Wanna see this logo while booting your 2.6 kernel? Click here!

20.01.2010 11:46

Windows 7 God Mode


Create a folder anywhere on your windows 7 installation and give it the name GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}, then open the folder. Might come in handy.

16.01.2010 17:01

Fixing registry permissions errors when starting services on Windows Vista


Today I got a notebook in my hands which failed to start several essential network services, like NLA, DHCP, ...
The error message shown in the event log when trying to start the NLA service was:
The service "NLA (Network Location Awareness)" has stopped with the
following service specific error: 3221226008

The system might also show the following error code:
1073741288

The solution to this fix is pretty simple, it's a registry permissions problem. Although I do not know what actually caused this issue, the system internal user "SERVICE" (or "DIENST" in german) needs to be added to the services registry hive in CCS and assigned special permissions to read and create values as well as enumerate subkeys.
To do this, start "regedit" and browse to the location of the failing service. For NLA, this is
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\NlaSvc\Parameters

Right click this key and add the user "SERVICE" to the list of allowed users. Assign the following special permissions to it: READ VALUE, CREATE SUBKEYS, ENUMERATE SUBKEYS.
That's all you need to do to fix this issue, start the service again then and repeat these steps for all other services too.

I used sysinternals (err, Microsofts) Process Monitor with some filters to find out the failing registry key, I suggest you have that running in the background too, it makes finding out the failing keys pretty easy.

If you have a lot of registry permission errors or if something is seriously f*ked up, try to restore the registry permissions to their default values with the following command:
secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose /areas REGKEYS

More information about this procedure can be found in KB313222.

29.12.2009 10:37

Why pirating music is old-school


Yesterday, my wife asked me if I could get some songs of this new upcoming band boyce avenue. I first checked their website to see what they had to offer and wanted to listen to some samples of their songs. The first link there lead me to the iTunes store and all the albums where available there of course. I listened to a few of the samples and I have to admit that I love accustic guitars so I wanted to download some of the songs. I was just about to open another tab in firefox to see if I could get the mp3s for free somewhere when I saw the prices for the samplers in the iTunes store.

In the past (the good ol' times) I used Napster and stuff like that (like everyone else) to download music from the internet, but not because I did not want to pay for it, but because everything was readily available there, you got everything almost instantly and you didn't have to order a CD somewhere or drive to the local shop to get a copy of that - in this case, I'm not even sure if I could get CDs from them somewhere down here. I'm this kind of a person who wants to have things _IMMEDIATELY_ and don't want to wait a single day to get them, so downloading music off the internet is exactly my style.

Anyhow, after having purchased all their CDs on the iTunes store, I realized that the iTunes store is much cheaper than pirating the music off the internet. Imagine you're trying to get a full album of some band for free on the internet, what do you have to do? First, you need to know the name of the album, there's no real search function on most of these sites or P2P portals, you cannot really listen to the music _BEFORE_ you actually download it, most of the time, you don't get the covers, etc. So even if you are able to find the album immediately, download speed often varies and downloading a full album with about 20 tracks can take up to a few days if the album isn't popular enough. Then, when you finally have it, you need to verify that the tracks are all normalized or at least all have the same main volume, otherwise having them all in one playlist can easily hurt your ears. Out of my experiences, most of these downloaded songs don't have proper ID3 tags and I _LOVE_ ID3 tags, because they are so great to organize your music and all my CD and MP3 players support ID3 tags, so no more "Track 01", "Track 02" and shit like this. Converting ID3 tags to CD text is also especially important when you want to listen to this music in your car and don't have a MP3 player in it (yah, my BMW is a bit old school, I'm happy that I have a working CD changer now).

Anyhow, usually you end up spending quite some time fiddling around with getting an album downloaded for free and have it available in the quality I'm used to out of the iTunes store (including ID3 tags, normalizing them, having proper file names and directory structures, CD covers, etc.), so I think I'm not exaggerating when I say that you probably need to spend about 2 hours for downloading one or two albums off the internet.

Comparing my usual hourly rates against the price of all 5 albums on the iTunes store, I actually won money by purchasing them there, because buying all the 5 albums, downloading them and spreading them over wireless LAN to all my home computers and my two iPhones consumed about 10 minutes of my precious time, no hassles included, perfect quality, wife is happy (<= priceless!).

To all the students and nonworkers out there: Please disregard this blog entry, you probably won't understand the moral of it. When time is the most important thing in your life, you will start thinking differently and probably understand a bit of what I wrote here.

To everyone interested, here's the iTunes store link for boyce avenue:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=273918689&id=273918669&s=143441

19.12.2009 13:52

neuwahlJETZT.at - Dein Recht auf Neuwahlen in Kärnten


Das hier ist - wenn ich mich nicht irre - der einzige Beitrag in diesem Weblog, der auf Deutsch geschrieben wird, weils eigentlich mit dem Hauptthema dieses Weblogs (News from the front) nicht viel zu tun hat, zumindest nicht in technischer Hinsicht.

Es geht hier allerdings um eine ganz andere Front, die jeden Kärntner und jede Kärntnerin sehrwohl betrifft, nämlich die politische Front in Kärnten. Ich selbst bin jetzt nicht gerade der, der sehr politisch ist, ich pflege hier im allgemeinen den Weg des geringsten Widerstandes, aber schön langsam ist auch meine Schmerzgrenze erreicht.

Wer sich also zu diesem Thema informieren will, sollte mal bei http://www.neuwahlJETZT.at vorbeischaun, alle Kärntner und Kärntnerinnen sind auch herzlich eingeladen, die Petition dort zu unterschreiben (auch anonym möglich).

http://www.neuwahlJETZT.at

18.12.2009 11:20

German Translations FTW!


