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Ironwood Tree

Fibers, orchids, religion, and politics.

Last Build Date: Tue, 07 Oct 2014 03:00:26 +0000


Another bit of wisdom

Sun, 23 Oct 2011 21:29:00 +0000

I just have one windows vm on my Mac. It's Windows 7 and I want to run my favorite hacking tools on it. My favorite of the favorite tools is Wikto. I especially like the Googlehacking database included in it. This will rapidly search Google for vulnerable systems. You can use it to break in, or to find problems on your own web site. Anyone who works in vulnerability management, as I do, should know how to use it.

To use Wikto for Googlehacking, you have to have an api running that lets Google know you're doing it on purpose and you're not malware. There are viruses and trojans that hijack computers to do these queries and Google is a good citizen and blocks them.

Sensepost has an api called Spud that will let you run a query on a website through Wikto. Starting Spud is tricky in Windows 7. You have to open up a command prompt as administrator, change to the sensepost spud directory and run \bin\spud.exe. You can't run it from the bin directory, just the directory above it.

Bricked Netgear WNDR3700

Sat, 22 Oct 2011 18:01:00 +0000

I am going to have to get a new tshirt. Thinkgeek has one that says "I void warranties". I need a shirt that says "I brick wireless routers".

Until a few minutes ago I had a bricked Netgear WNDR3700 wireless router. I also have a bricked Linksys router, I'll try to restore it next and post instructions if I have success restoring it too.

I have tried the tftp restore instructions on both routers with no success. The netgear was in a continuous reboot cycle and the put command just timed out. I was able to use the Netgear firmware restore utility to restore the firmware eventually. Here are the steps:

1. Get the Netgear installation CD. If you're like me and can't find it, download the Windows 7 version from the Netgear website at Extract it on a Windows 7 machine (I used a virtual machine on my Mac in VMware Fusion). Set up a static ip address on your physical network port on the network, plug a network cable into your workstation port and then in port 1 of the router. It helps to turn off your wireless on your workstation while you do this or you can have trouble only talking on the network cable.

2. Do the 30-30-30 hard restart on your router. Make sure your router is plugged in to power and connected to your workstation. Use a straightened paperclip and press and hold the reset button for 30 seconds on the router. Still pressing the reset button, pull out the power cord from the router. Hold the reset button for another 30 seconds and then plug the router back in while still holding the reset button and hold the reset button for another 30 seconds while the power is restored.

3. Now you should see 2 green lights on the router. There will be a steady green light on the port you're plugged into and a slowly blinking green light about it. This means it has corrupt firmware but it's waiting and available for upgrade. If you don't see this, run the 30-30-30 restart again. I had to do it twice.

4. Start the firmware upgrade utility. It should detect the router and reload the firmware. Follow the instructions on the screen and you should have a functional router in a few minutes!

Protect Your Computer (And Your Bank Account)

