Posts Tagged ‘microsoft windows’

How to configure VIVACOM 3g USB ( internet ) modem HUAWEI Mobile broadband E173 on Debian and Ubuntu GNU / Linux

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Reading Time: 5minutes


I've been given a HUAWEI Mobile Broadband E173 USB 3g model. The USB modem contains a flash USB Storage segment storing a little install program dedicated to make the modem work fine on Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 and probably other M$ OSes. I'm a long time DebianGNU / Linux user and as a free software enthusiast I ofcourse wanted to be able to use Vivacom's 3G USB Modem on my Linux powered notebook.

Thanksfully as I've red on Vivacom's website the modem supports Linux OS 🙂

For those unaware in Bulgaria there are currently 3 major GSM network providers providing 3G internet this are;;;

  • VIVACOM – The ex Government ran national company BTC (Bulgarian Telecommunication Company)
  • M-Tel – The first GSM network provider that entered Bulgaria around year 1995
  • GLOBUL – The 3rd and last GSM mobile and net provider entered last and not so much used by Bulgarians today

Until today I had no experience in running any 3G modems on Linux, neither I had used the 3 networks 3G internet to determine which one is best, however I've been given for temporal use a VIVACOM 3G internet modem today so I proceeded to try installing it on my Debian host.

My Linux system is a bit strangely configured as I use wicd network connection manager -( wicd-gtk ) to manage wireless and LAN connections instead of the standard installed GNOME network manager – available through package ( network-manager-gnome ).

The reason I use wicd is not that it is so much better than GNOME network manger but rather for historical reasons because few years past I had impression it works better in connecting me to wireless networks. Another reason why I choosed wicd back then was the nice looking stats …

I tried plugging in the Vivacom USB 3G modem stick and checked in wicd to see if I can see a possibility to connect to the mobile opeartor 3G network but unfortunately nothing appeared.

Though the 3G adsl modem was unavailable straing in wicd, checking about it in the list of attached USB devices I could see it detected, e.g.:

noah:~# lsusb |grep -i huawei
Bus 001 Device 007: ID 12d1:1c05 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

This was at least a good sign pointing me to the thoughts that the modem is probably gonna work.

I did a quick Google search to see if other people succeded running the device on a Linux host and came across a few blog posts in Bulgarian explaining a "success story" on Ubuntu Linux through using a tweakened shell script – sakis3g. For more on how the script works and script download check out Sakis3g

Here is a quote from sakis3g's website describing the script:

It automagically setups your USB or Bluetooth™ modem, and may even detect operator settings.
You should try it when anything else fails!

Sakis3g has different versions designed for for plenty of spacific hware architectures i.e. for (i386, amd64, armv4t, armv5t).
There is also a version of the script which by the way contains a combination of bash shell scripting instruction and some binary exec data.

To run sakis3g on my laptop I did:

1. Download sakis3g

My notebook architecture is 64 bit so I download and used the amd64 version of the script;;;

hipo@noah:~$ mkdir sakis3g
hipo@noah:~$ cd sakis3g
hipo@noah:~/sakis3g$ wget

I've made also a mirror of sakis3g i386, 64 bit and all architecture the mirrors just in case it disappears in future. The mirror versions of sakis3g are here:

a. sakis3g i386b. sakis3g amd64c. sakis3g all architectures source

2. Unarchive and make it executable

After downloading it as it is in gzip I had to do the usual de-gzipping and making the file executable;;;

hipo@noah:~/sakis3g$ /bin/gzip -d sakis3g.gz
hipo@noah:~/sakis3g$ chmod +x sakis3g

The script is then ready to run by either clicking twice on it or (as I prefer for debugging reasons to run it in terminal):

hipo@noah:~$ ./sakis3g

Something that I have wondered a bit was the dialog where I had to fill in some data of some variable APN abbreviation for – (Access Point Name)

The APN host for VIVACOM mobile internet is;;;

I've used the Windows configuration progrma to gather also the following data that I thought might be important for configuring the 3G adsl modem on the Linux host;;;

Auth: *99#

Here are all the configuration screenshots I've taken from sakis3g and all the data that I filled in.
Next the following tiny window appeared on screen:

