>NIL:'s Blog

2007.01.16 (Tuesday)

End of line

Filed under: General — site admin @ 22:10:00 GMT (1168985400 ticks, and counting...)

Let's face it, I have no real plan to continue blogging in here, and as much as I like WordPress, I can't be ars… I mean bothered to have to update the engine everytime a new vulnerability is discovered.
The lazy hacker™ solution then: save the meagre posts that exist on these pages, upload good old trusted static HTML and get all ye script kiddies to go to hell…

Why, thank you; you’ve been a wonderful audience to an increasingly disgruntled old man…

2006.02.24 (Friday)

But why would you ever bring that rotten Microsoft stuff under Linux?

Filed under: Computing, OSes — >NIL: @ 16:59:15 GMT (1140800355 ticks, and counting...)

Well, if you live in a corporate world that swears by the National Socialism Microsoft crap, you might, one day, have to mount some Active Directory shares on a Linux server. I know, you’ll feel dirty all over from bringing that abomination to Linux, but some people never learn…

So here goes:
1) create a file auth.smb with the following:
username = DOMAIN/username
2) run the command:
smbmount //server/share /mnt/share -o “credentials=./auth.smb,uid=userid,gid=userid,fmask=644,dmask=775?

Why the ‘username=’ option of smbmount doesn’t work is something I don’t care about. The goal is to quickly get over this and move on ;)

2005.09.21 (Wednesday)

And again…, part 3

Filed under: OSes — >NIL: @ 17:09:19 GMT (1127322559 ticks, and counting...)

… or more like 2 days.

Well, I gotta give my IS dept. some credit. It only took ‘em a couple of days to figure out that tunneling was an option and to ramp up security to disable any inbound packet that does not come as a reply to a previous outbound one. Now we’re talking about something that looks like a real firewall!
Now, I’d rather blame the makers of httptunnel for not seeing that one coming. I mean, come on guys, it would have been child’s play to conceal tunneled data into what looks like an innocuous HTTP binary file download (of unknown size) for inbound data, and an HTTP POST request for outbound.

But hey, when a door closes, a Window opens. “…and introducing: TCP-over-CGI (rutil_tcpcgi)!”
The only drawback is you need a webserver to place the cgi (but you don’t need root access there).

Now, assuming that the cgi is running on your remote server, with the URL: ‘’, and that this server is also the machine you are trying to ssh to, then on the UNIX server you want to connect from:
tcpcgi -H -f /cgi-bin/tcpcgi.cgi -d -x 1000
ssh -v login@localhost -p 9111 -o NoHostAuthenticationForLocalhost=yes -o PubkeyAuthentication=no

For some reason, I found that my public key authentication was screwed up by tcpcgi (Ugh! I’ll have to re-enable password logon on my ssh box) and it also appears to choke on a large flow of data (=> no sftp, which is a bit annoying). Plus you have to reduce the max latency time (-x) quite a bit if you go for an interactive shell. The algorithm is adaptive, which is nice, but the default possible max of 60 secs is not. Apart from that, this little utility does exactly what it says on the tin, and it’ll sure be quite a challenge for a corporate IS dept. to overcome.

Hey, if I find the proper motivation, I might even end up coding my own version of an HTTP wrapper for ssh… ;)

2005.09.19 (Monday)

Breaking a corporate firewall, part 2

Filed under: OSes — >NIL: @ 20:55:06 GMT (1127163306 ticks, and counting...)

And so, 2 years later, your IS dept. finally realized what a double edged sword ssh really was, and not only did they disable the ssh port (not a big deal) but they also monitor and forbid any ssh like traffic on any port. Getting better guys! Well, if you’re lucky, they’ll want you to use an ssh-relay box that they can monitor or something, but hey, I’m just not the kind of guy that likes to be monitored, and I still want to connect to my Linux box @ home without anybody peeking over my shoulder.

Well, here (GNU httptunnel) we go:

As root, on the box you are trying to access:
hts -F localhost:22 80

And on any Linux box inside your corporate firewall (assuming you are using port 30 as the redirector):
htc -F 30 remote_ip:80
ssh -p 30 -o NoHostAuthenticationForLocalhost=yes login@localhost

The only trick is the “NoHostAuthenticationForLocalhost=yes” option on ssh.
Without it, you’ll get an “ssh_exchange_identification: Connection closed by remote host” error, because of the host hopping.

See you in 2 years for the next episode then. ;)

2005.09.06 (Tuesday)

See you in hell, dodgy Windows processes!