Fri, 18 Mar 2011 02:51:00 +0000

How to Protect Your Home ComputerEver since the internet became available to the public, computer crime has soared. Since the internet started out as a limited academic system, there are virtually no safeguards built into the basic protocols. All protections have to be added on. Here are some suggested add-ons and tips to make computing safer for you.1. Turn on your firewall. Windows and Mac OS X computers have built in firewalls but you have to turn them on if you want them to work. In Windows, go to Start, Control Panel, Windows Firewall, click On and then click OK. In a Mac, click the apple icon, choose System Preferences, Security and choose the Firewall tab. Click On.2. Use an antivirus program but don’t depend on it. Antivirus programs can stop some threats but far from all threats. You still have to be careful! Most ISP’s offer free antivirus for PC’s. ClamAV from Sourcefire has a free version and so does Avast. Get ClamAV from and Avast from Use a backup antivirus program. If your computer slows down or you see popups, or you just want to make sure you’re ok, use Malwarebytes to scan your computer. It does not interfere with most other antivirus programs and the free version does not do real time scans. Just do a manual scan every week or so to double check your system. Get Malwarebytes from Speaking of backup, backup your important files. You can buy a large usb drive and copy files or if you have a good internet connection you can use a service such as Dropbox, Mozy or Carbonite to backup your files offsite.5. Did you know that a lot of computers are infected by bogus search results? It doesn’t matter whether you use Google, Bing, or Yahoo, criminals use a technique called Search Engine Optimization or SEO to get you to click on their infected sites. Then they load piles of crap on your computer in the background. Use Web of Trust at to protect yourself from bad searches. Web of Trust is a crowd sourced rating system that will mark safe search results with a green circle and bad results with a red circle. It will also warn you if you click on a bad site. Sites that are not rated yet are gray. Avoid them too unless you’re really sure they’re ok. If they are ok, you can rate them! That’s how crowd sourcing works.6. Protect your DNS. DNS is the system that translates internet addresses such as to easily remembered names such as You probably use your internet provider’s DNS. There are very few checks on DNS and you can easily go to a malicious site with one typo. You can switch your DNS settings to use a system that will protect you from typo squatting and known malicious sites for free. For a small fee, you can get statistics on your home network’s usage and block categories of sites such as porn, hacking, or violence. Go to for instructions on using their DNS.7. Computer running slow? Don’t buy anything from late night TV to clean it up, use Ccleaner at Basic home use is free.8. Finally, all of the previous suggestions will help you work safer and faster but there is a big threat to homes and small businesses from password stealing programs that target your banking information. The Zeus and Spyeye botnets have driven many people into bankruptcy. There is a free tool that targets these threats. It is financed by banks and you should check if your bank offers Rapport from Trusteer. Put it on every computer that could possibly access a bank account. If your bank doesn’t offer it, you can use it anyway and download it from Click on the home user tab and follow the instructions. When you install it, there will be an arrow next to your browser address bar. When you’re on your bank site, Ebay, or Paypal, click that arrow. Choose Protect this Site and the passwords will never be sent to that site unencrypted.9. D[...]

Boehner likes Brown Shirts

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 17:22:00 +0000

He's campaigning for a guy who dresses like a Nazi for fun.

What color would Ron Paul supporters wear?

Wed, 27 Oct 2010 00:23:00 +0000

Brown? or Silver?

Juan Williams

Sat, 23 Oct 2010 21:43:00 +0000

I am not a big fan of Juan Williams and I am delighted that he's going to Fox. Not because now I don't have to listen to him. It's because he's so much smarter than most of the idiots on that network that he may raise the collective IQ of Fox News fans a couple points. That has to be good for the country.

Mark Kirk Lies Again

Fri, 08 Oct 2010 03:14:00 +0000

I am furious with the new Karl Rove ads for Mark Kirk on Bright Start.

I have had my daughter's college fund in Bright Start for years. I wasn't happy with it when Judy Baar Topinka was running the program. The funds were lackluster and didn't make much money. Then, after Giannoulias took over, the market dropped and the fund really lost money. Not as much as my 401k which lost 1/2 its value but enough that I was pretty mad.

Then I got a letter from Giannoulias. He was moving the funds over to Fidelity to try to get better performance. He also sued Lehman Brothers and received a settlement. My daughter got over $1000 back from the settlement. Now, after 2 years of Obama's economy and Giannoulias's management, my daughter's college fund has not only recovered the losses, it has a modest profit. By the way, after 2 years of Obama, my 401k has recovered the losses and also has a modest profit.

Kirk's ads are being funded by Karl Rove's Crossroads fund. This fund is set up so that the donors do not have to be listed. Rove is fundraising all over the world. Mark Kirk is probably being funded by China or Saudi Arabia, not the people of Illinois.