Sakis3g configure usb modem kdialog shot 1VIVACOM USB Modem Sakis 3g Shot 2sakis 3g usb modem vivacom connect screenshot 2vivacom 3g modem linux sakis3g enter pin dialog shot 4Sending pin screenshot 5 sakis3gAPN Dialog sakis3g screenshot 6sakis3g Internet Linux VIVACOM screenshot 7sakis3g Debian GNU Linux VIVACOM 3g Internet screenshot 8sakis3g initializing modem screenshot 9sakis3g successful connect to VIVACOM mobile 3g usb adls modem shot 10

Well that's all folks, now sakis3g succesfully connected to the I_net via an (PPP) VPN connection tunnel here is data from ifconfig command showing the succesful 3G connection to VIVACOM;;;

noah:~# /sbin/ifconfig ppp0
ppp0 Link encap:Point-to-Point Protocol
inet addr: P-t-P: Mask:
RX packets:2066 errors:1 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:1609 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:3
RX bytes:2232058 (2.1 MiB) TX bytes:341693 (333.6 KiB)

The internet via the 3G connection is not blazing fast but good enough to check your mail or read some webpages. VIVACOM currently has different (traffic limited packages) for their 3G internet, I'm not sure which package exactly is the 3G USB stick modem but probably the "quick" internet connection that is now would slow down once the traffic limit is reached …
Hope this post helps someone to configure 3G internet on VIVACOM in Debian and Ubuntu Linux. Though I've tested sakis3g on Debian it should work with no hassles on any other GNU Linux distribution that has bash installed.

Windows: Create quick screenshot and import it to Outlook Email – A great Outlook tip everybody should know

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Reading Time: 2minutes

If you're into a huge company like IBM (no it doesn't stand for I Blame You butInternational Business Machines ) or Hewlett Packard – where using Microsoft Windows mailing is almost mandatory and you have to write tons of mails daily, you will certainly need to do plenty of screenshots.
Screenshotting in MS Windows is a very trivial thing, you press Prt + Scr (Print Screen Button), open Microsoft Paint and paste (CTRL+V) the file into it then Save the file as a lets say JPEG extension. However if you have to do that regularly, each time to create a screenshot you will have to loose a minute or two. Also it is quite annoying to open Paint and
Outlook version 2010 has a very useful feature Take screenshot from any existing opened Window on Windows host.
To make screenshot directly from Outlook mail client. Click the Write new mail Button

New E-mail -> Insert (tab) -> (click Screenshot)
Depending on your ribbon menu setup, this might be a tiny icon—specifically, a little camera icon with a dotted rectangle.
You will be offered to choose along all opened Windows, for the Window from which you would like to have screenshot, choose one and enjoy
If you don't see a window you want to insert, make sure the program isn't minimized to the taskbar.
Alternatively, if you want just a portion of the screen, click on the Screen Clipping button at the bottom of the Screenshot dropdown. This will bring up a crosshair cursor for you to drag around the area of the screen you want to select.
Your selection should then be inserted into your emailscreenshot ready to share with your mates.

Currency converter Free Desktop Software for Microsoft Windows

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Reading Time: 2minutes

Business or not a business entity, in the mostly globalized world it is almost inevitable to go on at least monthly basis without a need for some kind of currency convertion. Of course there are plenty of websites allowing Free Money Convertion services out there. However as I'm not a big fan of the Software as a Service (SAS). I don't like other people to be able to sniff what kind of money, amounts I'm intending to convert as well as I don't like google or other search engine to profile me how frequently I'm converting or intending to convert money. Thus today I did a quick research what kind of Free and  Open Source Software FOSS is available to do the money convertion operation custom on my own webserver or my desktop PC. Though It was not exactly what I was looking for I found a Windows Desktop Software -CConverter which is capable of convertions between mostly if not all Currencies around the world. I'm not a m$ Windows user myself, but I was glad to know a Free Software exists for the task. CConverter is definitely a piece of soft useful for Businesses and People. In future if I do my own business it would be nice to know of this little handy soft existence and I will put it in action (to save costs) and add confidentiality to my business money transaction / convertions. Below is the two screenshots of CConverter I found on the project's sourceforge website:

