Sunday, November 23, 2008

How I recovered the lost root password on a WD MyBook WE

I forgot the root password on my MybookWE.
After I tried several passwords on the root account I gave up and tried to figure up a hack.
The quick and dirty sollution was a modification of Martin Hinner's SSH hack.
The idea is that I would trick the MyBook to believe that there is a new firmware and send it an upgrade script that will just reset the root password. I have removed all other things from the original hack and 'ported' it to a Tomcat server as I do not have PHP installed on my computers home.
If you need the WAR archive you can takeit from: here.
DISCLAIMER: Use it on your own risk. For me it worked.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The BigBang Theory

After seeing "Two and a half Men" I found this funny serial - another Chuck Lorre's production - about some physics geeks. I have recognized myself in some of them several times.


In the same line as "The Colour of Magic". Excellent cast and book has been followed as close as possible.

Color of Magic

Funny but the book was funnier. Excellent cast though! It has been a nice weekend movie.
Regarding Pratchett's work - I have read some of them and played some of the Disc World series games - my favorite was Disc World Noir. In my oppinion the movie is quite close to the book. The special effects were quite ok although some digital artifacts were visible.

Friday, November 21, 2008

New computer

Yes. I bought it just before going to Poland. The old FSC V2020 (pilgrim) is mostly unusable because one of the hinges is broken. It seems to be a common flaw for all FSCs.

I acted in a rush and I have started a quick selection for a replacement. The candidates were:
1. Lenovo SL300

2. Lenovo T400

3. Toshiba U400-13k

4. Dell Vostro 1310

The criteria I have chosen were:
1. Size - ideally 13.3" but 14.1" ok
2. Weight - maximum 2.2 kg
3. Performance - the best possible processor (2GHz or better) and a fair amount of memory(over 2 GB)
4. Features (webcam, card reader, modem, PCMCIA, eSATA, fingerprint reader, etc.)
5. Warranty - 2 years at least. Last one had one year but resisted for four.
6. Look - moder but not bling-bling.

As I am not a big fan of games an onboard video was enough in all cases.
Although I like Lenovo, I have chosen Toshiba because was the one that scored highest in all the
criteria. For sure there were also some other candidates as MacBook and Dell XPS that were very appealing. The idea was to keep the budget in a reasonably range. Mr. Kadas told me once that the technology would already surpass you in the very moment you have payed for it. Therefore Why invest in such a perishable thing as technology? I would have really liked an Apple for the fact that they are doing great hardware but I will wait for the new shiny aluminum cased mac - maybe somewhere next year. IBM are renown for their quality finish and good magnesium cases and hinges but it seems that the newer T and SE series are really just plastic.

The fun came when I tried to install Ubuntu 8.10. The installation went okay - the guts from Canonical really improved the installer a lot.
Still I had problems with the Intel 5100ABGN wireless card. I have solved them by installing compat-wireless package.

I will start loading the new toy (its name is marauder) with all the things I have been using on the other (eclipse, Geronimo, Glassfish, Yate, Asterisk) and lots of others as I am very anxious to see how are they behaving on a 64bits system.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

On Vodafone again

Compare those two 3G coverage maps:


Orange has at least triple 3G coverage and prices in the same range as Vodafone.
I really do not know why I am such a loyal customer to them as they offer me almost no advantage for the quite expensive subscription I have. I guess hat their strategy is to attract new customers on 1 year subscriptions instead of taking real care of the loyal ones. As I said in a previous post 80% of income is done by 20% of the customers. I wish that Vodafone will not stay only with the 80% of the customers for their own sake.

Kia Rio

I have been driving a Kia Rio 1.5L CRTD and I must say WOW. I had a good time while driving this 109hp car. I was not quite used to drive diesels (although I have driven some including Renault Laguna, Fiat Grande Punto, Opel Corsa, ...) but this one felt the most close to the gasoline engines as the acceleration was going linear. The acceleration curve is quite problematic for me as I had some hard times with a Corsa that had some power kick-ups. I really prefer gasoline for the moment.
I was impressed by the agility of the engine and by the very nice and precise gearbox.
Still the interior finish and the ergonomics can be improved. One more issue I had was the heating. It is very slow and it was an issue here in Poland as there were -2 degrees.
I will consider Kia as a valid option from now on (maybe a c'eed)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I was contacted yesterday by a Vodafone telesales guy.
It came to me with an offer that he considered to be 'irresistible'.
He basically was offering me 1 GB of traffic at 9 EUR or 8 GB at 27 EUR (VAT not included).
I told him to get lost. That was incredibly expensive for a service that:
- was available maybe in 10% of Romania
- the bandwidth of the HSDPA would decrease to 128 kbps after the included traffic
- the roaming with it was HUGELY expensive.

Today I am in Poland and I am using a local SIM - even this way I have better data rates that I would have with Vodafone home.

Wake up folks! It is a crisis ongoing - drop the prices if you still want customers!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Sun is cutting 6000 jobs.
I am sad. Sun was one of those companies t that I looked with tremendous respect.
I heard that piece of news just after I was informed of Solaris 10/08.
Maybe some of world finest engineers are at Sun.
I wish that more light would shine on them.

Job offer

I have received today an email with a job offer.
I was quite amazed as it came from a company I'd like to work for.
The surprise came when I learnt about the position.
No need to get into details - I was, without false modesty, OVERQUALIFIED.
The idea is that their HR selected my resume based on some keywords.
The keywords matched and the recruiter blindly sent the email without even bothering to read the CV.
I guess that all companies have at least dumb HR.
Catbert character is too fictional - as it is too smart for HR.