While configuring a Linksys WRT54G3G today, I found the following great German translation on the webinterface of this router:

Zweitens??

Funny stuff...

14.12.2009 10:30

Captain, we need more storage space!


Running performance tests on Microsoft Cluster Servers is pretty funny sometimes, especially when you're about to do storage performance testing. Some of the tools (like SIO) require you to create a big file on a provisioned LUN which these tools will then use to run their writes and reads on. On unixoide operating systems, this is pretty easy to accomplish, thanks to "dd", Windows doesn't have that out of the box as to my knowledge, so what I tried to do then is to zip compress one of the 5g dd files from one of my linux machines and copy it to the windows machine to extract it there. Oddly enough, the 5g zero-padded file was compressed to 5MB (zip sucks, _I_ would have compressed that much better). Anyhow, I copied the zip file to the windows server then and tried to extract it there. I ended up copying the 5g file without compressing it first.

We definitely need more space on our storage...

22.11.2009 00:25

Need a Porsche?


Anyone in need of a nice Porsche? One day left on the ebay auction :)

Press reports, links and pictures available at http://www.sportwagencenter.at.

12.11.2009 14:27

Want to share a desk with me?


If you're looking for a job and if you don't mind sharing a desk with me, apply here:

http://www.lkh-vil.or.at/fileadmin/uploads/KABEG_Portal/LKH_Villach/Allgemeine_Infos/Jobs/Mitarbeiter_IT.pdf

My current workmate got promoted and so I'm looking for someone to fill in the gap :)

12.05.2009 19:03

AMD 64bit SEGFAULT Fix for Cisco VPN Clients on Linux systems


Today someone contacted me about this issue some of you might well be aware of. Even the latest Cisco VPNClient (4.8.02 as to my knowledge) doesn't work on AMD Phenom (64bit) processors, it always segfaults when you start the service or attempt to connect to your VPN gateway.

This guy has really done some great work and has modified the binaries to work on AMD 64bit systems again. Right now, we don't have much feedback of affected people, so if you are affected, go ahead and try the patched versions (links in the download section below) and please give us feedback either in the forums or via the comments system here.

Downloads

Links

23.03.2009 10:39

Upgrading an old iBook G4 to MacOSX Leopard (10.5.6)


A friend of mine bought a used iBook G4 on ebay and asked me if I could "upgrade" it to 10.5.6. I thought this can't be that complicated and said yes, which turned out to be a bad decision after all. He gave me a disk image file of the MacOS X 10.5.6 Install DVD (6.2GB in size) and the first thing I wanted to do is to burn this dmg onto a dual layer DVD+R recordable. Of course, I did not have such a medium at home and after all, they're not really cheap (~€4 for a good quality disc). Burning dmg files directly onto discs is no possible on Windows as it seems and I don't think that k3b allows for burning dual-layer discs currently, well, I haven't really tried though, so if anyone can confirm that this would have worked, please tell me.
I tried several tools to convert the dmg file to a format which is writable with Nero or any other burning tool on windows, like dmg2iso, dmg2img (the successor of dmg2iso), MagicISO, PowerISO, ... None of them worked. dmg2i* complained about a corrupt plist in the dmg file, MagicISO said that the file is damaged and can't be read or cannot be found (that's an oxymoron, if you ask me, how does the tool know that the files is damaged if one of the possible error causes is that it cannot find the file?), PowerISO said quite the same.
I then wanted to verify the dmg file by trying to mount it with MacDrive, which worked out of the box and I could access all the files in the disk image.

I then booted the old Mac, copied the dmg over there and verified that it really works. I then played a bit with "hdiutil" just to find out that it actually is able to convert the dmg to a CD/DVD Master image (.cdr) with the following command:
hdiutil convert /path/to/filename.dmg -format UDTO -o /path/to/savefile.cdr

After I did that, I had an about 6.2GB .cdr file which I then in turn copied back to my windows machine to burn it there to the DVD DL medium (the iBook G4 did not have a DVD writer, that's why).
After burning the disc I verified with MacDrive that the disc is accessible and plugged it into the iBook then. To my surprise, nothing happened. Well, nothing is not correct, it just spat the disc out again as if it would be unable to read it. I know that the drive in the iBook is capable of reading DVD DLs because my friend burned the dmg file onto the disc and tried to boot off of it (which of course didn't work ;) ).
I then tried to tune the settings of my burning tool, created another .cdr file now with Disk Utility instead of hdiutil which resulted in a 7.2GB .cdr file (the dmg was compressed, mhm) but nevertheless, this image also didn't work on the iBook after I burnt it onto the disc.
After having wasted 4 DL discs, I restored the dmg file on the Mac onto my brand new 16GB usb flash disk and tried to boot from it, which didn't work as the firmware of this specific iBook model doesn't seem to support booting from USB devices (firewire would have been possible, but hey, who has firewire??).

OK, as a last resort, I wanted to somehow install the new version from the harddisk, meaning that I'd have to re-partition it but of course, there was just one partition on the 30GB disk and this partition held the system partition and was not resizable. Duh.

OK, reinstalling with the old MacOSX version (10.3, I think), changing the partition layout to have a spare 8GB partition after the system partition and after the installation has finished, I restored the dmg to this partition and from that point on, everything went smoothly.
After the installation has finished, I removed the second partition again and resized the volume on the first one to extend to the maximum physical space and everything was good again.

Time wasted: ~15hrs
Time worth: ~1500€
Revenue gained: 1 DL disc and a breakfast
Perception: Next time, say no.