iPad 2… On the way.

So my birthday is coming up next month and my parents surprised me with the news of an iPad on its way. They live about 5 hours away from me and the unit was shipped to them, I’ll get my hands on it this weekend. And I’ll be sure to write a follow up post to this one with my thoughts on the device.

I never had the first iPad but I had the opportunity to play with it on a few occasions. I was impressed but in the end I decided I would be better off waiting for Apples 2nd try. FaceTime made my wait worth it. I’m not a big FaceTime user but occasionally its nice to phone home and talk face to face with the family.

I’m excited to have a much more lightweight device to replace a lot of what I’ve been caring my MacBook around for. Email and even some remote Linux work. I’ve been able to do a lot of work from iSSH but the screen is to small for everything I need to do. The larger screen real estate should make things a bit easier.

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Reset your forgotten iPhone4 SSH password.

Wonderful, I SSH’d to my iPhone 4 this morning to find out I forgot the mobile and root account passwords. Not to worry! We can fix this!

Ok this is relatively simple the only problem I ran into was that MobileTerminal crashes under iOS4 so I had to figure out another way to edit the files in question as well as come up with the crypto hashes, but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

First we need to make some backups, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not skip this part!There is a potential to really screw things up if you make a mistake and have a backup. Its easy to correct by restoring the original file. Proceed at your own risk if I outline something here you do not understand find someone who is more versed in unix to assist you, or shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Since we cant use MobileTerminal we need another way, head into the Cydia Store and find an application called iFile and install it to your device. Fire up iFile and browse to /etc you can do this by clicking the button in the top left until your at the root of the filesystem / then finding the etc folder and clicking it.

Now find the file master.passwd, don’t open it yet, we first need to make that backup click the edit button in the top right of the screen and select the master.passwd file, there will be a red checkmark showing you have it selected, now hit the button in the bottom right (the arrow coming out of the box). And select Copy/Link. You now have the file copied to iFile’s clipboard, click the done button (top right). Followed by the home button, (little house 2nd from right on the bottom).

Hit the edit button again but before you select anything click the bottom right button (the arrow coming out of the box) and click Paste. We now have our backup.

Navigate back to the /etc folder. open up the master.passwd file the 2 lines we are interested in are:

root:UI48wgPSS/M1k:0:0::0:0:System Administrator:/var/root:/bin/sh
mobile:UI48wgPSS/M1k:501:501::0:0:Mobile User:/var/mobile:/bin/sh

Before you go thinking you have my Hashes I’ve replaced both of them with the hash for the Password of Password1 (not my password).

To get new hashes we need to generate one, head over to functions-online.com’s crypt function: http://www.functions-online.com/crypt.html

$str is your new password
$salt is an optional string to base the hashing on, when I first learned this I was taught to use a salt of ‘Ul’ others might work but I’ve always stuck with Ul since I know it works. generate your new passwords and then get them onto your device somehow, I used http://myphonedesktop.com/ which allows me to transfer things (images, text etc) to my phone pretty easy. you could also simply generate the crypto hash in MobileSafari on your phone then simply copy paste it over, you want to replace the part between the
::’s I;ve highlighted it for you. now just save the file and SSH to your phone with your new password.

root:UI48wgPSS/M1k:0:0::0:0:System Administrator:/var/root:/bin/sh
mobile:UI48wgPSS/M1k:501:501::0:0:Mobile User:/var/mobile:/bin/sh

If it still does not work we should restore your backup from the mobile users home directory (/var/mobile/master.passwd) back over the /etc/master.passwd file and try again.

This works because most applications on the iPhone are executed with root permissions giving the iFile application the ability to edit a file only the root user should have access to. this is also why its very important to always reset your password if your going to jailbreak your iPhone. all it takes is someone sniffing out your iPhone on an open wifi and figuring out they can use the default password of ‘alpine’ to get full access to your device while its in your pocket.

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Why my next Computer will be a Mac mini.

Currently my two primary computers are my iMac at home and my MacBook for on-the-go computing. Not the MacBook Pro I bought my Aluminum MacBook two months before it was renamed the MacBook Pro. but hardware wise its practically the same thing. I do lots of photography work on my iMac and while its almost 4 years old, it does a wonderful job still.

My Macbook and My iMac are pretty much Identical except for the RAM and Video Cards. Both Machines have Core 2 Duo, 2.4 Ghz Processors. the iMac has 4 Gigs of 667 MHz DDR2 ram and a RadionHD 2600 with 256MB of Video Memory, while the MacBook only has 2 Gigs of 1067MHz DDR3 ram with a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M Also with 256MB of video memory.

My next computer really doesn’t need to be all that powerful I’m looking for something I can connect to my HD TV in the living room and connect a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to. then I can surf the net, listen to slacker and watch Netflix from my entertainment center. There is one other reason I’d like to pick up a Mac mini over a newAppleTV. I currently have the old version of the AppleTV with the absence of Netflix can do pretty much everything else the new one can. Also I run a server 24×7 for monitoring a Linux server I manage, I’d like to move this over to a Mac mini as they draw MUCH less power than the Linux server I’m currently running.

When Idle the Mac mini only draws 10 watts, that’s less than a standard light bulb, when sitting just monitoring a remote machine I estimate it may use around 15watts, even at max power though the Mac mini will only draw 85 watts, far less than the 300 watt power supply currently powering my existing monitoring server.

Eventually I’d like to upgrade my iMac to a new 27″ model, but for now its doing just fine. =)

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Amazon Kindle Exchange

My Job has demanded that everyone in my position be CCNA certified, Even went as far as reimbursing us for Cisco Press books to help along the way… Unless you purchased the kindle version as I did. No big deal at least I don’t have to lug large books around.  Last night I pulled out my kindle to do some studying. to find a shattered screen on my beloved ebook reader. This did not stop me from studying since I have Kindle for Mac installed on my MacBook. But my first thought was “wonderful, I’m out $190 for a new Kindle”.

Two thing’s about Amazon impressed me in this situation. The first was when I scheduled a Phone call last night at 2AM (I work swing shift, thus a night owl) to have them call me back the next on the day. There was no option for this, but there was an option to have them call me back immediately. So I was able to speak with someone about my kindle immediately. The second is I found out I wasn’t out the full cost of a kindle. Granted I was out of the warranty (my kindle was a gift from 2 years ago). But they allowed me the option of exchanging my damaged kindle for $89 for a new one.

The only thing out of this entire situation I was bummed about was the fact that they would not let me pay a bit more for an upgrade to the latest generation. All in all Amazon has reinforced my love for them =)

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limera1n verified on 4.1

Verified limera1n Jailbreak works with iOS 4.1 today, I’ve been running 4.0.1 for some time, and I decided tonight to upgrade to 4.1 to get HDR Photographs and GameCenter on my device.  I was a tad worried about trying the upgrade but fairly confident I could revert to 4.0.1 since I took the time to store my SHSH keys with Cydia (http://www.saurik.com/).

So if your currently running 4.1 on your iPhone and want to jailbreak it for any reason at all feel free to use limera1n (http://limera1n.com/). Its extreamly easy to use simply run the application plug in your phone and click the “Make it rain” button. then follow the instructions on the app until it tells you its finished.

After the app tells you its done, your iPhone will be off. Turn it back on, and run the limera1n app, you can then install Cydia and uninstall limera1n from your iPhone. Happy Iphone hacking =)

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