Recovering a PPPoE password from an Actiontec M1000

If you ever get into a situation where you can't find the password used on your Qwest DSL account, and you have an Actiontec M1000 router (or similar), give this procedure a shot:

- You can find your account username on the Quick Setup page, listed as "PPP Username"
- Set your router admin password if you have not already done so. Take note of the username and password you set. It's important.
- Go to Start --> Run and enter "telnet"
- Login with your admin account and password, i.e., admin/admin
- Run this command "cat /var/tmp/pppoe_password". The output is your account password.
- Confirm your account credentials by logging in at at

Good luck!

Update 5/29/2013: You may also want to check out my updated post: Recovering the PPP Username and Password from a Centurylink Actiontec C1000A

Cisco: Error opening tftp://url (Undefined error)

Though I still know my way around, it's been a while since I messed with a Cisco router to any great degree. But today at work I had to configure a Cisco 1750 to reply to one of our offices. I like backing up configs before I blow away a router, just so that I have a copy of what was on there. I knew that I could TFTP it to my PC, assuming I set up a TFTP server. So I went and installed Tftpd32 to my PC, set up a secondary IP on the Cisco router on my local network, and fired up the following command on the Cisco console:

  copy startup-config tftp://

I then saw on Tftpd32 that the router connected, and created the file "cisco.txt", however the transfer failed and the resulting file was 0 bytes. This is the error I got on the console:

  %Error opening tftp:// (Undefined error)

Clearly, the Cisco was connecting, it just wasn't sending the content of the file. After running a standard FTP test, I noticed that the Cisco showed up to the server as the PRIMARY interface IP, not the secondary one. Once I re-assigned the primary IP address to the local IP range, the transfer succeeded.

So, long story short: If you see this error, check that the primary IP on the interface facing your network is in the same subnet as you (or the next hop), otherwise the Cisco might show up as coming from an unreachable IP.

Disabling the Shutdown Event Tracker (via Regedit)

Just quick post to help those of you out there who seem to be having problems finding the Shutdown Event Tracker setting in gpedit (as I did). To disable the shutdown event tracker, you need to add/edit these two keys:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Reliability]

Or, if you prefer, here's a ready-to-use regedit file.

Welcome to the rest of your week...

Where the hell is this global warming I've been hearing so much about.

I'm Gonna Be A Dad!

Due date: September 6, 2008

Whoo hoo!

Gear Head Quick WebCam Basic (WC330I) Review

While at my local MicroCenter, I noticed this cheap ($15) webcam being sold. It said nothing of Linux support, but I had read that in the past couple years there were alot of cheap Chinese-made webcams that gained support in Linux. I figured I'd give it a shot, and if it worked out, I'd pick up a handfull more for my ZoneMinder system at home.

Now, I should say that I run Windows XP on my work workstation, and I just wanted to get a feel for the quality of the cam before I did anything more with it, so I plugged it in and installed the drivers. I have to say before I go any further: The pictures speak for themselves...

Horrible. Muddy. Overcompressed. Dark.

The poor quality of this cam really just defies words. I guess what expect I'd hear after making these statements is "What did you expect for $15?". Something other than absolute crap I suppose.

Just in case you have further interest in this product and it's support in linux, the USB device ID is 093A:2460 and appears to have some sort of support in linux ( If you choose to buy one of these, good luck with it.

I'll be returning mine as soon as possible.

Enabling Input Audio Monitoring on Dell Latitude D820

I recently re-installed XP on my Dell Latitude
D820 for the third time in 2 years and ran into a familiar problem: My
line-in audio was not being played through the speakers. By default,
the Dell driver, R171789 (SIGMATEL STAC 92XX C-Major HD Audio) does not
come with the input monitor enabled. You can modify the driver INI
file(s) manually to enable this and other related options.

Backup these files (make a copy in the same directory named 92XXM2-2.INI.orig):
    C:\Program Files\SigmaTel\C-Major Audio\WDM\92XXM2-2.INI
    C:\Program Files\SigmaTel\C-Major Audio\DellXPM_5515v131\WDM\92XXM2-2.INI

Edit each one and change the following settings to reflect what is shown:
    EnableInputMonitor    = hex: 1
    DigitalInputMonitor     = hex: 1
Additionally you can/should turn on these options that allow for greater control of the sound card options:
    To see all of the config tabs (that I know of):
       Config_Tab = dword: 0x000000ff
    To see all of the Advanced config options:
       Config_Adv = dword: 0x000fffff
    To allow sample rate adjustment:
       Config_Rates = dword: 0x000000ff
    To disable automatic input switching (helps avoid feedback)
       RecordPriority = dword: 0xffffffff

Here is a copy of my edited 92XXM2-2.INI
file (enables the Levels tab and Automatic Input selection
en/disabling). Alternately, if you are so-inclined, you could open
regedit and
alter these settings manually. However when you do so, the changes get
wiped out by a re-install of the driver, so altering the INI file is
really your best bet.

