Steve's random ramblings and technical notes

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cisco Target Practice

This is great! I've wanted to do exactly that to more than one piece of equipment.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Install .NET Compact Framework without ActiveSync

The basis for this post was found here. I've added some specifics for installation on the Alltel UTStarcomTM PPC6700. I actually have ActiveSync running on my desktop, but for some reason the .NET 2.0 Compact Framework failed to install from there claiming there was a newer version of .NET runtime already installed. This was not true of the phone, but probably true in regard to the version installed on the PC.

How to install .Net Compact Framework on a PocketPC without using ActiveSync.
  1. Download .Net Compact Framework from Microsoft

  2. Using a Windows PC, extract all the files from the installer package by running the following command "msiexec /a PackageName.msi" from either the command line or the run dialog box.
    The /a parameter specifies to run it as an administrative install that will extract the files to a specified location rather than install them as usual.
    Replace PackageName.msi with the name of the installer you downloaded in step 1.
  3. The installer program for .Net Compact Framework will now open. Follow the steps for the installer, you will be prompted for a location to extract the files.

  4. You will need to identify the correct CAB file from this list in the files extracted in step 3.
    In the case of the UTStarcomTM PPC6700, the file chosen was

  5. Once you have located the correct file, transfer it to your PocketPC using, for example, a Memory Card, InfraRed, Bluetooth, Email, etc...

  6. Using File Explorer, open the CAB file on your device. This will install .Net Compact Framework and you will be able to use any program that requires it.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Paint.NET is image and photo manipulation software designed to be used on computers that run Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Server 2003. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
It started development at Washington State University as an undergraduate senior design project mentored by Microsoft, and is currently being maintained by some of the alumni that originally worked on it. Originally intended as a free replacement for the MS Paint software that comes with Windows, it has grown into a powerful yet simple tool for photo and image editing.

Paint.NET Tutorials are available in the forum and other locations, like this one on Drop Shadows.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ultra High Security Password Generator

Ultra High Security Password Generator
Every time this page is displayed, our server generates a unique set of custom, high quality, cryptographic-strength password strings which are safe for you to use.

What makes these perfect and safe?
Every one is completely random (maximum entropy) without any pattern, and the cryptographically-strong pseudo random number generator we use guarantees that no similar strings will ever be produced again.
Also, because this page will only allow itself to be displayed over a snoop-proof and proxy-proof high-security SSL connection, and it is marked as having expired back in 1999, this page which was custom generated just now for you will not be cached or visible to anyone else.
Therefore, these password strings are just for you. You may safely take these strings as they are, or use chunks from several to build your own if you prefer, or do whatever you want with them. Each set displayed are totally, uniquely yours.
The "Application Notes" section discusses various aspects of using these random passwords for locking down wireless WEP and WPA networks, for use as VPN shared secrets, as well as for other purposes.

Monday, April 17, 2006

10 Best Security Live CD Distros (Pen-Test, Forensics & Recovery)

10 Best Security Live CD Distros (Pen-Test, Forensics & Recovery)"A summary of the 10 best LiveCD distributions dealing with security (pen testing, forensics & recovery). With links to download..."

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Music by Mano

Music by Mano: Music for Podcasters or Whatever
Background music for podcasts or just listening to. The songs here were done by Pastor Mike Norton of

Monday, February 27, 2006

Interviewing Hackers

Interviewing Hackers
Traditionally, one asks technical questions at an interview to verify that a candidate actually knows what he claims to know. Such questions may target professional certifications, specific technical trivia, or code written previously. The primary weakness of such methods is that the candidate has significant control over which claims are open to verification. The candidate may be tempted to bluff, for example, by cramming facts during the few days prior to the interview.

We suggest using technical questions to gauge a candidate's self-study ability. Ask a candidate to solve a programming problem on the spot -- but determine in advance how much familiarity the candidate is likely to have with the given problem.

For example, imagine you ask the candidate to write C code to reverse a string in-place. How do you interpret the candidate's performance? There are three cases:

1. If the candidate claims to be a expert, you can expect convergence to a correct solution with negligible trial and error.
2. If the candidate is somewhat familiar with the problem domain, it's hard to know what to expect. It is not clear how this uncertain kind of questioning provides useful data to the interviewer.
3. If the candidate is unfamiliar with the problem domain, you are tapping his ability to learn new material. When a candidate is denied access to a domain expert, self-study ability can be revealed.

Hence, the interviewer must carefully select programming assignments using data uncovered by traditional technical inquiry. On one hand, a candidate wants to answer technical questions comprehensively. On the other hand, comprehensive answers better reveal what the candidate doesn't know. These two opposing goals work to keep the candidate honest.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Real Beginners Guide to Podcasting

Podcast Free America » The Real Beginners Guide to Podcasting
This is a real guide for real beginners and it will guide you through the basics of podcasting. The Real Beginners Guide to Podcasting only teaches you how to podcast using online podcasting tools. Everything takes place inside of the web browser, so there’s no software to download or complicated audio lingo to understand.

At the end of guide, I’ve put together some video tutorials that will walk you through podcasting with each individual online podcasting tool. The goal is to have you successfully podcasting using one of the online tools and sharing those podcasts with the world!

Make Your Windows Fast As Never Before!

Make Your Windows Fast As Never Before!
The page at this link has several tweaks that can make Windows more responsive. My favorite is this:

Because Windows XP has to be all things to all people it has many services running that take up system resources that you will never need. Below is a list of services that can be disabled on most machines:

Computer Browser
Distributed Link Tracking Client
Fast User Switching
Help and Support - (If you use Windows Help and Support leave this enabled)
Human Interface Access Devices
Indexing Service
IPSEC Services
Messenger (this is not MSN Messenger, it's okay to disable)
Netmeeting Remote Desktop Sharing (disabled for extra security)
Portable Media Serial Number
Remote Desktop Help Session Manager (disabled for extra security)
Remote Procedure Call Locator
Remote Registry (disabled for extra security)
Remote Registry Service
Routing & Remote Access (disabled for extra security)
Secondary Logon
Server (Do not disable if you want to share folders with another PC)
SSDP Discovery Service - (Unplug n' Pray will disable this)
Upload Manager
Universal Plug and Play Device Host
Windows Time
Wireless Zero Configuration (Do not disable if you use a wireless network)
Workstation (Do not disable if you want to attach to shared folders on another PC)

To disable these services:

Go to Start and then Run and type 'services.msc'
Doubleclick on the service you want to change
Change the startup type to 'Disable'

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

TrueCrypt: Encrypted thumb drive and autoplay howto

Glosoli: Encrypted thumb drive and autoplay howto
Great little article on setting up an encrypted partition on a USB drive using TrueCrypt.

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