This latest series of ads are full of the usual Mark Kirk lies. It's the same as when he claimed to be a war hero, claimed to be the Intelligence Officer of the Year, and when he claimed to have secret information on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

If the Republicans control congress again, my daughter's college fund will be gone permanently along with my retirement savings. Please vote Democratic this November. We really can't afford more Republican misrule.

It's a good week for Democrats

Fri, 18 Jun 2010 01:13:00 +0000

and a bad week for Tony Hayward

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There is a God

Sun, 01 Mar 2009 20:56:00 +0000

I am so lucky I was never in the room with my grandmother when her favorite show played this song .

I love the internets!

Why does Mark Kirk hate Riverwoods?

Wed, 25 Feb 2009 04:29:00 +0000

Mark Kirk voted against President Obama's stimulus plan. The same plan that will pay for part of a new police station for Riverwoods according to the last village board meeting.

I'm pretty pro police these days since there have been a rash of burglaries on my street in the last few weeks. Not to mention a suicide off the Duffy Lane bridge and Mafia burglars arrested in Lincolnshire.

But Mark Kirk doesn't give a shit. He's lived in Washington for years.

Blast from the Past

Thu, 12 Feb 2009 02:20:00 +0000

This article was a surprise for me today, not because the crooked CEO wouldn't eat his own peanut butter, but because one of the labs that found the salmonella is Deibel Labs.

Dr Robert Deibel was my microbiology professor back in the dark ages when I was in grad school. The funny thing was that most of what I now remember about salmonella was from his class. One of the hardest classes I ever took too but very interesting.

I loved when he read the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Fridays and would comment on the various diseases. I learned almost everything I know about bubonic plague from him too. I still call the report the M&M too.

Also, you know when you drop your dishtowel on the floor and it looks clean? It isn't. Dr. Deibel hates dishtowels - I used that as an excuse to drip dry dishes for years. I don't now but I really only hand wash pots that'll be heated up anyway.

So give it to him Dr. Deibel! Too bad he probably won't be the one testifying - he has a true gift for sarcasm that is really called for in this case.

This Really Should be Obvious

Wed, 04 Feb 2009 01:35:00 +0000

Have you seen the ads for Cash 4 Gold? You send your gold through the mail to someone and they send you back whatever they feel like giving you. Such a deal!

Is it January 20th yet?

Thu, 01 Jan 2009 16:39:00 +0000


I'm a little shaken tonight

Sun, 21 Dec 2008 04:01:00 +0000

Just got the news that Mike Connell has died in a plane crash.

Who is Mike Connell? I blogged about him before I knew his name. He was the head of the consulting firm that helped Karl Rove set up alternate email accounts for the White House. He did this to help the Bush White House conceal emails they did not want on the public record, probably because they were ordering illegal activities.

When an email administrator is in this position, the best option is to leave. There are so many things that can go wrong on so many levels when you help people deceive that it's not worth it in any way. At best you'll be the fall guy for technical problems, at worst you have a convenient plane crash.

Derailing "Conscience"

Fri, 19 Dec 2008 02:58:00 +0000

Too bad I don't work at a drugstore. My conscience tells me that it's a sin to provide Viagra to unattractive men. God tells me who's attractive or not.

So What do Southern Republicans Want?

Fri, 12 Dec 2008 01:23:00 +0000

They want to go back to the old south. A landed aristocracy, lots of people working for nothing, no industry to speak of. They want us all back on the plantation, black, white, or Mexican.

The absolute disdain for people's lives expressed today by Mitch McConnell and Richard Shelby is much more destructive than Blago's bribe demands. And I did not vote for him in the last election - I hated both major candidates so much I left the governor choice blank.

These Republicans will damage the country more than Bin Laden could ever dream of. With luck, in 2 years we'll get the dead enders out of the Senate. At least Fitzgerald caught Blago before he could kill any people, much less a whole industry.