Desktop Currency converter program cconverter windows desktop currency converter program

cconverter money desktop currency converter m$ windows software in action $$$

Windows “God Mode” one shortcut to see and configure all setttings in Microsoft Windows 7 / 8 / 10 – Windows Master Control Panel hidden feature

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Reading Time: 2minutes

One very handy "secret" feature of Windows Operating System which is very useful to people who administrate a dozen of Windows servers daily is called "God Mode".
The idea behind "God Mode" is pretty simple it aims to give you maximum control and viability concentrated in one single Window interface.

God Mode was quite a lot ranted over the past years so it is likely that many of my blog readers are already aware of that Windows secret, but for those who didn't it will be
nice to check it out. To see the God Mode Windows functionality just create a New Folder in Windows Desktop or Anywhere on the Windows PC and Rename the New Folder to:



By creating folder witth his text string you will be able to do almost everything you ever tend to do on Windows from changing the outlook of theme and mouse cursor, changing,
Win explorer's folder's options, modify fonts, change cursor blink rate, get windows performance tools and information, add / remove programs, modify language, modify
firewall settings and in short do everything that is provided by Control Panel + some other goodies like Administrative Tools, Restore Options, Event logs etc. grouped in a fantastic readable manner.
GodMode naming says it all more or less it aims to give you "Godlike" accessibility to the Windows. Of course to be able to properly use the feature you will have to create
the Folder named GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} with Administrator user.
The GodMode is available in Windows OSes since quite a long (2007) and is documented officially by Microsoft

Another alternative shortcut that gives the Godmode Master control panel is:



Enjoy 🙂

Start Event Viewer from Command Line (Prompt) – eventvwr.msc to Debug Windows server issues

Friday, November 6th, 2015

Reading Time: 2minuteseventvwrmsc-event-viewer-windows-7-screenshot-view-windows-log-and-dianose-errors

If you’re a sysadmin which needs to deal with Microsoft Windows servers locally or remotely via Remote Desktop RDP client (MSTSC.EXE) or inside a Windows Domain Controller, you will have to frequently debug Windows isseus or Application caused errors by reviewing debug information stored in Event Logs.

Event Viewer is a precious tool to debug often errors with missing libraries or failing programs on Windows boot and thus on M$ Windows it is the Swiss Army knife of sysadmin.
However as staring Event Viewer using the GUI menus, takes a lot of step and looses you time, e.g., you have to navigate to menus:

1. Start button Picture of the Start button
2. clicking Control Panel
3. clicking System and Security
4. clicking Administrative Tools
5.then double-clicking Event Viewer.‌
6. Granting Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation

It is much handier to just start it with a shortcut:

Press Windows (Button) + R
– To invoke run prompt

and type:


In case if you’re running eventvwr.msc to connect to remote Windows Server run from command prompt (cmd.exe):


eventvwr.msc /computer=OTHER_Computer_Name


How to install VirtualBox Virtual Machine to run Windows XP on Ubuntu Linux (11.10)

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Reading Time: 3minutes

My beloved sister was complaining games were failing to properly be played with wine emulator , therefore I decided to be kind and help her by installing a Windows XP to run inside a Virtual Machine.My previous install experiments with running MS Windows XP on Linux was on Debian using QEMU virtualmachine emulator.
However as Qemu is a bit less interactive and slower virtualmachine for running Windows (though I prefer it for being completely free software), this time I decided to install the Windows OS with Virtualbox.

My hope was using VirtualBox would be a way easier but I was wrong… I've faced few troubles and I thought many people who initially try to install Virtualbox VM to run Windows on Ubuntu and other Debian based Linux distros will probably experience the same problems as mine, so here is how this article was born.

