Saturday, December 26, 2009

Screenrc hardstatus line

Here's a pretty neat hardstatus line for your .screenrc:

hardstatus alwayslastline "%{-b ck}%?%-Lw%?%{bg}%n*%f %t%?(%u)%?%{wk}%?%+Lw%? %= %{r} %H %{g} %D %d/%m/%Y %0c "

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Codepad and Ideone - a new kind of pastebin

Codepad and Ideone are pastebins that let you execute code. Ideone also accepts input:

This would make an awesome learning tool for schools and such. Make it into some kind of appliance, add a bunch of examples, problems, tests and such and it can teach kids collaborative debugging and the basics of programming.

If I had to guess it's running User Mode Linux (or some similar jail) and ptrace (or some similar systrace or syscall tracer).

I poked a bit with perl "Config" (eg: perl -V) and it looks like they're running Gentoo.. all accounts seem to be on the same instance (nobody). So it's most likely a jail.

osname=linux, osvers=2.6.28-gentoo-r5, archname=i686-linux
uname='linux devel 2.6.28-gentoo-r5 #1 smp sun apr 26 22:00:57 cest 2009 i686 intel(r) core(tm)2 quad cpu q9550 @ 2.83ghz genuineintel gnulinux '

It looks like they did a very good job though, especially with the number of people poking around or running forkbombs :-).

Monday, November 02, 2009

BSOD analysis simplified with BlueScreenView

Sure, you can do a lot more than a simple !analyze -v with WinDbg, but if you're doing tech support and keep getting spammed by minidumps or just want to solve something quick and easy, you can use BlueScreenView.

Basically, you can see the drivers found on the stack at the time of the crash, a list of all drivers loaded in the kernel or XP style BSOD as it would appear in the crash. You can also create HTML reports to send to your clients.

The process is simple. You point BSV at a bunch of minidumps, you look at what driver is on the stack - then you upgrade it (oh, look, it's NVIDIA, time to upgrade). Or uninstall it (oh, look, I'm running some daemon tools thing pseudo-driver, to time remove it). Then you see if Windows stops crashing. If not, go to plan B - WinDbg, Driver Verifier, etc.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

IntegraTUM WebDisk on RHEL 5.3 x64 using Tomcat 5.5.28

WebDisk lets you push CIFS to HTTP via an application server.

Here's an example install on RHEL 5.3 x64 / Tomcat using Sun Java JDK.

Instalation is very much identical on Windows (Replace with C:/tmp/webdisk for example).

In this example we assume an application server gets installed on and is the CIFS server.

Create the tomcat users:

useradd tomcat

passwd tomcat

su - tomcat

Download and unpack tomcat:


gtar zxvf apache-tomcat-5.5.28.tar.gz

Add the tomcat manager role (replace with your password).

ed apache-tomcat-5.5.28/conf/tomcat-users.xml


Add the following roles (inside tags of course):

role rolename="manager"

user username="tomcat" password="tomcat" roles="manager"

Setup Java

Download and innstall Java (if not installed) - Java SE Development Kit 6u16 from

chmod +x jdk-6u16-linux-x64-rpm.bin

su -c ./jdk-6u16-linux-x64-rpm.bin

rpm -ql jdk-1.6.0_16-fcs | grep bin

echo "export JAVA_HOME=/usr/java/jdk1.6.0_16" >> ~/.bashrc

. ~/.bashrc



Start TomCat:


Login: tomcat:tomcat

Install IntegraTUM WebDisk

cd ~


gtar zxvf IntegraTUM_WebDisk_0.44.tar.gz

mv IntegraTUM_WebDisk_0.44 ~/ba

Create ba.xml:

ed ~/apache-tomcat-5.5.28/conf/Catalina/localhost/ba.xml

Create web.xml:

cd /home/tomcat/ba/webapp/WEB-INF/

cp web_default.xml web.xml

ed web.xml


Create /tmp/webdisk:

mkdir /tmp/webdisk

chmod 777 /tmp/webdisk/

Restart Tomcat:

cd ~/apache-tomcat-5.5.28/bin/



You should now see ba Display Name: IntegraTUM WebDisk in Make sure it's started.

Access your application:

You login with the username / passsword on the CIFS server OS. Make sure a "username" folder is shared.

You may also want to check out Davenport WebDAV SMB Gateway:

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Microsoft banned from selling Office in the US by Texas Judge

Here's something you don't see everyday.. Texas judge bans Microsoft from selling XML based products like Office 2007 in the US:

This creates a pretty nasty precedent... remember, OpenOffice does the same thing too...

The patent:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

OpenVMS - Resetting the SYSTEM user password

(Re) boot the system with:

b -fl 0,1 dka0(Replace DKA0 with whatever is appropriate for your installation)

At the SYSBOOT console:



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Firefox Firebug vs. Internet Explorer 8 Developer Tools

Looks like IE 8 has a pretty neat feature called "Developer Tools". It's _very_ similar to Firebug:

Being able to import Firefox and Opera settings and adding quite a few of their features makes IE 8 pretty interesting.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Deja Vu Sans Mono / BitStream Vera

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Deleting Flash10a.ocx after uninstalling / updating ActiveX Flash

When updating Flash it sometimes leaves some files behind you cannot delete, even though there is no lock on the file (handle, unlocker, whatever).

You need to unregister it using regsvr32:

regsvr32 "C:\Windows\SYSTEM32\Macromed\Flash\Flash10a.ocx" /u

Now you can update your Flash...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Configure Firefox to perform DNS lookups via proxy

If you've configured a proxy in Firefox it still may leak DNS requests. Type in:


in the address bar, and look for:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Epoch Fail!

