Windows Tip: Flash on Firefox and Chrome without Admin rights

We all hate it when administrators cripple your fully functional office PC by adding access controls and restrictions to it.
IE7 is the only certified browser at my workplace. It's a well known fact that the web experience on Chrome and Firefox is way better than IE but I don't have admin rights to my system and hence no 3rd party software installations are permitted.

But luckily, Chrome and Firefox portable install beautifully without admin rights.

Now the only issue is that Flash for Chrome and Firefox cannot be installed without admin privileges. Fret not, here is a smart hack to get Flash without really installing it.

1. Download this xpi file and rename it to .zip.

2. Now Extract it with Winzip or your Windows extractor.

3. Copy the flashplayer.xpt and NPSWF32.dll files from the extracted location and paste them to
C:\Users\"your user name"\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\plugins

(Similar location for Firefox)

4. Restart Chrome and check youtube.

Voila! We beat the administrator yet again. Enjoy surfing and youtube at work ;)

And here is the rest of it.

Ubuntu/XP: Streaming Sopcast to your mobile devices

Sopcast is an amazing application which gives you access to a lot of unique and entertaining channel listings. Here I'll show you how we can broadcast your sopcast streams onto your other devices on your home network.






Let us see how it is done..

My setup:

  • 1 laptop running ubuntu with 2 network interfaces (or WinXp)

    • eth0 - LAN, (public ip -- internet)

    • eh1- WLAN (192.168.0.1)

  • 1 Nokia N80 cell phone (any device with wifi)
  • Ad-hoc wireless dorm network (or any other network)



[Server]

1. Start gsopcast and let it buffer the channel of your choice. The video soon starts playing.

2. Find the port in which sopcast is playing. Copy the last port no. displayed in the sp-pc command
ps -ef | grep sp

anoj 17567 17549 7 04:09 pts/2 00:00:16 sp-sc sop://broker1.sopcast.com:3912/6029 42205 57700



For folks on winXP, right click on the media player window that appears when the streaming starts and look at its properties. It should have a localhost address of the stream. Copy that


3. Open Vlc player, click on open network stream. Specify http address :
http://localhost:[port no]

http://localhost:57700


4. Select on Advanced Option section on stream/save and click on settings.

5. In the settings dialog, check on http and select port 1234.

6. Select the enapsulation method supported by your other devices. I have chosen MPEG TS

7. In the transcoding section, select the video and audio codec that your device supports. I am choosing mp4v Bitrate 1024 kb/s, scale .5 Also select the desired audio codec and click ok.

8. In the open dialog, click ok and let vlc start streaming and broadcasting.


[Client]

1. In your mobile devices, open your media player (eg. Core media player) and play this url
http://[ip-adr of eth1]:1234

http://192.168.0.1:1234


2. Viola!! The device is now streaming a sopcast feed off your server.


Windows XP Tip : keeping a window Always on Top

My honors year project has to be cross-platform. So quite often I am required to work on winXP to test if my implementation works seamlessly on all platforms. One feature that I really miss is the ability to mark a window "always on top" that Gnome/KDE/XFCE have. So you could be coding in your favorite IDE in a maximised mode and also have a movie or a notepad frame on the same screen.

There is a nifty little app called pushPin which lets you.. do exactly the same thing in XP/98/ME/NT
Download the app, extract it and run it. You will find a pushpin icon in your taskbar. Right click on any open window frame. You'll see an "Always On top" option.



Who said good things in life aren't free ;)

Windows XP Tip : Instant Workstation Lock

Worried of your boss snooping over and finding out what you were watching on youtube.
Do you always forget locking your Windows PC, for that unavoidable nature's call?
Here is a tip to quickly lock your workstation.

You can also lock your XP workstation with just two clicks of the mouse. Follow these steps:


1.Create a new shortcut on your desktop using a right mouse click, and enter 'rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation' in the location field.



2.Give the shortcut a name you like.

That's it -- just double click on it and your computer will be locked.

And if that's not easy enough, Windows key + L will do the same.