Here is what I did to have a VirtualBox OS emulator to run Windows XP SP2 on Ubuntu 11.10 Linux

1. Install Virtualbox required packages with apt

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install virtualbox virtualbox-dkms virtualbox-guest-dkms root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install virtualbox-ose-dkms virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11

If you prefer more GUI or lazy to type commands, the Software Package Manager can also be used to straight install the same packages.
virtualbox-dkms virtualbox-guest-dkms packages are the two which are absolutely necessery in order to enable VirtualBox to support installing Microsoft Windows XP. DKMS modules are also necessery to be able to emulate some other proprietary (non-free) operating systems.
The DKMS packages provide a source for building Vbox guest (OS) additional kernel modules. They also require the kernel source to be install otherwise they fail to compile.

Failing to build the DKMS modules will give you error every time you try to create new VirtualMachine container for installing a fresh Windows XP.
The error happens if the two packages do not properly build the vboxdrv extra Vbox kernel module while the Windows XP installer is loaded from a CD or ISO. The error to pop up is:

Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)

The VirtualBox Linux kernel driver (vboxdrv) is either not loaded or there is a permission problem with /dev/vboxdrv. Please reinstall the kernel module by executing

VirtualBox vboxdrv not loaded error Ubuntu Screen

To fix the error:

2. Install latest Kernel source that corresponds to your current kernel version

root@ubuntu:~# apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r`

Next its necessery to rebuild the DKMS modules using dpkg-reconfigure:

3. Rebuild VirtualBox DKMS deb packages

root@ubuntu:~# dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-dkms
root@ubuntu:~# dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-guest-dkms
root@ubuntu:~# dpkg-reconfigure virtualbox-ose-dkms

Hopefully the copilation of vboxdrv kernel module should complete succesfully.
To test if all is fine just load the module:

4. Load vboxdrv virtualbox kernel module

root@ubuntu:~# modprobe vboxdrv

If you get some error during loading, this means vboxdrv failed to properly compile, try read thoroughfully what the error is and fix it) ;).

As a next step the vboxdrv has to be set to load on every system boot.

5. Set vboxdrv to load on every Ubuntu boot

root@ubuntu:~# echo 'vboxdrv' >> /etc/modules

I am not sure if this step is required, it could be /etc/init.d/virtualbox init script automatically loads the module, anyways putting it to load on boot would do no harm, so better do it.

That's all now, you can launch VirtualBox and use the New button to initiate a new Virtual Machine, I will skip explaining how to do the configurations for a Windows XP as most of the configurations offered by default would simply work without any tampering.

After booting the Windows XP installer I simply followed the usual steps to install Windows and all went smoothly.
Below you see a screenshot showing the installed Windows XP Virtualbox saved VM session. The screenshot letters are in Bulgarian as my sisters default lanaguage for Ubuntu is bulgarian 😉

VirtualBox installed MS Windows VM screenshot

I hope this article helps someone out there. Please drop me a comment if you experience any troubles with it. Cya 🙂

Microsoft Windows most secure OS for 2014 ? – Short OS and Application Security report for 2014

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Reading Time: 3minutes


It is shocking news for me and probably to many that according to security specialists at National Vulnerability Database, at present moment for year 2014 Windows looks like more secure than both Apple's (iOS and Mac OS X) as well as to Linux.

Windows has been  bullied for its bad OS design and easier to breach Security compared to Linux, there was a constant hype also of Mac OS users claiming the invulnerability of their BSD based OS, but it seems security breach statistics given by  National Vulnerability Database security breach evaluation reports tell us security issues for 2014 Windows OSes while compared to other OS vulnerabilities in different operating systems such as Linux.

I will have to disappoint Apple Mac fans but in 2014 Mac OS X was found to be riddled with the greatest number of security problems147 in total, including 64 rated as high severity, and 67 as medium.

iOS's security was also ranked poor with 127 vulnerabilities including32 high and 72 with a medium rating.

For comparison the latest Windows 8.1 had only 36 vulnerabilities, and its predecessors — Windows 8 and 7 — both had same number.
In Enterprise World (users) Windows Server 2007 and 2008 both have 38 vulnerabilities. Reported vulnerabilities were mainly of middle and high severity.


