Archive for February, 2008

Blog Update!

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG

UPDATE: I have removed the widgets in question, because PayPerPost prohibits “community” blogs, in which there is more than one author.  I want to be inclusive and allow others of multiple talents to contribute, so I am not going to be a part of PayPerPost after all.  So for those who want to monetize their blogs, always read the terms of service first!  Still, I am going to keep this theme, because it allows for sidebar widgets, meaning I could add ChipIn Widgets and other things.  🙂

Greetings all. As you can see in the right hand part of this blog, I am attempting to “monetize” my blog. It won’t be through Google Ads per se, but through a thing called PayPerPost. I can be hired to write on a number of subjects, especially technology and web related stuff. However, to those who like looking at PayPerPost for advertising purposes, I will warn you right now: I am no shill. I won’t do positive only reviews. If your product/service blows, I will say so. Just because I am looking for a way to supplement my income does not mean I am going to mislead my readers, because that would be wrong. So for other authors on this blog, I do have some new requirements for you.

Name required!

In other words, your name needs to be at the top of whatever you post. Look at the top for an example of what I mean. In order to do the pipe symbol, hold down shift on your keyboard and press the backslash key. You will need that between your name and the name of this publication, *NIXEDBLOG. Due to the formatting of this blog (to allow for widgets), it will not always be apparent who the author is without including a name. It does not have to be your real life name. It can be the same as your username. For example, let’s pretend ranger2 is an author on this blog. He can use that exact username as the author name at the top.

The category must be related!

Just clicking check marks is not going to cut it any longer. The category system was meant to make it easier for readers to search for certain posts, not complicate it. So without ado, here are the categories, and what they mean, etc…:

  • *Nix: Anything related to Linux, Unix, GNU, etc…. It could be distro news, and more. As long as it is related to Unix and Unix-like systems. If it is not, do not check that box.
  • Announcements: GNU Consumer Reports would be an excellent example of an announcement (when Justin announced the launching of that blog in particular). If it is not announcing anything from the author of the post in question concerning something the author is doing or the direction of the publication (that will likely be from me), do not check that category!
  • Blegging: This is essentially begging on a blog for assistance. One example would include the fact that I was imploring people to help helios from time to time. If it is not a call for assistance on behalf of someone else, do not check that category!
  • Blogroll: See those links to other blogs? If it is about something from those blogs or aimed at those blogs, check that category! Otherwise, do not!
  • Computer Rescue: Anything related to Justin Breithaupt’s computer business, Computer Rescue. If it is not remotely related to his business, do not check that category!
  • Diggworthy: Saw a news story or an article or blog post you think would do well on Digg? Check that category then, otherwise, leave it alone!
  • Free/Open Source: This can involve commentary and news on projects that are Free and Open Source (FOSS). One could write an editorial about PHPBB for example. Most *nix related posts can have this category checked. If it does not involve FOSS at all, do not check this category!
  • Humor: Jokes and more. That should be self explanatory. If there is no humor, and the post is meant to be serious, then do not check that category!
  • LXer: Whether it involves a commentary on LXer in any remote way, or if the post was submitted to LXer. Otherwise, do not check that category!
  • Magazine: Yeah, I have not gotten back to my online mag just yet. I will soon though. Any posts can be either opinion regarding an issue of THE *NIXED REPORT, or an announcement concerning the magazine in question. Otherwise, do not check that category!
  • MS-SHADYiness: Any news/opinion involving Microsoft’s practices and how shady they may be. If it is nt Microsoft related, do not check that category!
  • Opinion: Very broad. If it is your opinion, feel free to check that category!
  • Political Underground: 9/11 Truth Movement stuff and more…. Anything not in the political mainstream. Otherwise, do not check that category!
  • Review: If you are reviewing a product/service or are linking to one and/or commenting on one. Otherwise, do not check that category.
  • Survivial: Anything related to prepardeness and survivial. No, posting about the ills of Microsoft does not count! So if it is computer related (with no outdoorsy stuff involved), then do not check that category.
  • Uncategorized: If your post does not fall into the above categories, check this one. Otherwise, do not check that category!

I sincerely hope that clears things up. Of course, this means I’ll have to edit every single post so that the name of the author in question clearly shows at the top. Anyhoo, happy blogging!

Microsoft has set a trap. DON’T BITE!

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Justin Breithaupt | *NIXEDBLOG

According to Microsoft and other sources it’s now safe to use Microsoft software in Linux without being sued and Microsoft is going to release their source code! WHAT!

