2.2.1: iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPod Touch, iPod Touch 2G.

iOS 1.1.4: iPhone, iPod Touch.