Price Discrepancies

I love the Internet. I’ve been using it since before Google and it just keeps getting better! I use it for everything I do, and even seek to use it more. One of the best parts about the Internet is shopping. It’s like regular shopping in a mall, but with all the vendors sitting in front of you at a table offering their wares and you don’t have to bargain hunt or shop around because the best price is right there in front of you! And of course, international shopping.

I recently bought a pen from France. Why France? Because Waterman doesn’t offer that product line in North America, let alone Canada. And just now I bought a music CD (Moving On by Myleene Klass) from Amazon UK. Before I dive into this diatribe I’d like to note Amazon’s cultural acknowledgment; The Canadian site will “Ship to this address”, the UK site will “Dispatch to this address” (how cute!), and the American one will “Drops mah shit off hear plz”. Now on to the rant.

Amazon Canada has the album, Amazon Amerikuh haz teh albem and the lowest price I can get is from the same damn company across the Atlantic… about seven thousand kilometers (4,300 stat. miles, 3,800 nautical miles) away. WTF? Continue reading

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50 Banned Books I Should Read

I have read some of these and they are quite simply some of the better pieces of literature out there. Can’t wait to read the rest! And now with the article.

As long as there have been books, there have been people opposed to what is said in some of those books. Authors who challenge the accepted norms in their literature are often the target of angry people who do not understand or appreciate their literature. The following books are excellent examples of great literature that has become banned or challenged in an attempt to shield the public from what some see as inappropriate.

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Oil the noisy MacBook fans!

When I first got my Mac way back in September of last year it was very quiet. So I played some games and got the thing real hot. After several months of this abuse the fans slowly became louder and louder until I couldn’t sleep anymore. Literally! So I brought the 17 inch slab of aluminum back to West-Edmonton mall and had the Apple store install new fans. All was quiet again… For a few months.

Now being a perfectionist I refuse to put up with any defect. This fan issue came back with a vengeance! I was pissed. Now the 90 day warranty is waaay long gone and I didn’t trust Apple to fix the fans even if I paid for it. No, I think they would probably charge the $100 for new fans that have the exact same defect – not being perfectly engineered for continuous flawless operation. Nothing is engineered properly these days.

So I took matters into my own hands. I dismantled the laptop, then the fans. First note, no dust. I blew them out recently so I know it’s not dust collecting unevenly causing harmonic imbalance in two fans. Upon inspection of the shafts and bearings, I noticed that they were too dry. So a big drop of full synthetic 5W-30 motor oil in each axle was delivered and then I closed the fans back up. I spun them with compressed air and noticed that I couldn’t hear or feel them spinning at 10 thousand RPM. Marvelous!

If your MacBook Pro sounds like a lawnmower, use a set of jewelers screw drivers to take the thing apart and oil the fans. It will sound like you broke the fans because you won’t hear anything. Not even acceptable levels of humming or whirring at 5000 RPM. Totally quiet, but the rush of air is proof that they are in fact spinning.

Hacking Securom with UNIX

I found myself in a situation: Securom error 1000. Or, “we don’t like you because you don’t fit our corporate model of the ideal consumer.”

Disclaimer: This is a lesson in overcoming corrupt read-only media.

I wanted to install a piece of software that didn’t like my particular set of software installed. More specifically, I was having trouble installing Oblivion GOTY because the Securom protection doesn’t like that I run Windows virtually within OSX with Parallels. Or maybe it’s the disc emulator software installation. However the case, this post is how I circumvented that difficulty using UNIX WIZARDRY and a patched setup file. Users win every time.

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Cisco Password Recovery

So you have a cisco device that is password protected, perhaps it is a mission critical core device and you lost the password. It doesn’t matter why, but maybe when you recover it, take note of it this time.

So what I present here is a method for actually recovering the MD5 hashed “Enable” or user passwords through a dictionary attack (and physical access). Continue reading

Why “Military” Time

My day has 24 hours in it. Many people ask me why I insist on using “military” time instead of just saying “nine o’clock” to ambiguously refer to some time “in context”. My main reason is because “nine o’clock” in our weird slang way of referencing time happens twice every day. Sure, we have AM/PM, but most people use that when the context already gives it away instead of when there is a potential for ambiguity. So I use “military” time just so that there is absolutely zero chance for misinterpretation. And the other reasons follow… Continue reading