Cisco IOS: password recovery notes

I’m pretty sure any CCNA worth his salt has this procedure down pat, but here’s a summary with things to remember if you’re too lazy to plow through Cisco.

1. Reboot the router, have your console terminal all connected and ready.

2. Send break signal to the router before the POST – on Teraterm this means Alt-B or click on Control then Send break

3. Alter the configuration register value to ignore NVRAM contents.

confreg 0x2142

4. Reboot the router again, so that you can boot into the router without a need for password.

5. Don’t get this command wrong after you enter privilege exec:

copy start run

Doing the reverse means a dump of an empty config onto your router. We are trying to edit the startup configuration, not overwrite the startup with the running (which is empty!).

6. Change the console and secret, change the configuration register back to default value.

config terminal

line con 0

password NEWPASSWORD

exit

enable secret NEWSECRET

configuration-register 0x2102

end

Don’t forget to write your new passwords down.

7. Save the configuration.

copy run start

8. Reboot the router, and enjoy.

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Video: So You Think You Can Dance – Will/Courtney & Twitch/Katee

Two hours spent watching So You Think You Can Dance on TV tonight, elimination time for the top 8 dancers so far. And these two performances were simply excellent.

Will & Courtney
Slow hiphop routine choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon

Emotional isn’t it? The longing and the feeling of being embraced by the ghostly male lover, memories long gone.

Twitch & Katee
Contemporary routine choreographed by Mia Michaels

This one’s full of entertainment value. She wants him, but he simply plays it cool. Excellent characterisation!

Keinian ideals – Costs of living in Melbourne (versus Singapore) part 3: Transport

Back after a long, long interval. Let’s continue looking things over shall we?

The focus of this post: transportation, also a very important part of our lives. How much difference is there in the transport systems available?

*Disclaimer: all of the below are my opinion, and do not form any basis for factual arguments – I’m not writing a university research paper that requires substantiation and quotes. Feel free to disagree and ignore this post if you do feel like it.

Private transport

Singapore
It would be fair to say that cars are a luxury for the average Singaporean. Consider the following:

  • With the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) inflating prices of the vehicle,
  • Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries springing up all over the island like mushrooms after the rain – you might be able to avoid it if you do not have to enter the city at all,
  • The ever-present vehicle maintenance costs,
  • And a compulsory ten-year lifespan before the cars are sent to the scrap heap. Safety hazard, or a need to reduce to vehicles on the road? I’m not sure either.

Suffice it to say that you would probably sink a good deal of your salary towards the car repayments/maintenance/fixed costs, if you are the average Singaporean. And by average, I would be saying something like $2,800 per month, or even less. Not everyone is a university graduate, and blue-collar wages are not what we would call attractive. (We’ll talk about wages in the next post.)

A cheaper alternative: you could rely on scooters or motorbikes to get around, which would save a considerable amount on maintenance and petrol.

Australia
It’s a pretty big place, and cars are a pretty common (or even a vital) facet of everyday transportation. The suburbs are pretty large, and driving a car is a matter of convenience over here. I’m not a car buff for sure, but IMO cars are definitely more affordable over here. Points for consideration versus the SG environment:

  • There’s no COE, period.
  • Electronic pricing gantries exist on the highways, but there are freeways (yes, free aka you don’t pay) that offer access to the city.
  • Vehicle maintenance costs exist, and probably would be cheaper if you know how to do it yourself; human labor costs are much higher in Australia after all.
  • No lifespan limit on the vehicles; I have seen twenty year-old vintage cars chugging along the road without exploding into spare parts.

So you are pretty free to get a used vehicle at an affordable price if you’re running on a tight budget; vehicles on a range of prices, and in varying states of use of course.

And yes, motorcycles and scooters are readily available for purchase. I have no idea on the price differences in this area, but judging from the prices I have seen on the store windows: it seems like the bikes are pricier here.

Or try cycling to work – I know this guy who actually cycles 40km to work everyday. Now that’s what I call fitness.

Public transport

Singapore
The Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) and bus services (SBS Transit and SMRT Buses) form the backbone of public transport.

The result? Peak hour = crowded trains and crowded buses. People are packed inside like sardines in a can, for lack of a better description. Stuffy, and all too uncomfortable.

This is a personal perspective: in my years of taking the MRT I usually end up standing more often than not. Either the train’s too crowded, or there are other people who need the seat more than I do. This is fine of course, but being younger does not mean you do not get tired from standing.

Buses cover the island more extensively, and while the bus stands out as an easier way to get to your destination with less walking involved versus the MRT, it doesn’t mean it’s the miracle cure to all your transport woes. Buses are by nature erratic in their schedules, which means happy waiting. And what if you fall asleep? Missing a stop often means a long way to walk.
(You can probably tell that I don’t like buses very much, and that’s the bloody truth.)

