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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

October 23
WTF Windows: Immunet managed to fill 170GB of disk with logfiles which couldn't be removed without uninstalling it, and when the disk filled an attempt to have Adobe Reader print a few pages resulted in it claiming that no pages had been selectd for printing. Well done, QA departments!

October 22
Mother's Day came across as a disjoint first-time movie from some famous person's kid, as that'd be the only way to explain the cast; turns out it's Pretty Woman guy's last movie, and I have no idea why it was so disjoint. There are genuine laugh-out-loud moments in this, and then there's... long stretches of meh.

Caught the second half of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter as well. I think everything you need to know about that is in the title. I certainly wouldn't pay to see it.

October 16
After waiting on a du -s * invocation that ran for several days I discovered the principal consumer of my large storage array is, in fact, backups of the Mac Mini. So I'm mining that right now to find out exactly why. I've already discovered I was saving backups of a bunch of movie files (ripped DVDs, mainly, which I'd done as an experiment in archiving the DVD collection) among other things. And while Time Machine does smart things with hard links to avoid duplicating static data, it apparently doesn't help when I decide to move these files around the filesystem.

October 15
Watched The Fifth Element; can't quite recall when I last watched this, but it's in my collection, and it's a really sharp piece of work. By which I mean a funny sci-fi which can't possibly even being to take itself seriously (but at the same time it's not Spaceballs). Quite the cast, too. If you haven't seen this, you really should fix that.

October 11
Seriously, BBC?

2016-10-10 10:14:08'Creepy clown' police warnings as craze spreads
2016-10-11 10:33:45'Creepy clowns' craze: Professionals hit out at pranksters
2016-10-11 11:54:32'Creepy clowns' craze: Professionals hit out at pranksters
2016-10-11 11:45:13Clown sightings: Industry 'devastated' by prank craze
2016-10-11 11:05:05I am a 'killer clown'
2016-10-11 12:05:18'Clown' caught on camera peering at restaurant diners
2016-10-11 14:20:52'Creepy clown' sorry for chainsaw stunt amid rise in sightings
2016-10-11 18:06:14#killerclowns: Have we had enough of the creepy craze?

October 9
Aside from having to run fsck when it booted, the laptop seems to be showing no signs of stress. Hrm.

Entertaining paperchase trying to recover cert passwords. If you use Apple's Server Manager to generate a CSR, you never actually see the password used. It's stored in the keychain, and there's a helper application to pull it out when required. If you kill your Mac, you just need to fetch it from the keychain.


Did I mention it was the System Keychain? So, you just need to add your backup of the System Keychain to Keychain Access, open up the relevant certificate record, and you're done.



You can't open it because the Mac wants a password for the old System Keychain. You don't have that, do you? And you tried all your passwords. Turns out it's kept in /var/db/SystemKey, and the tools that know about that can't be told to look elsewhere (so you can't, for example, say "open this keychain with this SystemKey) leaving you slightly stranded.

I contemplated setting up enough of a chroot environment to run the keychain utilities, but then figured that it'd be talking to a running daemon (kcproxy) which wouldn't have access to the relevant data - or would be looking outside the chroot - so I hit up Google instead.

Presto: chainbreaker; all you need to do is give it the key. Easy-peasy: python chainbreaker.py -f OldSystem.keychain -k $(cat OldSystemKey)

HAHAHAH. Seriously, getting tired of this.

So the guy who wrote chainbreaker has a website where he describes the format of the SystemKey file, so armed with that:

python chainbreaker.py -f OldSystem.keychain -k $(echo $(od -tx1 -j8 -N24 OldSystemKey |cut -c10- )|sed -e 's/ *//g')

Easy, huh?

October 8
Just about have the Mac Mini back up and running, and then the harddrive on the laptop goes CLICK and the whole thing freezes.

I'm going to bed.

October 5
Making various forays into restoring data onto the Mac Mini. Curious what loses access - DropBox, for example, figured it no longer knew me, and iTunes claimed the machine wasn't authorised for purchases - then when I tried to authorise it, it said the machine was already authorised. Shrug.

October 3
Ok, so Drobo's finished its recovery, and now suggesting I should add another disk. Y'know, to keep the other 4TB disk company.

HAHAHA NO. Not until I've done some investigation of what might need offsite backup.

Started reading Neuromancer for the umpteenth time after finding some Sprawl-branded tshirts and stickers online.

October 2
Back in Dublin, and Mr. Drobo... TA-DA! My 4TB of data has reappeared. There's still another 30 hours of disk juggling for Drobo to do, but I can't say I'm not relieved that I've not lost all that data.

Now to actually see what's there.

October 1
Hurrah! Q4 is here! battens down hatches

Off to Waterford for another celebration of Dad's birthday and my parents' wedding anniversary. When you get to Significant Digits on these occasions, you get to celebrate them as many times as you like.

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