can now uninstall the device you have in device manager and re-install.
Reboot to ensure you apply the change to the Sigmatel chipset.

rebooting, plug in your device. A pop-up should prompt you for the
input type. You may choose to tell it to no longer prompt you for this
change. Then, go into the Volume Control, uncheck mute on Input
got to Options, Properties, select Line-in and you should hear your
input. Also, you may choose to drop the volume on the Internal Mic down
to 0%. This will help you avoid horrible feedback should you switch to
the internal mic.

you don't have a D820, it possible that your INI file may be different.
To identify what the proper INI file is,  open regedit and search for
this string:
    SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC
Look for
the key named "DriverDesc". In this folder/tree you should also see
"IniPath". Open this key and look at the name of the INI file in the
path. This should be the correct INI for your model.

UPDATE 2/11:
If you feel inclined to do so you can change, with a decent amount of
granularity, which options you can see in the Advanced tab. This is
done by flipping individual bits on or off in the Config_Adv registry
setting. Here are the applicable decimal values for each option:

1 Power Management Amplifier Power Mangement
2 Sampling Rate Sampling Rate adjustment
4 SPDIF AC3/PCM en/disable and Rate Adjustment
8 SPDIF Digital Out en/disable and Rate Adjustment



Digital Out en/disable 



Dolby Digital Live en/disable 


Noise Suppression

Noise Suppression en/disable 



Latency/Rate adjustment, ASIO monitor en/disable 



Jack reconfiguration pop-up en/disable



HDMI output en/disable 


Bass Management

Bass Routing and boost dB adjustment 


Microphone Selection

Automatic Microphone Selection en/disable 


Internal Speakers

Internal Speaker Muting options 


Headphone Configuration

Redirected headphone en/disable 






Multi-stream retasking en/disable 


Speaker Mute Controls

Additional internal speaker muting options 

To enable or disable any of these options, just add or subtract it's
decimal value (shown) from the decimal value you see in regedit (when
the decimal radio is selected). For example, to display configuration
options for Pop-ups, Microphone Selection, and Noise Suppression, just
add 256+2048+64. This gives you 2368, which you can paste into regedit
when you select the decimal radio. This will convert to 940 in hex.

Simple HOWTO: Linux Source-Based Routing

At work we had a network that has no internet access, except what we provide via their VPN connection that had been allowed through the firewall. Simple, until a small problem arose where our VPN server, which is not configured for NAT, has it's default gateway set for it's direct connection to the internet, and not the router which serves as default gateway for the rest of the network.

Put simply, we needed to set up a source route on the VPN server that took any packets coming from and redirected them to an alternate default gateway of on eth1, instead of the default gateway on eth0.

Here's a quick description on how to do that:

# Create a custom route table
echo 200 remotesite >> /etc/iproute2/rt_tables
# Add your source network
ip rule add from table remotesite
# Set the default route
ip route add default via dev eth1 table remotesite
# Flush the route cache to immediately apply the change
ip route flush cache

200 = A table number you come up with (200 is fine, unless you have already created a 200 table) = The network from which you want to redirect traffic = The gateway that you wish to send traffic to
eth1 = The interface that's local to
remotesite = A table name you come up with

Do this and, tada! You've redirected traffic from a specfic network to an alternate network, a.k.a, source-based routing.

Now, before you go, make sure you place these lines (all but the first) in /etc/rc.local to make it persistent across reboots.

Setting up Tiny MCE 2.1.1 with Advanced Editor on PHP-Nuke 7.9

I just got Tiny MCE updated on MuchTall and I just thought I'd pass the update instructions on

1) Download and unpack Tiny MCE from
2) Move the folder /includes/tiny_mce to /includes/tiny_mce.orig
3) Copy the new tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce folder to /includes/tiny_mce
4) Download this javascript.php.patch patch into /includes/
5) Run "patch -p0 < javascript.php.patch" from within /includes/
6) Open your PHPNuke editor page

That's it! Now you have a rich text editor with advanced editing features right within PHPNuke!

The Server Blew Up

The past month and a half has been filled with many great days, and a few bad days. One of the bad days was 4/12. My server decided that it's hard drive absolutely had to die a week before my wedding and two-three week honeymoon. I managed to get a bunch of files recovered from the server, but not everything.. I had to re-install the servver and get some people's sites up and limping. Fun stuff.

So after getting my life back on track, catching up with some projects at work, and getting some things straightened up at home, I finally got my own site working. It's not all here, but all the stories and comments should be. I have to see what database tables got lost and re-create them to make sure that the site is at least functional.

I have to say thanks to my new wife, Kaylan, for being patient with me as I geeked out and fixed stuff.

Wedding and Honeymoon pictures coming soon!