Overall statistics also show there has been a huge increase in the number security vulnerabilities in the NVD security reports database.
In 2013 the number of all logged vulnerabilities were 4,794 while this jumped to 7,038 in y. 2014. The good news is lower percentage of all logged in security issues were rated of critical security importance.
It is mostly third party software not part of OS which contain security issues, 83% of all reported vulnerabilities were laying in 3rd party applications, only 13% percantage were OS specific and 4% hardware related.
Though overall statistics shows Microsoft products more secure than Apple Inc. Products and (Open Source) Linux, though still M$ Internet Explorer is the most insecure web browser, for 2014,  Internet Explorer had  242 vulnerabilities while Google Chrome had 124 security issues and the most secure browser rated for 2014 is (surprising for me) Mozilla Firefox.
It is important to say such statistics are not completely relevant because, for example you can rarely see a Linux desktop user infected with Malware but almost everyone around using Windows OS is malware infected, same goes for Mac OS users, there are plenty of vulnerabilities for Mac but overall security of Mac OS is better as I haven't still met Mac OS users with Viruses and Spyware but I fixed about (30!!) of Microsoft PCs and notebooks infected with various Viruses and badware throughout 2014. Also it should be considered that many securitty bugs are kept secret and actively exploited for a long time by blackhats like it happened recently with Heartbleed and ShellShock vulnerabilities
For those interested, below is a list of top vulnerable applications for 2014


how to archive with Windows default zip (compress) algorithm

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Reading Time: 2minutes

I'm working on a decomissioning project (for those who hear decomissioning for a first time – in corporate world this means removal of service/s or assigned resources of a server or a physical server hardware that is not to be used in future or is obsolete). The decomissioning includes removal of Apache Tomcat (Software Configuration Item CI – in HP terms) from Microsoft Windows 2007 – Service Pack 2.
Part of decomissioning is of course to create backup of Tomcat Application server and for that I needed to create compressed archive of Tomcat instances. Usually I do archives on Windows using Winrar or Winzip but this time as the server productive server has the minimum installed there was no any external vendor produced archiving software available.

My memories from past were that there is a native compressing program embedded into Windows as I've unzipped compressed archives on Win hosts with no need for external WinZip. However until so far I never did .ZIP archive with no available external uncompress software.

Using Winzip or Winrar so far to make archive from a number of files I used to select files to enter Archive press right mouse button and select Create Archive (Add To Archive) so I expected this will work whenever no Winrar, however there was no obvious button like this, so I googled a bit to find out how is that possible ending up on Article from Microsoft titled "Compress and uncompress files (zip files)", there is a dumb proof video teaching Compressing files with Microsoft default ZIP program is done by the the weird "Send To" menu 🙂 

Selecting files to enter Archive;
> (Click Right Mouse Button) -> (Send To Compressed Zipped Folder)

compress_zipped_folder_with_windows_default_archive_algorithm how to archive with windows default compress archive

Honestly If I didn't checked the net probably I will never think of looking it there.

How to check Microsoft Windows uptime – Check server uptime in Windows server

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Reading Time: 2minutes

In Linux to check uptime there is the uptime command, so how is it possible to check your system uptime – e.g. check when was last time Windows host was rebooted?

Or in other words what is Windows server equivalent to Linux's uptime command?

To check uptime on Windows OS, there is the:

net statistics server

command a shorter reference to this command is net stats srv

To run it quickest way is to press Windows (button)+r type cmd.exe and exec command in Windows command prompt:


C:UsersGeorgi>net statistics server
Server Statistics for \SM07862

Statistics since 21.05.2014 09:55:21

Sessions accepted 1
Sessions timed-out 0
Sessions errored-out 0

Kilobytes sent 0
Kilobytes received 0

Mean response time (msec) 0

System errors 0
Permission violations 0
Password violations 0

Files accessed 0
Communication devices accessed 0
Print jobs spooled 0

Times buffers exhausted

Big buffers 0
Request buffers 0

The command completed successfully.


