Ubuntu 17.10 - “Artful Aardvark”

Submitted by tarvid on Fri, 10/20/2017 - 20:23

Downloaded the latest version just released and burned to a USB stick. It booted in seconds. Looks familiar (as it should, it is back to Gnome). I called the old windows manager "Fisher Price" because it looked more like a toy. No 32 bit version but I haven't booted an i386 system in years. There are alternatives for the museum pieces. I may try it on my workstation. I have been running Mint because it ditched the Fisher Price interface in favor of Gnome. I'll at least do a trial to see if my video card behaves.

UPS Replacement

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:09

Normal mean time to failure is 3 to 5 years. My two year old (plus 3 months) did not reset on a power restoration. A power restoration is the severest load because in addition to the devices being powered, the UPS has to recharge the batteries. I reset it manually by unplugging the devices, turning on the UPS and reconnecting the devices on at a time. Not very handy if you are not around.

I have tested power interruption on a new, slightly larger UPS three times and the new one coasted through the tests.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:01

Microsoft issued the release today. There are a few security updates as well as several product enhancements. I updated two machines today (about an hour each) with no major obstacles. You may get the updates automatically hopefully when you don't need access to your machine. A power interruption could cause major problems so you may want to initiate the update when environmental conditions appear favorable.

WPA Exploit - KRACK

Submitted by tarvid on Tue, 10/17/2017 - 17:49

Virtually all wireless routers are vulnerable. Microsoft patched Windows 10 last week so everybody who is subscribed to automatic Windows Updates should be OK. This primarily applies to Windows based laptops that connect wirelessly. The Tenda routers with WPA encryption are probably susceptible. Ubiquiti radios on the Wired Road network do not use WPA. I am unaware of any LSNet devices that are vulnerable.

Upgrading to Windows 10 Pro

Submitted by tarvid on Mon, 08/14/2017 - 13:40

We missed the "free" upgrade window (some people have managed to upgrade without paying). I did catch the upgrade for my "banking machine" but when I picked up a used box for the living room, the license was dubious. I had other machines on line so I could download the ISO from Microsoft. I have some exposure and wanted a "legal" license key. Fortunately, these are available on line from places like KeyStoreOnline for $30. If  you want to avoid the task of downloading and burning an ISO they also sell a bootable image on USB for $20.

Internet in your neighborhood (and Cell too)

Submitted by tarvid on Sat, 08/12/2017 - 08:33

Broadband users usually deploy a wireless router to connect phones, tablets, laptops and a myriad of other devices. By default these routers broadcast an SSID (service set identifier).  A popular scanner WiGLE (Wireless Geographic Logging Engine) is available for Android (Google Play) but not Apple (ask them).  People using WiGLE have logged over 5,000,000,000 observations of over 360,000,000 networks and almost 800,000 cell towers.

The Russians were here

Submitted by tarvid on Thu, 06/01/2017 - 13:22

A little while back,  one of our web clients was hacked. I cleaned up but apparently missed a payload.  I found a few connections from 146.185.254.36 which is actually in Ukraine but the domain is layershift.ru. I removed the payload but may bomb the site anyway.

The moral is "there is no moral".

Autopsy of a laptop.

Submitted by tarvid on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:12

I found a fairly new but damaged HP 2-in-1 in the dumpster. The screen was smashed, the case bent and the prospects of repair dim. 2-in-1s are really tablets which plug into a base with keyboard. Hoping for salvage, I pried open the base, removed dozens of screws and finally realized the good stuff was in the tablet part. No screws so I started in one corner and pried the screen and motherboard from its case. More screws and I found memory and CPU were soldered onto the motherboard. The hard disk is an M.2 2280 SSD which I did extract along with the Wifi card.

Galax outage 2017-5-10

Submitted by tarvid on Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:01

Monitors in Prague and Fairfax said helen went down around 12:20AM. Symptoms were perplexing. Web server was down, mail server was up. Power distribution system was unreachable so I could not bounce power remotely. Comcast said they could not reset my router remotely. TWR said they could reach my router but got no response.

Raymond's phone was out of order to I had him pick up a new phone, pick up the key from the Crossroads and go to the NOC.  Everything looked normal but since Comcast said the Cisco router needed to be reset, Raymond bounced power. Everything came back up.