For more tips: visit here

Src: Kondadi Pranama Moorthy and his StumbleUpon

Windows XP Tip : Solving the frequent network disconnects

This is a common problem for folks with more than 1 network connection - Ethernet LAN, WLAN etc. This is what happens: You login to windows, you happily get an IP, start browsing the net and suddenly the IP refreshes. You think its an one off incident, and few mins later, it again refreshes. This continues on and on and now you can't watch those online videos, play LAN games, listen to radio etc.

Here is the solution.


When you have more than 1 network interfaces, windows assigns them priority. For eg.
1. WLAN eth1
2. LAN eth0

So when you are at home connected to your LAN port, it constantly searches if any wifi network is available. It sends a dhcp request for all the interfaces and you get a new IP back.
To solve this, just change the priority.





Simple right. On Linux it doesn't happen, but then that's an entirely different story for later.

Windows XP Tip : Resolving "NTLDR is missing" error

















I recently had a virus attack which corrupted my NTLDR and NTDETECT.COM.
XP refused to boot. Many folks think that the only way is to reinstall XP but here I'll show you how to recover these files and get back your XP booting up in 5 mins.


1. Pop in your Windows XP Installation CD and reboot.
Windows XP Setup starts.





2. Press R to enter Recovery console mode.
Select the installation instance and enter your admin password.


3. You now have access to the command prompt where you can enter commands to recover your installation. Some useful commands are - help, cd, map, chkdist etc. Help will display all commands available to you.

4. Type map to view all the disks. Keep note of the drive letter of you windows installation and the cd rom drive
map





5. Type the following commands to copy the ntldr and ntldetect.com files

copy d:\i386\ntldr c:


copy d:\i386\ntldetect.com c:


Where, c:\ is where your windows xp installation resides and d:\ is the cd drive letter. You can verify it from the result of the map command

6. Counter check if your boot.ini file is intact.
type c:\boot.ini


7. Voila! Your nltdr is recovered. Type exit to reboot.
exit


8. Results.












Win XP : Internet Sharing the easy way

Assumptions : As in previously covered articles, your host has 2 ethernet adapters - 1 connected to the internet and another (wireless one) connected to rest of the devices on your network on an ad-hoc wireless network created.

Follow these steps if you have Windows XP Pro or Media Center Edition. This automatically configures internet sharing and automatic IP assignment to clients (dhcp).

Note : Your ad-hoc wireless network should be up and running prior to doing this. Let us start..




1. Select Network Setup Wizard either from Control Panel or from Control Panel > Network Connections














2. Network Setup Wizard opens, Keep clicking on next till the following screen shows up.















3. Select the first option as you are the host and all the other devices are on the network are going to access the internet through you. Click Next


















4. Select the ethernet port directly connected to the internet. In my case its the PPPOE connection. In many of your cases, Local Area Connection would be the preferred choice.
Click Next












5. Select the port/connection that connects to rest of the devices on your network. In our case, we have used the Wireless LAN to create an ad-hoc network and connect to other devices on the network.
Click Next














6. Enter your host computer's name and description.
Click Next














7. Enter a Workgroup name. When you chose later to switch on file and printer sharing, the workgroup settings are a must.
Click Next












8. If you also wish to use the network to share files and printer, chose the first option. If you only want to share internet, select the second option.
In my case, I want to share files on the network as well.
Click Next.





9. Summary of all your selections are displayed. Afer verifying them, click Next



10. The Wizard starts configuring your home network. Sit back and relax for a while.





11. We are almost done. Windows will ask you how you wish to configure the clients not running XP. Select the last option and click Next.





12. Congrats. You have successfully configured your home network. Internet will be shared among all your clients connected to your pc via the ad-hoc wireless network.
Click Finish.




Observe in your client machine (Centrino Laptop/Ubuntu in our case) all network settings are auto configured - IP, DNS, Gateway et. Filesharing is also on with the host (192.168.0.1)

Hope you liked the above tutorial. Happy Surfing !!


WinXP : Creating a wireless home network to share internet

A lot of people complained that I was too pro Linux. Here is a nifty way to create a ad-hoc wireless network at home and share internet over it using WinXP.

System : WinXP Pro/HP Media Center Desktop (any laptop/desktop with wifi card will do)
Broadband : BSNL 2 MBps ADSL
Connection type : Internet connected via pppoE(our internet gateway via ethernet)
and a wireless LAN adapter

Other Devices on the network : Nokia N80, Hp tablet pc, HP centrino laptop with ubuntu/fc6


Rich DeMuro, Senior Editor at Cnet.com, shows you how to do in this nice video
Creating an ad-hoc wireless internet sharing network

As they say, videos are better than step-by-step howtos, do message me if the above doesn't work for you.


