Category Archives: Boring Tech Crap

Single User Mode Password Reset Mountain Lion Edition

My previous article on resetting a Mac OS X password using single user mode is by far the most popular post i’ve ever made.  That is to say, people actually go there intentionally.  Unfortunately, that post was made in 2008 and is just a little out of date.  For example, it talks about 10.4.  So, in an effort to induce hapless victims to visit once again, i’m doing an updated post for Lion (10.7) and now Mountain Lion (10.8).

In my previous post I included a last ditch effort involving wiping out the user database completely and allowing the Mac OS X setup assistant to run again and create a user.  I’m going to skip that.  If you wish, my previous post is still available and, to my knowledge, you can still reset the user database that way.  This post will be about resetting an existing user’s password.

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Site Updates

So much for the whole “updating more often thing”.  Oh well.  Anyhow, here is a long overdue list of updates i’ve made to the site recently.

  1. IPv6 Enabled.  This site is completely accessible over pure IPv6 courtesy of Hurricane Electric.
  2. SSL Enabled.  This site now enforces an SSL connection whenever you visit.  Completely secure, proxy proof, cache proof, and stuff.
  3. EC2 hosted.  All these improvements are made possible by the fact that the site is now hosted as an Amazon EC2 instance.  Same price (or cheaper) as a VPS with 10 billion times the flexibility and performance.
  4. Up-to-date WordPress.  Remember Code Red? Nimbda? Stuxnet?  This site no longer hosts them as wordpress is now up-to-date!  (btw, i was never actually infected)
  5. Self-hosted DNS.  I now host my own dns again and make changes, etc. whenever I want.
  6. Namecheap Registered.  I am no longer registered with that evil, lying, evil, manipulative, evil, fraudulent company GoDaddy.  I switched to Namecheap and haven’t looked back.

All these changes happened back in January, i’ve just forgotten to talk about them.  I may talk more about these later and about all the features that I forgot about.

dns queries

In a previous post i explained how i run a server, etc. etc. Since i have absolutely nothing else to write about, i’m posting a part II of sorts for that post. This time its about the dns server i run. A few months ago i switched my internal network over to use my own locally hosted dns server. The following are the top queries its received from the internal hosts.

16527   time.apple.com
16188   www.google.com
4513   weather.wapp.wii.com
4235   ad.yieldmanager.com
2315   news.wapp.wii.com
1907   www.symantec.com
1852   ad.doubleclick.net
1612   105.0.168.192.in-addr.arpa
1347   cfh.wapp.wii.com
1320   202-177-19-148.kdd.net.hk.jessecole.org

Ok, we can see we have several very popular sites. The first is not quite what you’d expect, its time.apple.com. You don’t think about it but every computer and device you own likely keeps itself synchronized with a time server. Every time it goes to synchronize, it has to do a dns lookup. Actually this number is a tad distorted by the fact that my router decided it should update its time 10 or 11 times a day, (thank you Dlink). I actually got sick of it a made it use the ip address for time.apple.com instead of the hostname so hopefully that number won’t go up so much.

The next most popular query is for www.google.com. No surprise there. Every time you type in the website or use the search bar in your browser and possibly even just visiting certain websites will cause a query to be performed.

The most interesting out of all these though is the fact that, in my top 10 queries, 2 of them (ad.yieldmanager.com and ad.doubleclick.com) are well known ad servers. What a waste of time and bandwidth that is. In the future, i may start blocking queries to well known ad sites just to avoid giving them stats on us.

Slight Downtime

So, something happened to my linux box on christmas day. The short story is, the mbr somehow got screwed up and i had to reinstall grub to the mbr.

The long story is that I was tired and didn’t feel like looking into it right then. I ran spinrite overnight (really aught to buy a legitimate copy of that) and went to sleep. The next morning spinrite came up fine for all my hdd’s, system still wouldn’t boot. So, i booted up my knoppix disc and did a file system check. My / partition had a few errors which it fixed. Reboot. Still won’t boot. The system would come up to the point where i would usually see the 3 second timeout for grub and just do nothing. This is where i decided to reinstall grub and see if that fixed it. I booted into knoppix again ran grub and issued these commands.

root (hd0,0)

setup (hd0)

quit

hd0 is my first hdd. ,0 specifies the partition (i have my /boot on sda1 and my / on sda2). This fixed it and now i’m back in business.

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