Microsoft can say whatever they want to say but that does not mean I will believe it. I want to see it in writing first! If Microsoft will colaborate with people like me I will put their software into my Linux distribution and freely distribute their software. Wait that would put them out of Business right? Well yes it would unless they still keep the rights to their .net framework and other core systems that are needed to run their new software. Of course open source alternitives could be quickly made using their source code but what other choice does Microsoft have left?

Microsoft has to give in to Open Source sooner or later.

If Microsoft wants my trust they MUST sign the GPLv3. If they will do that then they have my support. If they can get Richard Stallman’s approval of their openness then I will use Microsoft code in my Linux OS.

Of course there is the matter of Microsoft and privacy. Will Microsoft code keep my data private? I don’t think so.

EU Skeptical of Microsoft’s Open Grizzly Bear Embrace


Maybe all Microsoft really wants is the ability to run Linux software in Windows?

Also apparently Microsoft is now using a Linux based wireless network!

GNU Consumer Reviews

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Justin Breithaupt | *NIXEDBLOG

Right now you can go to and read the first GNU Consumer Review blog entries.

This site rates products and services based on real world facts and not on who pays us the most money to review their item. You as the reader also get to comment and rate these companies as well as suggest new companies to review.

We haven’t dugg this page yet or put it on lxer because we are waiting for our registered domains to be linked to this site and for our advertisers to approve our site. Once they do we will open up for everyone. We also want to post several product reviews before announcing the site to the world so if you have any ideas please don’t hesitate to suggest them to us. If you want to write for us you can also let me know at admin @ Thanks.

You will find GNU Consumer Review by using one of these links. (will be available after Edwin gets them working with his Linux web server.)

When Things Go Good, Things Break.

Friday, February 15th, 2008

That’s what happened to helios when he was mass producing CD’s with various *nix distributions on them.  Here’s a tidbit from his blog:

 The CD press we use to make Linux disks free to the public is broken. We need to replace an element on the machine and it’s going to cost us about 200 bucks. If you could, we sure would appreciate any help you might be able to provide. At this point we are about 190 disks behind.

Not good.  If anybody could help out, it would be awesome.  If money is not an option, then the next best thing is to spread the word.  😉

WA State will not represent you against

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

From: “ATG MI Seattle CRC” <>
Date: 14 Feb 2008 10:31:11 -0800
Subject: A notice from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office


Justin — Breithaupt
PO Box 485
Pomeroy, WA 99347

RE: PayPal
File #: 304741

Dear Justin —- Breithaupt:

As you will note in the attached copy of the response we received,
PayPal declines to make full adjustment of your complaint for the reasons

We realize you may disagree with the firm’s position, but our office
does not have the authority under the law to force a resolution on the
parties. We regret that we are unable to provide further assistance to
you in this situation.

We do not have the authority to represent individuals as their
attorney, nor may we act as a judge or arbiter in individual disputes. You may
want to contact an attorney if you wish to pursue this matter. If you
do not have an attorney, there are six county bar associations that
will provide lawyer referral services.

For referrals to attorneys in:

Snohomish County: (425) 388-3018
King County: (206) 623-2551
Pierce County: (253) 383-3432
Lewis County: (360) 748-0430
Clark County: (360) 695-5313
Thurston County: (360) 705-8194

We appreciate your bringing this matter to our attention. Your
complaint will remain a part of our record of this firm’s business practices.

Customer Services Specialist 3

Consumer Protection Division
(206) 389-2743



Now if this was not bad enough the attachment they sent was in Microsoft’s new Office 2007

format that you can’t open in anything else. I believe after reading this that the WA

State Attorney’s Office has been bought off by It’s their job to protect you.

So why would they deny this protection to PayPal customers? “our office
does not have the authority under the law to force a resolution on the
parties.” They don’t have permission to go against PayPal. WOW!

I can’t tell you what is in the Word 2007 file they sent me and I can’t upload it because

I don’t know what is in it. What I can tell you is Office 2003 told me I had to download

a converter from Microsoft and I did. However the converter was unable to open the file

as well. Sad Our US Government has major computer issues.

PayPal Update. They have turned to mental warfare.

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008


Command Sergeant Major
Command Sergeant Major
Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 60
Location: WA State USA

Ok PayPal has finally done it. One of their employees has gone insane and decided to post this:


“You people are ALL IDIOTS. You sign up and then you whine! I am so tired of dealing my my CR’s complaining about your stupid idiot calls and now I have to deal with the people calling telling us about this site.

