Enable telnet in Windows Vista

By default, Vista installs without telnet available. I know, I know, you should be using SSH for everything now, but sometimes you just need good old telnet. Here is how to enable telnet in Vista:

1. Open ‘Control Panel’

2. Select ‘Programs and Features’

3. In the left column, select ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ (get ready for the annoying UAC prompt)

4. Check the box next to telnet (and any other obscure services you may want enabled), and wait while Vista thinks for a while.

Thats it, now you can administer your network devices in as unsecure manner as possible!
-Ben (@ ArsGeek tips)

Adobe Acrobat Reader got you down?

adobe acrobat reader

EDIT: 7/12/07: This apparently breaks Acrobat Reader 8.1 – even removing the accessibility plugin causes Acrobat Reader to complain about an ‘invalid plugin’, then exit out. I put the plugin back in, and 8.1 does not seem to exhibit the same symptoms that 8.0 did (i.e.: no “please wait while the document is being prepared” crap). I’m going to play around a bit, but it seems Adobe fixed this in Reader 8.1

– Cavtroop (senior developer of ArsGeek)

I installed Acrobat Reader 8.0, and every single time I open a document, I was presented with a “please wait while the document is being prepared” message, that would sometimes stay for minutes as it indexed the entire document. This presented issues with both usability, and when giving presentations.

To remove this ‘feature’, simply navigate to your %Program Files%\Adobe\Reader 8.0\reader\plug_ins folder, and rename (delete, copy elsewhere) the ‘accessability.api’ file. The same file exists, but in slightly different locations, in older version of Acrobat Reader.

Poof! No more annoying messages preventing you from actually reading the file. Keep in mind, the ‘reader’ functionality will no longer work, but who uses that anyways? Next time you open a file, Acrobat will complain that this version doesn’t have ‘reader’ functionality built in. Check the box, and click OK, and that’s the last you will hear from them on that!

Ubuntu Quicktip – Converting Mac .dmg images into .iso images

I recently published a handy script that allows you to convert a Mac OSX or Apple’s iPod (iPod firmware generated images) to standard .iso files.

You’ll need to have perl installed. Also, you may need to add an additional dependency in the form of a perl zlib module. So, here’s how to install it:
sudo apt-get install libcompress-zlib-perl
cd /usr/bin
sudo wget http://www.blinkenlights.ch/gnupod/dmg2iso.pl

Now, in my Ubuntu install I had to make one change to the dmg2iso.pl script.
sudo gedit dmg2iso.pl
At the very top you should see a line that says ‘#!/usr/local/bin/perl‘. This tells the script where to find perl. On my installation, perl is located in ‘/usr/bin/perl‘. So change that line if you need to.

Now let’s make it excecutable.
sudo chmod 777 dmg2iso.pl
Back to your home directory now.
If you have a .dmg file in your home directory (or any directory) called bloodspell.dmg, and you want to convert it to a .iso file you can type:
dmg2iso.pl bloodspell.dmg bloodspell.iso
The script will take care of the rest.

How to prepare for and execute your upgrade to Ubuntu Edgy Eft


Ubuntu’s Edgy Eft (6.10) is out tomorrow, provided no last minute changes to the release schedule.

If you’re planning to upgrade from 6.06 to 6.10, then here are a few steps you may want to take before you perform the upgrade.

  • Be sure to check this Release Notes at the Ubuntu Wiki to make sure you won’t run into any known hardware/software issues.
  • Back up any important files – documents, music, photos, etc. This can’t be stressed enough! If you can’t live without it then make a copy of it somewhere else so if your upgrade goes sour you can get it back.
  • Consider backing up your entire system. Is it more of a hassle to restore it or just do a fresh install? If you chose to back it up, here’s some tips on backing up your Ubuntu system.
  • Definately back up your xorg.conf file (located at /etc/X11/xorg.conf) if you’ve made any changes to it and you’re not planning on backing up your system.
  • Be sure to back up your fstab as well if you’ve modified it to mount things like FAT32 or NTFS drives, it’s located at /etc/fstab.
  • In that vein, if you’ve modified config files for other services, like Samba, Apache, or whatnot you should back them up.

All that’s taken care of now the only thing left to do is wait for tomorrow to upgrade, right? Actually, I’d recommend upgrading today if you can. Why? Well tomorrow with the official release most repositories will be swamped. You can avoid the rush by upgrading right now and then doing a simple dist-upgrade tomorrow to pick up any last minute changes.

How do you upgrade? Well, there are several ways to do it. The first and easiest is to open up a terminal session and run the following command:
gksu “update-manager -c -d”
Or, if you’d like to modify your sources.list file, there’s a quick little sed command to do that for you. As Trogdoor (from Digg) notes, this is not a recommended method. The folks over at Ubuntu have posted a warning about upgrading using this method.
sudo sed -e ’s/\sdapper/ edgy/g’ -i /etc/apt/sources.list
Then run
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Also you can simply gedit the file, and choose Find -> Replace all, replacing dapper with edgy.
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
And just to be sure that everything’s okay, run:
sudo apt-get -f install
sudo dpkg –configure -a
My original reason for starting this blog way back when, sheesh, almost 7 months ago… :) was to have a repository of knowledge for stuff I’d done to my Ubuntu machines. Feel free to use what I’ve learned for yourself with this new release by checking out the Ubuntu category here on Arsgeek. Issues like fixing sound in flash, installing much loved apps and whatnot can all be found there.

Once the official release is launched, Launchpad will start tracking bugs for it. It’s a good idea to stop by if you’re having a problem and either verify that it’s been reported, find a fix, or report it.

Good luck, and may the Eft be with you.