- Mr. MuchTall

Global Warming Fanatics Have an Epiphany

Finally, someone posts on SlashDot something that I, and many other less than liberal people have been saying for a some time now: The sun "may" be warming the Earth and Mars simultaneously.

No s**t Sherlock. F'ing martian's and their SUVs.

Update 3/12/07: Here's further proof that these people are more dangerous than global warming itself.

Learn How To Do Stuff

Just in case you didn't know, now they have a book to show you how...

Make you own sign at

MuchTallWare: Cron Runonce

I wrote up a small perl script that will run any executable file in /etc/cron.runonce once and remove that file. It's handy when we need to remotely deploy a change to multiple servers and make sure that we don't leave remnants of those scripts in cron. Download it and evaluate the variables for your needs. Currenly it assumes you have set up a cron.1min directory.



Today at work we had a situation where a server wasn't coming back on the network after a reboot. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but the server was across the ocean in a vastly different timezone, so troubleshooting normally has to be done in a 2-hour window.

It turned out that the sk98lin module that we were using for our nic has been superceeded/deprecated by skge. So I wanted to test out the new module on the new kernel version, but didn't have someone on the other end to reboot and types things in on the console should something go wrong. I needed a way to make the server roll back the changes and reboot if it did not see me come back to the server after 10 minutes. I didn't have any handy script to do this, so I wrote one up. checks for a condition that you specify in the subroutine test_condition() and if the test fails (such as not finding any processes running on pts0 through 9), then it executes a response_action() subroutine. In this case it finds the changes I made, changes them back, and reboots the server.

I hope you find it useful:

MuchTallWare: Auto-ban IPs from VSFTP

Some dumbass has been pummeling my ftp server with brute-force FTP attempts. So I've written a script that you can add to your cron tab to help you auto-ban them via hosts.deny. Pay attention to the variables as this was written on a RedHat 9 box and may not be entirely applicable to other platforms or versions.


I recently designed a deployment of Pyla/HylaFax for one of our offices. Part of this deployment required that we convert their WinFax Address Book(s) to Pyla's address book. To do this I wrote up a short perl script. You can get it here:

Do me a favor and let me know if it helped you out!

For Jake's Mom...

Click here for a Google Search on Jake's Mom.


Techie Toolkit

I got to thinking this last weekend that I need to build a better techie toolkit compilation CDs and CD sets. Basically get together all the software and updates that a dial-up user would spend days getting if I didn't bring it to them. Here's some ideas:

CD1: Utilities

  • AVG Anti-Virus Free (w/ updates)
  • AdAware (w/ updates)
  • SpyBot S&D (w/ updates)
    CD2: Service Packs and Patches for Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2K/XP
    CD3: Service Packs and Patches for Windows NT4/2K/XP Server
    OS CDs:
    Windows 95
    Windows 98
    Windows ME
    Windows NT4
    Windows 2K
    Windows XP Home
    Windows XP Pro
    Windows NT4 Server
    Windows 2K Server
    Windows 2K3 Server
    Redhat Linux 9 (set)
    Fedora Core 1 (set)
    Fedora Core 2 (set)
  • Who should you vote for?

    Not sure who you should vote for based upon where you stand? Try

    Here's my results:

    1. Your ideal theoretical candidate. (100%)
    2. Bush, President George W. - Republican (89%)
    3. Badnarik, Michael - Libertarian (48%)
    4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (42%)
    5. Lieberman, Senator Joe, CT - Democrat (40%)
    6. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (37%)
    7. Gephardt, Rep. Dick, MO - Democrat (35%)
    8. Kucinich, Rep. Dennis, OH - Democrat (33%)
    9. Peroutka, Michael - Constitution Party (28%)
    10. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (28%)
    11. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (25%)
    12. Clark, Retired General Wesley K., AR - Democrat (17%)
    13. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (16%)
    14. Cobb, David - Green Party (12%)
    15. Nader, Ralph - Independent (12%)
    16. Hagelin, Dr. John - Natural Law (10%)
    17. Brown, Walt - Socialist Party (6%)
    18. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol, IL - Democrat (4%)

    Disabling the ''Security Code'' feature of PHP-Nuke

    Run the following commands:

    cd /www/docs/
    grep -R "extension_loaded("gd")" * | awk -F":" '{print $1}' | sort | uniq

    Wait at least 30 seconds. It's searching all the files in this directory. Each of the files returned will contain the string 'extension_loaded("gd")', which must be replaced with "0" to make those IF statments false. For example, admin.php contains the line:

    if (extension_loaded("gd") AND ($gfx_chk == 1 OR $gfx_chk == 5 OR $gfx_chk == 6 OR $gfx_chk == 7)) {

    Modify it so that it says this:

    if (0 AND ($gfx_chk == 1 OR $gfx_chk == 5 OR $gfx_chk == 6 OR $gfx_chk == 7)) {

    If you are leet, and know VI, a simple replace command would be:


    And that should be it!