Fare system: Singapore uses the EZ-Link system, which offers seamless payment across the train and bus networks. Passengers use a magnetic card that is tapped on a reader upon alighting. This deducts the maximum fare of the journey from your card, and the correct amount is credited back into the card when you tap the card reader before getting off. No freebies, unless you can actually “forget” about tapping the card altogether.

Taxis are available, but prices have risen and are no longer as affordable as they were a year ago.

Quoted from shenando:

“$2.80 + $0.30 (diesel surcharge). 385m go up $0.20 or every 30 seconds, peak period = 35% extra”

And yep, taxis have ERP surcharges too.

Conclusion: public transport is a bitch.

Melbourne
Victorian public transport consists of four elements:

  • Trains: similar to what the MRT offers, with more seats. Trains come more or less on time, which is not a bad thing.
  • Trams: my absolute love when it comes to short-distance public transport. Arrives on time according to the timetable. Moves in straight lines along the main roads most of the time, does not fcuk you up too much even after missing a couple of stops. Walking back 500m is greatly preferred to “oh shit was I supposed to turn left here?” Steady motion with minimal jerking, great for short naps.
  • Buses: Air-conditioned, pretty similar to the buses in Singapore but I haven’t seen any double-decker ones around so far. Taken the bus twice since I came here, and it’s been fifteen months. I still dislike buses.
  • Taxis: Taxis are an absolute killer here, which is why most people have their own cars. Expect fares to cost up to twice of Singapore’s cab fares. And Sydney’s much worse.

The one thing that I like are the timetables on the tram and bus stops; they are usually pretty accurate, which wins Singapore buses hands down. The Metlink Melbourne website timetables are a blessing too, I have relied on them for most of my travels around. Singapore, ahh. I remembered the good old days, like the time when I saw three buses (same service number!) trundle off one after another, leaving me in their wake. And this probably isn’t too surprising, but it was a good forty-five minutes before the next one came.

Fare system: Melbourne uses Metlink Metcards, which is a pretty interesting system. The state is separated into two zones, Zone 1 and Zone 2. Fare prices increase if you travel from one zone to the other. Cards are valid based on time rather than the distance or number of stops. So if I had a 2-hour ticket, it would be valid for the entire two hours, regardless of the number of trips made.

Tickets can be purchased with a variety of options, ranging from 2-hour to daily to weekly/monthly/yearly even. And there’s stuff like 2-hour x 10 tickets, 5 x weekend tickets which offer bulk purchases in a single card. Much more convenient, I’d say.

Drawbacks? The Metlink tickets are actually paper with magnetic strips so.. kill yourself if the ticket gets into the laundry. More so if your ticket happened to be a yearly ticket.

Travel tips:

  • Connex inspectors ambush the trains and trams every so often, so try not to “forget” about validating your ticket. Getting slapped with a hefty fine is definitely not the way to save money. And running away would not be a good idea because the inspectors come in teams of four. As usual, do it only if you’re confident about not getting caught.
  • Metlink Melbourne + Google Maps = easy travel. It’s usually much easier to pinpoint the location when you know the numbers are in sequence.
  • Odd-numbered buildings are on the left, even numbers are on the right of the road.
    Edit: Stand corrected by Honda (retarded me) – Odd left, right even or vice versa, depending on whether you’re going up or down the road.
  • If you have got a car, having a GPS unit would be a good idea. Having a copy of the Melways in your car would be an even better idea.

Summary: no real summary As requested by Meow in the comment section.

The obvious conclusion? Public transport in Melbourne is pricier but way more predictable and less packed than SG. Private transport is affordable, period.

And yes, this is just food for thought yet again. More to come in the next post.

Birthdays: V-Day 2008, and contentment.

(This is a little out of order, but I thought I should type this out before the other backdated posts.)

A happy birthday once again to V, who’s been sharing my life with me for the second year now. This year’s birthday was a pretty quiet one; we had dinner out at a cosy Japanese cafe, and that was it.

It is always hard to find contentment and peace at heart, but I feel satisfied with every day that passes here. I am contented with the twenty-odd minutes that pass on my daily train ride to work; the precious time that I spend reading a good book. I feel satisfied with my life every evening when I step out of the office, and I see the twilight skies illuminating the road that stretches out infront of me. The vehicles trundling by, with people on their way home. My footsteps on the pavement, punctuating the trip home after yet another day. The frosty winds, the beautiful skies, the clouds, the weather, having someone to come home to; all the little bits of life that make me feel good.

Work is irritating at times, but it’s still good. I have a decent boss, and the fac that I am working in a small company does not diminish the sense of satisfaction that comes when my instructions bear fruit under the dedicated work of my guy in the office. We do good things together, and we are improving the way things are working.

