Using a Yubikey for account security

I got a Yubikey 4 half a year ago (during Red Hat Summit 2016), but until now I didn’t do much with it. Time to change that ;)

If you have any more ideas on how to use the Yubikey, feel free to comment!

Also, If you’re not using 2  factor authentication yet, I urge you to start using it. It gives you a nice additional layer of account security, with limited hassle. It doesn’t even have to cost you any money, if you’re using a software solution. Checkout twofactorauth.org for a (non-comprehensive) list of sites that support it!

 

Using WiiMotes (and classic controllers) on Windows

After the latest lan-party with some friends, where we played a lot of Rocket League, it dawned on me that this game (and numerous others) is probably a lot easier to play with a game controller instead of the mouse/keyboard combination. And as I have the WiiMote and the Wii Classic Controller lying around, I thought I’d have a go at getting these to work on Windows (as opposed to buying something new).

640px-Wii-Classic-Controller-White

Wii Classic Controller

Windows does recognize the WiiMote as some weird bluetooth device, but not as a functional controller. Some digging turned up HID Wiimote driver, the Bachelor Thesis project of Julian Löhr.
For the installation instructions, please see the site of Julian – they’re pretty detailed and tell you everything you need to know.

As for mapping the output of the driver to something games understand, you’ll need yet another tool: x360ce. This translates whatever output you get from a driver, and makes the game/program in question think there’s an Xbox360 controller attached. For details on how x360ce works, check the github site.

x360ce

x360ce main controller mapping screen

One final remark: to make things properly work, make sure you uncheck “Passthrough” in the advanced tab, otherwise it just doesn’t work. And copy the files of x360ce in the game’s binary directory, so that all the necessary libraries will be found.

Updating Boot Camp to 2.1

For a reason not to be mentioned here, I needed to install Windows XP (legal license) on my Macbook. Easily done, Boot Camp Assistant, install windows, install drivers, the works.

Then I wanted to update to Boot Camp 2.1, to be able to update windows to SP3.

Big nono. Didn’t want to install. Update constantly failed, no matter what.

After some googling, I ran across this post on the MacRumors Forums, which basically says that to install it, you need to open up your registry editor (start -> run -> regedit.exe), do a search for “Boot Camp Services” and locate the key which reads “Language”. Modify it, and change the Decimal value to 1033 (hex 409).

Restart the installer after this, and it’ll install. Go figure.

Strange problems with windows 2k3…

I’m wondering if anyone out there can help me with this one…

On one server, running Windows server 2003 R2 Enterprise x64 Edition, service pack 1, I’m encountering this problem:

The machine often grinds to a halt, responding very slowly, and the event log is filled with:

Application log:

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: PerfOS
Event Category: None
Event ID: 2012
Date: 9/04/2008
Time: 7:41:53
User: N/A
Computer: XXX
Description:
Unable to get system process information from system. The status code
returned is in the first DWORD in the Data section.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: a1 00 00 c0 ¡..À

System log:

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Application Popup
Event Category: None
Event ID: 333
Date: 16/04/2008
Time: 10:36:36
User: N/A
Computer: XXX
Description:
An I/O operation initiated by the Registry failed unrecoverably. The
Registry could not read in, or write out, or flush, one of the files that
contain the system’s image of the Registry.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
Data:
0000: 00 00 00 00 01 00 6c 00 ……l.
0008: 00 00 00 00 4d 01 00 c0 ….M..À
0010: 00 00 00 00 4d 01 00 c0 ….M..À
0018: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ……..
0020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ……..

The only thing this machine is running is Platform Symphony, GRID computing software. This setup is identical on 4 other machines, which don’t show any problems.

After numerous googles I still haven’t found a reason or a solution. I’ve tried:

  • reinstalling machine – problem comes back (it’s not clear before or after installing the GRID software…
  • increasing pagefile size
  • checked main drive
  • tried UHCleaner – doesn’t seem to work on 64bit
  • checked registry settings – all are identical

Svchost hogging yer cpu

In case you’re using Windows (or Microsoft) Update, you’ll probably have noticed that your PC sometimes grinds to a halt after bootup. Checking with task manager usually reveals that svchost.exe is abusing your CPU, pegging it at 100%.

This thread specifies several solutions that you can try, and for me what helped was:

  • installing KB927891
  • installing Windows Update Agent 3.0 (x86 / x64)
  • cleaning of the SoftwareDistribution folder:
    1. Open a command prompt
    2. net stop wuauserv
    3. Rename Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder to SoftwareDistribution.old
    4. net start wuauserv
    5. Reboot

Doing the combination of these fixes (in this order) finally made svchost behave like it should. Look in the thread for more possible fixes ;)