Filed under: OSes — >NIL: @ 15:58:45 GMT (1126022325 ticks, and counting...)

Guess Redmond has finally got bugged by what UNIX people have doing for years… TASKLIST and TASKKILL are native Windows XP commands (couldn’t call ‘em ‘ps’ and ‘kill’ like reasonable people?):

TASKLIST [/S system [/U username [/P [password]]]]
[/M [module] ¦ /SVC ¦ /V] [/FI filter] [/FO format] [/NH]

This command line tool displays a list of application(s) and
associated task(s)/process(es) currently running on either a local or
remote system.

TASKKILL [/S system [/U username [/P [password]]]]
{ [/FI filter] [/PID processid ¦ /IM imagename] } [/F] [/T]

This command line tool can be used to end one or more processes.
Processes can be killed by the process id or image name.

Is this the end of the second most annoying loosedows behaviour ever?

2005.08.26 (Friday)

XDM/KDM remote root logon on SuSE ES 9.0

Filed under: OSes — >NIL: @ 12:44:29 GMT (1125060269 ticks, and counting...)

Always a struggle, dammit. Get your act together guys!
1. edit /etc/opt/kde3/share/config/kdm/kdmrc (yeah, I know, there are kdmrc’s xdmrc’s all over the place! This one’s the right one)
# Whether KDM should listen to XDMCP requests. Default is true.

2. edit /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager (to get rid of the “no foreign root login allowed” error)
# Allow remote access of the user root to your display manager


2005.08.15 (Monday)

IMDB’s top 250

Filed under: Movies — >NIL: @ 23:16:20 GMT (1124147780 ticks, and counting...)

Funny how movies with an undeserved aspiration for the top spot will always yield a reference Citizen Kane, whereas, Citzen Kane is such a self contained masterpiece that it doesn’t need to compare itself to any other movie ;)

But anybody knows something’s amiss when Shawshank Redemption continuously occupies slot #2. I mean, the movie’s good, but it should take more than that to achieve a place in the top 5 (let alone the top 3). Show me a cinematic effect that makes you go “Wow!” in Shawshank’s (no, I’m NOT talking FX, I’m talking cinematography!). No? Thought so…

And since you’re so kind as asking, the ones that I have seen that should either NOT be in the top #250 or at a much lower place than it currently is:
Spider-Man 2, Dogville (interesting but not top #250 material), The Terminator, Ed Wood (Scissorhands is better suited for that!), Big Fish (at best, this should be #249 or something), Finding Neverland (lower, much lower), Kill Bill Vol. 2 (I’ve seen the first one: puh-lease, that was enough!), Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Vol. 1 (and let’s kill the suspens, anything by Tarantino should be out), Saving Private Ryan (should be low rank - there are much better Spielbergs out there. Besides, if you drop the first 1/2 hour of the movie, there’s not much top #250 material left, is there. We’re talking about feature films, not short stories), Fight Club (highly overrated), American Beauty (lower or out!), Pulp Fiction (#11?!? are you kidding me?). Fargo should be lower too. Batman Begins in there as well? Oh Lord, is there no respect whatsoever for good cinema? Green Mile, lower.
Examples of films that should have replaced the above? (In no particular order): Tron, Millions, Secretary, Touching The Void, Paris Texas, The Hurricane, WarGames, K-Pax, Matrix Reloaded (and possibly Revolutions), Chicken Run, Contact, Apollo 13, Gattaca, one Harry Potter movie (but only one), Fearless, The Abyss (in replacement of both Terminators), ‘Bullit’, Always (in replacement of ‘Saving … Ryan’), The Bourne Identity, Porco Rosso, Kiki’s Delivery Service (If you have Totoro and Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi, you might as well add these), Conspiracy Theory, Dances With Wolves, I Am Sam, Starship Troopers, Airplane!, A Very Long Engagement…

Now go and be infuriated. That’s your role…


Filed under: General — >NIL: @ 15:45:31 GMT (1124120731 ticks, and counting...)

“Join the army, see the world, meet interesting, exciting people, and kill them.”

2005.06.22 (Wednesday)

One day, you will see the light…

Filed under: Advocacy, Gaming — >NIL: @ 12:21:12 GMT (1119442872 ticks, and counting...)