We are on to you! This site is going down. You cannot fight PayPal. We own you and your money. If you people just followed our rules you would have your money today. Our user agreement is very fair and very easy to understand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I promise you this site will be down by Friday! You cannot get away with making these accusations and think nothing is going to happen to you. I am sick of you and your stupid website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Manager of a REAL company”


You can draw more attention and spread this to others by clicking here.

How do we know it was PayPal? Well we can’t be 100% sure but here is what we do know.

1. PayPal’s escalations specialists are in:

Attention PayPal
PO Box 45950
Omaha Nebraska 68145

2. This guy who posted this has an IP that was traced back to Oneal Nebraska. (he claims he is in WA state)

3. He has been sending all kinds of strange e-mails from the same IP to the owner of the site.

This gives us good reason to believe that this is just an escalations specialist or a manager of the escalations specialists in Nebraska. So why the strange threat? Can the really shut down ? No they can’t shut down but they can try to do something legal to them. However has not put out any slander against PayPal. Hmmm. One thing I can’t figure out is why this guy isn’t defending himself.

I can’t believe PayPal would do something so foolish but then again here is some other things they have done in the past.

You get the picture. However this is not the only web site to get a threat from PayPal

Can PayPal afford to keep fighting this? I don’t think so. Not with all the new alternatives. My new employer is even going to start, and others. 🙂

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

And my personal favorite

Click here for full size.

I’m sorry but our skilled professionals using a highly scientific algorithm have determined your account must be frozen.

For more PayPal fun go here

More Insight Into the XBOX 360 Hacking.

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

Yesterday I discovered a whole new world of Trusted Computing in the XBOX 360 that I had never heard of on the Internet or anywhere before.

I was going in for a job interview at a computer repair / video game arcade / XBOX repair shop. The first thing that they asked me was if I knew much about XBOX 360s. I told them that the only thing I knew was how they worked. I had never taken one apart before and worked on it. I asked them what the problem was. They told me that the original CD/DVD drive had broken inside and they took it out and sent the XBOX 360 to Microsoft for repairs 3 times and each time they got it back they would stick an XBOX 360 game into the console and it said to please put it into an XBOX 360. So the XBOX was having an identity crisis of sorts or was it a trusted computing program in the game itself? They told me that they had been working on the problem for 3 weeks now trying to fix it themselves. So what was the problem?

Lets think back to the chain of trust that the XBOX uses (video here). First the secret BIOS checks the flash memory and passes trust to it and then it checks the hardware and software and passes trust to it and then it checks the game in the drive and passes root access to it. So where were we going wrong here? The XBOX 360 would play DVDs and CDs. So where were we breaking the chain of Trust? Well the secret Bios was passing control to the flash and to the HD software and playing DVDs and CDs. For some reason when we stuck in a Game and it tried to verify that it was an XBOX 360 it panicked. My conclusion was that every piece of hardware had a hardware ID of sorts and that the BIOS was to check all of them against each other to make sure that the system matched. The game however did not see that all of them matched up the way they were suppose to so It said it didn’t like us.

So I wanted to see the two XBOX 360 CD/DVD drives. Both had the same model number on them and both looked identical from the outside. But I was suspicious. Why was this drive twice as thick as a standard CD/DVD drive and enclosed in a strange metal cage? I looked at the model number more closely and found a strange unidentified number underneath that ended in 014 and the other new one was 009 if I remember which was which. So now we took the outer shells off and looked at the circuit boards. Both boards looked identical to most people but if you really looked the circuits had different shapes and different resisters in different places. Also the big chips that were in the same place had different numbers on them even though they were the same brand. It had a Panasonic controller chip. So I instructed the guy to exchange the boards (which had the same connectors) between the new and old drives. We put the new drive back in with the old board and the games played.

Before I knew that they had the old drive still I figured they would have to call Microsoft and explain the problem to them and hope that 1. they understood and 2. they agreed that it could be a possibility.

We are not done here. Then the guy asked me if we could add more RAM by putting ram chips on top of the old ones in there. I said that if it’s so picky about the hardware being just right then I would not try it because it probably would not work. Besides that it could hurt the Linux hacking ability by changing memory addresses.

Somewhere in a forum on the net a man claimed that his friend had a 100MB program that put files into Windows XP and turned it into the XBOX 360 game system without needing the secret BIOS or any of the hardware. That got us thinking. What if you could add these files into WINE and convert it into an XBOX 360? What would be the problem? I’ll tell you the problem. 1. The software probably can’t be modified due to the End User License Agreement, 2. The game might try to verify the XBOX 360, 3. WINE runs slow. However this might also give us the free Cedega we’ve been looking for like PlayOnLinux.

