Monday, November 20, 2017

Google suggestions all up in my face

I use the google for lots of services in this life. Most recently it's started making recommendations for music.

It is not good at this.

That's a solid no google. Not good.

I'm reasonably sure it's because I watched this video sometime ago.

The song is interesting, the video is pretty much every bit as awful as the particles song.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Windows 10 cracking

I work in IT so I frequently have an interest in checking out how the "other" team works their magic.  It comes up from time to time that for completely legitimet reasons I need to use tools that might be considered hacking tools. The most recent case of this came up a few days back, someone set a non-standard password a laptop that the company owns.  It wasn't written down and I've since forgotten it.  It's not critical, but it is the backup for a system that we use to control the lights in the facility. I tried different combinations for a few days, but finally decided to dip into my back of tricks.

The following video (that you'll need to turn on closed captioning for) shows the steps to break into an up to date windows 10 machine by having physcial access to the machine.

The short version is use the bios/boot options to boot into a windows installer disk. From there start the install and go to the repair this machine option.  Use the commandline to rename the on screen keyboard executable to osk.old and copy cmd.exe as osk.exe. Exit the install media and boot to the sign on screen.  On the sign on screen open the accessability menu and turn on the on screen keyboard.  Boom now you are running a command prompt with administrative rights.

The command net user <username> * lets you set a new password.

Time to break in is under 10 minutes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cool tool

I've been using a lot of android devices for some of the side hustle grinding I didn't write about.  Apps are a pain in the ass, but I'm in charge of disposal of the old devices so I have access to lots of older, but still serviceable android phones.  It's tedious to manage 4+ phones, each app needs a little care and feeding throughout the day.  If I try to keep them with me at work and at home then there's the process of gathering them, and making sure everything is plugged in once I get to my destination and the apps are running again. 

It's not really been a pain point, I've stopped moving them to and from work and just check a few times in the evening.  It slowed down earning but also cut the headache of it all down too.  For some reason I thought about trying to remotely manage them.  I found a few apps that would let you remotely manage phones wirelessly, but none of them looked like you could control the screen in real time. In my search I found Vysor.  It's slick and really aimed for developers (if you stick to the free version they will overlay ads on your screen from time to time) but it lets you see the phone screen and click on apps like you're in front of it.

I started using Chrome remote desktop to manage my home PC's without all the the hassle of setting up a vpn so now I can just plug the phones into a single machine remote to it, and manage all the phones from a single location. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Nothing useful to say today

Randomish. I've gotten asked about laptops from several people the last few days though.  2 through family and another from a friend of my wife.  I'm pretty sure it's been at least a year since the last time someone asked for direction on purchasing a laptop, interesting to get 3 in 2 weeks.

Monday, October 30, 2017

DIY Sweetened condensed milk

Cleaning out my old drafts.

Some time ago I read an article on Lifehacker about Diy sweetented condensed milk.  It's semi rare that you need this stuff (really only for the holidays) so I don't keep it around, but it is extremely useful stuff if you have an inclination for making deserts.  Sure, you can just go buy it, but where's the fun in that?

The one linked by lifehacker on used powdered milk, and that's just offensive on it's face. I don't keep it around as much now that we have kids because we buy milk by the gallon weekly, so I looked for a version that uses the milk I keep around to make the sweetened condensed milk.  This version from seems like a winner, using butter raw sugar and whole milk, plus her method is about as lazy as you can get.  Dissolve the sugar in the milk and keep turning the stove down until you don't have to stir the milk while it cooks down.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Killer Carrot-Ginger Superfood Salad

If you're new the internet you'll know that it has a peculiar habit of falling apart as time goes on.  There's a bizarre kind of kill or be killed entropy to the web that causes many websites to fall off the internet, and others to live on forever( do yourself a favor and go relive the awesomeness of that old website). In this edition I'm perserving for posterity a recipe that I found on a tumblr blog. The original website the recipe came from and the original tumblr that posted it have all gone dark. To make it easier to find when I want to make it later I'm posting it here on my bloggy blog. I claim no credit for photos or recipe. I'm linking via the wayback machine and to the tumblr I found to give as much credit to where I found it as I can.

So credit to for photos.


1.5 cups of carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 3 large carrots)
1.5 cups of water
1/3 peeled and chopped ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1.5 tablespoons of honey
juice from 1 medium lemon
1 cup of olive oil

2 heads of broccoli, chopped
3 ounces of shiitake mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
6 cups of red organic kale
5 cups of shredded red cabbage
2 cups of edamame
2 medium avocados
1 pint of blueberries ( 2 of the smallest boxes)
1 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds without the shell)

Killer Carrot-Ginger Dressing:
Add the water and carrot to a saucepan and boil for 7-10 minutes, or until the carrot is able to be pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and let cool, about 10 minutes. Reserve all of the cooking liquid and add it to a food processor with the carrots, chopped ginger, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey, and juice from 1 lemon. Blend until contents are smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil last until an emulsion forms.

Superfood Salad:
On low heat, in a saute pan, add the shiitake mushrooms and chopped broccoli pieces. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Cook over low heat (2 out of 10) for about 10 minutes, just until the vegetables are no longer raw. Set aside. Chop the organic red kale and add it to a bowl. Layer on the shredded red cabbage, broccoli and shiitakes mushrooms, edamame, avocados, blueberries, and pepitas. Top with the carrot-ginger dressing and serve.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Nvidia shield

I've been thinking about getting one of the Nvidia shield consoles for a while now.  The little console that could if you will, the home media server version has my eye because I can run plex on it and 500gb of storage gives you room for quite a few movies (assuming you've optimized them a bit), and from what I'm reading the newest version of shield experience lets you add libraries from SMB network shares, usb drives and micro sd cards.  This is great news and I'm saving my bloggy dollars as we speak to get one (half way there!).

That was enough to get my interest for sure, I've been running kodi via the Openelec on an old Acer Aspire revo r1600 (it's a ridiculous product name). It's a crappy nettop atom based pc with the one redeeming quality of having the nvidia ion chipset on it. Nvidia ion was h264 (the standard for .mp4 video) processing.  Meaning the dual core atom processor circa 2009 is able to playback 1080p video without stuttering.  The cpu alone wouldn't be up to the task, and topping out at like 19w it is tiny and only needs an hdmi to be a full featured media center.  Out of the box openelec supported my Media Center usb ir adapter and I can run it with the Logitech Harmony remote and from the xbox 360.  Keeping a keyboard handy is still worth the effort as I've been having some trouble with my usb wifi adapter lately, but otherwise it runs easily.  Kodi doesn't support streaming and transcoding out of the box and doesn't have the fit and polish of Plex, so I've been wanting to jump to that as my full time media player.  Simplifies all kinds of tasks for content on the go and for kids in the house on tablets. 

The final push for me to want the shield was plex had a lifetime plex pass sale recently, $75 for apps, and early access to features and the ability to back up your phones pictures to your media server was too good of a deal.  After I bought my subscription I found a video on running emulators for classic games on the Shield too. We still have our old Nintendo and Super NES, but I never got a N64 and I really miss classic Mario Kart.  The new ones don't have the same soul... So I'm not encouraging anyone to look for the app called happychick on a .hk based website that would allow you to play emulators on your android device, but if you did do those things you might look at this really cool bluetooth gaming controller that works really well with the emulator (allegedly) 

finally, full disclosure.