My feet hurt

Wed, 05 Nov 2008 07:33:00 +0000

I've gotta say, the last time I walked down the middle of Michigan Ave. it was 1969, I was 12, and I was at a demonstration against the Vietnam war with my Dad. Tonight was slightly more mellow although I attended probably the tamest demonstration that ever occured in the 60's. Dad wouldn't have taken me to a violent one.

Tonight I was busy. I went to the Lyric Opera and followed the results at intermission. By the way, Nathan Gunn's voice is as great as his looks and Nicole Cabell will be a major star. It was wonderful!

At the second intermission, Obama had 297 electoral votes so I called it for the Dress Circle. Everyone was crowded around my Iphone.

Afterwards, I could not resist. I walked to Grant Park. I heard the speech but could just barely see the jumbotron. I'll post some bad cellphone photos tomorrow. After the speech I walked back to far north Michigan for my car. So feet hurt but I can use the exercise.

Note to Kirk

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 14:32:00 +0000

Threatening that Dan Seals is going to raise my capital gains tax is not very scary when I HAVE HAD PRECIOUS FEW CAPITAL GAINS IN THE LAST 8 YEARS YOU F'N MORON!

There, I feel better now. If we get back our economy so that I have capital gains, I won't mind kicking in a few extra bucks. It would be a good investment.

Wanna Dog?

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 01:59:00 +0000

I had a great Halloween. I live in a part of Riverwoods where the houses are too far away for good trick or treating. I don't think anyone has come to our house in 30 years. Not since my brother's friends got too old to go.

So I took my daughter to Lincolnshire where we go trick or treating with friends who have kids. For years they've had a nice beagle cross. She's fat and goofy and a perfect family dog. As I walked up to the house, I saw they had a new puppy. It's a gorgeous little terrier cross with a head that looks like an Italian greyhound. She's a sweet, cute little face licker who's run ten pounds off the chubby beagle. Both dogs are housebroken, good watchdogs, and great family dogs.

Where did they get these canine paragons? Where all great dogs come from, the local shelter. Orphans of the Storm is a very old no kill shelter. Right now I work too much to have a dog (even though Arfur would probably be perfect) but if things ever slow down, I'll be there in a flash. I hope Arfur gets a home before then. Chuckles too.

She's worse than I thought

Sun, 02 Nov 2008 01:21:00 +0000

So Sarah Palin's objection to "spreading the wealth around" is that the wealth isn't going from me to her?

She really has some very deadly connections. Her association with an African witch finder is horrible. Hundreds if not thousands of people in Africa have been murdered as witches. People like "Pastor" Muthee are murderers for profit plain and simple. Good thing it looks like her political career might be over as of Tuesday.

Another Thing...

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 03:02:00 +0000

I think John McCain does know the difference between Down's syndrome and autism, it's just that more families are affected by autism, so he has to use it to pander for votes.

Is Sarah Palin an authority on autism? Could be, but I bet she knows more about Down's syndrome since that's what her son was born with.

It's over

Thu, 16 Oct 2008 02:37:00 +0000

John McCain thinks that women's health is a joke and equal pay for women is a bonanza for trial lawyers.

I don't even have to bring up his weird snorting and that he constantly interrupted Obama.

Danger Danger Will Robinson

Fri, 10 Oct 2008 02:10:00 +0000

There's a newcomer on the political scene that we don't know much about. This person has made a disturbing habit of palling around with America hating political extremists..

I think of this

Fri, 10 Oct 2008 00:42:00 +0000

Every time I see footage of a Sarah Palin rally. There is offensive language in this clip, but it's worth it.

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Finally the Debate!

Fri, 03 Oct 2008 02:27:00 +0000

I just really cannot stand Sarah Palin. She still doesn't know what the role of the vice president is. Joe Biden just handed her her ass. He actually had to explain the job to her. She also misrepresented Obama's voting record and was really pretty nasty.

isn't that a great image? A vice president as nasty and greedy as Cheney but without the brains? Also, moving the American embassy to Jerusalem would not make the Israelis happy.