Epoch time 1234567890 is approaching fast, don't miss it!

cmihai@phobos:/home/cmihai$ date +%s

cron your scripts so you don't miss it!

Friday, February 06, 2009

UNIX colors and tools

Just opened a new package of colored chalk so I'll write on my blackboard :-).

Can't really have fun without:

  • OpenSSH
  • GNU screen
  • KornShell 93, AWK, 1003.1 Shell & Utilities
  • Emacs, ed
  • Mutt
  • Midnight Commander (mc)
  • Elinks
  • Terminus font (sure, it's not a tool, but it sure as hell helps , especially during those 20 hour debugging sessions).
Emacs linum plugin + a 256 color TERMINFO entry + transparent putty can look pretty good:

256 colors _really_ do make quite a difference in Emacs (and vim) btw. Normal dtterm or xterm-color get you the first 8...

All you really need to do to get this working on AIX is to add a new TERMINFO entry (tic). You can easily grab the 256 color xterm with infocmp..

/usr/bin/tput colors

VIM looks pretty good too with a 256 color theme also (inkpot):

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ubuntu wtf number 1984

So, what's new THIS release of a "server" (read: we don't know much about all that stable ABI and API business, but hey, we make this stuff easier than before)

Oh yes, the new "select-editor" command. Indeed. Suggesting people to use $EDITOR? You're a poisonous person, get out of our community!

Select-editor command

Running the

sudo select-editor

command now allows you to pick which editor will be used by default to edit documents.

I mean, seriously. 6 months for a new "server" version and that's all they could come up with? Probably only has "nano, pico, joe, kedit, gedit and Vigor" as options anywho. And most likely depends on Python and GTK2.

This release also featuring the all improved one of a kind "Uncomplicated Firewall". Apparently it just has an "on/off" switch.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Change Analysis Diagnostic tool for Windows XP

Here's a neat tool for digital forensics, reversing or malware analysis:

This tool allows you to track changes in:

  • Software Programs
  • Operating System Components (hotfixes and updates)
  • Browser Helper Objects
  • Drivers
  • ActiveX Controls
  • Autostart Extensibity Points
Get it from

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Maximum login name lenght - Username too long in AIX 5.3

# useradd itssomeguy
3004-694 Error adding "itssomeguys" : Name is too long.

# getconf LOGIN_NAME_MAX
# lsattr −El sys0 −a max_logname
max_logname 9 Maximum login name length at boot time True
# chdev −l sys0 −a max_logname=18
sys0 changed
# reboot

Windows 2008 R2 Datacenter x64 Beta Hands on Preview

Windows 2008 R2 is also in the works.

Some major changes there it seems. The 2008 release was a bit rushed IMHO (Hyper-V still in Betas on release and so on).

And again, our new friends, the taskbar and the ribbon from Windows 7 are present:

Also comes with PowerShell v2.

Task manager, resource monitor and performance monitor got a few new additions also:

Overall, my first impression is a positive one. Seems pretty responsive also.

For some reason a lot changes withing the monitoring tools and taskmanager remind me of Mark Russinovich's Sysinternals tools.

Even trivial applications such as CALC got a new facelift and functionaly in Windows 7 and 2008 R2 . Like "Programmer mode" calc:

Even minor applications are getting a facelift. Paint gets ribboned too:

Obama gets a NSA approved "Blackberry"

Anyone else thinking Obama using a Blackberry is a bad idea? Apart from the whole WinCE thing inside, there's been precedent of getting in trouble over a phone call...

The first African-American president of the U.S.A. might want to learn a thing or two from the (first) Chechen Republic president Dzhokhar Dudayev, who was killed on the April 21, 1996, by two laser-guided missiles when he was using a satellite phone, after his location was detected by a Russian reconnaissance aircraft, which intercepted his phone call.

If they could detect speech patterns back in 1996 and stage such an attack, think of the things technology can do now...

Cryptography you say? I say inference attacks :-). And so on. Mobile phone insecurity is abysmal at best... I wonder what they'll do about 3rd party applications (probably not allowed) or stuff like Internet Explorer mobile, heh.

TEMPEST attacks is also something he might want to watch out for.

There's been precedent for this sort of thing :-). Like hacker group "anonymous" breaking into Sarah Palin's yahoo mail account.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winodws 7 beta hands on preview

A first look at Windows 7:

Looks and feels pretty much like Vista SP1 on steroids.

Graphically it's not much different from Windows Vista (with the slight exception of the taskbar). There's some minor UI changes and so on though.

VMware actually assumed it was a Windows Vista when I selected the ISO, and proceeded to start "EasyInstall" and automagically installed the OS without any kind of input.

So, at least from the installer point of view, it's pretty much 100% compatible with Windows Vista.

All VMware tools and drivers installed fine also.

Even our old friend "The Ribbon" is omnipresent. Now even mandatory when using Wordpad:

Of course, remember, this is still a beta...

All and all, it can be considered somewhat as an evolutionary change from Windows Vista, and not a revolution by far. It's more of a Windows Vista SP2 "Plus". I just wonder how this will reflect on Vista sales and such.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Error EC950008: Driver mining failed with Norton Ghost or Backup Exec

Error EC950008: Driver mining failed

This happens when trying to create a Symantec Recovery disk with various versions of Backup Exec System Recovery or Norton Ghost (they largely use the same codebase). I've seen this issue all the way up to Ghost 14 with the latest patches.

The issue is most likely due to Daemon Tools (happens even with the latest version to date). It errors out when it encounters it's SPD driver.

The solution is simple: uninstall Daemon Tools, create your System Recovery Disk, reinstall Daemon tools.