I used to think I understood this part already, but the realisation came again recently that she’s been a great fit into my life all this time. She’s taken many things in her stride without much griping, which is something I like. (I hate bitchy fits.) She has her own imperfections of course, but I’m without flaws either.

And all of these would not have been possible, without that first step out to this wonderful place with V.

So thank you for being there, and for allowing me to live the life that I have always wanted. I love you.

Photography: Jay Chou 0, Cookie 1

RIP Jay Chou concert tour 2008 figurine, Singapore Edition. Apparently Cookie decided this figurine looked like a nice toy to chew on while I was at work today; I have since disabused her of that erroneous notion, and she will probably be fleeing from all Jay Chou figurines in future.

Three reasons why I did not haul Cookie up by the scruff of her neck, yank the window open and hurl that bloody dog right out:

  • Call it fate if you will, but I have a spare of the figurine.
  • She shares the same sentiments towards SG.
  • Window limitation. Throwing through the window yes, but not open + throw.

Blardy hell.

*Morose self-consolation: the picture actually looks bloody good.

Keinian ideals – Talking straight to your boss

Taking into consideration the fact that your boss is the one who keeps you on a stable income, would it be right to shut up when he makes a mistake?

The tried and tested theory comes into mind here:

“Keep your head down, shut up and just work.”

I’m pretty sure a lot of people out there are pretty intolerant of criticism, especially when it’s directed to them. Chances are those same people would not stand for it, not when it’s their subordinate who is making the comments.

This reply would probably sound familiar:

“Now now, who are you to criticise me? You’d be working in my position if you were that good!”

While this might be a remotely valid point, it smells more like a defensive retort than a logical comment. It’s interesting how people will accept humbly critical comments from people they deem their superior, but fail to objectively listen to feedback that comes from a channel they deem as inferior.

Having to swallow your pride and listen to negative feedback in a neutral mindset takes alot of practice, but I would think it speaks volumes on your character. Active listening is the first step towards self-improvement; the first but a definite big step in the right direction.

That’s brain food for the boss/management people. For the subordinates, I’m always a firm believer in the point that you should speak up whenever things go wrong, and more so when it’s your boss that screws up.

Face up to what you believe is right, and do not take the silent approach to things. You are voicing out for the good of the company; to improve the way things are and not because you happen to be waging a personal vendetta towards your boss. Maybe you do hate him a little because he’s screwed up, but be objective! Try to comment positively on possible ways to improve the situation, and things might actually turn out for the better.

Nothing’s impossible after all, so give things a go and try it.

Tech: Polarcloud’s Tomato firmware for Linksys WRT54G router

This post is to written to remind myself and all the people out there of this – use a Linksys WRT54G series router only after applying third-party firmware on it.


Here’s what the router looks like, incase you have no idea you actually own one.
(img via spreadfon.org)

Why?

Quoted from Wikibooks:

Tomato is free open source Linux-based firmware for several Broadcom-based Wi-Fi routers, including the Linksys WRT54G. The major emphasis of Tomato is on stability, speed and efficiency..

Tomato is notable for its web-based user interface that includes several types of bandwidth usage charts, advanced QoS access restriction features , raised connection limits which enables P2P networking..

My own review: Performance skyrockets, and stability is greatly increased. Not to mention the whole bunch of nifty features that appear in the new GUI – scheduler, execution of custom scripts, traffic graphs and even skinning of the GUI via CSS, woohoo.

Story:

I signed up for Unwired recently, and had this persistent problem with my connection (cannot open bloody Google and Yahoo! Mail WTF) and kept thinking it was due to the bloody wireless WAN factor, reception being crappy and all that.

Seriously, I was on the verge of hurling the wireless modem out the window; the only things that stopped me:

  • the fact that I couldn’t get my window open wide enough to do that; the window opens to a maximum of probably 15 degrees and not much more.
  • throwing the modem out through closed window = broken window. Broken window = cold nights + big repair bill = stupid idea.

It was a last-ditch attempt to salvage the situation that resulted in upgrading the firmware, and the process was pretty straightforward.

  • RTFM mode: Read the fcuking FAQ
  • Download the firmware at Polarcloud, and unzip the file.
  • Check if your WRT54G series router (that includes WRT54G/GL/GS) to see if the firmware applies to your model. Important: choose the right firmware that applies to your model!
  • Stop all internet activities – prevent any possible disruptions to the upgrade process.
  • Login to your router’s GUI (default http://192.168.1.1 – admin/admin) and Administration – select the right firmware, and upgrade the damn firmware!
  • Cross your fingers and hope everything goes well.
  • Voila – new firmware, new GUI, bloody good router!