If anyone can use this information to do further XBOX 360 hacking please have at it.

Related articles and material that might help you with XBOX hacking.

Hacking the XBOX and Microsoft’s 17 classes of Mistakes

XBOX 360 Hacking Videos

XBOX 360 gives off dangerous levels of Radiation and screws up Wal Mart’s Computer system.

The Distro Journey Has Begun: OpenSuSE 10.3

Saturday, February 9th, 2008

I have started a journey of sorts as I have stated not too long ago. I decided to try multiple distributions in order to see what features were good, what ones were not, and if an all star distribution were to be made, which features would, in my view, make the cut. The first part of what is going to sound disturbing to a few at first, because of the issue of “selling out.” However, allow me to explain.


Whether we like it or not, it is on the top 10 of DistroWatch. The fact that enough people are willing to visit the OpenSuSE website should indicate that they are at least interested in this distribution. Now before being accused of walking towards the dark side due to Novell’s deal with Microsoft, allow me to point a few things out.

When the deal went down, the volunteers had no say in the matter. In other words, the OpenSuSE team was caught in the crossfire that ensued.  While Ken Starks (a.k.a. helios) himself criticized Novell heavily for the deal they made with Microsoft, he never once fired upon the OpenSuSE team.  Not once.  Again, they had no say in the matter.  With that in mind, let us begin with the evaluation of OpenSuSE 10.3.  Keep in mind that this will be quite brief as I plan on making a more in depth version later on (in the form of a book perhaps).


I used the network installation method so that I would have the up-to-date packages installed.  It uses the RedHat Package Management tool for installation/removal of software.  I ran into an issue on AMD Athlon-64 desktop system when trying to do a straight installation.  I had to set up the repository information before beginning the install sequence.  In my opinion, I should not have had to do that, but oh well.  It was a minor inconvenience.   I have only tested this on the desktop system for an entire week, so…..

What Worked

Hardware detection was decent for the most part.  I had to change the monitor type, but after installing the nVIDIA driver for 3D graphics and improved desktop performance, the resolution problem was easier to fix.  Software updates worked for the most part, and I was able to connect to the web through the cable modem.  I was able to use K-mail to send and receive e-mail and Konqueror and Firefox for web browsing.  Installation of packages through YaST (Yet Another System Tool) worked like a charm.  Hardware detection worked quite well.  My printer worked just fine.

What Was Wrong

For the life of me, I kept being told that there was an update to Amarok.  I installed the same thing several times, only for it to show up again later.  It was the same update over and over again.  I would think, “Not again!  I already installed it!”  It was quite annoying.  Also, I have not used Thunderbird, because when I tried hitting reply to an e-mail, the application locked up and was stone cold dead.  Not a good thing.  It would also be nice if the installation routine allowed people to do 1440×900 resolution, but that would have to be set aside: it is not always good to sit around and complain.

What Makes It Unique

Before getting into that, I would like to point out that a choice was given between GNOME and KDE.  It even included the usual staples, such as Firefox and  However, there is some uniqueness to OpenSuSE that I would never have th ought possible.  Like an RSS feed, it is possible to subscribe to a repository of RPM packages for OpenSuSE.  By clicking a link to the file, the appropriate YaST component for software opens and runs a wizard to install the pertinent software without enabling the repository on a permanent basis (though it can be arranged latter).  I subscribed to the nVIDIA driver repository so I could get 3D up and running on the 64-bit desktop.  It worked well enough.  YaST is also an interesting approach to controlling the system itself.  Think of it as a Windows Control Panel on steroids and then some.  This edition of YaST is much more streamlined and better looking than past versions of SuSE that I purchased (before Novell/Microsoft).

While there are plenty of control panels, I believe that SuSE may have been among the first distributions to allow for installing software via the Internet.  Another first is of course the ability to add a repository with a single mouse click.  Imagine if something like that were in Ubuntu, Mint, or PCLinuxOS!  Would that be cool or what?  Mint already has a one-click install feature, but it temporarily edits the repository information.  What if such a thing could be made permanent?

All Star Feature

Adding a one-click feature to the software installation management utilities out there would be an excellent idea in my opinion.  So how did OpenSuSE do on my main desktop system?

*** out of *****

It was decent enough, but too many annoying glitches kept popping up, such as the Amarok update that refuses to either install or be removed from the update list.  The setup confused me initially as well.  Note that a 3 out of 5 score indicates a very decent system.  Yes, I am setting the standards pretty high.  😉