Category Archives: Lifestyle

The Gateway Max is a Piece of Junk

Telstra NBN customers are provided with a Telstra Gateway Max to connect their NBN service. These devices come in 3 tiers and the base unit is a re-branded Sagem [email protected] 5355 with firmware restrictions. I’m not going to moan about how bad it is. I’d rather just fix it properly.

It is possible to use another NBN ready router. But there is a compromise if you want to maintain Telstra VOIP. Customers are provided with VOIP to replace the disconnected landline. But Telstra do not provide SIP details to residential accounts.

What A Piece Of Junk

Configuration

You should connect the Telstra Gateway Max to the internet first. This will authenticate the connection. Then you can connect your desired router. No login details are required to authenticate the connection. I’ve personally configured this setup on a FTTN (VDSL) connection using a Fritz!Box 7490.

Telstra NBN - Router - Telstra Gateway - Phone

Plug a network cable into the WAN port of the Telstra Gateway. When you can see that the Telstra Gateway has internet, you’ll need to port forward in your preferred router ports 3478, 5004, 5060 and 5061 for both TCP & UDP. I find it easier to jump between the routers using a separate network cable. When the phone line has a dial tone, go back into the Telstra router and turn off WiFi, DHCP and the Media Server to save power.

Note: If you run into connection issues, Telstra will require that you have their Gateway connected directly to the internet for tech support to help you.

How to Reset Your Windows 10 Password

I have pieced together several guides to come up with a reliable method of resetting a Windows 7, 8 or 10 password. I’m not sure if it will work for user accounts tied to a Windows Live account on Windows 10 though. The below video by Nehal J Wani on YouTube forms the core of this solution. You should only need to use this method if you do not have a copy of Windows, or a Password Recovery Disk.

Download UNetbootin. This application creates bootable Linux Distributions. It is cross platform but my guide will focus on creating the Live USB using Mac. Bring up the context menu in Finder and select Open. Enter your password to let Mac open the application.

Unfortunately the Distribution is not listed as a download in this application. So you’ll want to download SystemRescueCd ISO as suggested by the YouTube video. It should be easy enough for you to use UNetbootin to create a bootable USB from the downloaded ISO. If you are unsure which drive is your USB, enter diskutil list in the Terminal.

Reboot the problem computer and boot from the USB. Some BIOS will complain about the USB breaching a security policy. You’ll need to enter BIOS and disable the UEFI security. This will vary based on your BIOS version. It is usually pretty obvious and listed under Boot or Security.

Once you are able to boot from the USB. Select the first option and follow the prompts until you reach the Terminal. Type gdisk -l /dev/sda to find your Windows partition. The largest partition on your main drive is usually the safe bet.

You can try to mount the Windows partition using mount /dev/sda? /mnt (replace ? with the partition number). If you get an error message about the NTFS partition being hibernated you can try mount -t ntfs-3g -o remove_hiberfile /dev/sda? /mnt as an alternative.

Now we can perform the steps as demonstrated in the video:

  1. cd /mnt/Windows/System32/Config
  2. chntpw -i SAM
  3. Press 1
  4. Enter the RID of the user you wish to change the password for.
  5. Press 1
  6. Press q
  7. Press q
  8. Press y
  9. cd
  10. umount /mnt
  11. reboot

While the computer reboots, unplug the USB. Your user account should now login without any need for a password. Once logged in, you can go into your user account and reset your password from within Windows.

There are several other methods of resetting a Windows password. It really comes down to what you have available. I believe the Offline Windows Password & Registry Editor uses a very similar process. There is also the Sticky Keys trick, but that only works if Sticky Keys are enabled prior to being locked out.

Use CloudFlare for Dynamic DNS on Windows

The most popular Dynamic DNS provider, DynDNS, is now a paid service. There are other alternatives, each with their own pros and cons. Many DNS updaters, modems and routers support DynDNS. If you own a domain already this solution might interest you.

With a Static IP, you only need to create a permanent A record in DNS management. Most domain registrars do not allow Dynamic DNS. The server I want to access via subdomain has a Dynamic IP. While researching possible solutions, a friend hinted that you can update A records using the CloudFlare API. The domain already uses CloudFlare, so this is great news.

If you have got this far, you already know how to configure your firewall and port forward. You should be able to access the server from the internet using your IP address and port.

Follow the CloudFlare setup to point your nameserver to the correct location. If you intend to use a subdomain, create the A record in DNS management. Make sure CloudFlare is off for this record (optional, might be ok for your purposes).

cfdiagram

There are various ways to make a CloudFlare DNS updater, but no easy solution for Windows. I recently stumbled on one that works well, CloudFlare DDNS Updater. You can download it here.