Well, I’m in a good mood today, since the PSP 1.5 firmware was hacked in a proper manner to allow you to run homebrew. Did I tell you the PSP rocked? Therefore, I shall be playing the best game ever, a.k.a. “Another World”, on the PSP before long.
Speaking of which…:

“Another World should serve as a reminder that some games were so damn good that you didn’t need to be collecting every star or unlocking secrets in order to garner replay value, you just wanted to experience it again and again to get every last drop of pixelated pleasure.”

“Half Life is often credited with mixing narrative snippets into gameplay, but Another World had already done it. ICO is lauded for its minimalist gameplay and lack of superimposed interface elements, but Another World had already done it. If a game were to come out today with the same kind of originality, minimalism and simple but highly suggestive cinematic shots that Another World pioneered in 1991, there’s no telling how many industry awards it would round up. Another World is one for the gaming history books.”

2005.01.24 (Monday)

DOS attacks anyone?

Filed under: Computing, rpc1.org — >NIL: @ 22:52:34 GMT (1106607154 ticks, and counting...)

rule to REJECT from a specific number of SYN per secs to prevent SynFlood :

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp –syn -m limit –limit 1/s -j ACCEPT

2005.01.09 (Sunday)

Region Free hack for the Sony DVP-NS585P standalone player

Filed under: HiFi / Video, Hardware 2 — >NIL: @ 22:47:13 GMT (1105310833 ticks, and counting...)

Note: This hack should world for most Sony DVP players

So, you finally took the plunge and got yourself one of these (relatively) good value Sony DVP players. But then, thanks to the !”?$%^%$?! MPAA, you find yourself locked back into a single region: SHOCK AND HORROR!
By now, you’re been browsing over the internet, and what you found are many expensive & impractical offers that say they can turn your Sony player region free by sending you some ridiculously priced stuff, or you found a list of codes to be used with yet again an expensive ‘universal’ remote controller which you don’t have.

There has to be a MUCH CHEAPER and almost immediate solution to get your player region free, dammit!
Well, if you have a PC with a serial port, there is. Exposed below is a very cheap and simple solution to turn your Sony DVD player into a region free one.

But first, I’ve got to acknowledge that this is merely a rip off what you can find on selen.org’s site. I especially don’t want to take any credit for what is other’s hard work. In particular, I got to thank Blank Frank for the excellent winsamp utility, which is the keystone of this process. I obviously got to thank the selen’s site for the Sony winsamp codes, and finally, the very simple montage I give comes straight from the “Simple transmitter circuit on serial port” diagram you can see at the lirc site.
The things you do with a good search engine! ;)

So, the trick here is to use the winsamp utility with cheapest and simplest InfraRed (IR) transmitter montage we can plug on a PC’s serial port, and then use the PC to send the unlock codes to the DVP unit, as if we were using one of these Universal Remote Controls. Yes, you can easily turn your PC into a universal remote. Nifty, heh?

Of course, you will still need to build an InfraRed transmitter, but, as the picture below proves, this is really no big deal.
In fact, you might even not need a soldering iron if you find your own way to make each component stick with the other (I wouldn’t recommand sticky tape, but it will probably do if you don’t have anything else). The thing is, if everything goes well, we’re only going to use that small IR transmitter once, so it doesn’t have to be quakeproof electronics. As long as each component is connected to the other in the right order and the whole thing is plugged properly into the serial port, it’ll do.

To build the IR transmitter, you will need the following, which you should be able to find without trouble in any electronics component retail:
- one LD271 IR LED (Siemens GaAs 950 nm Infrared LED - datasheet)
- one 1N4148 diode
- one 1 kO (one kilo Ohm) 0.6 W resistor

This should cost around €1 (or $1) at any good electronics store

Once you got those, simply build the IR emitter as shown in the picture below. Note that the diode is connected to the longest leg of the IR LED (the anode) with the black ring end of the diode (the cathode) towards the LED. It is very important to connect the diode and the LED as described above, as these components are polarized. The resistor (light blue with colored rings on the picture) has not polarity and can be connected in any direction, but the anode from one polarized component should always be connected to the cathode of another polarized component.

Simple IR Transmitter montage

With the IR transmitter complete, all you need to do is connect the anode of the LED (which should be the pin with the diode by now) to the TxD pin (pin #3) of a PC serial connector , and the cathode (pin with the resistor) to the Signal Ground (pin #5) and use winsamp to transmit the unlock code.

Of course connecting the transmitter directly to the PC serial port can be quite inconvenient, first because this is a male connector, so you’ll need crimp connectors (as in the picture) or something else to hold the pins in place, and also because then you will have to find a way to place your PC so that the IR LED is less than a few centimeters to the Remote sensor of the DVD unit.

