Archive for the ‘How To’ Category
Hey folks, here’s a fun little tidbit for you. Did you know that you can easily and quickly encrypt and decrypt files using one tiny little command on your super cool Linux or UNIX (Yes, OSX counts) and even Windows command line? For those that haven’t yet heard of it, it’s a command called ‘ccrypt‘. Check it out …
First we need to install ccrypt on on your system. For Debian and Ubuntu (which is based on Debian), you can simply use the apt package manager to do this. Remember that you can use the -s flag to test or simulate the install before you actually go through with it in order to make sure there are no surprises waiting for you. Logged in as your un-privileged account, the command would look like this:
sudo apt-get -s install ccrypt
Assuming everything went off as planned, you could then run the real thing:
sudo apt-get install ccrypt
For Redhat (CentOS, and others based on Redhat), they have RPM packages available for download. Along with those they have Debian, Solaris (SPARC and i386), OS/2, SuSE, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD packages as well as pre-compiled binaries for lots of platforms and OS’s, so go crazy people!!
OK, now that you have the package installed, you can have some fun whiling away the afternoon encrypting and decrypting files like mad!
To encrypt a file, run this command:
It’s just that easy.
Naturally, you would replace ‘file_name’ with your real file information. You will be asked to enter a key or password two times. Once complete, the encrypted file will have an extension of ‘.cpt’, and the original un-encrypted file will be replaced by the encrypted file.
To decrypt the file, run the same command the same way and simply add the -d flag.
You will be asked for the encryption key or password that you gave it when you encrypted it in the first place, so don’t lose it! As always you can use the ‘–help’ flag or hit up the man pages for more detailed information. Hope you enjoy it!
**Danger, Will Robinson!**
Cheesy I know, but I hope it’s working. One more time – please note that when you run the command to encrypt a file, the original source file, the un-encrypted file gets replaced by the newly encrypted file. So if you are simply making an encrypted copy for example, the original is gone. If you lose or forget the encryption key or password you will be out of luck. I’m sure it can be cracked by someone, but boy that would be a pain in the arse! So, keep that in mind when you encrypt a file, the file you are encrypting goes bye, bye! It works the same way when un-encrypting, but that’s not as potentially dangerous.
So today, I am working on a nice little Sun Microsystems T2000 server. It was purchased used by my customer and I am setting it up. Right away I ran into a snag, naturally, because I didn’t have the ALOM (Advanced Lights Out Management) or SC (System Controller) password for this machine. According to the person that sold the server, it was pulled from a working environment, the drives were wiped and it was sent out to be sold. This means that I had no way to get the old password from anyone, therefore I had to get past it myself.
Let me lay it out for you. In this situation you can’t really recover the password or see what it currently is. The only option at this point is to go in and clear out or erase the ALOM NVRAM so that you can then get access and setup a new password. In order to do this, you will need to connect your laptop to the serial management port. You can do this with a laptop or PC or whatever but for the sake of this article I am going to just use laptop. You will also need access to the power cords, because you are going to have to physically cut the power to the server to get started. OK, ready? Got everything in order? OK, let’s begin. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s a quick tidbit for any and all Windows jockeys out there. Need to figure out what is chewing up all of your system resources? Need to do it quickly and easily? Have no fear, Laz and the PowerShell are here. Some of you may know this already, so let those who don’t have some air!
OK, bring up the PowerShell (*note, this is different from the DOS “like” Command Prompt and can usually be installed through Windows Update). Once the PowerShell is open, you can use the ‘ps’ command to get a list of the currently running pr0cesses, but believe you me there are a lot of them and they scroll by all unformatted and hard to read and stuff. All in all you get a bunch of info that is hard to understand!
“So, what are we doing here?” you ask. Well, this is where just like with the ‘ps’ command (and the PowerShell in and of itself too), Windows takes some inspiration from UNIX and not only adds some nifty commands to help wrangle all that information that goes scrolling by, but also the idea of “piping” commands or a more simpler analogy, a way to link commands together. Making them talk to each other, work together and share information like never before. You pipe commands together with the ‘|’ character, and it allows you to run a command and take that output and send it to the next command. You will see this in the final command we will use, take a look:
ps | sort -desc cpu | select -f 20 | ft -a;
So, let’s take a look at what this command or set of commands really, does. First off the ps command gets the current list of processes running on the machine along with certain information about each and every one of them like the ‘Process ID’, the ‘ProcessName’ and the amount of ‘CPU’ time it’s using to name just a few. We then take all of that ‘ps’ data and “pipe” or feed it into the ‘sort’ command, telling sort to … well, sort that information by the ‘CPU’ column in “Descending” order. We then take all that sorted data and use the ‘select’ command to only grab or select the top ’20′ items in the list. Last but not least, we use the ‘ft’ command to “format” the list that we have now, which has been cut down to just the top 20 processes sorted by how much of your CPU they are using starting with the most at the top of the list and then listing the top 20 going down from there.