You will need your API Key, primary domain name and the email address associated with your CloudFlare account. Once successful it will download your DNS records. You can then select which one you want to update. DNS propagation may take some time. Check CloudFlare to see if the address matches your IP address, then test from another internet connection.

It’s usually only $5-10 a year to register a domain. CloudFlare is a free service. This solution is cost effective and cleaner than having a subdomain of a free Dynamic DNS provider. No need to worry about confirming the DNS every 30 days, and remote.mydomain.com is far nicer than mydomain.freedns-rulez.net.

Note: In some environments (64-bit) CloudFlare DDNS Updater will not install as a service, there is a bug in v0.1. If you set the username as .\username rather than just username, it will successfully install as a service.

Adventures with XBMC (Kodi): Intel NUC

In my previous post, I briefly explained the process that I went through to use XBMC (now Kodi) on an old computer.

My old computer didn’t actually die, but I struggled with it for well over a year. It would fail, I’d jiggle the components and it would live on. The Logitech Z5500 control pod is what failed after 7 years of enjoyment. Ideally you want an A/V Receiver that supports HDMI pass-through. I replaced the old home theatre with an affordable Yamaha package, sporting an RX-V375 Receiver, NS-PB120 Speakers, and a YST-SW216 10″ Subwoofer.

The NUC that I chose is the D54250WYK. The most powerful model at the time with an i5 processor. Opening the box you are welcomed with the famous Intel tune, which is a cute gimmick. I’ve dropped in 8GB of Kingston RAM, Intel Wireless AC card and an Intel 30GB mSATA SSD. The last items required are a Cloverleaf (C5) power cable and a Mini-HDMI to HDMI 1.4a cable. These Intel NUC’s are smaller than you think, its an incredible device. It even has an on-board IR sensor.

i5-nuc-banana

Make it Work

Of course, the Operating System I’ll be using is OpenELEC. You can download the latest release here. I’ll run you through my forum findings as best I can.

With the BIOS version available at the time of this post. The device would restart instantly when it tried to suspend. I managed to get it working by disabling all settings in the Power options. I then set ‘Wake on LAN from S4/S5’ to ‘Power On – Normal Boot’, and enabled the ‘Deep S4/S5’ setting. With this configuration I am able to send the device into a low power state. I am then able to wake it using the IR sensor and my Harmony 700 Remote. Intel actually responded right after I posted in the long running thread about the issue. There is a beta BIOS that appears to address the bug. I will update when it goes stable.

Once you have installed OpenELEC, you might notice that your remote does not work. The IR driver is not enabled by default. You’ll want to edit the autostart.sh file from another computer on your network using SSH. What is SSH?

After figuring out SSH, enter the following command to edit the file.

Then add the following lines to the file to enable the driver.

If you find that your colours are washed out and you have an RGB ‘Full Range’ display like mine, add this line while you are there.

Ctrl+X to Save and Exit. Then run this final command for good measure.

Now reboot your NUC and check to see if the changes have worked. I am assuming you already have a Windows Media Center SE profile installed on your Harmony Remote, or equivalent device. The remote should now control Kodi, and colours should be deeper.

That’s about all you need to do right now to get the Intel NUC running with Kodi. The rest comes down to personal preference. I might write some posts about more customisations I like to make in the near future.

RAWR-Designs

Some people may recognise me as the rejetto forum admin TSG, or from the official HFS facebook page that I created.

hfs-logo8 years ago I was introduced to HTTP File Server by flynsarmy. HFS is a simple open source server application for Windows. I found the application to be a useful tool for practicing web design and programming. HFS still finds a place on my hard drive to this day. It is one of the easiest ways to share and access your files remotely.

After submitting a couple of templates, I began working with Giant Eagle. Richard was a fellow template builder on the HFS forum. Together we formed RAWR-Designs. Our goal was to create better quality applications and templates for HFS.

Projects

  • Thunderchicken of Glory template
  • Terayon template
  • RAWR-Template
  • RAWR-Player
  • Live 3 template
  • and our very own Thumbnail and Preview Generator.

rawr-logo-fancy

We purchased a domain and hosted our own website to help support a growing forum community. 3 years have passed since active development, but there is still demand for our templates on the rejetto forum. Giant Eagle missed a renewal, the host has taken ownership of the domain. I’ve decided to add a mirror of the files on my personal website.

Hopefully people continue to enjoy HFS, and the templates we create for it.

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