Statistics since 21.05.2014 09:55:21 – shows when system booted last time, so to check the difference between current time and when system booted last – you need to check current time with time command


The current time is: 16:59:26,60
Enter the new time:

Alternative command to check when Windows system booted is:

C:UsersGeorgi>systeminfo|findstr "System Boot Time"
System Boot Time: 21.05.2014, 09:54:11
System Manufacturer: HP
System Model: ProLiant BL460c G7
System Type: x64-based PC
System Directory: C:Windowssystem32
Boot Device: DeviceHarddiskVolume1
System Locale: de;German (Germany)
Time Zone: (UTC+01:00) Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna


If you want to check Windows boot time "the Windows way" through the GUI, launch Windows Task Manager – run taskmgr command and go to Performance tab



Free Software Remote Desktop for Mac OS X – CoRD simple RDP remote desktop for Mac

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Reading Time: 4minutes

If you're admin using Mac OS X Desktop or casually on a place where you have no access to a Windows / Linux PC (only have access to your girlfriend of wife MAC OS notebook) and you need to administrate Windows hosts remotely out of office hours (from home), you will needsome remote desktop client for Mac OS X.

I was just recently in that situation as we were guests to a friend in Shabla village nearby Sea coast and the only near PC, I had was my wife's MacBook Air running Mac OS X.

I looked in google to see if there is some default RDP (remote desktop protocol) client like MS Windows remote desktop command line client, i.e. (yes there is way to invoke remote desktop on Windows from command line 🙂 ):

mstsc [] [/v:] [/admin] [/f[ullscreen]] [/w:] [/h:] [/public] | [/span] [/edit “connection file”] [/migrate] [/?]


I also looked if there is Mac OS X version ofLinux's rdesktop (command) or RDP Linux GUI remmina 
however  I didn't find direct port of em, neither there is default integrated RDP Client on Mac OS X, thus after researching a bit further I tried installing the first returned result in Google which was leading to Apple's AppStore – Apple – Remote Desktop.

I tried installing the clicking it but it seemed my wife, didn't know her AppStore as it was her cousin which earlier configured her Mac OS PC on laptop initial install time. Contacting her cousin to ask for the password was a time eater as well as I was lazy to create new appstore account (plus I always prefer to use free software alternative when possible) …  did a quick search in Google whether there is some Open Source / Free Software Remote Desktop Client for Mac OS X and I found CoRD – Mac OS X remote desktop client for Microsoft Windows computers using the RDP protocol.
CoRD was originally ported from UNIX program rdesktop.
To have CoRD working you will need as a minimum requirement Mac OS X version 10.5 or later.

Here is CoRD's description quoted from its SourceForge website:

CoRD: Simple RDP Remote Desktop

Macs interact well with Windows, and with CoRD the experience is a bit smoother. Great for working on the office terminal server, administrating servers or any other time you'd like your PC to be a bit closer without leaving your Mac. CoRD allows you to view each session in its own window, or save space with all sessions in one window. Scale session windows to whatever size fits you—the screen is resized automatically. Enter full screen mode and feel like you're actually at the computer. The clipboard is automatically synchronized between CoRD and the server. For system administrators, CoRD creates a simpler workflow by allowing you to save server information, then quickly connect to that server by using HotKeys or the server drawer. This makes quickly connecting to a specific server easy, even when managing many servers.

Installing CoRD is pretty, straight forward, just download unzip the archive and run it:




To later run Cord either look it up in Finder or if you prefer like me to access it from command line, you will need to export CoRD PATH in Mac Terminal $PATH variable:


As you see in above screenshot to find out which directory is CoRD located, I've grepped through the processes with

ps ax | grep cord

and then added it to PATH with:

export PATH=$PATH:/Users/svetlana/Application/

Remembering CoRD to type it each time is annoying, thus to make CorD be accessed like on Linux with rdesktop (easy to remember command), I've used alias:

alias rdesktop='CoRD'

To make the new PATH and alias permanent for the user, I've added it to (/Users/svetlana) – ~/.profile

echo "export PATH=$PATH:/Users/svetlana/Application/" >> ~/.profile
echo "alias rdesktop='CoRD'" >> ~/.profile

Current CoRD MacOSX version is 0.5.7, for personal ease if I need to install it in future time, I've made my own mirror of cord here.

There is also Microsoft Remote Desktop client for Mac OS 2.1.1 however this version was released back in 2011 and is outdated (not supported for use with Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion) or later).