Ultimately, you run this command just like you see it above and you will get a list of the top processes that looks like this:
PS C:\temp> ps | sort -desc cpu | select -f 20 | ft -a;
Handles NPM(K) PM(K) WS(K) VM(M) CPU(s) Id ProcessName
------- ------ ----- ----- ----- ------ -- -----------
197 14 6700 11456 92 1,008.66 2744 AODAssist
422 15 6272 11572 53 886.27 1112 svchost
2398 1032 115224 10804 420 863.37 2020 AvastSvc
827 48 253744 247248 371 641.55 1388 svchost
1132 106 86252 118472 421 575.07 3596 explorer
140 69 45028 49456 173 572.51 5012 Everything
485 47 46612 69228 284 565.83 9608 explorer
1535 90 33912 49260 433 453.93 1460 svchost
717 52 29416 27460 124 451.45 1352 svchost
363 43 41048 11472 176 370.32 4436 svchost
909 63 94836 129776 726 366.38 6388 dopus
596 54 24476 26196 248 364.06 5136 avastui
684 44 22172 23564 241 352.66 1048 svchost
140 13 119472 113980 183 328.48 6972 vmware-usbarbitrator64
300 13 9940 14796 64 306.90 6516 WmiPrvSE
346 31 35176 29280 203 302.42 4688 tlbHost
225 24 1431016 1339160 1460 263.47 1500 stacsv64
865 81 27488 36708 149 216.86 1420 svchost
202 16 7300 15020 96 215.45 1744 WHSTrayApp
110 10 7144 10368 58 200.74 3252 BitMeterCaptureService
There you go, a nice handy little list of your top offenders! If you keep a PowerShell handy, it can be a very fast way to take a quick look at what’s going on under the hood of your PC. Enjoy!
Today I was doing some spec hunting for my PC, trying to track down exactly what make, model and frequency were supported by the Wi-Fi card that came with my machine. As I was doing so, and eyeballing the rest of the specs, I ran across the information for my video card. One thing that caught my eye was the description of the video or DVI port. Specifically it mentioned that the DVI port was a ‘dual-link’ DVI port. Well now, I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about computers, including hardware, but I hadn’t heard of a ‘dual-link’ DVI port before. Now, in my defense, I have spent the last many years concentrating on hardware by Sun, Hitachi, NetApp and the like. Things you will find in a full up data center, not at home in your desktop PC. I haven’t been knee deep in PC tech for a while, but I have kept up with most things.
So, naturally, I had to find out what ‘dual-link’ meant. I did some searching and found a wonderful article that explains what ‘dual-link’ is, what ‘single-link’ is, the differences between them and more. I am going to give you a brief summary (I don’t want to keep everyone in suspense), but I am also including a link to the original article, go read it and really get learned up.
Basically, the way I see it (the quick version) is like this:
- Dual-Link DVI -
- Has 24 pins in the plug instead of 18
- It uses two TMDS digital signal transmitters instead of one
- It can transmit data faster using 8 wires instead of 4
- It can support much higher resolutions up to 2560×1600
- There is an increase in signal quality and refresh rates
- Single-Link DVI -
- Has 18 pins in the plug instead of 24
- It has one TMDS digital signal transmitter
- It transmits data of 4 wires instead of 8
- It cannot support resolutions beyond 1920×1200
- Basic signal quality and refresh rates are observed
And there you have it, a run down of the basic differences between ‘dual-link’ and ‘single-link’ DVI. I think finding out and learning information like this is way cool. I love to learn new things and figure out how stuff works, it’s a lot of fun in my book – but then, more than a few people have called me crazy because a day of fun to me is sitting and coding all day! LOL
(Click to enlarge)
(Click to enlarge)
Now, for the sake of completeness, even though this doesn’t really apply to the dual-link or single-link question, I wanted to include another image or two that show other versions of the DVI plug. Since you are likely to run into one or all of these plugs out there somewhere, I figured you might want to know what you are looking at. These two pictures (click to enlarge), show you that aside from the digital DVI-D plugs, there are also DVI-I plugs that are analog and digital, plus some other older plugs. Of these older plugs, the Super-VGA there on the bottom is very common and one that you probably will see a lot. It was used for many years before the DVI option became common. I have seen many video cards that have DVI and VGA on the same card.
Check out the article on DVI dual-link versus single-link here.
OK Folks, I added this post so I could tell you about a new article that I just posted. Just like the title here suggests, I talk about learning Solaris UNIX and/or Linux the real way or maybe it would be better said as the right way. I don’t suppose there is a wrong or right way, but still. In this article I reach down into the depth of not only my own knowledge but I lean heavily on my own experience as well, and use that information to share all I know and can rant about learning solid UNIX and Linux skills for the up and coming nix jockies out there. I really hope that this article can help someone and maybe more than just one naturally. It’s some (I think) good advice on how to get started and some of the best ways to dig in there and learn some good stuff. Maybe in the future I’ll post more lower level hard core how to stuff and see how that goes over. Some of that kind of stuff I have posted already (like SVM disk info and Symantec Storage Foundations (formerly Veritas Volume Manager)) has been real popular. Anyway, for anyone interested, head on over to the Library and check out the new article on Learning Solaris UNIX and Linux today, you might find something helpful in there! If you have any thoughts about it or something you think I should add, please drop me a line and let me know. Thanks!
Just a quick post to share something cool. I was learning more about the difference between classes and ID’s in CSS and found a great article at CSS-Tricks and I just had to share it with everyone. The link is here http://css-tricks.com/the-difference-between-id-and-class/ so go check it out if that sounds like something of benefit to you. The author goes way beyond just the differences, and explains many extra tidbits as well, a good and informative article all the way around. Hope this helps! Thanks.