The best solution is therefore to plug it into a serial cable if you have one, so that you can move the LED around without having to hold some cumbersome piece of equipment in your arms. In the picture below the IR transmitter is plugged into a DB9 serial extension cable. I used crimp connectors because the end is male there again, but this is no big deal. The best of course is to use have a DB9 female to female cable, because then you can do without the crimp connectors and just stick the pins of the transmitter in there. But then you have to know whether it’s a crossed cable (null modem) or a straight one, as you will need to use pin#2 (RxD) instead of pin #3 (TxD) is it’s a null modem cable.

The IR Transmitter montage plugged onto a serial cable

The pins should be indicated on the cable or the COM: port itself (if you look closely), so making sure you plug the transmitter properly shouldn’t be a big deal. Else you can look for the numerous pinout diagrams of an RS232 port on the internet.

At this stage I also have to stress out that USING THIS MONTAGE WILL PUT SOME STRESS ON THE SERIAL PORT, AS THE ORIGINAL PC’S SERIAL PORT HAS NOT BEEN DESIGNED TO DRIVE CURRENT THROUGH A LED. I therefore take no responsability in any damage that might occur. However, if your PC is less than 10 years old, it should be built to handle that kind of stress (which we limited to the bare minimum by adding a resistor in our montage), and since this should be a one of operation, there’s not much sleep to be lost over it (yes, I tested it on my PC and it worked flawlessly). On recent PC’s, I doubt this will put that much of a strain on your serial port (because most recent PC’s take provision for that kind of stuff) but you need to understand the risks associated with this operation.

OK, at this stage, I will assume that you have our $1 IR trnasmitter plugged onto your COM2 serial port, and you can then follow the procedure detailled on selen’s site:

1. Download the winsamp package from Blank Frank’s site (or this local copy).
2. Extract the package onto a bootable DOS floppy disk.
3. Download the IR code file from selen’s (or this local copy) and place it in the same directory as the package above.
4. Boot up your PC from the floppy disk and run winsamp.exe, it will use COM2: by default, which is the port where your simple IR transmitter should be connected. If you are using COM1: indicate this with the command ‘winsamp C1'.
5. Press the ‘r’ key to load up the unlock codes into winsamp.
6. Locate the stylized ‘R’ logo (an ‘R’ drawn in one line, with an extra vertical leg on the left) on the face of your DVD Player which indicates the location of the IR Remote Control receiver. For the DVP-NS585P, it is located at the right of the front panel, under the “Eject” button. You need to place our IR Transmitter less than 2 or 3 cm from this receiver for the hack to work.
7. Make sure your DVD player is in standby mode with no disc in the drive.
8. Run the IR codes from 1 to 5 by pressing Enter on each corresponding button.
9. Your DVD player should start up and display the text “SUCCESS” (With the DVP-NS585P, this appears on the front panel, not on the TV)
10. Wait for your player to return to standby mode. If it doesn’t do this automatically, repeat step 8 until it shuts down
11. Enjoy having turned your Sony DVD player into a Region Free one for peanuts. ;) And be a nice person; if you know someone else with a region protected Sony DVD player, lend them your IR transmitter and have them follow this procedure so that they can be region free too…

2004.08.24 (Tuesday)

httrack commandline to get the binaries files off a page

Filed under: OSes — site admin @ 12:02:37 GMT (1093348957 ticks, and counting...)

This one works (with progress indication):
httrack -g -p2 -r2 -%h -#p -%v http://some.site.org -*.php -*.html -*.png -*.jpg -*.gif

2004.08.03 (Tuesday)

DRM is bad

Filed under: Advocacy — site admin @ 12:49:09 GMT (1091537349 ticks, and counting...)

DRM systems don’t work. This one’s an oldie but I forgot to link it here. Wanna know why?

2004.07.18 (Sunday)

Hope Depl0y is not gonna kill me

Filed under: General — >NIL: @ 21:36:27 GMT (1090186587 ticks, and counting...)

OK, so I dastardly abandonned Depl0y’s excellent blog engine for WordPress
Well, the truth is, Depl0y has other things to worry about now ;) , and you can’t beat a group of people working with the GPL in the palm of their hand.
Plus this blog looks nice “out of the box”, which spares the need to be creative :-P

2004.07.13 (Tuesday)

Time is on your side

Filed under: Computing, Admin — >NIL: @ 13:12:10 GMT (1089724330 ticks, and counting...)