Happy surfing.

*Updated: I just realized that Rich missed out how to assign IPs in case of WinXP to the devices. Follow these steps -
1. Assign a static IP 192.168.0.1 subnet 255.255.255.0
to the host's Wireless interface
(Control Panel > Network Conn. > Wireless network Connection > Properties > Internet Protocol(TCP/IP) > Properties)

2.Once the ad-hoc network is up, in all the client devices assign the following in a similar way as above
static IP 192.168.0.x where range of x is (2, 254)
subnet 255.255.255.0
Gateway 192.168.0.1
DNS 192.168.0.1


***updated March 29/2008
A lot of folks found this hard to configure. I wasn't expecting that. The entire purpose was to make this tutorial dead easy. Here is the summary:

1. wireless interface on XP
ip address: 192.168.0.1
subnet mask: 255.255.255.0

2. Your other network ethernet interface on XP, do nothing..you obviously will get ip, dns etc automatically from your isp (assuming, this is what is connecting you to the internet)

3. Enable internet sharing (as shown in video or WinXp pro users, check here)

4.On N80:
Phone ip address: 192.168.0.3
subnet: 255.255.255.0
default gatway: 192.168.0.1
primary dns: 192.168.0.1

(note: how the N80 gw and dns is same as the ip of wireless interface)

Purpose: We don't have a wireless router but are connected to internet via some ethernet port. We have a wifi card on the system, and we want to create an ad-hoc wifi spot at home, connecting other wireless devices to the internt using the wifi port on the pc. Packets will be routed via this wifi interface to the LAN/ethernet that connects us to internet. phew..

If you own a nokia N80, instructions are here .
For WinXp pro users, check here for an easier alternative

Accessing net in protected environments case 1


Over the next few months, I'll discuss cases where people use dumb ways to restrict internet access in corporate or training pcs.

place: SISL Delhi
description: SAP Training institute
type of restriction: IE content advisor restrictions
effectiveness scale: 2/10

Method: As an admin, just include certain website URLs in IE content advisor, that you would want your clients to access. Rest all URLs are blocked. This method seems to be infallable as only ie is the onl browser one has, installed on the pc.

Solution : To overcome this restriction, all you need is an alternate browser like opera or firefox. The tricky part is how? To download you'll have to download it off oepra.com or download.com but how to access these URLs in the first place.
Another alternate is to bring it in an USB or CD and install it (too time consuming)

: What if you don't have admin rights to your pc ? Generally opera installs without need for admin rights, which is supercool. Else, we will cover it in future case studies.


1. open cmd and ping google.com
2. If it works, then you are in luck. No need to sniff or configure proxies for your browser
3. Using ftp program, connect and get the download file
4. we are done. Happy surfing using Opera.

Assumption:
We assume, cmd is activated for normal users
ftp program is installed and available to use
You can install Opera or any other 3rd party apps

Changing Login Password in Linux and XP

Everyone's familiar with changing passwords using the fancy guis. Here is a short and fast way to change passwords on the fly.

Linux:


1.Go to Shell.
2. type passwd "username"
3. type in a new unix password.

4. If you are password isn't safe enough by UNIX standards, ;), it will prompt a warning.
5. Retype the same password, and it takes it.




Win XP:



1. Go to cmd.
2. type net user "username" "password" or
3. type net user "username" *
4. It will prompt for "password"
5. You are done.

(pics courtesy of : http://www.allthingsmarked.com)

Booting Windows from grub prompt

This is a common problem that many users face, when they remove their linux partitions.
Grub loses grub.conf and has no way to find out where to access the bootloader (NTLDR) for Windows.
So everytime you restart your comp, you'll see

grub>

Just type these commands, and you can get into windows. Then can do fdisk /mbr using a recovery disk or Win XP cd > recovery option

grub> unhide (hd0,0)
grub> hide (hd0,1)
grub> rootnoverify (hd0,0)
grub> chainloader +1
grub> makeactive
grub> boot