Some useful NTP stuff:

o ntpq
pe : lists current servers
as : associations
rv <as ID>
o ntpdate -v ntp.server.name

2004.07.09 (Friday)

Basic MySQL commands

Filed under: Computing, Admin — >NIL: @ 13:23:57 GMT (1089379437 ticks, and counting...)
show databases;
show tables;
create database newdb;
grant INSERT,SELECT on root.* to newdbuser@localhost;
set password for newdbuser@localhost=PASSWORD(’new_password’);
grant CREATE, INSERT, SELECT, DELETE, UPDATE, ALTER on newdb.* to newdbuser@localhost;
grant CREATE, INSERT, SELECT, DELETE, UPDATE, ALTER on newdb.* to newdbuser;
drop database newdb; 

2004.05.11 (Tuesday)

I fucking hate Microsoft!!!

Filed under: Computing, OSes, Advocacy — >NIL: @ 01:57:22 GMT (1084240642 ticks, and counting...)

Rot in hell, Bill Gates!!!! Don’t fucking ever try to prevent ME to do what I want with MY computer, like erasing these bloody undeletable files.

Ever got that message?
“Error deleting file or folder
Cannot delete yada: it is used by another person or program.
Close any program that might be using the file and try again”

Sounds familiar heh? And you tried logon/logoff/reboot/safe mode/chkdisk and all that crap and nothing works, and all the M$ articles on the net tell you it’s because you’re in NTFS, while you know darn well that you’re on FAT32 partition.

Well, let there be light: Have a look here!

The solution:
1/ Open a dos prompt
2/ Open the Task Manager and KILL KILL KILL that Explorer, because that’s the SOB that’s ultimately keeping a bloody lock on your file!!!
3/ While Explorer is being kicked in the nuts (and it deserves it), use the DOS del command to get rid of your file at last.

As any Linux user will tell you: “Well I never…” (…ever have that kind of problem on Linux)


2004.04.30 (Friday)

Mmm… Swappiness

Filed under: Computing, OSes, Admin — >NIL: @ 17:02:00 GMT (1083344520 ticks, and counting...)

But does it comes with extra cheese?
To tune, simply echo a value from 0 to 100 onto /proc/sys/vm/swappiness. The higher a number set here, the more the system will swap.
More info

2004.01.14 (Wednesday)

Installing apache 2.0.x + PHP 4.3 on Slackware 9.1

Filed under: Computing, Admin — >NIL: @ 11:53:59 GMT (1074081239 ticks, and counting...)

o Add the following to config.layout:
# Slackware 9.1
prefix: /usr
exec_prefix: ${prefix}
bindir: ${prefix}/bin
sbindir: ${prefix}/sbin
libdir: ${prefix}/lib
libexecdir: ${prefix}/libexec
mandir: ${prefix}/man
sysconfdir: /etc/apache
datadir: /var/www
installbuilddir: ${datadir}/build
errordir: ${datadir}/error
iconsdir: ${datadir}/icons
htdocsdir: ${datadir}/html
manualdir: ${datadir}/manual
cgidir: ${datadir}/cgi-bin
includedir: ${prefix}/include/apache
localstatedir: /var
runtimedir: ${localstatedir}/run
logfiledir: ${localstatedir}/log/apache
proxycachedir: ${localstatedir}/cache/apache

o Install hpptd as follows:
./configure --enable-so --enable-cgi --enable-info --enable-rewrite --enable-speling --enable-usertrack --enable-deflate --enable-ssl --enable-mime-magic --enable-layout=Slackware
make install

o Install PHP as follows:
./configure --prefix=/var/www/php --with-apxs2=/usr/sbin/apxs --with-config-file-path=/etc/apache/ --enable-sockets --with-mysql=/usr --with-zlib-dir=/usr/lib --with-gd
make install
cp php.ini-recommended /etc/apache/php.ini

o Modify /etc/apache/httpd.conf to have:
LoadModule php4_module modules/libphp4.so
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.html.var

o Create file /var/www/html/test.php with the following content and test ;)
<?php phpinfo(); ?>

2003.10.29 (Wednesday)

Linux version of DVRFlash

Filed under: Computing, Firmwares, Development, Hardware — >NIL: @ 16:53:45 GMT (1067446425 ticks, and counting...)

We’ll need this if we want Agent Smith’s DVRFlash to support Linux…

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